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Gopher Snake

Gopher Snakes are large non-venomous snakes that grow up to 110 inches in length. They are cream or yellow colored with black, brown or reddish brown blotches along their sides that are usually more widely spaced on their tails.

Natural History

Gopher snakes can be found in a diverse array of habitats from lowlands to mountains including deserts, grasslands and coniferous forests. Gopher Snakes are good climbers and burrowers and use these skills to locate and capture their prey. The snake feeds on rodents, rabbits, moles, birds and their eggs and occasionally lizards and insects. The snake usually hunts by day (unless it's too hot outside) and kills its prey through constriction. The snakes themselves may become prey to hawks, foxes or coyotes.

When threatened, Gopher Snakes hiss loudly and sometimes flatten their head and vibrate their tail in imitation of a rattlesnake.

The snakes lay eggs between June and August, delivering 1to 2 clutches ranging from 2 to 24 eggs. Babies emerge fully developed within 10 weeks, and are large enough to eat small mice. Gopher snakes in the wild reach maturity in 3 to 4 years. In Winter, gopher snakes hibernate, retreating to communal dens, sometimes sharing the lair with rattlesnakes, whipsnakes or racers.

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