• Wind Cave National Park - Two Worlds

    Wind Cave

    National Park South Dakota

Snakes - Bullsnake

Bullsnake - Pituophis melanoleucus

Bullsnake - Pituophis melanoleucus

NPS Photo by Kevin Jackson

Bullsnakes (Pituophis melanoleucus) live in clumps of vegetation and the burrows of small mammals. Bullsnakes are known as constrictors. After catching their prey in their mouths they immediately wrap their body around the animal and begin to "constrict" or squeeze until the animal suffocates.

Because of their ability to constrict and relax individual muscles, bullsnakes are able to climb trees in search of eggs and small birds to be used as food. This helps to keep the population of these small animals in check. Bullsnakes occupy a range from the central plains to arid regions of the southwest.

 
Bullsnake - Pituophis melanoleucus
Bullsnake - Pituophis melanoleucus
NPS Photo

Did You Know?

fire on the prairie

Fire is an important factor in protecting the prairie. Historically, fires burned across the prairie every 4 to 7 years. Fires burn the small trees that would otherwise march across the prairie and turn the grasslands to forest.