Gopher Snakes

Status
Not open for further replies.

Mojo's Mom

New Member
5 Year Member
Joined
May 25, 2012
Messages
80
Location (City and/or State)
Kansas
As I have metioned previously, my newest interest is looking up random facts about snakes. I used to have a little Ball Python, but it died shortly after we got it, about three to six or months, it choaked on a mouse that was too big. I just love all animals and eventually I might want to add on to my family.

I was reading this thing about the top four (or was it five) snakes for pets. Cornsnakes were at the top. The third was a kingsnake, and the fourth a ball python. (It was top four). The second was the one that some what suprised me, I had figured it be something like a milksnake.

No, it was a gopher snake. It showed a picture and I looked a little up. From what I understand they are kind of like a bull snake. You know, pretends to be a rattlesnake when threatened.

It also said that they make great pets because they get really tame when they are handled regularly from birth. But that is kinda usual for most pet snakes, right?

Then, it said that they only get just under or over six feet.

Is any of this true? I've never heard of it before, so sorry if this is making you go "wow, she's clueless!" or rolling or eyes or something because I don't know that much in the snake world compared to something like dogs or cats (which most people know about). I just was curious.

Thank you for any info, just the basic stuff like difficulty of keeping, how hard it is to find, and so on. Also any stories about your experience.

The guy who had this website with the top four said that he kept them and his was great, never struck out, never acted up, only missed a few meals, mostly because of shedding, that sort of stuff, and it was the snake that he always got when visitors came and wanted to learn more about snakes.

Really aroused my curiousity. Oh yeah, I put the picture of the snake that he had on the website at the bottom.

Thanks.
 

Attachments

  • Gopher Snake 1.jpg
    Gopher Snake 1.jpg
    64.8 KB · Views: 43

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
54,124
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
We have them all over the place out in the wild here. I have kept a bunch of them. They really are fantastic snakes, and yes, very similar to a bull snake. Same genus if I'm not mistaken.

Most of the time even the big wild ones are totally tame and don't try to bite within about 15 seconds of picking them up. A captive one would normally be tame as any snake you've ever seen. They are very hardy, feed readily and almost never try to bite. The size thing is a bit off. They can reach 12', but that is a record size. I have seen wild ones that were 8 or 9', but most of the time they are around 6'. A healthy, well fed captive snake will probably get bigger than 6' though.

I've never tried to buy one. I just find them. You can probably get a CBB one at a reptile show.
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
54,124
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
That's a great pic Chris! Totally shows how docile they are when you can just walk over and pick up a wild snake, in the wild, and have it just sit there calmly while you take pictures of it.

Ever try that with a racer? There would be a lot more blood in the picture.... :)
 

Floof

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Nov 19, 2009
Messages
1,330
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
This is Toby, my male San Diego Gopher. In the 2 years I've had him, he's never so much as hissed... Total sweetie.
53363_213193_VeryLarge_HQ3iznepPB.jpg


Most Gophers I've interacted with have been hatchlings/young juveniles, and fairly docile already. Perhaps a little jumpy, but no worse than a hatchling corn snake.

They aren't as easy to find as something like a ball python or corn snake, simply because they aren't as commonly kept. However, like Tom said, you can usually find at least one person with Gophers at a reptile expo and there are plenty of breeders online.
 

acrantophis

Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Apr 13, 2012
Messages
335
I love gopher snakes. Here in So cal we have the San Diego sub species. Just east we have the Sonoran gopher. Which has a lot more color and contrast. Further east across the US the gopher becomes the bullsnake. Still in the genus pituophis. Then the same genus continues east and north as the pine snake from Florida to NJ. They are all the same keeled scale heavy bodied tunnel hunter. They are known to forgo conventional construction methods in tight rodent tunnels. Instead they will crush their prey against the wall of their own tunnel. I know they have a large chamber in the rostral area of the skull. This chamber allows them to emit one of the loudest recorded hisses for any snake.
I've owned many, they are intelligent and impressive. Even albino and leucistic are cool. The keeled scales are so pronounced.
 

