Southern Black Racer

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Natalie McNear

Is the Southern Black Racer right for you?

Species group:

Other common names: Florida Black Racer

Scientific name: Coluber constrictor priapus

The basics:
The Southern Black Racer is one of the more common subspecies of non-venomous snakes in the Southeastern United States. These snakes are quite active during the day, which increases the chance of sightings. They will eat almost any animal they can overpower, including, rodents, frogs, toads, and lizards. They have been known to charge at people in an attempt to frighten them, but will usually retreat – if challenged. Members of this species generally do not tolerate handling – even after months in captivity – and will typically strike and flail wildly every time they are handled. They are quite fast, giving rise to the name "racer".

The Southern Black Racer is an excellent swimmer and climber, and is aptly named because it has incredible speed and is very difficult to capture. When cornered it will fight—its tiny sharp teeth can deliver a painful but non-venomous bite. Escape is its best defense, but the animal has been known to occasionally turn and pursue humans or other potentially threatening animals that have ceased their own pursuits. Like many other species, the Black Racer will vibrate its tail in dry leaves and grass and the resulting sound is reminiscent of the noise made by a Rattlesnake. The snake favors wooded areas, brush and thickets although it is also commonly seen in suburban yards. While hunting it can travel at good speed even with its head elevated well off the ground.

Appearance / health:
The Southern Black Racer is usually thin with a jet black dorsal side with a grey belly and white chin.

Their diet consists primarily of rodents, frogs, and lizards, and some subspecies are known to climb trees in order to eat eggs and young birds. Juveniles often consume soft-bodied insects, such as crickets and moths.


handling, proper temperatures, aggressive snake, bad tempers, ferocious Black Racer, captivity

Southern Black Racer Health Tip

Southern Black Racer

From leopardsnow Oct 28 2015 7:59PM


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