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Western Yellow-Bellied Racer (Coluber constrictor mormon)
Snakes Around Las Vegas, Wildlife Around Las Vegas
Racer (Coluber constrictor)

General Description: A long, slender snake with large eyes, smooth scales, and blue-gray, olive, or brown color above; fast-moving.

Taxonomy: Colubrid Snakes Family (Colubridae). Proposed as a separate species, Coluber mormon, but the jury is still out.

Technical Description: Length to 3 ft. Body slender. Eyes large. Dorsal scales smooth. Dorsal color plain blue-gray, olive, or brown without other marks. Ventral color white or pale yellow. Lower preocular wedges between labials. Anal divided. Fast-moving. Young resemble small Gopher Snakes.

Racer (Coluber constrictor)

Diet: Opportunistic; feeds on anything it can catch, including insects, frogs, lizards, small rodents, birds, and other snakes.

Habitat: Abandoned fields, grassland, open woodlands, rocky wooded or brush-covered hillsides, and grassy-bordered streams.

Range: Widely distributed in western US except in the southern deserts. Extends from southern British Columbia and eastern Washington south along the coast to southern California, east to western Montana, western Wyoming, southern Utah; north half of Nevada. Also found around Boulder Dam.

Breeding: Mates in spring. Lays 5 to 28 eggs in rotting tree stumps, under rocks, and in small mammal tunnels; sometimes nests communally. Young hatch during summer and early fall.

No more photos -- yet.

Similar Species: There is no other plain gray or blueish snake in our area.

Comments: Diurnal and alert. When hunting, it holds its head up high and moves swiftly through grass and other vegetation. When alarmed, it may vibrate its tail tip in grass or leaves to make a buzzing sound similar to a rattlesnake.

Note: All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate.
copyright; Last updated 110616

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