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Georgia's Reptiles and Amphibians

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Northern/Southern Black Racer

Northern Black Racer (Coluber constrictor constrictor)
Southern Black Racer (Coluber constrictor priapus)


Northern Black Racer
Found in Cobb County, Ga

Southern Black Racer
Found in Ware County, Ga


The Black Racer (Coluber constrictor) is a slender black snake. The Black Racer has two subspecies that are native to Georgia which are the Northern Black Racer (Coluber constrictor constrictor) and the Southern Black Racer (Coluber constrictor priapus). Both are almost pitched black and have a white chin. It is really hard to tell the difference except from where they are found. In the northern part of Georgia they are Northern Black Racers and in the southern part of Georgia they are Southern Black Racers. The Northern Black Racer average length is 3-5ft long, and the record was almost 7ft long. The Southern Black Racer average length is 2-5ft long, the record length was 6ft long. The juveniles of this snake look very different from their parents. They usually have a light-colored body with dark blotches, but the lost their pattern when they age.



The Northern Black Racer can be found in variety of habitats which include rocky outcrops on the side of mountains, in open forest where a lot of low lying brush is, edge of ponds and streams, rural fields and meadows, under tin and other debris around abandoned homes and abandoned agriculture sites, and around swamps and marshes. The Southern Black Racer can be found in all the same habitats as the Northern subspecies and can also be found in the Longleaf saw-palmetto habitats which is very common in the coastal plain region. Also both sub-species can be found in low-lying tree branches.



Both Subspecies will eat a variety of animals which includes small mammals, frogs, toad, lizards, birds and their eggs, eggs of other reptiles and amphibians, smaller snakes including venomous ones such as the pigmy rattlesnake (Sisturus miliarius) and Copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix). There are even records of the eating small turtles.


Abundance and Behavior:

Both the Northern/Southern Black Racer are very common in the Southeast. They are probably the most common snake in the coastal plain region of Georgia. The can be found almost anywhere even in the suburbs and cities. Both subspecies are very fast and are very quick to get out of your way if you approach them. They are strictly Diurnal (comes out during the day). They are one of the few snakes that can be found in the middle of summer when it’s in the mid to high 90s. They are one of the few snakes that love the heat. During the summer they can be found on the roads in the morning and in the evenings. If picked up they will strike and bite fiercely and repeatedly.

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Live and Let Live

All photos are taken by myself unless noted otherwise. All photos are Copyright 2005-2006. If you would like to use any of my photos just email me and I will be happy to let anyone use them.


Need Help Identifing a Snake In your area? First though look through the photos of the snakes and if still have questions email me at and I will take a look at it. And most likely be able to get you a correct anwser. Also please do not send me pictures of snakes that have been choped up into pieces. This really distresses me and I have gotten several emails where there were people who showed me pictures of snakes that they killed and all have turned out to be non-venomous.


Never Pick Up, Handle, or Try To Kill Any Venomous Snakes! Most Bites Occur That Way! Never Pick Up A Snake That You Are Uncertain About!


Disclaimer!!! Please do not do anything you see me do on this website. Some of these animals are very dangerous and I understand the risk of working with them. The bite from some of these animals can easily kill me or do extreme harm. If you do want to get into venomous herpeculture please do as much research as possible about them before considering working with them. Also I would suggest getting proper training from professional before working with them too. I do not accept any responsibility for anyone elses actions.