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Masticophis lateralis (HALLOWELL, 1853)

IUCN Red List - Masticophis lateralis - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaColubridae, Colubrinae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
SubspeciesMasticophis lateralis euryxanthus (RIEMER 1954)
Masticophis lateralis lateralis (HALLOWELL 1853) 
Common NamesE: Striped Racer
euryxanthus: Alameda Striped Racer
lateralis: California Striped Racer
G: Alameda-Peitschenschlange
S: Corredora Rayada 
SynonymLeptophis lateralis HALLOWELL 1853: 237
Masticophis lateralis — JENNINGS 1983
Masticophis lateralis — STEBBINS 1985: 182
Masticophis lateralis — LINER 1994
Coluber lateralis — UTIGER et al. 2005 (by implication)
Masticophis lateralis — WALLACH et al. 2014: 418
Masticophis lateralis — O’CONNELL et al. 2017
Masticophis lateralis — MYERS et al. 2017

Masticophis lateralis euryxanthus RIEMER 1954
Masticophis lateralis euryxanthus RIEMER 1954: 45
Masticophis lateralis euryxanthus — JENNINGS 1983
Masticophis lateralis euryxanthus — CROTHER 2000: 66
Masticophis lateralis euryxanthus — COLLINS & TAGGART 2009
Coluber lateralis euryxanthus — RICHMOND et al. 2016

Masticophis lateralis lateralis (HALLOWELL, 1853)
Leptophis lateralis HALLOWELL 1853: 237
Masticophis lateralis lateralis — JENNINGS 1983
Masticophis lateralis lateralis — CROTHER 2000: 66
Coluber lateralis lateralis — LINER 2007
Masticophis lateralis — COLLINS & TAGGART 2009 
DistributionUSA (California),
Mexico (Baja California)

euryxanthus: USA (California)

lateralis: USA (CAlifornia)

Type locality: California  
TypesHolotype: ANSP 5365
Holotype: MVZ 50391 (adult female) [euryxanthus] 
DiagnosisDEFINITION. Masticophis lateralis is a whipsnake with 17 dorsal scale rows on the anterior portion of the body, eight supra- labials, and a dark dorsum bordered laterally by continuous, pale, longitudinal stripes 1/4-2 scales in width. (Jennings 1983)

DEFINITION (lateralis). A subspecies with an olive brown, blackish olive, or dark brown dorsum, narrow cream or pale yellow dorsolateral stripes 1/4-1 scale in width, and heavy spotting on the venter of the head and neck. (Jennings 1983)

DEFINITION (euryxanthus). A subspecies with a sooty black dorsum, broad yellow-orange dorsolateral stripes 1.5-2 scales in width, and virtual absence of spotting on the venter of the head and neck. A heavy suffusion of orange-rufus is present on the anterior pale areas. (Jennings 1983) 
CommentNCBI taxon ID: 1879200 [euryxanthus]
NCBI taxon ID: 1879201 [lateralis] 
EtymologyThe specific name lateralis (Latin) means “of the side” and apparently alludes to the conspicuous lateral stripes.

