This inky, silky smooth snake is common to Florida backyards and trails. Although it doesn’t seem all that fast, the black racer is considered a fast moving snake, reaching speeds of about 4 mph. Searching for frogs, lizards, and other small snakes keeps the black racer busy! They actively hunt during the day, which is why we see them so frequently. It’s also mating season for the black racer so you might see them out in pairs more now too. Look for hatchlings in late summer.
Black racers are non-venomous but, like all wild animals, they can bite. Apparently, black racers are known to really hate handling and will frequently thrash and bite to break free. That means look and don’t touch! Unlike their scientific name implies, they are not true constrictors and use a method to pin and crush prey rather than constrict.
Even if you’re not a snake fan, you might appreciate that the black racer helps keep insects and pests at bay. So instead of shooing them away, next time you see one say thanks and give this snake a nod of appreciation.