Western Yellow Bellied Racer, Terrace Ave, Half Moon Bay, Calif 2015

Adults are 20-75 inches long (51-190 cm), typically under 3 feet long. Hatchlings are 8 - 11 inches long.

A slender snake with large eyes, a broad head and a slender neck, smooth scales, and a long thin tail.

Color and Pattern
Plain brown, blue-grey, or olive-green to green above and unmarked off-white or yellowish below.

Young have dark blotches on the sides and saddled markings on the back. At one time juveniles were thought to be a different species of snake than the adults due to the dramatic difference in appearance.

Life History and Behavior

Active in daylight. Mainly terrestrial, but also a good climber. Can be found at denning sites along with other species of snakes. Moves very quickly. Despite the species name, it is not a constrictor. Often bites agressively.

Diet and Feeding
Eats lizards, small mammals, birds, eggs, snakes, small turtles and frogs, and large insects. Hunts crawling with head held high off the ground, sometimes moving it from side to side. Prey is killed by being quickly overcome and captured, crushed with the jaws or trapped under the body, and swallowed alive.

Lays eggs in early summer.



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