Sonoran Gopher Snake

Scientific Name: Pituophis Melanoleucus Affinis

Sonoran Gopher Snake

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Sonoran Gopher Snake is a large non-venomous snake also known scientifically as Pituophis catenifer affinis. The snake has heavily keeled scales with a narrow head slightly wider than its neck. The ground color is light brown cutting across straw or reddish stains on the skin with smaller markings on its sides. The back of this snake’s neck has yellowish and some have tan with a lining of black spots. The belly is cream towards yellow but with dark spots. Pituophis melanoleucus affinis feeds on small mammals such as birds and their eggs, insects, lizards, and pocket gophers. It is often seen on trails and roads especially during winter when the males seek out mates and the young ones are usually seen after hatching as they roam about. It has eight subspecies that are recognized; two occur in Baja California and the other six are in various parts of the United States. Pituophis melanoleucus affinis is often killed by motorists when crossing trails and roads. The species is closely related to the king snakes and rat snakes.

Sonoran Gopher Snakes Are Beautiful Creatures

Sonoran Gopher Snake

Facts About Sonoran Gopher Snakes

Geographic Location

It ranges from the southeastern California, in the Imperial Valley to the San Bernardino County, and Baja California. It is found in the east of Arizona, New Mexico and West Texas.


This snake inhabits several habitats such as desert flats, riparian areas, agricultural land, and the regions below sea level within Imperial Valley.


The snake is a diurnal snake but active at night in hot weather. It is a climber, swimmer and burrower. It constricts and kills its prey by suffocation. When threatened, it inflates the body and produces a hiss as it flattens the head.


The snake mates in winter and the females lay 7 – 14 eggs in June towards August that hatch within 60 – 80 days.


This snake is friendly thus; the snake is quite comfortable in captivity.

Sonoran Gopher Snake
Snakes can’t bite food so they have to swallow it whole.