North American Racer - Coluber constrictor


*The colored areas of the map above represent parishes with currently known records for the given species
 (Source: Jeff Boundy, LA Dept. of Wildlife and Fisheries). By no means does it represent the full range of the species in the state, nor does it necessarily mean that a species can be found throughout the parish with the record. This is provided as a guide to where you might be able to find these species in the state and to aid in identification. A descriptive explanation of the range of each species can be found in the text below.

Fact Sheet on North American Racers

Other Common Names: 

Subspecies: There are 5 subspecies of North American Racers within Louisiana. The Southern Black Racer, Coluber constrictor priapus, occurs within the Florida Parishes. The Black-masked Racer, Coluber constrictor latrunculus, occurs south of Lake Pontchartrain and west of the Mississippi River to the Atchafalaya Basin. The Eastern Yellow-bellied Racer, Coluber constrictor flaviventris, occurs in southwest Louisiana west of the Atchafalaya Basin. The Tan Racer, Coluber constrictor etheridgei, occurs within a few parishes in west-central Louisiana. The Buttermilk Racer, Coluber constrictor anthicus, occurs in central and northern Louisiana. Intergrades of one or more of the subspecies can be found in boundary areas.


Similar Species: 

Species Range: 

Louisiana Range:  Statewide.


Natural History: 

Best Time and Place to Observe:

Global Conservation Status:  North American Racers are listed as Least Concern by the IUCN Red List. Their NatureServe Global Conservation Status Rank is G5 (Secure).

Federal Conservation Status:  None

Louisiana Conservation Status:  North American Racers do not have any special status in Louisiana.

Author's Remarks: I have commonly observed racers throughout Louisiana. I have observed all the racer subspecies found in Louisiana, but my Eastern Yellow-bellied Racers and lone Tan Racer I have found were from Texas. Also, all four of the Buttermilk Racers I have seen in Louisiana were either dead or dying on the road until early 2016 when I saw a beautiful one in Bienville Parish and another in Ouachita Parish.

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