Common Name

Scientific Name

View Utah Distribution Map

Photo by Alan D. St. John
Photo Copyright Alan D. St. John

The striped whipsnake, Masticophis taeniatus, occurs in much of the western United States, as well as in parts of Mexico. It can be found in numerous types of habitat throughout a great deal of Utah, but is most often found near streams. The species is considered common in Utah.

Striped whipsnakes are active during the day throughout the spring, summer, and early fall. They become inactive during the cold winter months, when they seek refuge in rodent burrows and rock crevices.

Female striped whipsnakes lay a single clutch of eggs (usually in an abandoned rodent burrow) during June or July; eggs hatch about two months after they are laid. Young striped whipsnakes primarily eat lizards, whereas adults eat lizards and small mammals.


  • Biotics Database. 2005. Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, NatureServe, and the network of Natural Heritage Programs and Conservation Data Centers.

  • Stebbins, R. C. 1985. A field guide to western reptiles and amphibians. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston. 336 pp.