- Code Number:
Northern Pine Snake, Gopher Snake, (Pituophis melanoleucus), Colubridae, Colubrinae, Pituophis
- Distribution: Western United States
Habitat: Grasslands and open brush areas
The Pacific Gopher Snake is a common snake that is usually found in grasslands and open brush areas. It is one of the larger snakes found in the northwestern US and measurers 3.9-6.8 feet. Like the famous boa constrictor the pacific gopher kills by constriction. It is a carnivore and eats mainly bats, birds, lizards and small animals, but it has even been known to kill rattlesnakes.
Interestingly enough, when the pacific gopher is angered it mimics a rattlesnake by flattening its head, hissing loudly, vibrating its tail and striking. Although the strike is non-venomous and the shaking of the tail will only sound like a rattle when it is in dry grass or leaves, many people do mistake the angered pacific gopher for the rattlesnake.
The pacific gopher snake will often use abandoned mammal burrows for a nesting spot. It usually lays 12-14 eggs in a single mass and hatch in 9-11 weeks. The young are 8-12 in. at hatching.
The pacific gopher snake is very valuable to farmers because of the large number of rodents they eat. Although these snakes are not considered endangered it is important to remember that all native reptile's natural habitats are threatened and we need to do everything we can to protect their ability to remain in the wild. It is illegal to take them out of the wild for any reason. Furthermore, it is also illegal to collect them for pet trade.
Pacific Gopher Snake, (Pituothis melanoleucus), (Colubridae), Snakes, Serpents, Animals, Reptiles, Reptilia, Chordata, Chordates, Vertebrata, Vertebrates, Squamata, Serpentes, Animilia, Fauna, legless, Herpetiles, Reptilial, Species, Herps, Herpatology
- Image by:
- Wernher Krutein