Pacific Gopher Snake
Pituophis catenifer catenifer
Names and Personal History:
Speedy: Speedy was found with two of his peers on the runways of the San Francisco Airport. They were rescued by firemen and kept at the station until they donated him to us. Speedy was born in 2003. We have five Pacific Gopher Snakes in total.
Pacific gopher snakes range from Oregon continuing south through western and central California to Santa Barbara County.
These snakes inhabit dry sandy pine-oak woodlands, cultivated fields, prairies, open brush land and rocky desert chaparral. They are generally diurnal but become more nocturnal during the summer months in the warmer parts of their range. They often hide in mammal or tortoise burrows and under rocks or logs.
Pacific gopher snakes are generally straw or straw grey in color. Their dorsal blotches are dark to chocolate brown with their sides generally brown or grey. Their ventral sides may be cream-colored to yellow with dark spots. During mating season, the bellies of male gopher snakes will often turn a bold shade of pink or orange.
When threatened, a wild Pacific gopher snakes will sometimes flatten its head, vibrate its tail and coil its body, making them look like a rattlesnake.
These snakes typically eat gophers and other rodents. We feed mice to our gopher snakes.