Everglades Racer, Racer



Scientific name: Coluber constrictor paludicola (AUFFENBERG & BABBITT 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 paludicola – AUFFENBERG & BABITT 1955

Description: Average adult size is 20-56 inches (50-142 cm). Adult color typically is slate gray, but many specimens are brownish-gray, bluish, or greenish. The chin and throat are white. 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 found in the Everglades region and throughout the southern peninsula and northern Florida Keys. It is also found near Cape Canaveral in Brevard Co., FL. It is not found outside of Florida.

Habitat: Commonly found in pinelands, hardwood hammocks, prairies, cypress strands, melaleuca forests, and limestone outcroppings.


Comments: HARMLESS (Non-Venomous), though they will readily bite to defend themselves. 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.