Bullsnake (Pituophis catinefer sayi)Bullsnake (Pituophis catinefer sayi)

The Bullsnake is a fascinating snake.  This snake has an ability few other snakes have.  It can fill its body with air and hiss at you.  Well, it is a little more than just a hiss.  In fact, the sound that it makes is eerily similar to the rattle of a Rattlesnake.  While this ability is probably beneficial in warning off wound be predators, it, unfortunately, causes the Bullsnake to be misidentified by people that are not experienced with them, sometimes resulting in them being terminated out of fear.  This is very unfortunate because the Bullsnake is an extremely beneficial snake and should be left alone to do its job of controlling the rodent population.

The Bullsnake is almost identical to a Gopher Snake, which it is thought to be a subspecies of.  It is quite difficult to tell them apart even for an expert, making it hard to determine just when you ar looking at for most people. They can grow up to 8 feet long.  They are found from Northern Mexico all the way up into Canada.

The snake in this picture was pretty upset when I took it.  Most of the time the Bullsnake will try to avoid being seen, but sometimes they just get a bad attitude like the one in this picture. One day I heard my dog barking and when I went to see what she was barking at, I found a very upset Bullsnake that was guarding a baby Cottontail rabbits nest that the snake had devoured most of the little bunnies out of.  Seeing this as a prime opportunity to record a Bullsnake in action, I ran inside and got my camera and shot this video.

Camera used to capture these photos.  Canon PowerShot Digital Camera

 

For more information about the Great Plains Rat Snake and other amazing reptiles, check out these books below.

The National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Reptiles and Amphibians

Snake: The Essential Visual Guide

Peterson Field Guide to Western Reptiles & Amphibians

 

Photos Captured with the following equipment:

Sony Alpha a6500 Mirrorless Digital Camera   Amazon.com button

Sony FE 90mm f/2.8-22 Macro G OSS Prime Lens  Amazon.com button

 

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