Common Name

Scientific Name

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Photo by William Bosworth
Photo Courtesy of Utah Division of Wildlife Resources

The eastern racer, Coluber constrictor, is a large snake that occurs throughout much of North and Central America. In Utah, the species can be found in most areas of the state, except for the West Desert. The eastern racer is inactive during the cold winter months, when individuals hibernate. Adults often hibernate communally, in a den site called a hibernaculum.

The eastern racer eats a variety of prey, including large insects, amphibians, reptiles, small birds, and small mammals. Females of the species lay an average of six eggs, usually in June or July. Eggs hatch in about two months. Eastern racers prefer open areas in meadows, fields, woodlands, and other types of habitat. Eastern racers often climb trees, but the species is primarily ground-dwelling.


  • Biotics Database. 2005. Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, NatureServe, and the network of Natural Heritage Programs and Conservation Data Centers.

  • Stebbins, R. C. 1985. A field guide to western reptiles and amphibians. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston. 336 pp.