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Coluber constrictor







There are two forms of racers in Oklahoma:


  • Eastern yellow-bellied racer  (shown in all photos above)

Coluber constrictor flaviventris


           Adults can be plain brown to olive green in color with no markings.  The belly is yellow or cream-colored

           and also has no markings.



  • Southern black racer

Coluber constrictor priapus


            As the name suggests, adults are black with a light blue or cream-colored belly.



Young racers have a blotched dorsal pattern that fades after a few years.  The scales are smooth and the anal plate is divided.

Adults 34 - 60 inches   (86 -152 cm)


Small rodents, birds, lizards, snakes, frogs, and insects


Mates April through May.  Lays 5 - 25 eggs in mid-summer.  Eggs hatch in 6 - 9 weeks and babies are about 8 - 12 inches  (20 - 30 cm) long.  Racer eggs have a rough, granular texture.

Found in most habitats at lower elevations.

Other Information: 

The yellow-bellied racer is found statewide except for extreme southeast Oklahoma. 


The southern black racer is found only in extreme southeast Oklahoma.


When disturbed, this snake may buzz or vibrate its tail.


The racer's scientific name is a misnomer.  It is not a true constrictor.



Why doesn't the range map show this species in my county?

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