Coachwhip Coloration

Dedicated exclusively to field herping.

Moderator: Scott Waters

Post Reply
User avatar
LouB747
Posts: 1168
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 7:50 am
Location: Huntington Beach, CA

Coachwhip Coloration

Post by LouB747 » March 30th, 2014, 8:35 pm

I guess I've never really understood the neck/head coloration of the coachwhips until today. Found this really nice 5 1/2 footer in OC today.

Image

User avatar
Kent VanSooy
Posts: 1100
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 6:51 am
Location: Oceanside

Re: Coachwhip Coloration

Post by Kent VanSooy » March 31st, 2014, 5:53 pm

That's a beast, Lou! They have some variation in the color and amount of black, and tend to get darker as they get older and bigger. I found this one yesterday, note the differences in head color as compared to yours.

Image

User avatar
PNWHerper
Posts: 667
Joined: July 8th, 2011, 1:04 pm
Location: King County, WA

Re: Coachwhip Coloration

Post by PNWHerper » March 31st, 2014, 7:12 pm

I guess I've never really understood the neck/head coloration of the coachwhips until today. Found this really nice 5 1/2 footer in OC today.
So what did you learn? What do you understand?

Cool pics from both of you. :thumb:

Zach_Lim
Posts: 1607
Joined: June 10th, 2010, 7:37 pm
Location: San Francisco, CA
Contact:

Re: Coachwhip Coloration

Post by Zach_Lim » March 31st, 2014, 7:21 pm

Lou, that Coach is a beauty!
Kent- WHAT THE HELL is that!? What an amazing looking snake!

Do they typically have such defined heads in comparison to body?

I have yet to see one in the wild...really want to now!

User avatar
Fundad
Posts: 5722
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 6:11 am
Location: Los Angeles County
Contact:

Re: Coachwhip Coloration

Post by Fundad » March 31st, 2014, 7:46 pm

Image

Image

Image

Image

User avatar
LouB747
Posts: 1168
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 7:50 am
Location: Huntington Beach, CA

Re: Coachwhip Coloration

Post by LouB747 » March 31st, 2014, 7:54 pm

PNWHerper wrote:
I guess I've never really understood the neck/head coloration of the coachwhips until today. Found this really nice 5 1/2 footer in OC today.
So what did you learn? What do you understand?

Cool pics from both of you. :thumb:
I guess when I looked at that pic I really noticed how well the neck and head blend into the surroundings. When viewing on my iphone I thought I missed the head in the shot. Anyways, maybe it's obvious to most.

Wow Kent, that things crazy looking. I haven't seen one like that yet, but he's out there, waiting for me.

I've been trying to find one of these for awhile, and it finally happened...
Image

User avatar
LouB747
Posts: 1168
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 7:50 am
Location: Huntington Beach, CA

Re: Coachwhip Coloration

Post by LouB747 » March 31st, 2014, 7:57 pm

Fundad and Kent, great stuff. I love it when the experienced guys show us what's out there.

User avatar
Fundad
Posts: 5722
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 6:11 am
Location: Los Angeles County
Contact:

Re: Coachwhip Coloration

Post by Fundad » March 31st, 2014, 8:25 pm

I Love Coachwhips Lou.. I love to see the coastal ones posted.. They are not common on the coastal plain, but they can be down right colorful..

I see some of the same coachwhips under the same boards year after year, on occasion, which is awesome. I saw the same 5 footer for 6 years in a row from 99 to 2005 under the same cover. He never offered to bite, and always just sat in your hands, like he enjoyed being held.. In the summer of 2005 they bulldozed the hill to plant Sage and "preserve" it. WTF!! :x As you can imagine, it made me a "little angry" and quite sad..

Very beautiful and intelligent snakes..

I have seen them play dead, Haul Arse, Freeze, and stand their ground and willing to fight for their freedom.. Gotta Love em..

Usually a coachwhip post will draw a response from me of some kind..

