Eastern Coachwhip

Scientific Name
Masticophis flagellum ssp. flagellum
Also Known As
Eastern Coachwhip
All of Florida
Small Mammals, Birds, Lizards, Snakes
Life Expectancy
6 - 8 Years
The Eastern Coachwhip

Photo 101967935 © Kevin Metcalf, CC BY-NC

Corn Snake conservation status - Least Concern

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This Snake is Not Venomous

Eastern Coachwhip Snakes in Central Florida

The eastern coachwhip (Masticophis flagellum ssp. flagellum) is a large, nonvenomous colubrid species found throughout Florida. Often confused with similar-looking ratsnakes and racers, the coachwhip can be identified by its elongated body, distinctive color pattern, and rapid defensive movements.

This comprehensive guide provides detailed identification tips, biology facts, and information on prevention and control methods for eastern coachwhips in central Florida. Read on to learn about coachwhip habits, reproduction, diet, health risks, signs of an encounter, and professional removal options if you spot one on your property.

Appearance and Identification

Eastern coachwhips can be distinguished from other snakes by their elongated shape, smooth dorsal scales, coloring, and defensive posture

Adult Eastern Coachwhip

Photo 283560697 © nickolascook, CC BY-NC

Adult Eastern Coachwhip

  • Size: Adults average 4 to 8 feet (1.2 to 2.4 m) long. The record length is over 8 feet.
  • Color: Adults lose most of the juvenile striping and become solid tan, grayish, reddish-brown or black dorsally. The chin and throat are whitish or yellow.
  • Body: A long, cylindrical body with smooth iridescent scales. The tail is around 1/3 of the total body length.
  • Head: The pointed head has a distinctive upturned snout with large eyes and round pupils.
Juvenile Eastern Coachwhip

Photo 59023589 © J.D. Willson, CC BY-NC

Juvenile Eastern Coachwhip

  • Size: Hatchlings average 14 to 22 inches (35 to 55 cm) long.