Pine Snake

Bull Snake

Gopher Snake

Mexican Pine Snake








last changes: Sunday, January 06, 2008

    Sonora Gopher Snake

    Arizona Gopher Snake

    Pituophis catenifer affinis

    Sonora Gophernatter, Arizona Gophernatter

my affinis-cb 2002, sold to Stephan Kuhn


Its distribution area starts in the north part of southern Colorado. Otherwise one can find it in large parts of New Mexico and Arizona. In California it occures only in the outermost south. In Texas one can only find it in the western tip. From California to the west of Texas the Mexican border is exceeded. Here one can find it in Baja California Norte, Chihuahua, Coahulia, San Louis Potosi, Zacatecas, Sinaloa and Sonora.

There are partly larger intergrade areas in Colorado, New Mexico, Texas and the Mexican states Chihuahua, Coahulia and Sonora.

It reaches the distribution areas of the subspecies deserticola, annectens and bimaris in the west. With the deserticola there are greater intergrade areas in the north of Arizona.

And there are larger intergrade areas with the Mexican bull snake, Pituophis deppei deppei, in northern central Mecico.



This snake has a yellow, sand-colored to partial gray primary color with more than 45 brown bodysaddles. The color of the saddles starts deep brown (not black - like deserticola!) in the neck, ligths up to the middle of the back and gets deep brown towards the tail where it is getting black. The saddles are separated from each other cleanly. On the side there are a number of black markings between the saddles. Below this is a broader row of smaller darker spots. The belly side is white till yellowishly with black spots, the throat is whitely. At the sides of the head is a black stripe from the eye to the corner of mouth.

Complete length: 1.7 m, rarely longer up to maximum 2.34 m

The scales are keeled. In the body middle are 29 scale rows, mostly it are 31-33. Important detail of headscaling: 4 shields in front of the eyes (Präfrontalia). The snout scale is approximately as wide as high (Rostrale - Nasale 1:1).



This gopher snake lives in various areas like deserts, half deserts, farm country, rivervalleys, pine woods up to mountain landscapes. However far more animals live in farm countrys than in the other areas (Werler, John E., Dixon, James R., 2000). It occures in heights between 0 m and max. 2700 m. E.g. one finds it in the tunnels of chipmunks, gopher rats and other rodents, otherwice one will find it also under rubble, single stones or wood.

Way of life

The gopher snake is mostly a dayactive snake. If the temperatures during a summer day get too hot, it transfers the activity time to the evening and morning hours. It spends a lot of time in the burrows of rodents and other hiding-places. Sometimes it climbs upon trees and bushes in search for bird's nests, otherwise it is living on ground.


In the habitat the snake eats mainly various rodents, birds and its eggs. Younger snakes eat lizards sometimes, too.


In cause of her great distribution area this snake lives in many different climate and height zones. Of course the duration of the hibernation is also dependent on this. In the northern distribution area and in greater altitudes these gopher snakes hibernate till about 4-5 mounths, in southern and lower areas e.g. in Mexico these hibernation periods are much shorter.


The female lays 3-25 eggs at a suitable place.

The Sonoran gopher snakes in hatch have a length between 35 and 45 cm.

The coloring corresponds approximately to the parents animals. The primary color is usually a little more palely and more brightly, the back spots are a little darker than of the adult animals.


Keeping in terrarium

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