The Racer Snake belongs to the Colubridae family.
The Racer Snake can be found throughout most of the Southeastern United States.
Size and Longevity :
Racer Snakes can grow anywhere between 4 and 6 feet long (most average about 5 feet long). An adult's weight averages about 2 pounds. The average life of a Racer Snake is between 10 and 15 years.
General Description :
Black Racer Snakes like coming out during the day and staying hidden during the night. Racer Snakes are very fast and their best defense is to run away. Over time they may settle down a bit, but they are very skiddish during interactions with humans and try anything they can to get away.
Habitat and Cage :
Baby Racer Snakes do not need much space but as they grow they will need more room. The general rule is that the enclosure should be no less than two-thirds of the snake’s full length. A Racer will spend most of it's time on the ground, so a wider cage is more common for these snakes than a tall one.
Some type of substrate needs to be provided, which is generally aspen shavings or newspaper. Never use any type of pine in the enclosure because the oils from pine are toxic to snakes. The terrarium should be set up so there is a hot end (80°-85°F) and cool end (70°-75°F). The temperature should not be allowed to drop below 70°F or be raised above 90°F at any time. There should be a hiding spot in both temperature zones for the snake's comfort. Not providing adequate hiding areas can lead to stress which can cause health problems and a shorter life span.
Racer Snakes live in a warm and semi-humid environment, therefore their cages should imitate this environment. The humidity should be kept near 50% and can be raised to 70% during the shedding period, but for no longer than one week. A water bowl big enough for the snake to coil inside of must be provided. The water is necessary for the snake's survival and will help maintain the humidity of the enclosure.
These snakes do not need any special lighting, but they will need approximately 12 of light and 12 of darkness each day to simulate their natural environment. Almost any type of light will work including a regular light bulb or the natural light.
Young Racer Snakes need to eat once every 7 to 10 days while adults only need to eat once every 2 weeks. Over feeding (power feeding) can lead to long term health problems and a shorter life span. Food sources include lizards, insects, moles, birds, eggs, small snakes, frogs, mice, and rats. The meal provided should be approximately the size of the largest part of the snake's body.
Handling a snake too soon after eating can induce regurgitation so handling is not recommended for at least 2 days. It takes approximately 10 days to completely digest food depending on the size of the prey and the temperature of the enclosure.