Gopher Snake
Photo by Suzanne L. Collins
Used by permission

Gopher Snake
Pituophis catenifer
  • Size:   Length in Kansas up to 88 3/4 inches.

Kansas range map for the Gopher Snake

Range:   Found throughout Kansas.
  • Description:   Harmless. Largest snake in Kansas; keeled scales; pattern of 33–73 large brown or black blotches on brownish yellow body. Tail with alternating yellow and black bands. Belly yellowish with variable black mottling. Young same as adults.
  • Habits: Lives in open grasslands as well as open woodland and woodland edge; common in cultivated fields where there is an abundance of rodents. Active from April to November; generally diurnal, basking in the sun or foraging for food, but becomes nocturnal during hot summer months. Number of eggs per clutch ranges from 3-22. Constrictor. Most economically beneficial snake in Kansas, consuming large quantities of rodents and saving farmers from much grain loss; also eats pocket gophers, rabbits, ground squirrels, birds and bird eggs. Emits a loud “hiss” when disturbed or frightened.

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and what to do if you have been bitten by one.

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Snake's Burrow
Text: Joseph T. Collins & Suzanne L. Collins
Photos: Suzanne L. Collins & Bob Gress
Range Maps & Web Design: Jim Mason