Black Racer Snake: (Coluber constrictor priapus)
The black racer snake (coluber constrictor priapus); more commonly known as the southern black racer or the black snake belongs to the colubridae family. Black racers averages in size between 20 to 56 inches long, with the record being 72 inches long.
Black racers have slender bodies with smooth scales. Their color patterns consist of a shiny black that covers its body with white or grayish markings on the chin and throat. Their heads are oval shaped and their pupils are round. Young black racers slightly differ in color from the adults, as the young are more of a gray color with brownish spots running down its back.
Black racers are found throughout the eastern and northeastern United Sates including, Florida as well as the Keys. They inhabit areas such as pine – lands, hardwood hammocks, prairies, sand – hills and cypress strands in both rural and residential areas. Black racers can adapt to just about any environment.
Black racers are carnivores and opportunistic feeders. Their primarily diet consists of rodents, squirrels, birds and bird eggs, rabbits, other snakes, lizards, frogs and other small animals.
Black racers received their name due to their seer speed and color, as well as being excellent climbers and swimmers. They are not entirely nocturnal, as they have been seen during the day basking in the sun. Black racers are not true constrictors, instead they overpower their prey by grabbing it with its jaws, pressing and holding it to the ground until it stops moving, unlike most constrictors that squeeze their prey with their bodies. When a black racer is approached it usually flees for shelter, using its speed and ability to avoid being captured. They are nervous snakes and become frightened or startled easily, striking to defend themselves. When they become agitated, they will sometimes rapidly vibrate their tail under loose vegetation debris, producing a buzzing noise. Their bites are harmless to humans, pets and livestock, however their razor sharp teeth will cause some bleeding, and the possible risk of a bacterial infection.