Brownchin Racer, Racer



Scientific name: Coluber constrictor helvigularis (AUFFENBERG 1955)
* Currently accepted name

* scientific names used through time

  • Coluber constrictor – LINNAEUS 1758
  • Bascanion constrictor – BAIRD & GIRARD 1853
  • Coryphodon constrictor – DUMÉRIL & BIBRON 1854
  • Zamenis constrictor – BOULENGER 1893
  • Coluber constrictor helvigularis – AUFFENBERG 1955

Description: Average adult size is 26-62 inches (66-157 cm). Adult color is black with brown and white markings on the upper lips, chin and throat. The belly is grayish to uniform black. The body is slender and the scales are smooth, and there are 17 dorsal scale rows at midbody. The pupil is round. Juvenile color is gray with distinct reddish brown blotches fading into a solid-colored tail.


A. Top of the head
B. Underside of the head (chin and throat)
C. Front (face view) of the head
D. Side of the head
E. Smooth scales

Range: In Florida, it is only found in the panhandle near the Apalachicola River drainage. It is not found outside of Florida.

Habitat: Commonly found in pine flatwoods, hardwood hammocks, and sandhills.

Comments: HARMLESS (Non-Venomous) See comments given for the Southern Black Racer (Coluber constrictor priapus).

Comparison with other species: The Eastern Indigo Snake (Drymarchon couperi) has a much heavier body, sometimes reddish pigment on its chin and throat, and an undivided anal plate. The Eastern Coachwhip (Masticophis flagellum flagellum) is black anteriorly and light tan posteriorly on the body.