CaliforniaHerps.com

A Guide to the Amphibians
and Reptiles of California





Key to California Gopher Snake Subspecies

 










observation link

 

Feature Pituophis catenifer
affinis
Sonoran
Gopher Snake
Pituophis catenifer
annectens

San Diego
Gopher Snake
Pituophis catenifer catenifer
Pacific
Gopher Snake
Pituophis catenifer deserticola
Great Basin
Gopher Snake
Pituophis catenifer
pumilus

Santa Cruz Island
Gopher Snake
Snout       Blunt Short, flattened
Rostral Rounded sharply in front.

Not raised or only slightly raised
Bluntly rounded Bluntly rounded Slightly rounded Rounded
Nape Tan or Yellow with small black spots Often dull orange Dark brown Pale in the south.
Mottled with dark in the north.
Dark
Body Blotches
Count
34 - 63 65 - 106 47- 90
(lower numbers inland)
43 - 71 64 - 82
Body Blotches 
Appearance
Concave on both sides

Brown or rusty

Darker on tail
Rounded

Black or brown

Joined to each other
Square

Black or brown

Reduced to streaks on the sides
Quadrangular

Joined on the neck and on the side of the neck

Black on the front and rear of the body, lighter inbetween
Dark, small, and discrete

Connected with dorsolateral blotches anteriorly
Dark Tail Spots 9 - 21 16 -33 14 - 31 12 -22 17 - 28
Ground Color Light brown or tan Tan or yellow Tan or yellow Cream to yellow Olive
Sides   Gray suffusion on sides Gray dots on the sides and undertail    
Midbody
Scale Rows
31 or 33
(29 - 35)
33
(37 - 39)
33
(29 - 35)
31
(27 - 35)
27 - 29
Miscellaneous     Striped Morph Occurs    








Source of data:

Stebbins, Robert C. A Field Guide to Western Reptiles and Amphibians. 3rd Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2003.




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