• Lower Cliff Dwelling

    Tonto

    National Monument Arizona

Sonoran Whipsnake

sonoran whipsnake

Sonoran Whipsnake

NPS Photo

Sonoran Whipsnake
Masticophis bilineatus

Body length: 24 - 67"
Diet: Birds, lizards, and frogs

This conspicuous day-active species is common throughout Tonto National Monument. If you see (very briefly!) a greenish-gray snake streaking away from you on the trail, the chances are good it's a Sonoran whipsnake. The whipsnake's keen eyesight and speed are used to chase down lizards and other prey.

Whipsnakes seem to be as comfortable in trees as on the ground, and they may be an important predator of birds such as cactus wrens and thrashers. Other food items include frogs, rodents, eggs, insects, and even carrion. When captured by humans, whipsnakes bite aggressively, often drawing blood. However, they are not venomous or harmful in any way.

Did You Know?

snow in the desert

Tonto National Monument averages 15" of rain annually. Snow is a rare occurrence, but as long as temperatures remain above freezing, the saguaros don't seem to mind!