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 Sonoran Gopher Snake (Pituophis catenifer affinis)




Sonoran Gopher Snake | Pituophis catenifer-affinis photo
Sonoran Gopher Snake

Photograph by Dawson. Some rights reserved.  (view image details)

SONORAN GOPHER SNAKE FACTS

Description
The Sonoran Gopher Snake is a large snake with heavily keeled scales. The head is narrow and slightly wider than the neck,. The background color is straw, light brown or tan, with large brown or reddish blotches or saddles along the back and smaller markings on the sides. The back of the neck is yellow or tan with small black spots. The underside is cream or yellowish with dark spots. The Sonoran Gopher Snake has tough skin on the nose to assist with burrowing into gopher holes. They also hibernate in rodent burrows.

Size
Length 75cm - 210cm (usually 150cm - 180cm). Hatchlings are about 38cm long.

Environment
desert flats, agricultural land, river margins

Food
feeds on small mammals including pocket gophers. Also eats some birds, eggs and sometimes lizards. It is a constrictor that kills prey by suffocating them in body coils or by pressing the prey against the walls of underground burrow.

Breeding
The female lays eggs between June and August. Eggs hatch after 8 - 10 weeks.

Range
found in west Texas, New Mexico, southern Arizona, and south east California. Also found in the northern states of Mexico.

Notes
The Sonoran Gopher Snake is non-venomous and harmless to humans. It can be aggressive, but settles down well in captivity. When threatened, it will sometimes hiss, inflate the body, and flatten the head, and shake the tail rapidly which may sound like a rattle if done in dry leaves.

Classification
Class:Reptilia
Order:Squamata (Serpentes)
Family:Colubridae
Genus:Pituophis
Species:catenifer affinis
Common Name:Sonoran Gopher Snake


Relatives in same Genus
  Pacific Gopher Snake (P. catenifer catanifer)
  Great Basin Gopher Snake (P. catenifer deserticola)
  Bullsnake (P. catenifer sayi)
  Pine Snake (P. melanoleucus)