Common name: Pacific gopher snake, coast gopher snake, western gopher snake,[1] more.

Pituophis catenifer is a harmless colubrid species found in North America. Six subspecies are currently recognized, including the nominate subspecies described here.[2] The specific name catenifer is Latin for 'chain bearing', referring to the dorsal color pattern.


Adults specimens are 36-84 inches (91–213 cm) in length.[1] Dorsally they are yellowish or pale brown, with a series of large dark brown or black blotches, and smaller dark spots on the sides. Ventrally they are yellowish, either uniform or with brown markings.[3]


The Gopher snake has an odd defense mechanism, in which it will puff it's body up and curl itself into the classic strike pose of the pit viper genus, but rather than an open mouthed strike, the gopher snake is known for striking with a closed mouth, using it's blunt nose to "warn-off" possible predators.

Common namesEdit

Pacific gopher snake, coast gopher snake, bull snake, Churchill's bull snake, Oregon bull snake, Pacific pine snake, western bull snake, western gopher snake, western pine snake, yellow gopher snake.[1]


Subspecies[2] Taxon author[2] Common name Geographic range
P. c. affinis (Hallowell, 1852) Sonoran gopher snake
P. c. annectens Baird & Girard, 1853 San Diego gopher snake
P. c. catenifer (Blainville, 1835) Pacific gopher snake The United States, from Oregon west of the Cascade Range, south into California, west of the Sierra Nevada to northern Santa Barbara County and the Tehachapi Mountains.[1]
P. c. deserticola Stejneger, 1893 Great Basin gopher snake
P. c. pumilis Klauber, 1946 Santa Cruz gopher snake
P. c. sayi (Schlegel, 1837) Bullsnake Central and western North America.

See alsoEdit

  • Wiki-comments
     Colubridae by common name
  • Wiki-comments
     Colubridae by taxonomic synonyms


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Wright AH, Wright AA. 1957. Handbook of Snakes. 2 volumes. Comstock Publishing Associates. (7th printing, 1985). 1105 pp. ISBN 0-8014-0463-0.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Template:ITIS
  3. Boulenger, G.A. 1894. Catalogue of the Snakes in the British Museum (Natural History), Volume II. London.

External linksEdit


fr:Pituophis catenifer

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