Facts about Bull snake
One of the largest snakes in Canada and United States.
They are often mistaken for rattlesnakes due to similar look and behavior. Bull snakes are found in areas abundant with rodents which are their favorite prey. In search for food they dig through soil with help of their rostral scale.
1Its Latin name is Pituophis catenifer sayi and it’s a member of Colubridae family.
Bull snake is a subspecies of the Gophersnake.
2They can be found in North America from British Columbia, southern Canada to northern Mexico.
3They live fields, prairies, pastures and savannas in sandy soil where rodents can be easily found.
4Their skin is yellowish brown or creamy with dark brown or reddish brown blotches. Bottom of their body is pale yellow.
Juveniles have the same pattern as adults but are more pale.
5Bullsnakes are heavy-bodied reptiles with body length ranging from 1,2 to 1,8 m (4 to 6 ft).
Larger specimens can be occasionally found, up to 2,5m (8ft 4 in).
6Bull snakes average weight is 1 to 1,5 kg (2,2 to 3,3 lb.).
Heaviest specimen recorded was 4,5 kg (9,9 lb.).
7They are not venomous.
To subdue and kill their prey they constrict it by wrapping around its body.
8Bull snakes are diurnal reptiles.
They use sunlight to warm their bodies so can be encountered while basking in the sun. With proper body temperature they are ready to seek for food.
9They prefer to eat small mammals.
Rats, squirrels, gophers, moles and mice are most popular bullsnake meal. They also eat lizards and birds. Sometimes they raid bird nests and consume nestlings or hatching parent.
10They evaluate whether animal is predator or prey by its size.
If animal is too big to consume they take defensive action, otherwise they are ready to attack.
11Most of them are docile but when feel endangered they imitate rattlesnake behavior.
They coil up, hiss, raise their tail and shake it.
12Their active season starts in late April when they emerge from hibernation.
Bull snakes stay active till early October.
13They start to mate in May and lay eggs in June and early July.
Nests may be located in open area as well as under the rocks or logs. Bull snakes usually dig their nests separately but communal nests also have been reported.
14Female lays about 12 eggs in a hole and leave them without protection to hatch.
Bull snake eye is 70 mm (2,7 in) in diameter, has an elliptical shape and leathery shell.
15It takes around 60 days for bull snake eye to hatch. New born specimens are 25 to 43 cm (10 to 17 in) long.
16They fall prey to most birds of prey, coyotes, foxes, weasels an other snakes.
17Bull snakes population Is decreasing due to disappearing grasslands which are crucial for their breeding.