|Gopher snakes can be found in a diverse
array of habitats from lowlands to
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.