• A bull elk bugles in Yellowstone National Park

    Yellowstone

    National Park ID,MT,WY

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Bull snake

bull snake
Bull snake
NPS/Peaco
 
Scientific name: Pituophis catenifer sayi

Identification

  • A subspecies of the gopher snake, is Yellowstone's largest reptile, ranging from 50 to 72 inches long.
  • Yellowish with a series of black, brown, or reddish-brown blotches down the back; the darkest, most contrasting colors are near the head and tail; blotches are shaped as rings around the tail.
  • Head resembles a turtle's in shape, with a protruding scale at the tip of the snout and a dark band extending from the top of the head through the eye to the lower jaw.
Habitat

  • In Yellowstone, found at lower elevations, drier, warmer climates, and open areas such as near Mammoth.
Behavior

  • Lives in burrows and eats small rodents; behavior that gave the gopher snake its name.
  • Often mistaken for a rattlesnake because of its appearance and its defensive behavior; when disturbed it will coil up, hiss loudly, and vibrate its tail against the ground, producing a rattling sound.

Did You Know?

Upper Geyser Basin Hydrothermal Features on a Winter Day.

Yellowstone contains approximately one-half of the world’s hydrothermal features. There are over 10,000 hydrothermal features, including over 300 geysers, in the park.