Coluber constrictor
North American Racer

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Other Names: Brown Racer, Green Racer, Go Fast Snake, Mormon Racer, Olive Racer, Yellow Coachwhip, Yellow-bellied Racer
Subspecies: Eastern Yellow-bellied Racer C. c. flaviventris: Usually 7 upper labial scales. Usually has fewer than 85 caudal scales. In some parts of its range, belly is bright yellow. Young have 65-80 dorsal blotches.
Western Yellow-bellied Racer C. c. mormon: Usually 8 upper labial scales. Usually has 85 or more caudal scales. Young have 70-85 dorsal blotches.
Description: The racer is a thin-bodied snake, capable of attaining a total length of 1.5 metres (60 inches). As an adult, its color is an olive grey-green, with a yellow underside. As a juvenile it is remarkably different, having a tan or cream-colored body with brown or grey blotches. The color gradually changes as the snake ages, becoming solid olive grey-green. Authors disagree as to when this transformation is complete, from 1.5-3 years old, and from 18 to 30 inches (46-76 cm) in total length.
Similar Species: Smooth Green Snakes are always green dorsally (blue or gray in preservative), with one anterior temporal, and each nostril is centrally located in a single scale. Young Gopher Snakes have keeled scales, Kingsnakes (Gray-banded, California and Desert) and Glossy Snakes have a single anal plate, Night Snakes (Desert and Chichuauhuan) have elliptical pupils, and Great Plains Ratsnakes have weakly keeled scales.
Venom: None
Habitat: grasslands, brushlands and woodlands.
Behavior: Racers are diurnal, active predators. They are fast moving, and are often quick to bite if handled. They are fairly nervous snakes, and as such, do not typically fare well in captivity.
Hibernation: underground borrows, rock crevices, they are also known to use communal dens with other species.
Reproduction: In C. constrictor, mating takes place in the spring, from April until early June. Around a month later the female will lay anywhere from 3 to 30 eggs in a hidden nest site such as a hollow log, an abandoned rodent burrow, or under a rock. The juveniles hatch in the early fall. A newborn is 8-10 inches in total length. Maturity is reached in approximately 2 years.
Diet: They generally eat rodents, lizards, and frogs, but as juveniles they will also consume various kinds of soft bodied insect.