|Gopher Snake (Pituophis melanoleucus)|
DESCRIPTION: L=up to 4' (120cm) or more. Overall yellowish to tan with brown or reddish blotches. Often confused with rattlesnakes due to its similar color and behavior (when threatened will coil into striking position, hiss, and shake its tail), but does not have fangs or venom.
NATURAL HISTORY: Carnivorous, feeding mostly on mammals, but will climb trees and take birds and their eggs. Constricts its prey. Usually diurnal. Lays eggs. Males perform ritualistic combats during the spring mating season, presumably to determine mating rights.