Pine Snake

Bull Snake

Gopher Snake

Mexican Pine Snake








last changes: Sunday, January 06, 2008

      Pacific Gopher Snake

      Pituophis catenifer catenifer

    juvenile catenifer of US c.b.


You can find this snake in the north west of the USA and maybe in the south west of Canada. In California it occures north of the Santa Barbara County. Connected to this it lives in the western part of Washington. In Oregon it lives only in small ranges, in the Canadian British Columbia it maybe vanished forever. Its distribution area is connected and intergraded in the east to the subspecies deserticola and in the south, in the Santa Barbara County, to the annectens.


This snake has a yellow to dark brown ground color with a grey wash on the body sides and under the tail. It has 41-99 mostly brown saddle spots on the body and 14-33 tail spots. The saddle spots have not the „barren character“ of the annectens , these snakes have saddle spots, wich are, too, in the cloaca area round. In most distribution areas they have less saddle spots than the annectens. On the side of the body there are 2 or 3 alternating rows of brown to black spots. The spots in the second row are normaly greater than the other side spots. This can help to divide them by the subspecies annectens, too. In the neck the first few side spots and the saddle spots can connect each other. The throat an the belly is yellow to orange. On the head there is a black stripe from the angle of the jaw to the eye, sometimes, too, a stripe between the eyes. Too, there is an other pattern variant, the striped form. There the saddles on the back and spots on the side are connect to 7-9 stripes from head to tail. The animals can fully or partly be striped. Many of the striped animals in the terraria depend of snakes from the vinicity of Davis. Lenght: up to 2,1m, but most of them grow not longer than 1,6m. The scales are keeled. In the midbody there are at minimum 29 scale rows, mostly it are 31-33. The lesser amount of belly scales to the annectens can help for difference them, too. Speciality in head scales: 4 prefrontalia. The snout scale (rostrale) is as broad as high (rostrale : nasale 1:1).


This gopher snakes live in several areas like half deserts, farmland, vinery areas, river valleys, pine woods up to mountain shapes. It occure between in elevation fom 0m to aprox. 2100m. This snake often inhabits the tunnels of rodents, the same as it use several other hiding places.

Way of life

 The pacific gopher snake is mainly day activ. In hot summer it transfers it’s activity phase in the cooler morning and evening/night hours. Sometimes it climbs in search of bird nests on trees, bushes or rock walls, the rest of the time it lives on ground.


In the habitat this snake mainly feed on several sorts of rodents, birds and their eggs. Too, sometimes it feed upon lizards in habitat.


This subspecies makes a hibernation aprox. from Oktober to March, depending on weather and distribution area.


Mostly in the time from May-August the females lay in a suitable place a clutch of 10-20 eggs. In hatch the pacific gopher snakes have a leght between 30 and 40 cm. The coloration is similar to the parents.

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