Eastern Yellow-bellied Racer
Coluber constrictor flaviventris
Local Name: Blue Racer
Color of this common snake is variable—from olive, tan, brown or blue to nearly black. The belly may be yellow, cream or light blue-gray. Young racers are clearly marked with brown blotches and spots (see inset), but these markings fade and eventually disappear as the young snakes grow. Length averages from 30 to 50 inches (76-127 cm). Racers prefer bushy fields, grasslands and open woods. This species is active by day and will take shelter under rocks, brush or in animal burrows if pursued. As the name implies, racers can move fast, especially through tall grass or brush. As with many of our harmless snakes, a racer sometimes will vibrate its tail when alarmed. Food includes frogs, lizards, snakes, small rodents and birds.
Missouri Distribution: Statewide, replaced by the southern black racer—a subspecies—in southeastern Missouri.
Source: Missouri Department of Conservation website