Pacific Gopher Snake

(Pituophis catenifer catenifer)

Common Name: Pacific Gopher Snake

Scientific Name: Pituophis catenifer catenifer

Reptiles Alive Name: Carl Spackler

Hisssstory: Carl the gopher snake was abandoned along with dozens of other snakes in at a home in Alexandria VA. The Alexandria Animal Welfare League rescued all of the snakes, and we adopted him.

RA Diet: Frozen mice

Natural Diet: Small mammals, birds, eggs, amphibians and insects

Range: Northern California north of Santa Barbara into Oregon

Habitat: Grasslands, woodlands, coniferous forests, farmland, chaparral, marshes, and riparian lowlands.

Size: The Pacific gopher snake can reach a length between 2 ½ – 7 feet and weigh 2-4 pounds.

Lifespan: In the wild they can live an estimated 10 years. In captivity, gopher snakes have been recorded to live 12-15 years.

Reproduction: Breeding season begins in early spring, with males fighting for females and territories. Males will often perform combat dances with each other that involve hissing, head rearing and intertwining. Though, rarely is biting involved. Only the victor will mate with nearby females. The female will lay her eggs in an abandoned mammal burrow and provide no further parental care. Females may produce more than one clutch per year.

Conservation: Although Pacific gopher snakes are common in most parts of their range and are prized in many agricultural areas for their natural pest control, they are still threatened with habitat loss and persecution by humans. Many gopher snakes meet an unfortunate end when they are confused with the venomous rattlesnake.

Cool Facts: When threatened, the Pacific gopher snake mimics the behavior of a rattlesnake. It will inflate its body, flatten its head, produce a loud hiss, and move its tail back and forth rapidly in the dry vegetation to produce a rattling sound. They put on a good show but are harmless to humans.

“Reptiles Alive was wonderful and had the kids full attention. We’ll see you again next year!!” – Stacee Bako, Mom, Arlington, VA

LATEST NEWS

Sign up for Reptiles Alive Emails

* = required field

UPCOMING EVENTS

  1. Dulles Town Center Reptiles Alive Show

    February 22 @ 10:00 am - 10:45 am
  2. Reptiles Alive Show at Doodlehopper 4 Kids

    February 25 @ 1:00 pm - 1:30 pm

TESTIMONIALS

"It was fantastic and the whole party was into it. Tony was truly a wonderful educational presenter."

Rachel Karnes, Mom, Potomac Falls VA

5.0
2016-11-16T17:25:35+00:00

Rachel Karnes, Mom, Potomac Falls VA

"It was fantastic and the whole party was into it. Tony was truly a wonderful educational presenter."

"Thank you! The information provided to the kids was so educational and fun. I am a homeschool mom and the way the material was presented...

Patty Coote, Mom, Herndon VA

5.0
2016-11-16T17:28:52+00:00

Patty Coote, Mom, Herndon VA

"Thank you! The information provided to the kids was so educational and fun. I am a homeschool mom and the way the material was presented felt like we were at a fun event! The parents even remarked that they learned something. My son has a lifetime memory because of your program."

"Thank you for an incredible birthday party! All of the children had a wonderful experience. Caroline was so easy to work with and Tony did...

Marcie Blackstone, Mom, Clarksburg MD

5.0
2017-01-02T09:08:56+00:00

Marcie Blackstone, Mom, Clarksburg MD

"Thank you for an incredible birthday party! All of the children had a wonderful experience. Caroline was so easy to work with and Tony did a great job presenting to the kids!"

"Liz was great. She was prompt, organized, knowledgeable, friendly and fun. Having her do the show in our home was effortless, entertaining, and overall a...

Tammy Berkon, Mom, Alexandria VA

5.0
2017-01-02T09:11:36+00:00

Tammy Berkon, Mom, Alexandria VA

"Liz was great. She was prompt, organized, knowledgeable, friendly and fun. Having her do the show in our home was effortless, entertaining, and overall a wonderful experience for everyone!"

"I loved it so much. They teach you about the animals and you get to touch them! Rachel did a really wonderful job" 

Birthday girl and Mom, Chantilly VA

5.0
2017-01-02T09:12:19+00:00

Birthday girl and Mom, Chantilly VA

"I loved it so much. They teach you about the animals and you get to touch them! Rachel did a really wonderful job" 

"I am so glad we hired Reptiles Alive for my son's birthday. CobraCaroline and all her reptiles were a huge hit! All the kids loved...

Elizabeth Poppi, Mom, Reston VA

5.0
2017-01-02T09:12:52+00:00

Elizabeth Poppi, Mom, Reston VA

"I am so glad we hired Reptiles Alive for my son's birthday. CobraCaroline and all her reptiles were a huge hit! All the kids loved it! Even those who seemed a little reluctant were reaching out to pe the animals at the end. Caroline's energy and enthusiasm was contagious and we couldn't have asked for more!"

"The program was outstanding. Caroline was so knowledgeable and was able to teach the children at their level. She handled the animals very professionally and...

Joan L. Mancuso, Director Potomac Nursery School

5.0
2017-01-02T09:13:30+00:00

Joan L. Mancuso, Director Potomac Nursery School

"The program was outstanding. Caroline was so knowledgeable and was able to teach the children at their level. She handled the animals very professionally and the hands on experience for the children was well received. I would highly recommend this program--both for our age group (3-4 yr olds) and for elementary school children."
5.0
7

GET IN TOUCH

Phone: (703) 560-0257
Fax: (703) 560-7531