Attachments

  • image-2531103526.png
    image-2531103526.png
    1.4 MB · Views: 36

N2TORTS

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2010
Messages
8,803
Mojo said:
As I have metioned previously, my newest interest is looking up random facts about snakes. I used to have a little Ball Python, but it died shortly after we got it, about three to six or months, it choaked on a mouse that was too big. I just love all animals and eventually I might want to add on to my family.

I was reading this thing about the top four (or was it five) snakes for pets. Cornsnakes were at the top. The third was a kingsnake, and the fourth a ball python. (It was top four). The second was the one that some what suprised me, I had figured it be something like a milksnake.

No, it was a gopher snake. It showed a picture and I looked a little up. From what I understand they are kind of like a bull snake. You know, pretends to be a rattlesnake when threatened.

It also said that they make great pets because they get really tame when they are handled regularly from birth. But that is kinda usual for most pet snakes, right?

Then, it said that they only get just under or over six feet.

Is any of this true? I've never heard of it before, so sorry if this is making you go "wow, she's clueless!" or rolling or eyes or something because I don't know that much in the snake world compared to something like dogs or cats (which most people know about). I just was curious.

Thank you for any info, just the basic stuff like difficulty of keeping, how hard it is to find, and so on. Also any stories about your experience.

The guy who had this website with the top four said that he kept them and his was great, never struck out, never acted up, only missed a few meals, mostly because of shedding, that sort of stuff, and it was the snake that he always got when visitors came and wanted to learn more about snakes.

Really aroused my curiousity. Oh yeah, I put the picture of the snake that he had on the website at the bottom.

Thanks.

Mojo MOM ..... .all the snakes you listed are wonderful ...and if your leading to a gopher, bull , king type species...wait !..... Spend the extra dough and get yourself and INDIGO......they are simply AWESOME GIANT BEAUTYS ...... and PUPPY DOG TAME....but would eat any of the snakes listed above in a heart beat....rattlesnakes too!
I have kept well over 50 different species of snakes for the past 40+ years and nothing matches an Indigo in sheer size and beauty.
I do have a wild gopher snake out back ...... I'll try and find him when daylight arrives and shoot us a pic~
JD~:)

When I moved into the new house last year .... come to find out my next door nieghbor who is 78 years old , breeds milk and king snakes for the last 60 years......between the two of us I'm sure we could start a herp zoo! :p
 

StudentoftheReptile

Active Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Sep 8, 2011
Messages
1,705
Location (City and/or State)
Alabama
As much as indigos are totally awesome, the eastern indigos require permits. I can't even have them here in Alabama. I do believe the Texas indigos are slightly easier to acquire, but I personally have never looked into it.

I just wanted to put that out there for the OP that for indigos, its not just a matter of a more expensive snake; there's a matter of legality involved. If she is new to snakes, this may be an undertaking. A gopher, kingsnake or cornsnake (or a number of other species) would be a better option.
 

N2TORTS

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2010
Messages
8,803
StudentoftheReptile said:
As much as indigos are totally awesome, the eastern indigos require permits. I can't even have them here in Alabama. I do believe the Texas indigos are slightly easier to acquire, but I personally have never looked into it.

I just wanted to put that out there for the OP that for indigos, its not just a matter of a more expensive snake; there's a matter of legality involved. If she is new to snakes, this may be an undertaking. A gopher, kingsnake or cornsnake (or a number of other species) would be a better option.

No Kidding Alabama ? ...... Heck I'm in CA which I thought to be one of the stricktest states when it coms to herps..... I can get Indigos at the herp shows no problem ....same with mexican bearded lizards ...
As far as the permit .....well Do you really think all the radi' owners out there and from what I see in here actually have permits? Some laws are not for the legal minded .....just pure ignorance~
Yes I understand ...( I have kept and bred Indy's ) they are an on a sites one list ( so they say ) ....but if no one is breeding them then for sure they will disappear .....
And honest for a beginner snake person , non of the species listed above are ideal~... all of them are very hyper snakes....even your gopher, although he may not bite or strike ... they tend to be more amped up and if not experienced your snake will slip right of your hands and go bye~ bye~ if you hesitate one bit. Like mentioned a ball python or one of the smaller boas ....are much easer to handle for a beginner .

