Gopher snake Facts

Gopher snake Facts
Gopher snake, also known as bullsnake, is large non-venomous snake that belongs to the colubrid family. There are 8 subspecies of gopher snakes that can be found across North America (from Canada to Mexico). Gopher snakes inhabit prairies, marshes, agricultural lands, conifer forests, semi-arid areas and deserts. People often confuse gopher snakes with rattlesnakes and kill them in self-defense (even though they are harmless). Major threat for the survival of gopher snakes is habitat loss. Luckily, gopher snakes are common in the wild and they are not on the list of endangered species.
Interesting Gopher snake Facts:
Gopher snake can reach 2 ½ to 7 feet in length and 2 to 4 pounds of weight.
Body of gopher snake is covered with keeled scales. Basic color of the body can be beige, yellow or brown. Bottom side of the body is usually yellow or cream in color. Dorsal side of the body is covered with 33 to 66 dark blotches. Smaller blotches are scattered on the lateral sides of the body. Dark stripe stretches from eye to the jaw. Tail is covered with black bands. Albino varieties of gopher snakes (animals without pigment that are completely white) occur rarely in the wild.
Gopher snakes are diurnal animals (active during the day). They are active at night during extremely hot days.
Gopher snakes are carnivores (meat-eaters). They consume various rodents (mice, rats, squirrels and rabbits), birds and their eggs and lizards.
Gopher snakes play important role in the control of number of rodents in the wild.
Gopher snakes are non-venomous snakes. They are constrictors. Gopher snakes wrap the body around the prey and squeeze it to death.
Gopher snakes are terrestrial animals (spend majority of time on the land), but they are also excellent climbers and swimmers.
Main predators of gopher snakes are hawks, foxes, coyotes and humans.
In the case of danger, gopher snake inflates its body, hisses and imitates sound of rattlesnake by moving its body across dry vegetation. This performance often keeps predators on a safe distance.
Gopher snakes hibernate during the winter in the underground dens.
Mating season takes place during the spring (usually in March). Females lay eggs from April to June.
Males compete with each other to establish dominance and get opportunity to mate. They hiss, strike with their heads and physically attack their opponents. Males are aggressive and they sometimes bite females during the mating ritual.
Female lays 12 to 14 elliptical, leathery eggs in abandoned mammalian burrows. Incubation lasts 10 weeks. Gopher snakes do not show parental care and young snakes need to fend for themselves from the moment of birth.
Gopher snakes reach sexual maturity at the age of 3 to 4 years.
Gopher snakes can survive from 12 to 15 years in captivity and up to 10 years in the wild.

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