Natural History: The Gopher Snake is active mainly during the day. It is a good climber. This constrictor consumes mostly small mammals, although birds and their eggs are also eaten. Two to 24 eggs are laid in the summer and hatch in the fall. This snake mimics the rattlesnake in coloration and mannerism. It will buzz its tail and get in a striking position when provoked.
General Distribution: This habitat generalist lives in all types of habitats throughout much of North America.
Frequency: This species is uncommon in the Presidio.
Identifying Characteristics: This snake has 33 to 66 light- to dark-brown or reddish, squarish blotches on its back. The background color is yellow, straw, tan or cream. Smaller dark markings are found on the animal’s sides. A dark stripe runs from in front of the eye to the angle of the jaw. The underside is creamy or yellow, often with dark spots.
Did You Know?
In 1915, a tragic fire at the Presidio claimed the lives of General Pershing’s wife and his three daughters. Pershing's son, Francis Warren, survived the blaze and chose to enlist in the army as a private during World War II. By the end of the war he had achieved the rank of major.