Southbury Police rescued a snake from a home in town over the weekend and released it back into its natural habitat. The Northern Black Racer is one of two large, black snakes found in Connecticut.
The fairly large snake can measure in length from 33 to 65 inches.
The northern black racer prefers open, lightly wooded habitats. These include meadows, fields, powerline rights-of-way, roadsides, and transitional zones between forests and fields. This snake thrives in areas that are mowed or occasionally cleared, and will avoid heavily forested habitats. Racers are beneficial to humans by controlling rodents, especially when they occur in or near agricultural fields. It has a solid black, cylindrical body with a bluish belly and white chin.
The scales are smooth, giving the snake a “matte” appearance. The head, which is not much wider than the body, is small for this larger-sized snake. It is considered an important species in the state as its population is declining due to loss of habitat through succession, fragmentation, and development.