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What is a Desert Striped Whipsnake (Masticophis taeniatu)

Desert Striped Whipsnake (Masticophis taeniatu)

Desert Striped Whipsnake Overview

Desert Striped Whipsnake is a thin, long snake that lives in the American southwest, Pacific Northwest, as well as parts of Mexico. These snakes are nonvenomous and diurnal snakes which means that it’s active during the day. Desert Striped Whipsnakes are able to move at great speeds to avoid danger. If you are on the hunt to find one of these guys in the wild, they are found in shrublands, grasslands, canyons, and woodlands, as well as streams within their known range.

What is a Striped Whipsnake

Desert Striped Whipsnake – Coluber taeniatus teniatus


Subspecies of Desert Striped Whipsnake

There are two known subspecies of the Desert Striped Whipsnake which include Masticophis taeniatus girardi and Masticophis taeniatus taeniatus both of which are also nonvenomous.

Size and Body Description

Desert Striped Whipsnakes are long and thin snakes that are typically gray, black, or dark brown with a blue or drab green tint to them. There are two or more lines that run along the entire length of their body that are white or cream-colored with dark-colored lines separating them. The coloration under the snake is yellow or white in color with some snakes showing a pinkish color near the tail. These snakes have heads that are around the same size as their necks with large eyes on either side.


Desert Striped Whipsnakes can grow between 3 to 6 feet in total length and are around 14 to 17 inches long when they hatch.


Desert Striped Whipsnakes have a diet that consists of rodents, insects, frogs, other snakes, and lizards. These snakes have been known to take on smaller rattlesnakes if the opportunity arises.


Desert Striped Whipsnakes breed in the early spring in and lay their eggs around June or July in old burrows or holes. Female snakes will lay anywhere from 3 to 12 eggs at a time with eggs hatching sometime in the late summer.

How Long do Desert Striped Whipsnake Live

Desert Striped Whipsnakes can live to be up to 20 years old in the wild.


As of writing this, the Desert Striped Whipsnake is a not federally protected species under the Endangered Species Act but they are naturally protected in any state parks that they are found in, as is all the wildlife in state parks.

References Used

Desert Striped Whipsnake (Masticophis taeniatu)