Southern Black Racer Snake Facts

Southern Black Racer Snake

Southern Black Racers (coluber constrictor priapus) are a common subspecies of the coluber constrictor.

These snakes are nonvenomous and found throughout much of the Southeastern USA, including most of Florida.

Besides the Southern Black Racer, there are ten other subspecies of coluber constrictors.

The scientific name “constrictor” is misleading in some ways, however, when applied to this snake, as its behavior is very different to what many people would expect from a constrictor. Black Racers do not coil themselves around their prey, for example, instead they are more likely to crush their prey into the ground.

As its name suggests, this snake is mainly dark in color, with a black dorsal side, a gray belly and a white chin.

Southern Black Racer Snake Facts

The South Black Racer snakes are generally active during day and need to be fast to protect themselves from predators so the South Black Racer are very fast moving and hence get the name ‘Racer’ or ‘Black Runner Snakes’.

. The South Black Racer are known to have excellent speed and fast move. The South Black Racer has black colored body with distinctive white jawline. The South Black Racer Snakes are non venomous and common snakes in South United states.


Black Racer Snake feeds from moles, rough green snakes, toads and frogs. The Diet consists of mainly small birds and mammals followed by small lizards,  juvenile snakes. As compare this Southern Black Racer Snake to other snakes, the racer snake have a big appetite and this makes beneficial for human because they manage such animals which is harmful for our crops.

Their diet habits are beneficial to humans since they prey mostly upon such animals, that are actually a menace to our crops.


They take shelter in hollow tree, caves and rock crevices. This occurs mainly in eastern northern coastal of Australia from Sydney to Kimberleys in western Australia. The South Black Racers are native to the Southeastern United states. They are staying on woodlands, rain forest, open rocky outcrops.  

These non venomous snake is mainly found in grassland, prairies, shrubs and bushy areas. They are very shy snakes so called harmless in nature.


The Black Runner Snakes are about 22 to 56 inches in length. The Black Runner Snake can reach up to 70 inches in length. These snakes have a slim body, covered with 17 rows of dorsal smooth scales down the middle of their body. The South Black Racer has lean body covered with smooth scales.

The South Black Racer Snakes have black colored dorsal surface and grey colored ventral surface. The distinctive white color of the jaw lines and over the chin are the distinguishing to the South Black Racer. The southern black racer snake is marked with dull colors covering all of its body.

The color of the young Black Racers is quite different from the Adult Black Racer. The daytime activity of the Black Racer put them at risk of becoming predator.The Young ones are not fully black, the dorsal surface has white black spotted pattern or brown and grey patch pattern.


The species mating season is the springtime, mostly between late April and mid-June. The breeding season extends from the month of June to early July. They are mating in the springtime ( April end to mid of  June). The male snakes are sexually mature at the age of 1 to 2 years and female snakes are reaching maturity at 2 to 3 years of age.

The males become sexually mature at the age of 1 or 2 years, whereas the female southern black racer reaches their sexual maturity later between 2 and 3 years.

The female snake can give rise  6 to 32 baby snakes in a single mating. They are not feeding or taking care of these baby snakes afterwards. This is the reason where the survival chances of these juvenile is only 40 % so among the 30 to 35 baby snakes only 8 to 12 can survive in nature.

Conservation / Threats

Humans are as with most snakes the biggest threat to the Southern Black Racer. They are killed in large numbers by cars or are killed out of fear, even by mistake because of their close resemblance to a dangerous venomous snake.

This snake is present in the IUCN Red List under the ‘least concern’ status. The species pretty abundant in some areas. However in the Canadian province of Ontario, they are legally protected, because of the gradual decrease in their numbers.


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