Black Racer Snake

Coluber constrictor

Black racer snakeNH Conservation Status: Species of Special Concern; Wildlife Action Plan Species in Greatest Need of Conservation

State Rank Status: Threatened.

Distribution: Locally sparse through southeastern NH.

Description: A slender black snake measuring 36-60 inches. Black racers are glossy black on the top and bottom with a white throat and chin. Young racers are patterned with brown or reddish patches on a lighter base of gray.

Commonly Confused Species: Northern water snake; the timber rattlesnake has a blunt rattle and is thicker with keeled scales and a triangular head.

Habitat: Found in a variety of habitats including dry brushy pastures, powerline corridors, rocky ledges, and woodlands. Have large home ranges and require large patches of suitable habitat.

Life History: During summer lays 15-20 eggs underground in loose soil or under rotting wood or stumps. Hibernate in rock crevices or mammal burrows, sometimes communally.

Conservation Threats: Loss of habitat from rapidly developing southern New Hampshire, road mortality, non-compatible management of fields; death from humans in response to aggressive behavior.

Wildlife Action Plan Species Profile

Distribution Map