Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Great Basin Gopher Snakes

Most people that have spent time outdoors in Utah have seen gopher snakes. They are pretty hard to miss, especially in the spring. I never get tired of seeing gopher snakes.

Gopher snakes are easily the best-looking of all snakes with keeled scales. They are better looking than most smooth-scaled snakes. The eye stripes are awesome.

Most gopher snakes make great pets and eat pre-killed mice without trouble.

Gopher snakes and a sage lizard:

Gopher snakes are said to grow to over 6 feet, but I haven't found many that are even 5 feet in length. I have found large skin sheds, but the skin can stretch during the shed, so that is not an accurate representation of length. Adult gopher snake length doesn't come close to adult gray rat snakes, but gophers are much more handsome.

Like I said, they're pretty tame for a wild snake:

A niece who loves to pick up reptiles:

A nephew who likes to taste reptiles:

Where did that fence lizard come from?

A big dark one:

with a black and white yearling:

There were quite a few heavy-laden female fence lizards on the rocks where we unloaded the 4-wheelers:

Plenty of gopher snakes to go around.

I like the ones where the black turns to rusty brown:

One of these had pretty bright yellow:

A small fence lizard: