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Coluber constrictor flaviventris (1).jpg
Coluber constrictor anthicus, buttermilk racer
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Colubridae
Subfamily: Colubrinae
Genus: Coluber
Linnaeus, 1758[1]

Many, but see text.


Bascanion, Bascanium, Coryphodon, Hierophis, Masticophis, Zamenis,[2] Dolichophis, but see text.

Coluber is a genus of thin-bodied, fast-moving, colubrid snakes commonly known as racers. They are widespread around the world and vary greatly in habitat and behaviour. In the past, Coluber was a catch-all genus which included almost all snake species known at the time. Even the cobra was once classified as Coluber naja.

As presented here, the genus is limited to its "modern" content of racers and whipsnakes. Still, some of these species (namely the whipsnakes) are increasingly separated as Dolichophis and others probably also do not really belong here.


The following species and subspecies may be included in the genus Coluber, sensu lato.[3]

Nota bene: In the following list, a taxon author in parentheses indicates that the species or subspecies was originally described in a genus other than Coluber.


  1. ^ "Coluber ". Dahms Tierleben.
  2. ^ Wright AH, Wright AA. 1957. Handbook of Snakes of the United States and Canada. Ithaca and London: Comstock Publishing Associates. 1,105 pp. (in two volumes). (Genus Coluber, pp. 130-132).
  3. ^ The Reptile Database.

Further reading[edit]

  • Linnaeus C. 1758. Systema naturæ per regna tria naturæ, secundum classes, ordines, genera, species, cum characteribus, diferentiis, synonymis, locis. Tomus I. Editio Decima, Reformata. Stockholm: L. Salvius. 824 pp. (Coluber, new genus, p. 216). (in Latin).