One of the longest snakes in Red Rock Canyon, gopher snakes (Pituophis catenifer) can exceed six feet in length (but are more commonly three to five feet long). These non-venomous snakes patrol a wide variety of habitats (sandy, rocky, grassy, wooded) looking to prey on small mammals, lizards, birds, and eggs. In fact, this snake gets its common name from eating pocket gophers. Gopher snakes mimic rattlesnakes’ defense mechanisms by raising the front half of their bodies, shaking their rattle-less tails, and hissing when threatened. Gopher snakes feature a yellow/tan color with brown & black spots dotting their sides & backs, blending in very well with the desert landscape.

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