Statewide. A common but secretive snake, the racer is
adept at climbing trees in pursuit of prey, which may include nearly
anything from birds and rodents to lizards and other snakes.
Racers are extremely quick, one of the fastest snakes in the world.
Although nonvenomous, racers are also quick to bite when startled
and/or disturbed, such as when being handled, and the bites can
result in painful lacerations.
Biologists can sometimes be classified as splitters (those who
subspeciate everything) and lumpers (those who don't believe in
subspecies). Whatever your position, the many variable races
or morphs of racers (and other species) vary greatly throughout
its distribution. Oklahoma is home to two subspecies or morphs
of racers. The eastern yellowbelly, C. c. flaviventris
(pictured), and the southern black, C. c. priapus.