do black racers eat venomous snakes


Do Black Racers Eat Venomous Snakes?

Black Racer snakes are so named because of their speed and agility. But do they prefer to eat venomous snakes?

What do Black Racers Eat?

Black Racers are carnivorous snakes, mostly consuming other snakes, lizards, frogs, and birds. They will also eat small rodents and even insects.

Do Black Racers Like Venomous Snakes?

In some cases, Black Racers will indeed consume smaller venomous snakes, such as Copperheads, Cottonmouths, and Pigmy Rattlesnakes. Venomous snakes may make up to 1/3 of an adult Black Racer’s diet.

Why Are Venomous Snakes an Attractive Food for a Black Racer?

Venomous snakes often make easier prey for the Black Racer. Because these snakes have evolved with strong defenses against predators, they can move slower and will more easily succumb to the Black Racer’s speed and agility. This makes it relatively easy for a Black Racer to squeeze and maneuver around their venomous prey.

Are Black Racers in Danger When Eating Venomous Reptiles?

Some Black Racers have adapted to eating venomous reptiles, and don’t necessarily have a fear of being exposed to their venom. That being said, they still have to be cautious when devouring their prey. If a Black Racer blindly swallows a venomous snake they could injure themselves, although this is rare.

What Are Some Tips for Safely Eating Venomous Prey?

When feeding on a venomous snake, Black Racers are safer if they:

    • First, Confirm Its Species: They should make sure the snake is a venomous reptile like a Copperhead or a Cottonmouth. This is easier if the prey is still alive, and the Black Racer can evaluate it from a safe distance.


    • Be Cautious When Striking: When they are ready to feed, the Black Racer should be careful not to get too close to the venomous prey.


    • Avoid Biting Before Eating: Before the Black Racer snakes will swallow, they should let go of the prey to make sure that it’s dead. Otherwise, they could be at risk of being injured by venom.


In conclusion, Black Racer snakes will sometimes eat venomous snakes, however, they must be careful when doing so in order to protect themselves.

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