The black racer snake pertains to the subspecies of black and non-venomous snakes commonly found in the Southern part of the US. Their presence has frightened a lot of homeowners in Maine. However, this reptile will not attack unless provoked. Unfortunately, their numbers are continuously declining due to habitat loss. There was even a point in the 1980s when this animal was declared an endangered species.
What is the Appearance of the Black Racer Snake?
Black racers have long slender bodies with solid gray or dark scales. Their eyes are large that will commonly have white coloration found on the base of the head. Their dorsal side is commonly lighter compared to their underside, which is generally black or dark grey. They can grow at an average of 20-60 inches in length, making it a large snake. The juvenile black racer can be bluish-gray or gray and has a pattern of reddish-brown, brown, and dark gray blotches. As they mature, the snake's mark will fade, and the dorsal will start to turn dark.
What is the Habitat of Black Racer Snakes?
The black racers can be found all through the Eastern US, from the Florida Keys to Southern Maine. There are subspecies of this reptile that are found in the Central US, like the yellow-bellied racer. They can also be found in all areas of Georgia and South Carolina. They can be considered 'habitat generalist,' which means that they can be found in all types of habitat. However, they will be commonly found in wetlands, old fields, and forest edges. You may also encounter them in agricultural and disturbed areas.
What is the Behavior of the Black Racer Snakes?
Black racers are usually awake during the daytime and will be very active when the weather is warm. When the temperature drops, the snakes will hide under the piles of clutters and inside an abandoned burrow. They will actively hunt their prey in the daytime. Their diet includes a wide range of prey such as amphibians, rodents, birds, snakes, lizards, and insects. When they capture their prey, they will not suffocate them, but they will swallow them whole. They are agile, and they are usually faster than other snakes. They will immediately flee when a predator tries to approach them. However, when they are cornered, they will definitely defend themselves and bite their attacker.
What is the Life Cycle of Black Racer Snakes?
Racers will typically reach their sexual maturity after a year at around August or September. However, the mating process will start next spring, which is from May to June. The female will release a pheromone that will attract the male racers. After the copulation, the female will lay her eggs from June to August. She may build a nesting site at sawdust piles, rotting stumps, logs, and abandoned burrows. The incubation period may take around 43 to 65 days. Black racer snakes can be territorial, and their home size may range from 30 acres. They will be active from March until October, although they may also hunt during the warmer period of the winter season. They will brumate in crevices, rocks, caves, burrows, and other places that will keep them warm. Go back to the home page: Snakes of Huntsville