Still the INDIGO is unmatched when your talking " rat snakes"

JD~:)
 

N2TORTS

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2010
Messages
8,803
OK I found the little bugger ....... Here is another So. Cal Coastal Gopher......Hatched out this season....in the semiwild ...aka: my back yard.
Sn1.jpg
Sn2.jpg
Sn3.jpg


JD~:)
 

Mojo's Mom

New Member
5 Year Member
Joined
May 25, 2012
Messages
80
Location (City and/or State)
Kansas
Thank you so much everyone! I knew I could broaden my understanding and knowledge of snakes (and other herps) here. I will probably add to my family in a year or two, because of our current situation. If you haven't heard, my house burned down. Everybody got out safe, so on so forth.

I still need something to do while I wait. So learning more about the world around me is the best. :D
 

Floof

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Nov 19, 2009
Messages
1,330
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
N2TORTS said:
And honest for a beginner snake person , non of the species listed above are ideal~... all of them are very hyper snakes....even your gopher, although he may not bite or strike ... they tend to be more amped up and if not experienced your snake will slip right of your hands and go bye~ bye~ if you hesitate one bit. Like mentioned a ball python or one of the smaller boas ....are much easer to handle for a beginner .

I can't speak to the indigo thing (haven't had the joy of meeting one yet--nor can I say I'll ever have one, since the Black-headed python is higher up on the "if I win the lottery" wishlist), but I do disagree somewhat with this paragraph...

As far as active snakes slipping away... Most snakes aren't going to do kamikaze leaps to get away when you're holding them up off the ground. Even your frightened young corns, etc will hold on tight to the moving "tree" and take their chances as opposed to taking a flying leap and risking the more immediate injury of landing.

I've handled jumpy/nervous corn snakes, sure... My yearling is a little firecracker! Young milk snakes, especially, seem to be on edge a lot of the time. I've even met a gopher snake who was convinced he's a bull snake (would rear up and hiss, strike, rattle whenever you opened the tub). But I've met very few snakes who will slip out of your hands and take their chances with the hard floor if you hesitate or get distracted.

As far as ball pythons being good beginner snakes... They're very docile and inactive, sure, but they're also easily stressed and they need more stringent care. If you're only talking about handling, they are "ideal" beginner snakes (barring personal preference), but when you factor in other considerations.. Well, personally, I'd sooner recommend a corn snake, gopher snake, etc to a beginner than a ball python. ;)

While we're on the theme of recommending relatively uncommon snakes as beginner species, I must put in a word for Woma pythons. Gorgeous, top out at 5-6 feet (big, but not too big), great appetites, very docile, and beautiful.

Ha. That's what I get for taking 2 hours to compose a post.

That's a lovely little yard gopher you have there, JD!

Mojo's Mom, I'm sorry to hear about your house! Hopefully you all get re-settled without too much trouble... And then you can get your snake, and post lots of pictures for us! Lol! :D
 

N2TORTS

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2010
Messages
8,803
" But I've met very few snakes who will slip out of your hands and take their chances with the hard floor if you hesitate or get distracted."
Thats because they have already latched onto your hand ! ~:p
I'm not here for a debate I no longer do snakes .....but I've owned and captured many of snakes both local and exotic since the early 70's ....and from my experience ( exspecially a wild snake) dosn't care if its 6" up or 6' feet up .... it will find a way in a flash to get away. Yes the woma's are beautiful .....and if you find a well tempered "Blood" those are pretty darn neat~o too!
 

N2TORTS

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2010
Messages
8,803
I might add there are " correct" ways to catching/handling a snake so you dont get zapped regardless of the species. Most accidents happen because of the person trying to catch/handle the snake is not that well trained.....and the snake is acting on it's natural instinct.
Again I'm not an expert .....just many many years of catching and breeding snakes of all types...and my own personal experiences. As I got old .... torts were more my speed .....;)

Thanks everyone and the OP for their info and pics as well .... I love to learn and read all the different experiences.

