First I would like to thank Dave Allen for allowing me to use his photo for this post, and Dave Murdoch for his identification of the type of snake. Also thanks to Carolina Critters Facebook group, which is a wealth of information for this admin.
The Black Racer is similar to the Black Rat Snake (we have already covered rat snakes), but with some distinct differences.
For one, instead of the white underbelly, racers are usually solid black, but may have a white patch on the chin and down the throat area. They also tend to be somewhat smaller than the rat snake.
Non-venomous, it is important to note, and they are very shy, as are many of our NC snakes. However, if you corner them and they are frightened, they will coil and mimic a rattler. I have actually seen one do this years ago, when my husband and I disturbed one in an old barn. needless to say, that coiling and fake “rattling” was very effective, as we had no idea if rattlers would breed with other snakes (we were VERY young!), so we took the warning seriously and backed way far away!
But remember, this only happens if they are trapped..generally, once they spot you, they are history..wanting no more to do with you than you might with them.
Diet consists of nsects, eggs, mice, frogs and lizards, so good for rodent control.
For habitat, they like brush, rocky hills, meadows, and of course, they like to be underneath things, such as tin sheets and things like that.
These are slender snakes, and another difference to note from the rat snake is the smooth scales.
Often, people will tell stories of being chased by racers. Racers are not constrictors, and actively hunt down live prey, which leads to their keeping their heads up high for hunting. However, they will escape up a tree if frightened.
Most info gleamed from the following two sites: