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Found a snake in my yard, need advice!

13 years ago

Hello everyone,

I have recently gotten rid of my lawn and planted an informal succulent and drought tolerant landscape. As you can immagine, this has created a haven for all types of wildlife; birds, frogs, lizards, and now, snakes! As I was doing some cleaning today, I came across a very interesting scene. As I lifted a small rock, a very bright, neon pink and brown snake darted out from underneath. I was surprised to say the least. At first I thought it was an earthworm (it was the size of a large earthworm). I was curious and lifted the next rock it went under to get another glance at it. The thing was lightning fast and darted away again.

I then searched the internet and found it was/is a coachwhip snake. Living in the San Joaquin Valley, the logical match would be the San Joaquin Coachwhip Snake:

But, the coloration was more like this one, which according to this website is not found in the San Joaquin Valley

Either way, I came to the conclusion that there must be a healthy population of these snakes in a drainage basin found not 100 feet from my backyard. The basin always holds water, has a forest of trees growing in it, and has strong populations of frogs, lizards, birds, gophers, squirrels... you name it. According to several sites, these snakes can grow to 8 1/2 feet in length and, although non-poisonous, can be quite agressive. My concern is for my dogs. I have two small dogs who live outdoors. One is quite small, about 2 feet from nose to tail and less than 10 pounds. Could she be potential prey for an adult coachwhip snake?

Here are pictures of my two dogs:

This is Max. I'm not too worried about him, He is the larger of the two.


And this is who I'm more concerned about, Penny.



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