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threatened and/or endangered

Pine Snake Pituophis melanoleucus


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Pine Snake, Florida subspecies
credit: Emblazingstar

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Family: Colubridae, Colubrid Snakes view all from this family

Description Powerfully built. Small head. There are usually 4 prefrontal scales. At midbody there are 27-37 rows of keeled dorsal scales. The anal plate is single. Color pattern consists of a light ground color overlaid with black, brown or reddish-brown blotches.

Dimensions 122-254cm. (48-100")

Warning When confronted, the Pine Snake hisses loudly, sometimes flattening its head and vibrating its tail like a rattlesnake. It may then lunge at the intruder and strike. Its bite is not venomous.

Subspecies Black - Black blotches at front of body. sw. Alabama to eastern Louisiana.
Northern - Brown/black, light blotching. S. New Jersey, s. North Carolina west through South Carolina to n. Georgia, e. Tennessee, se. Kentucky and south into Alabama.
Florida- Gray fades to rusty brown at back. S. South Carolina to Georgia and s. Florida.

Breeding Breeds in spring. 3-24 white eggs laid June-August in sandy burrows. hatch after 64-79 days. Hatchlings 30-46cm (12-18") long.

Similar Species Louisiana Pine Snake.

Habitat Sandy woodlands, flatwoods, cultivated fields and brushland.

Range New Jersey, Virginia, Kentucky, North Carolina, Florida and Louisiana.

Discussion Diurnal, sometimes nocturnal in hot weather. Often hide under rocks logs and in turtle burrows to escape the heat. If disturbed, it will often hiss loudly, sometimes flattening its head, vibrate its tail and eventually strike at an intruder.