This southern black racer (Coluber constrictor priapus) was photographed sunning itself yesterday at the Oslo Riverfront Conservation Area by Ken Gonyo, when he, Diane LaRue, Jean ‘JJ’ Romano, and Susan Warmer were working to control invasive pest plants.
This non-venemous snake is the most commonly seen snake in backyards and at the Oslo Riverfront Conservation Area. Despite its scientific name, it is not really a constrictor and does not coil around its prey. An opportunistic feeder, it preys upon frogs, lizards, rodents, and birds and their eggs.
The largest reported southern black racer was 72″ long. Usual size is 20 to 56″.
Note the white chin and slender stature to differentiate this snake from the indigo snake, a threatened species, which is thick-bodied and red-faced.
Southern black racers, as their common name suggests, are fast-moving snakes. They will do their best to escape but, when cornered, will bite.