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Pituophis Catenifer Research Papers

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Pacific Gopher Snake

Pituophis catenifer

Status: Pituophis catenifer are of least concern because this species has a stable population, and amount of subpopulations this species contains. There no major threat against P. catenifer exist as of now.

Conservation Efforts: Various species of P. catenifer appear in protected wildlife areas.

Physical Description: P. catenifer can range from 180-275 cm. They usually have larger heads and narrow necks. P. catenifer, generally marked with brown or black spots on a lighter straw to grey colored background, depending on their environment, can commonly be misidentified as a rattle snake. This species has a lifespan of 33 years in captivity and 12-15 years in the wild. Reproduction maturity takes 3-5 years for females, and 1-2 years for a male. P. catenifer is oviparous.
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catenifer breeds once a year from June to August. Females will secrete a scent through their skin, informing males they are ready for mating. Males will attempt to mate with numerous females. The males and females generally don’t associate before and after mating. When annoyed, P. catenifer may hiss loudly, flatten its head, vibrate the tail, and strike.

Range and Habitat: P. catenifer is neurotic in areas from Southwestern Canada to Northern Mexico in temperate, terrestrial environments. This species inhabits several environments including: desert or dune, savanna or grassland, chaparral, forest, mountains. Other habitat features include: suburban, agricultural, and riparian. In San Diego, the pacific gopher snake can be found in drier and suburban areas.

Diet and Feeding Type: Primarily a carnivore, P. catenifer eats terrestrial vertebrates. The animals this species eats include: birds, mammals, amphibians, reptiles, eggs, and insects. This species uses constriction to capture and kill its prey.

Fun Fact: A male occasionally will bite a female on the back of her neck when
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