The Black Racer, also known as the Southern Black Racer, is a common species of snake found all around the southern regions of the United States. They are non-venomous and are basically timid by nature and virtually harmless, if not attacked or threatened. During the winter months, they often bask in the sunshine in open spaces, including warm asphalt roads, and are much more visible than in the warmer summer months.

They have a slim body with very smooth scales and a gray belly. As pictured, they also exhibit a white jaw line and throat. Their large eyes provide them with terrific vision, which they rely on more than their sense of smell. May times a Black Racer can be seen rising up above the tall grass and carefully looking to see where it’s going.

The diet of the Black Racer is of great variety. Small rodents, insects, smaller snakes, lizards, frogs, toads and bird eggs make the diet of this snake. Seeing a snake actually eating during the day is not uncommon since this snake is very active during the day.

The Black Racer can quickly become the hunted just as well. Hawks and other large birds are known to grab up this smaller snake and this has been witnessed many times here on the course. The biggest threat to the Black Racer however is humans. A large number of these snakes are killed by cars and many more are intentionally killed out of fear, mistakenly identified as a Water Moccasin.

Black racers could possibly be the most common snake around the islands. They are an important part of the ecosystem and certainly not a snake to harm if encountered.