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Red Racer or Whip Snake
 

This is the most commonly viewed snake within Mojave Desert. It can be seen on many of the roads sunning itself in the early to late morning hours. It is the fastest snake in the desert moving at up to 7mph and can reach up to 6 feet long with a slender, whiplike body. Coloration may vary from gray and tan to pink with black crossbars always present on the neck. A the snake gets older it begins to take on a more distinct reddish appearance. Itís diet consist of lizards, small snakes, mice and birds. It is very mean tempered and should not be handled. Although not poisonous its bite can tear the flesh and should be avoided.
 

 

Description

Nonvenomous
Considered harmless to humans.

Additional notes: A fast moving diurnal snake that is difficult to capture. Bites, excretes musk and twists body when handled. Large individuals should be handled with caution.

Size
Adults of this species are 36 - 102 inches long (91 - 260 cm.) Hatchlings are about 13 inches long.
Appearance
A slender fast-moving snake with smooth scales, a large head and eyes, and a thin neck. Large scales above eyes. 17 scale rows at mid body. Coloration is variable; light brown, pink or reddish above with pink, brown, or black bands across the neck. Black and yellow phases of this subspecies are found outside of California. The dark coloring is interspersed with light coloring creating a banded or saddled appearance, with dark coloring surrounding the light scales. Color typically changes to a solid tan or reddish coloring along the length of the long thin tail. The braided appearance of scales on the tail (like a whip) gives this snake its common name.
Behavior

Active in the daytime. Hunts crawling with head the held high above the ground, occasionally moving it from side to side. The prey is overcome and crushed with the jaws or beneath loops of the body and eaten without constriction. Often strikes agressively when threatened or handled. Good climbers, able to climb bushes and trees. Seen moving quickly even on hot sunny days, but often seen basking on roads in early morning or resting underneath boards or other surface objects. Frequently run over by vehicles and found dead on the road, partly due to the tendency of this snake to stop and eat road-killed small animals.

Diet
Eats small mammals including bats, nestling and adult birds, bird eggs, lizards, snakes, amphibians, and carrion. Hatchlings and juveniles will eat large invertebrates.
Reproduction
Lays eggs in early summer. Eggs hatch in 45 - 70 days.
Range

Ranges throughout southern California from Ventura county to the Baja California border and north around the eastern side of the Sierra Nevada Mountains though the Great Basin desert into norhwestern Nevada, and south through nevada and much of Arizona to part of Sonora and Baja California. Apparently intergrades with M. f. rudocki in eastern Kem County.

Habitat
Inhabits open areas of desert, grassland, scrub, and sagebrush, including rocky, sandy, flat, and hilly ground. Avoids dense vegetation. Takes refuge in rodent burrows, under shaded vegetation, and under surface objects.

 

 

 

 


 
 
 Rasor Clean Up

First Rasor Road desert clean up.

 
 
 
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Fallen Friends

Don - Keeper of the Rasor Ranch

 

 

 
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 Historic Points

Rasor Road Mega-phone / the Mojave desert mystery

Desert grave of Delores Holland at Rasor Road, Near the old RR town of Crucero

Mystery jet fighter fuel tank found at Rasor Road

Old wells at Rasor Road

Soda Dry Lake off of Zzyzx Road at Rasor Road California Desert. The Mojave Road crosses though it.