Western Yellowbelly Racer (Coluber constrictor mormon) - HM 400051
Observer:
Maughn, James
Observed:
2022-09-27 16:15:00
Last Modified:
2022-11-10 10:18:56
Country:
United States of America
State:
California
County:
Santa Cruz
Age:
Adult
Deceased:
no
Notes:
I came across this unusual scene while hiking back to my car this afternoon. What I think is happening here is that the racer probably tried to predate the alligator lizard, only to have the alligator lizard clamp down on the snake's head. When I came upon them, the snake wasn't moving much. I sat and watched for a bit, but then noticed a mountain biker coming down the trail. When I stood up so he could see me, I must have startled the lizard, because all of a sudden the snake got free, and zipped off into the tall grass on the side of the trail. After a second or two, the alligator lizard also dashed off, albeit in the other direction. I felt a little badly about disturbing the situation, but really there was a good chance one or both animals would have been run over by the biker, who was demonstrating his species' usual level of spatial awareness. (ie none whatsoever. I'm still not sure he ever saw me.) All in all, it was quite a surprising encounter.
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