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Pituophis catenifer

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA REPTILIA SQUAMATA COLUBRIDAE

Scientific Name: Pituophis catenifer
Species Authority: (Blainville, 1835)
Common Name(s):
English Bullsnake, Gophersnake, Gopher Snake
Taxonomic Notes: Pituophis catenifer, P. melanoleucus, P. ruthveni, and P. vertebralis formerly were formerly regarded as conspecific (as P. melanoleucus), but were separated here (see Rodríguez-Robles and de Jesús-Escobar 2000).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2007
Date Assessed: 2007-03-01
Assessor(s): Hammerson, G.A.
Reviewer(s): Cox, N., Chanson, J.S. & Stuart, S.N. (Global Reptile Assessment Coordinating Team)
Justification:
Listed as Least Concern in view of the large and relatively stable extent of occurrence, area of occupancy, number of subpopulations, and population size. No major threats exist.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: The species' range extends from southern British Columbia to Indiana, and south through all of western North America to northern Baja California (Grismer 2002), Sonora, Sinaloa and Zacatecas in Mexico.
Countries:
Native:
Canada; Mexico; United States
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: This species is represented by hundreds of occurrences or subpopulations (see map in Sweet and Parker 1990). The total adult population size is unknown but certainly exceeds 100,000 and probably exceeds 1,000,000. This snake is relatively common in many areas. Its extent of occurrence, area of occupancy, number of subpopulations, and population size are probably relatively stable or declining at a rate of less than 10% over 10 years or three generations.
Population Trend: Stable

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This species occurs in a wide range of habitats, extending from lowlands to mountains: desert, prairie, shrubland, woodland, open coniferous forest, farmland, and marshes. Midwestern populations inhabit prairies; western and Mexican populations range from coastal grasslands and forests through deserts into montane forests (Sweet and Parker 1990). This snake is terrestrial, fossorial, and arboreal. It remains underground in cold weather and during the hot midday period in summer; it may occupy mammal burrows (Schroder 1950, Fitch 1958) or dig its own burrow, aided by the pointed snout and enlarged rostral scale. Carpenter (1982) estimated that burrowing Pituophis could move up to 3,400 cubic cm of soil in an hour. Eggs are deposited in burrows excavated by the female in loose soil, in spaces beneath large rocks or logs, or possibly in small mammal burrows.
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There are no major threats to this species. Local declines have occurred in areas with extensive, intensive agricultural or urban development, but these snakes persist in semi-agricultural landscapes and rural residential areas.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Many occurrences of this species are in protected areas.

Citation: Hammerson, G.A. 2007. Pituophis catenifer. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 28 November 2014.
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