Northern Black Racer
Coluber constrictor constrictor
Commonly Confused Native Species:
Size: A large sized snake measuring 33 to 46 inches in length.
Color: Black racers have a black dorsum and bluish-gray
venter. The chin is white with black specks. Smooth
unkeeled scales. Black racers can be distinguished
from eastern rat snakes by their cylindrical cross-section
and bluish-gray venter. Their heads are only slightly
wider than the body. Juveniles are patterned.
Behavior: Typically flees rapidly after detection, often seeking
refuge in nearby shrubs. Will vibrate tail rapidly in leaves
to mimic the sound of a rattlesnakes rattle, a behavior
seen in many CT snakes. When handled they emit an
unpleasant smelling musk and are very quick to bite,
often striking in an upward direction. Non-venomous,
bite is harmless.
Habitat: Prefers open habitats, especially fields, shrubby areas
and power line ROW's. Forests with rocky slopes.