Northern Pine Snake

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Is the Northern Pine Snake right for you?

Species group:

Scientific name: Pituophis melanoleucus melanoleucus

The basics:
Northern Pine Snakes are seen in New Jersey, Virginia, West Virginia, South Carolina, Georgia, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Alabama. Common habitats include brushlands, prairies, open and cultivated fields, pine flatwoods and woodlands, chaparrals, and rocky deserts.

Appearance / health:
One of the largest North American snakes, the Northern Pine Snake matures to about 6 feet in length. The robust body has a base color of white, tan, or gray, sometimes yellowish. Markings are dark brown to black blotches, which often change into reddish chocolate in the mid-body area. The belly is white to cream with small dark spots. The head is small and pointed, and the rostral scale is wide and protruding. Scales are keeled.

Behavior / temperament:
Similar to other Gopher and Pine Snakes, the Northern Pine is shy and nervous. They are easily threatened, and react by poising to strike, hissing loudly, and vibrating the tail.

Northern Pine Snakes are best kept in medium to large secure enclosures provided with hide boxes, branches for climbing, and a stable water dish. Substrate, preferably newspaper or paper towels, should be deep enough for burrowing.

Fresh water should be provided daily and the enclosure cleaned and disinfected regularly.

Like other Gopher and Pine snakes, the Northern Pine Snake feeds primarily on pocket gophers and small rodents. They also prey on lizards, birds, eggs, and nestlings.

Northern Pine Snakes mate in the spring and lay clutches of 6-15 eggs within 10 weeks. Eggs hatch in 60-80 days.


voracious feeders, Great First Reptile, large snake, good choice, attractive markings


small rodents, pine flat woods, bluff, birds eggs, common pine snake, bravery

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