Pine Snake

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Gopher Snake

Mexican Pine Snake





last changes: Sunday, January 06, 2008

      Mexican Pine Snake

      Pituophis deppei deppei

    0,1 deppei wc


This snake is distributed in the western Sierra Madre and central highland of Mexico. It lives from south eastern Chihuahua and Coahuila up to the central Nuevo Leon. The southern distribution reaches the central Oxaca (Briggs, 2001). It's distribution area borders the subspecies deppei jani in the east and the species Pituophis l. lineaticollis in the south.


They have a yellow to average brown primary color. Head and neck are usually reddish brown to orange. The front body and the first third of the snake in some cases can be more or less white. The front body and the first third of the snake in some cases can be more or less white. The saddle markings in a row are clearly separated from each other. These saddles start clear and dark in the neck, fade out a little in the middle of the body and get clearer and black towards the tail.

The genus deppei can be distinguished from coloring and from the number of saddle spots.

The mexican pine snake (d. deppei) has about 26-32 body markings. Other sources name as distinction of this subspecies more than 40 saddle spots including tail spots (Stull, 1932). All of the jani (99%) have therefore less than 40 body and tail markings (Stull, 1932). The belly is white to orange or to pale brown, the chin is leather coloured. There are a number of smaller, indistinct spots on the snakes side in the color of the saddle markings.

Sometimes it exceed the length of nearly 2m. My adult snakes have 1,6m now, their parents had 1,8m. This snake is a little more massiv than the d. jani.

The scales are keeld. The mexican species can be differenced to the northern Pituophis species by the number of the prefrontal scales: the melanoleucus/ruthveni/catenifer have 4 scales, the deppei, and the Mexican/Guatemalan species lineaticollis, only have 2 of these scales. The snout shield is av. as broad as high (Rostale - Nasale 1:1).


The subspecies deppei lives in the highland levels and valleys in a limit of 1500-2200m. It occurs there in highland deserts and in light pine and oak woods.

Way of life

It lives very secretiv. Most of the found animals were catched in the evening on roadsides. Dayover it may live in rodent tunnels.


In its habitat this snake will eat mainly rodents.


This subspecies hibernates like the other members of the Pituophis. In their higher home levels it is very cold in winter.


It's hard to find something in literature about the number of eggs in habitat of this species. The parents of my animals had a clutch of 13 eggs. My deppei had 5-7 eggs per clutch.

The youngster have a length at the hatch between about 35 and 45cm.

Deppei hatchlings have a grey to grey-brown primary color. They have usually clearly brown to black saddle markings. The markings of the animals corresponds to those of the adult animals, but the color intensity and the contrast will get better with age.

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