A Field Guide to the Prairie

Gopher Snake
Photo: Dr. Barney Oldfield
Gopher Snake (Bullsnake)
Pituophis catenifer
Length: 178 cm (6 feet)
Habitat/Range: It has a very large range that includes most of the western United States, southern Canada and northern Mexico. It prefers native prairies, pastures, oak savannas, and bluff prairies.
Eating Habits: As their name implies, they eat gophers. They also eat mice, voles, ground squirrels, frogs, ground-nesting birds, and bird eggs.

This snake has a yellowish head that is marked with black marks from its eyes to its upper lip. Its body color is yellow or light brown and has many dark blotches down the center. The chin and the belly are light yellow.

This is a very large hissing snake and will imitate a rattlesnake but vibrating its tail in leaves.

On the Prairie Field Guide Index

College of Food, Agricultural, and Natural Resource Sciences
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