North American Racer

Scientific Name
Coluber constrictor
Also Known As
Black Racer, Eastern Racer, Yellow-bellied Racer
Range
All of Florida
Diet
Small Rodents, Birds, Amphibians
Life Expectancy
6 Years
The North American Racer

Photo 38822778 © Kory Roberts, CC BY-NC

North American Racer conservation status - Least Concern

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This Snake is Not Venomous

North American Racers in Central Florida

The North American racer (Coluber constrictor) is a slender, agile species of nonvenomous colubrid snake found throughout central Florida. Often confused with similar-looking snakes, racers can be identified by key physical and behavioral characteristics. This comprehensive guide provides detailed identification tips, biology facts, and prevention methods for North American racers in central Florida. Read on to learn racer habits, reproduction, diet, health risks, signs of activity, and professional removal options if you encounter these snakes on your property.

Appearance and Identification

North American racers can be distinguished from other snakes by their slender build, large eyes, and distinctive color patterns

Adult North American Racer

Photo 62278570 © Robert Simons, CC BY-NC

Adult North American Racers

  • Size: Adult racers average 3-5 feet (0.9-1.5 m) in length. The record length is 7 feet (2.1 m).
  • Color: Adults may retain juvenile blotches, develop uniform gray coloration, or adopt localized adaptations like the blue racer. The ventral surface is white, gray, or yellowish.
  • Pattern: Most adults become solid colored, losing their blotches. Some retain fragmented blotches or stripes along the back.
  • Head: The enlarged head helps racers swallow prey whole. The scales are smooth and the eyes large.