The most common snake in the GNG is the California Striped Racer – Coluber lateralis lateralis. Being diurnal, it is often seen foraging during the day with its head and forward part of its body held up off the ground as it searches for its favorite prey – Western Fence Lizards.
This snake is very fast-moving and alert, quickly fleeing when threatened. Because we usually only get a quick glimpse of this snake, this video capture was quite a coup. Notice as I get closer, the snake begins to move its tail as a diversion.
Wiggling my finger as a lure, I was able to draw the snake in to get an up-close and personal view of a hunting racer. When I quickly pull my finger away at the last moment (so not to get bit), the serpent bolts, demonstrating why this family of snakes is fittingly called “racers”!