Louisiana Pine Snake
Pituophis melanoleucus ruthveni

CLASS: Reptilia
ORDER: Squamata
SUBORDER: Serpentes
FAMILY: Colubridae

SIZE:
Adults in our region typically don't reach 6 feet, but those in other parts of the country have been measured up to 9 feet.

RANGE:
Confined to the Longleaf Pine Forests in west-central Louisiana; east Texas

HABITAT:
Sandy soil and second-growth longleaf pine forest. Some have been found near these forests in blackjack oak woodlands.

DIET:
Wild - There are no records of the food of the pine snake in Louisiana. Eslewhere they have been known to feed on rodents, rabbits, and birds and their eggs.

Zoo - Rats and mice

DESCRIPTION:
Moderately heavy-bodies with a series of large, dark brown blotches on a white or yellowish tan background, or the pattern is almost obscured by black pigment.

FACTS:

  • Similar to bullsnakes found in Kansas (closely related)
  • Often hiss quite loudly when threatened or restrained. May utilize the burrows of pocket gophers, gopher tortoises, and armadillos for shelter.

YOUNG:
No data available on the reproductive activity in Louisiana. Breeding season is in the spring. Lays eggs in soft earth under rocks or logs during the summer. Clutch average of 12 eggs which hatch in the fall.

STATUS:
Being considered for protection as declining due to loss of habitat.

REFERENCE:
"The Amphibians and Reptiles of Louisiana", Harold A. Dundee and Douglas A. Rossman