The subspecific name euryxanthus is derived from the Greek eury-, meaning wide or broad, and xanthus, yellow, which refers to the wide yellow-orange lateral stripes.
  • ALVAREZ, JEFF A. & AMANDA C. MURPHY. 2022. Arboreality in the California Whipsnake (Masticophis lateralis): Implications for Survey Techniques. Bulletin, Southern California Academy of Sciences 121(1): 34–40. - get paper here
  • Clark, H.O., Jr. 2014. Encounter between a Striped Racer (Coluber lateralis) and a Southern Alligator Lizard (Elgaria multicarinata). Sonoran Herpetologist 27 (3):79. - get paper here
  • Collins, J.T. and T. W. Taggart 2009. Standard Common and Current Scientific Names for North American Amphibians, Turtles, Reptiles, and Crocodilians, Sixth Edition. Center for North American Herpetology, 48 pp.
  • Crother, B. I. (ed.) 2012. Standard Common and Current Scientific Names for North American Amphibians, Turtles, Reptiles, and Crocodilians, Seventh Edition. Herpetological Circular 39: 1-92
  • DEGROOF, CHRISTOPHER L. & BRUCE P. PAVALON. 2022. MASTICOPHIS LATERALIS (California Whipsnake) and TRIMORPHODON LYROPHANES (California Lyresnake). DIET and PREDATION. Herpetological Review 53(3): 514.
  • Dunn, R. & Herr, M.W. 2017. Coluber lateralis (=Masticophis lateralis) (Striped Racer) Diet. Herpetological Review 48 (4): 858 - get paper here
  • Goldberg, S.R. 1975. Reproduction in the Striped Racer, Masticophis lateralis (Colubridae) Journal of Herpetology 9 (4): 361-363. - get paper here
  • Goodman AM, Esposito LA, Ponce PL, Sauer AR, Stiner EO, Ruane S 2019. New record and range expansion of Masticophis lateralis (Hallowell, 1853) (Squamata, Colubridae) into western Baja California Sur, Mexico. Check List 15(2): 345-348 - get paper here
  • Grismer, L. L.; McGuire, J. A. 1993. The oases of central Baja California, Mexico. Part I. A preliminary account of the relict mesophilic herpetofauna and the status of the oases. Bull. Southern California Acad. Sci. 92 (1): 2-24 - get paper here
  • Grismer, L. Lee;Mahrdt, Clark R. 1996. Geographic Distribution. Masticophis lateralis lateralis. Herpetological Review 27 (1): 34 - get paper here
  • Grismer,L.L 1990. Relationships, taxonomy, and biogeography of the Masticophis lateralis complex in Baja California, Mexico. Herpetologica 46 (1): 66-77 - get paper here
  • Hallowell,E. 1853. On some new reptiles from California. Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia 6: 236-238 - get paper here
  • Hammerson, G.A. 1978. Observations on the Reproduction, Courtship, and Aggressive Behavior of the Striped Racer, Masticophis lateralis euryxanthus (Reptilia, Serpentes, Colubridae) Journal of Herpetology 12 (2): 253-255. - get paper here
  • Hammerson, G.A. 1979. Thermal ecology of the striped racer, Masticophis lateralis Herpetologica 35 (3): 267-273. - get paper here
  • Heimes, P. 2016. Snakes of Mexico. Chimaira, Frankfurt, 572 pp
  • Hollingsworth, Bradford D.; Jorge H. Valdez-Villavicencio and Anny Peralta-García 2016. Coluber lateralis (Colubridae). Baja California Sur. Revista Mexicana de Herpetología 2(1):
  • Jennings M R 1983. Masticophis lateralis (Hallowell). Striped racer. Catalogue of American Amphibians and Reptiles ( 343: 1-2 - get paper here
  • Liner, Ernest A. 2007. A CHECKLIST OF THE AMPHIBIANS AND REPTILES OF MEXICO. Louisiana State University Occasional Papers of the Museum of Natural Science 80: 1-60 - get paper here
  • MASON, W 2020. Masticophis lateralis (Striped Racer). Diet/Cannibalism. Herpetological Review 51: 623.
  • Miller, A. and J.A. Alvarez. 2016. Habitat Use and Management Considerations for the Threatened Alameda Whipsnake (Masticophis lateralis euryxanthus) in Central California. Western Wildlife 3:29-32. - get paper here
  • Myers, Edward A.; Jamie L. Burgoon, Julie M. Ray, Juan E. Martínez-Gómez, Noemí Matías- Ferrer, Daniel G. Mulcahy, and Frank T. Burbrink 2017. Coalescent Species Tree Inference of Coluber and Masticophis. Copeia 105 (4): 642-650 - get paper here
  • O'Connell, K. A., Streicher, J. W., Smith, E. N. and Fujita, M. K. 2017. Geographical features are the predominant driver of molecular diversification in widely distributed North American Whipsnakes. Mol Ecol., DOI: 10.1111/mec.14295 - get paper here
  • Richmond, Jonathan Q.; Dustin A. Wood, Karen E. Swaim, Robert N. Fisher, and Amy G. Vandergast 2015. Historical Habitat Barriers Prevent Ring-like Genetic Continuity Throughout the Distribution of Threatened Alameda Striped Racers (Coluber lateralis euryxanthus). Herpetologica 72 (3): 202-213 [2016] - get paper here
  • Riemer, William J. 1954. A new subspecies of the snake Masticophis lateralis from California. Copeia 1954 (1): 45-48 - get paper here
  • Rochester, Carlton J.; Cheryl S. Brehme, Denise R. Clark, Drew C. Stokes, Stacie A. Hathaway, and Robert N. Fisher 2010. Reptile and Amphibian Responses to Large-Scale Wildfires in Southern California. Journal of Herpetology 44 (3): 333–351 - get paper here
  • Rodríguez-Robles, Javier A., Good, David A., Wake, David B. 2003. Brief History of Herpetology in the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, University of California, Berkeley, with a List of Type Specimens of Recent Amphibians and Reptiles. UC Publications in Zoology, 119 pp. - get paper here
  • Stebbins,R.C. 1985. A Field Guide to Western Reptiles and Amphibians, 2nd ed. Houghton Mifflin, Boston
  • Ukuwela, K.D.B., de Silva, A., Sivaruban, A. et al. 2022. Diversity, distribution, and natural history of the marine snakes of Sri Lanka. Marine Biodiversity 52, 24 (2022) - get paper here
  • Utiger, U.; Schatti, B. & Helfenberger, N. 2005. The oriental colubrine genus Coelognathus FITZINGER, 1843 and classification of old and new world racers and ratsnakes (Reptilia, Squamata, Colubridae, Colubrinae). Russ. J. Herpetol. 12 (1): 39-60 - get paper here
  • Vindum, Jens V. 1998. Geographic Distribution. Masticophis lateralis. Herpetological Review 29 (2): 114-115 - get paper here
  • Wallach, Van; Kenneth L. Williams , Jeff Boundy 2014. Snakes of the World: A Catalogue of Living and Extinct Species. [type catalogue] Taylor and Francis, CRC Press, 1237 pp.
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