JD~
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
54,124
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
Taylor, there was an 11-12' woma at the reptile show here last year. :)

I've got a friend breeding blackheaded pythons. It was all I could do to resist one last time.
... I could make some arrangements for you..., but only if you promise to post lots of pics and let me watch it grow up here on the forum, so that I can live vicariously.
 

Mojo's Mom

New Member
5 Year Member
Joined
May 25, 2012
Messages
80
Location (City and/or State)
Kansas
Tom said:
Taylor, there was an 11-12' woma at the reptile show here last year. :)

I've got a friend breeding blackheaded pythons. It was all I could do to resist one last time.
... I could make some arrangements for you..., but only if you promise to post lots of pics and let me watch it grow up here on the forum, so that I can live vicariously.

This is embarrasing...I am a little lost in the conversation here. Not meaning to sound rude or anything, but when did blackheaded pythons come in?

That also sounds really neat if I could ever do it, not sure if I would or wouldn't though (so I am not making any promises). But it would require (if I did do it) a sturdier situation, which could possibly take a year or two. Although, people we have talked to have said that you can get a house up in six to eight months.

Plus, not everybody in my family is 100% on getting a snake, although most people like the idea and about at 60% to 99.99% is what I think we are at. And the person who is most opposed usually of getting animals said that he actually wouldn't mind having a snake, if only I had a recording of it!;)
 

N2TORTS

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2010
Messages
8,803
LOL ... MOM' ..... see what ya started~;

Heck why not an anaconda? ....they are nice gentle creatures...
<sly grin>.....once they loose all their teeth in your arm! :p
 

Mojo's Mom

New Member
5 Year Member
Joined
May 25, 2012
Messages
80
Location (City and/or State)
Kansas
Is this what you are talking about?

It didn't look quite like a python to me, but never hurts to ask. To me it looks like a blackheaded kingsnake. Again, newbie to world of snakes. (If I insult anyone because of my cluelessness [spelling?] I am sorry)

If it isn't a blackheaded python, what is it?

Any info on blackheaded pythons or whatever this snake is helps.

Still broadening snake knowledge :D

Also, sorry if the picture doesn't show up!
 

Attachments

  • Black Headed Python 1.jpg
    Black Headed Python 1.jpg
    7.6 KB · Views: 18

Floof

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Nov 19, 2009
Messages
1,330
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
JD-- I guess we've just had different experiences, then. :)

Tom--WOW! That's one big Woma! I was just reading recently that there's a locality that gets that big, but I had no idea there were any in the states that got so huge... Makes my big boy seem like a dwarf, at 5 ft!

As far as the BHP... Don't tempt me... LOL! It'll be another year or two before I start looking more seriously at getting my dream snake... One way or another, though, I WILL have a BHP... Someday! :D

I actually saw a few young BHPs at the expo in Portland last month... OMG... I was tempted to ask to hold one, but I figured the vendors probably wouldn't be thrilled about letting a lookie-loo hold their $900 snake, lol! There was a moment or two that I considered asking my dad, who was in town and tagged along for the show, to loan $1000 to the cause. LOL!

Mojo--Yep, that's a Black-headed python! Crazy pattern on that one, too! The Aspidites genus (that is, Womas and BHPs) are very unique looking pythons. As I'm sure you noticed, they don't have heat pits (or visible ones, at least--I always forget what the deal is) or the more distinct head shape that most pythons do.

This is my Woma python, Amun-Ra. He's about 5 ft long, and weighs about 5 lbs.
81964_232287_VeryLarge_eP6fyXesHITKpOE.jpg

He's not the most colorful Woma in the world, but he's one of the best snakes I've had the pleasure of working with. :)

Here's another example of a Woma, showing how brightly colored they can be. There's quite a lot of variation!
06ttkeep_7.jpg


Sorry, got distracted again. As far as how we landed on BHPs... That's my fault... I was saying something about them being at the top of my "if I win the lottery" wish list... :p
 

N2TORTS

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2010
Messages
8,803
AWESOME SNAKES!!!! .... Taylor ..... Love the light one ...!
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top