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Coluber constrictor priapus
Coluber constrictor priapus, commonly known as the southern black racer, is one of the more common subspecies of nonvenomous Coluber constrictor snakes in the Southeastern United States. The name priapus refers to the proximal spines of the hemipenes being much enlarged into basal hooks, which is characteristic of this subspecies. These snakes are quite active during the day, which increases the chance of sightings. They will eat almost any animal they can overpower, including, rodents, frogs, toads, and lizards. They have been known to charge at people in an attempt to frighten them, but will usually retreat – if challenged. Members of this species generally do not tolerate handling – even after months in captivity – and will typically strike and flail wildly every time they are handled. These snakes are usually thin with a jet black dorsal side with a grey belly and white chin. They are quite fast, giving rise to the name "racer".
Frequently near water but also in brush, trash piles, roadsides, swamps, suburbia; it is the most common snake in residential neighborhoods in Florida. It spends most of its time on the ground, but it's a good tree climber and may be found in shrubs and trees where the calls of birds draw attention to it. Most racers prefer open, grassland type habitat where their keen eyesight and speed can be readily used, but they are also found in light forest and even semi-arid regions. They are usually not far from an area of cover to hide in.
Spotted along the trail to Blue Hole and High Shoals Falls in the Cohutta National Forest, Hiawassee, GA Almost too fast for me - this pic is bit of a "big foot" type sighting!
Spotted on Jul 25, 2010
Submitted on Jan 29, 2013