In my home state of Ohio as well as while visiting the sandhill prairies of Kankakee, Illinois, I came across a few examples of this speedy serpent. Adults tend to range in length between 36 to 60 inches.
These snakes prefer open and semi-open habitat, though it is likely that a mix of habitats is required to fulfill their ecological needs. They can often be seen where the edge of a field meets a wooded area.
Baby and juvenile racers have dark-bordered, brown, red, or grey blotches on their backs and dark spots on their sides. As they grow, the background darkens to produce a basically unicolored reptile.
Adult Blue Racers can be varying shades of blue and gun-metal gray, with white belly scales, black masks, relatively large eyes and often brownish-orange snouts.
Their eyes are larger compared to that of many other species of snakes, due to the fact that they are day-active hunters that mainly use sight to locate their prey.
Adult Blue Racers feed on rodents, lizards, other snakes and frogs, while juveniles eat invertebrates such as spiders and crickets. As their “racer” name implies, they are swift in chasing down prey as well as fleeing from predators.
There aren’t very many blue-colored snakes out there in the world. This is always a fun snake for me to encounter, whether it be in my home state of Ohio, or while doing some out-of-state herping.