Scientific Name: Pituophis Melanoleucus Sayi
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Indigenous to Minnesota, the Bullsnake is a large, colubrid non- venomous snake whose scientific name is Pituophis melanoleucus sayi. The common names of this species are Bullsnake, Pine Snake and Gopher Snake.
The Bull Snake does not have its own subspecies. It is one of the largest in the US in size. The Bull Snakes are heavily built and grow to six feet in length. However, there are records of Bull Snakes surpassing this length. Males of this species are normally larger than the females. They are also powerfully built and have a thickness of forty eight to seventy two inches. The color pattern on these snakes is usually yellow as the background color and with brown, either black, or reddish blotches. Some members of the species are albinos while others have a white appearance. The bellies of the snake are light brown in color. The scales on the body of the Bull Snake have ridges called keels that make the skin of the snake feel rough compared to other species. Their heads and necks have the same width.
Bullsnakes Are Beautiful Creatures
Facts About Bullsnakes
The Bull Snake is indigenous to Mexico and half of the western part of the US. This part consists of states like Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Minnesota, South Dakota, Nevada, Montana, Wisconsin, North Dakota, Colorado, Nebraska, Wyoming, California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Utah, Oklahoma, Arizona, Texas and New Mexico.
The Bull Snake is usually comfortable in sandy areas, open forests that consist of oak and pine, prairie’s, brush and agricultural fields like wheat fields.
Bull Snakes feed on small mammals like rats, mice, large bugs, the young of other snakes and lizards. Bull Snakes are known to be quite defensive and exhibit a bad attitude. They flee whenever they feel threatened by larger predators .They also behave like rattlesnakes, which they resemble, when terrified. They do this by rattling their tails, adopting body posture normally held by rattlesnakes and they hiss. These behaviours are meant to scare the threat away; they do this to mimic an attack. Bull Snakes hibernate during the winter months every year and emerge when the weather changes and it becomes warmer. They shed their skins once they become accustomed to the warmth.
Pituophis melanoleucus sayi usually mate during spring. At this time, females dig sandy, shallow burrows and since they are oviparous, lay three to twenty eggs in a clutch. These neonates are normally cream in color. It takes about sixty four to eighty days incubation period for the eggs to hatch. Neonates are mostly one to one and a half feet long at birth and often take care of themselves.
Bull Snakes make very good pets, as they are relatively harmless. In captivity, they are also beneficial to farmers as they eat rodents that destroy crops. One does not have to worry about the living quarters of these snakes if they have a porch or a barn as the snakes quarters, this is sufficient as they look for rodents under porches and barns.