Yellow-bellied or Blue Racer Snake
Wisconsin status: protected wild animal
length: 36-72 inches
This sleek and slender snake is one of North America's fastest snakes. It can travel up to 4 mph. Not bad, for an animal without legs.
This snake makes great changes in color from young to adult. Young blue racers are heavily mottled with lots of dark blotches on the top. The belly is speckled with reddish-brown spots. Young racers are difficult to tell apart from other small spotted snakes.
When it is an adult, at about three years old, its color changes to a light or dark blue, gray or greenish color. It is very uniform in color without speckles or blotches. Its underside or belly can be kind of dirty white, or yellow--as in yellow-bellied snake. The throat and neck are often bright yellow.
Yellow-bellied racers like to live in open dry prairies, oak savannas, and old fields with sandy soil where they eat rodents, insects, amphibians, and other reptiles.
Keep you eyes open for this sleek racer of the reptile world.