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Eastern Yellow Bellied Racer
Coluber constrictor flaviventris

Eastern Yellow Bellied Racer

 

Coluber constrictor flaviventris, more commonly known as the Eastern Yellow Bellied Racer, is named for the bright yellow color of its belly. Its body tends to be bluish, bluish-green to grey in colour with a white throat and black interscales. Eastern Yellow Bellied Racers are slender and long, ranging from 60 to 94 cm in length and have long whip like tails.

Racers tend to utilize a variety of open grassland habitats in Saskatchewan, from sagebrush thickets to mixed prairie as well as agricultural areas. Abandoned rodent burrows, cavities in rotting wood, and spaces underneath flat stones are all places where they lay their eggs which can, depending on the year, range in number from 4 to 20. Juvenile and adult Racers mostly eat insects especially crickets and grasshoppers. However adults have also been known to eat birds, reptiles and small mammals.

Eastern Yellow Bellied Racers, as their name implies, are very fast-moving snakes. They are capable of speeds of up to 7 km/hr making them the fastest snakes in Canada! They are found in the extreme south central portion of Saskatchewan in two areas near Val Marie and Big Beaver.

Currently these fast snakes are listed as “threatened” under the Species at Risk Act.

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