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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.          


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