Galapagos Racer Snake
The Galápagos' only venomous hunter
Information about Galapagos Racer Snake
The classification of Galápagos Racer snakes is continually changing. There is currently no definite classification but at least 4 different species of these endemic snakes are known to have existed, two of which are now presumed to be extinct. This particular species of snake is part of the family of snakes known as Pseudalsophis which are native to the Galápagos islands.
All snakes in Galápagos are racers and they are mildly venomous constrictors. They are shy, and unless approached carefully they will quickly flee from humans. Your Galapatours naturalist guide will expertly lead you to a remarkable close encounter if you come across a racer on one of your shore excursions.
These snakes trap their prey by biting and injecting a venom into them which starts digesting the prey immediately This helps stop choking when the snake then swallows the prey whole. The feeding habits of these slim and fast-moving snakes vary depending on the chosen prey. This can include Darwin's Finches and Galápagos Mockingbird hatchlings, rats and mice, locusts and newborn Galápagos marine iguanas.
Galápagos Racer numbers have suffered in the islands' most populated areas. Some Islands like Floreana have seen a severe decline of this snake due to the introduction of invasive species such as feral rats, cats and dogs.
The only known natural threat to these snakes are Galápagos Hawks. On a Galápagos cruise you will enjoy several shore excursions that will give you a good opportunity to catch a glimpse of these fantastic reptiles.
Interesting facts about Galapagos Racer Snake
The Galápagos National Park is trying to reintroduce the extinct Floreana Racer back to the island
Two populations of Floreana Racer still exist on Gardner and Champion islets, a total of 2500 individuals
Galápagos Hawks are the only natural threat to Galápagos Racers
Introduced invasive species are the biggest threat to Galápagos snakes
Pictures of Galapagos Racer Snake
Highlights where the Galapagos Racer Snake can be seen
Gardner Bay is a wonderfully sheltered area on the eastern shore of Espanola Island. It boasts one of the best beaches in the Galápagos, with superb white sand. There is nowhere better on the archipelago to simply sit back, relax, and take in the marvels of the wildlife around you.
The beach here is home to a large colony of Galápagos Sea Lions, who seem to love sunbathing on the beach as much as we humans do! As well as the fun-loving Sea Lions you can also find Galápagos Mockingbirds here. These birds are full of curiosity, and have been known to come and investigate bootlaces, camera straps and other equipment!
The wonderful Galápagos Green Sea Turtle can also often be seen in the shallows here, and along with a large variety of colorful reef fish, this makes Gardner Bay a great place to swim and snorkel.
Champion Islet is considered one of the best snorkeling sites in the entire archipelago. This small island was originally named after a famous whaler, Andrew Champion, and in its beautiful waters you can see Galápagos Sea Lions, Green Turtles, Hammerheads, Rays, and many colorful reef fish.
Champion Islet isn't only for those who seek out marine life. On shore you can find Galápagos Penguins, Blue-Footed Boobies and Frigatebirds to name but a few. One very special resident is the Floreana Mockingbird. This species is extremely rare, with only an estimated 100 individuals left - of which only 30-40 of them are left on this island. It is unknown how much longer this fragile species can survive.
Santa Cruz Highlands
Santa Cruz is the only island on the Galápagos that allows you to travel through every habitat type that exists in the archipelago. This makes the journey north from the coast up into the highlands a fantastic opportunity to experience the breadth of life that exists on these islands.
Your bus journey starts from Puerto Ayora on the coast and you slowly start to climb through the agricultural zone where open fields begin to give way to lush, green, mist-covered forests. This is a marked contrast to many of the islands which are at much lower elevation and much more arid. This rich verdant landscape is predominantly made up of dense Scalesia forest.
Your expert Galapatours guide will stop several times along the route to allow you to explore various different sites. Among the stops will be a Giant Tortoise reserve, and also a visit to the famous lava tubes. Over half a mile long, a walk through these natural volcanic features is eerie and unforgettable.
Also along the way you will stop for refreshments, and you'll be able to try locally-grown Galápagos coffee - we think it's among the best we've ever tasted!
Our trips to spot the Galapagos Racer Snake