Southern Black Racer

Southern Black Racer

Kingdom
Phylum
Subphylum
Class
Order
Suborder
Family
Genus
SPECIES
Coluber constrictor priapus
Population size
Unknown
Life Span
10 yrs
LENGTH
51-142 cm

The Southern black racer is a very common subspecies of the Eastern racer. It's non-venomous and is found in the Southeastern United States. Adults are usually thin with a jet black dorsal side with a grey belly and white chin. Juveniles are gray in color with distinct reddish-brown blotches that fade into a solid-colored tail. These snakes are quite fast, giving rise to the name "racer".

Distribution

Southern black racers are found throughout the southeastern United States. They live in forests, pinelands, open woodlands, grassy areas, brush, hardwood hammocks, prairies, sandhills, desert, scrub, and cypress strands. They are also often seen in fields and suburban yards.

Geography

Continents
Countries

Climate zones

Habits and Lifestyle

Southern black racers are solitary creatures. They are active during the day spending their time hunting or basking in the sun. These are very fast-moving snakes which can also climb and swim well. Racers are not dangerous and when spotted, they usually flee, relying on their speed. Members of this species generally do not tolerate handling and typically strike and flail wildly every time they are handled. Their common defense against predators is defecating a foul-smelling musk.

Seasonal behavior

Diet and Nutrition

Being carnivores Southern black racers eat almost any animal they can overpower, including lizards, insects, moles, birds, eggs, small snakes, rodents, and frogs.

Mating Habits

REPRODUCTION SEASON
March-August
INDEPENDENT AGE
at birth
FEMALE NAME
female
MALE NAME
male
BABY NAME
snakelet
BABY CARRYING
20 young

Southern black racers between March and August. Females lay up to 20 eggs. The young measure around 15 cm at birth and are fully independent.

Population

Population threats

There are no major threats to Southern black racers at present. However, man remains the greatest enemy of these snakes. Many are killed on highways and others are intentionally killed out of fear. The white chin causes some people to kill this snake, believing that it is a cottonmouth – a venomous snake more commonly called a Water moccasin.

Ecological niche

Southern black racers are important for the ecosystem they liven in as they control many populations of their prey. These snakes are also the main prey species for local predators such as hawks.

References

1. Southern Black Racer on Wikipedia - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southern_black_racer

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