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Galapagos racer snake

Galapagos racer snake
© Luis Ortiz-Catedral

Common name:

Galapagos racer snake

Scientific name:

Pseudalsophis spp

Spanish name:

Culebra de Galápagos

Conservation status:

Near Threatened


Average size:

80 centimetres - 1 metre

Maximum size:

1.25 metres


Racer snakes on Galapagos are constrictors and only mildly venomous. They are known to prey on lava lizards, geckos, insects, iguanas, mice, rats and hatchlings of several bird species. They are not at all aggressive towards humans and could not do much harm if they were to attack after being threatened. Racers tend to be dark brown with stripes or spots. 

There is some confusion over the number of species of racer snake found in Galapagos due to poor research. The latest research suggests that there are: the Galapagos racer (Pseudalsophis biserialis) from San Cristobal and Floreana – though it is locally extinct on Floreana and now only found on nearby islets; the Española racer (Pseudalsophis hoodensis) from Española and adjacent islets; Santa Cruz racer (Pseudalsophis dorsalis) from Santa Cruz, Baltra, Santa Fe and adjacent islets; Fernandina racer (Pseudalsophis occidentalis) from Fernandina, Isabela, and Tortuga; banded racer (Pseudalsophis slevini) from Pinzon; and the striped racer (Pseudalsophis steindachneri) from Baltra and Santa Cruz.

Racer snakes in Galapagos

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