Peggy C

Peggy C

Posted on 05/01/2010

Photo taken on April 30, 2010

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Univerisity of Florida
Coluber constrictor priapus
Black racers
black snakes
eat lizards

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Black racers ...

Black racers ...
Southern Black Racers (Coluber constrictor priapus)


" Black Racers, also known as Eastern Racers, are a group of closely related subspecies that are similar in appearance and range across the eastern half of the U.S. The Southern Black Racer, along with several other subspecies of racers, is the true black snake of the southeastern U.S. These snakes are long and slender; the largest reaching up to six feet in length (most are less than four feet long). They have smooth scales and range from jet black to dark gray on their backs and bellies, with chins and throats that are lighter or white in color.

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Despite their scientific name (Coluber constrictor), Black Racers do not always constrict their prey, but rather use their speed to chase down a prey animal, grab it with their strong jaws and swallow it alive. Racers are harmless to people and generally attempt to make a speedy escape when approached. However, if they feel threatened and are unable to flee, they may vigorously shake their tail (making a rattling sound on dry leaves), defecate on their captor or even bite if handled.

Black Racers inhabit a great variety of natural habitats, ranging from pine forests to the Florida Everglades. They are active during the day and are one of the most commonly encountered snakes in suburban yards and parks. As their name implies, they are swift and agile. They spend most of their lives on the ground, yet are excellent climbers and may be found in shrubs and small trees. Black Racers eat a variety of prey items including frogs, lizards, mice, rats, small snakes and even birds' eggs. "

.. have seen at least 4, maybe 5 Black Racers in the yard
.. this photo was taken through the window
.. going outside, the least movement or sound spooked them