Louisiana pine snake

Louisiana Pine Snake

Pituophis melanoleucus ruthveni

CLASS Reptilia | ORDER Squamata | FAMILY Colubridae

RANGE West central Louisiana and east Texas

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

DIET Eggs, birds, rodents, and rabbits

3 - 5 ft

21 days

60 days

3 - 5 eggs

IUCN Status
Louisiana pine snake

This species was not discovered until the 1929. The Louisiana pine snake's unique habitat was profoundly altered by logging beginning during the great southern timber rush of the 1920s. These non-venomous snakes spend 60% of their time below ground.

Pocket gophers are the snake's most frequent food and the animal whose burrows it lives in.

The species is oviparous, with a gestation period of about 21 days, followed by 60 days of incubation.


Recognized as one of the rarest snakes in North America, the Louisiana pine snake is protected in the wild and carefully managed in zoos. Through the SSP program, young pine snakes are being reintroduced into their native territory in the hopes of re-establishing the wild population.

Areas of the Kisatchie National Forest in central Louisiana have been revived and are now an ideal location for releasing these endangered snakes.