Description: Coachwhips are the longest snakes found in North Carolina, growing up to 8 feet in length. They are very thin, and, like racers, are known for their speed. The coachwhip is generally black on the head and front part of the body, but becomes lighter towards the rear. Its eyes are usually gold, red, or orange. The coachwhip gets its name from its tail which resembles a braided whip. Juveniles are usually light tan with dark irregular bands down the body and light markings on the head and neck.
Feeding/Diet: Coachwhips have large eyes and are fast and agile hunters. They often hold their heads well above the ground while searching for lizards, mice, and other snakes. They are not constrictors, but simply chase down and swallow their prey alive. Coachwhips are diurnal, so they do the majority of their hunting during the day.
Habitat/Range: Coachwhips are found most abundantly in the Sandhills and portions of the southeastern Coastal Plain.
Reproduction: The coachwhip lays 4–24 eggs which are covered with small bumps, during early to mid summer.
Miscellaneous: Like racers, they will often climb into trees or bushes when pursued. If captured, they will usually thrash around a may bite the captor repeatedly if given the chance; stories of this species whipping people to death with their tails are obviously just myth. Because so much of their natural habitat has been destroyed by development, coachwhips are a species of conservation concern in North Carolina.