Scientific name: Pituophis catenifer sayi
- A subspecies of the gopher snake, it is Yellowstone's largest reptile; ranges 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.
- In Yellowstone, found at lower elevations, drier, warmer climates, and open areas such as near Mammoth.
- 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.