The masticophis flagellum is a nonvenomous snake species, which is native to US and Mexico. It is commonly called as coachwhip or the whip snake. There are currently 7 subspecies of coachwhip. Below are the fast facts.
- Type: Snake
- Scientific Name: Masticophis Flagellum
- Higher Classification: Masticophis
- Conservation Status: Least concern
- Weight: 1.2 kg – 1.8 kg; mature adults
- Length: 163 cm – 235 cm; mature adults
- Number of eggs laid: Up to 24; average is around 12
- Incubation Period: 6 week – 12 week; varies subspecies to subspecies
- Average life span: Up to 16 years
- Total Population: No more than 1,000,000
- Top Speed: Up to 15 mph
- Diet: Carnivore
- Preys: Lizards, Small birds, Birds eggs, Rodents, Amphibians and Snakes
- Predators: Human, Bird of Prey, Snakes
- Habitat: Open areas, sandy soil, pine forests, old fields and prairies
They are thin-bodied snakes. They have small head but their eyes are large. They have different color according to their natural habitat for a proper camouflage. Their vision is very good. They sometimes raise their heads above the level of the grass to see around. They are very fast moving snakes. They are normally active during the daytime form April to October.
There are two common myths about coachwhip. The first one states that these snakes chase people. This is false. What happens is that the snake and person see each other and frighten; and then they escape the same way. These snakes are faster than human thus gives an impression that the snake is chasing. The second myth states that the snake, when disturbed, would chase the person and wrap him in its coil, then whip the person to death with its tail. Again this is false. These snakes are not enough powerful to overpower a person.
Detailed information can be found from WikiPedia