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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).
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on black snake, visit Britannica.com.
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