- black snake
Any of several species of all-black or nearly all-black snakes.Australian black snakes are in the elapid genus Pseudeschis. The black snake of Australian wetlands (P. porphyriacus) grows to an average length of 5 ft (1.5 m). If annoyed, it expands its neck, cobra fashion. Its venom is rarely fatal. Other Australian black snakes are the mulga snake (P. australis) and the spotted black snake (P. guttatus). North American black snakes include two species in the family Colubridae: the black racer and the pilot black snake (Elaphe obsoleta).
* * *▪ reptileany of about a dozen species of snakes that are all black or nearly so. Australia has two species of black snakes, Pseudechis porphyriacus and P. guttatus. P. porphyriacus is a small-headed member of the cobra family, Elapidae. It is blue-black with a red belly, and its average length is about 1.5 metres (5 feet). If annoyed, it expands its neck, cobra fashion. Its venom—more hemorrhagic than neurotoxic—is considered dangerous and potentially fatal.Black snakes occur on all continents. In North America, Coluber constrictor constrictor, the black racer or black pilot snake, and Elaphe obsoleta, the black rat snake, have black-coloured forms that are mainly located in eastern North America. Outside of this region, populations of these species are coloured differently. See also racer; rat snake.
* * *