Galapagos Snake Species
The Galapagos Islands is a magical place that welcomes many species, the majority of them being endemic to the islands that attract and surprise many visitors from all around the world. It seems biodiversity sees no limits in the insular region of Ecuador.
However, there are many endemic species that are more famous than ohters, the most well known species (in the majority of cases) are the Giant Tortoises, the blue footed boobies and the Galapagos Penguins.
The Galapagos Racer is one of those endemic species that lives under the shadows of the most famous ones. This snake specie is part of the Colubridae family, this is the largest snake family of the whole world and can be found all around the globe except the Antartic continent.
So… Since its a snake, is it dangerous?
The awnser is no, the Galapagos Racer isnt venomous, in fact its friendly towards humans, it makes no harm at all!
But when the Galapagos Racer is hungry it hunts small reptiles, eggs,bird hatchlings rodents and even small fishes, making it the only terrestrial snake in the world that has tasted the flavour of fish.
There are two subspceies of The Galapagos Racer: The Eastern and The Western Racer. The main difference between these two subscpeies is that the second one is darker, larger and longer than the first one.
However not everything is happiness for the harmless Racer, now a days the endemic specie is considered near thretened, this is due to introduced species such as pigs, cats and goats. Another important fact is that the Galapagos Racer is one of the 3 species of snakes that inhabits the Islands, its important to help preserve this specie since its one of a few and also another of the beautiful endemic species that contributes to the uniqueness of the Islands.
The Galapagos Racer may not be as recognized as other endemic species form the Galapagos Islands, but it has taken its part in Internet History. On November 8th 2016 a segment from the BBC documentary, Planet Earth II was published on to youtube, the video soon became viral annd it now sits at 13.255.425 views. This video shows how a marine iguana escapes from many of our fellow Galapagos Racers, the iguana may be the protagonist in this intense nature scene but it couldnt have shined without the presence of the Galapagos Racers.
New Snake Found on the Galapagos Islands
A case of snake invasion
On the 23rd of February 2014, a new snake found on the Galapagos Island, Santa Cruz. This snake, which a local accidentally ran over and immediately, recognized to be different from the 4 endemic species that exist on the island, is potentially another invasive, foreign specie.
After being taken to the Charles Darwin center to be examined, and later to the reptile specialist Diego Cisneros-Heredias, this was finally identified as an Ecuadorian Milk Snake, native to the Ecuador mainland.
This begs the question, with all endemic species somehow making their way to the Galapagos from the mainland before evolving to the island, of whether or not this snake is a new example of natural colonization. Unfortunately, we will probably never be able to conduct an accurate analysis to know if this was the case.
It is an excellent example of the awareness of the Galapagueños of their natural environment through their forward approach in taking the snake to be identified.