:thumb:

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Fundad

User avatar
AndyO'Connor
Posts: 1019
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 6:14 pm
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: Coachwhip Coloration

Post by AndyO'Connor » March 31st, 2014, 9:50 pm

I believe the dark coloration around the head and neck may help with warming up early and fast to catch lizards, and also makes them more difficult to target by predators in shade. I'm not sure though because there is so much variation, even within certain localities. It also seems to change with temperature, like a snake may not be as dark in the middle of the day versus the morning or evening. I've had a captive coachwhip from the Old Woman Mountains for 6 years now and she doesn't have a distinctly darker head or neck like some of the ones purchased here, but there are darker bands. Please forgive the phone shot from yesterday afternoon.
Image

User avatar
Kent VanSooy
Posts: 1100
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 6:51 am
Location: Oceanside

Re: Coachwhip Coloration

Post by Kent VanSooy » April 1st, 2014, 6:08 am

A face only a mother could love?- Baja Coachwhip from SD county

Image

User avatar
Kent VanSooy
Posts: 1100
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 6:51 am
Location: Oceanside

Re: Coachwhip Coloration

Post by Kent VanSooy » April 1st, 2014, 7:15 am


hellihooks
Posts: 8025
Joined: June 8th, 2010, 7:12 am
Location: Hesperia, California.
Contact:

Re: Coachwhip Coloration

Post by hellihooks » April 1st, 2014, 12:40 pm

Here's the pair I donated to the SD Zoo, found hooked up, under a board, out where I now reside (Deep Creek)
Male
Image
Image
Female
Image
Often, here in the Hi-D, they are just uniformly 'sand colored' with little to no black on head/neck... other times...nice and red... :shock:
Here's one from several weeks ago, from NE LA Co.
Image
Living where I do...I see several to half a dozen a year, without even looking for them... :D jim

User avatar
PNWHerper
Posts: 667
Joined: July 8th, 2011, 1:04 pm
Location: King County, WA

Re: Coachwhip Coloration

Post by PNWHerper » April 5th, 2014, 10:20 am

I guess when I looked at that pic I really noticed how well the neck and head blend into the surroundings. When viewing on my iphone I thought I missed the head in the shot. Anyways, maybe it's obvious to most.
Good observation.

Some really lovely coachwhips on here. I really love them, and they are one of my favorites to find and observe in the wild.

This is the most unusually colored one I have found personally:

Image

It was largely tan-gray in color.

User avatar
Ross Padilla
Posts: 2663
Joined: June 8th, 2010, 5:29 pm
Location: I love L.A.
Contact:

Re: Coachwhip Coloration

Post by Ross Padilla » April 6th, 2014, 9:34 pm

Nice find, Lou!

Some really cool looking Coachwhips in this thread. Some of those are different than I've ever seen.

User avatar
socalherper
Posts: 271
Joined: June 8th, 2010, 4:46 pm

Re: Coachwhip Coloration

Post by socalherper » April 9th, 2014, 7:20 am

Yea I love Coachwhips (Red Racers) I really think they are an inteligent species. You can see thier eyes move when they are still and it seems like they are allways thinking of their next move.
I have seen all kinds of colors on Coachwhips just like the pictures above. To the almost all brown sub adults ranging for tan adults in SoCal to jet black necks and bright pinkish red
bodies. Some being almost all a pinkish color. They really are pretty spectacular snakes.

Here is a couple.

SoCal,

Image

AZ,

Image

User avatar
LouB747
Posts: 1168
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 7:50 am
Location: Huntington Beach, CA

Re: Coachwhip Coloration

Post by LouB747 » April 11th, 2014, 4:48 pm

Found a super red one in OC today. Unfortunately it was too fast. Disappeared right after I flipped it. First board. Bummed.

User avatar
LouB747
Posts: 1168
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 7:50 am
Location: Huntington Beach, CA

Re: Coachwhip Coloration

Post by LouB747 » April 15th, 2014, 4:21 pm

A good friends find out by the Colorado River. No black on the neck of this one.

Image

User avatar
gopher
Posts: 173
Joined: April 9th, 2013, 8:45 pm
Location: California, San Gabriel Valley

Re: Coachwhip Coloration

Post by gopher » April 15th, 2014, 9:40 pm

Cool post and nice species variation.
So far the two coachwhips I have managed to catch look pretty stereotypical as far as the species goes. The first individual was recently found in palm desert, the later was a coastal from a year ago.

ImageRed racer ( Coluber flagellum piceus) by Gopher Greg, on Flickr

Image


Th
Image

Post Reply