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Florida Pine Snake
Pituophis melanoleucus mugitus

Also called the “southern pine snake.”   

Florida pine snakes are highly variable.  They can be patterned or non-patterned.  Their coloration and also be light or dark earth tones and the contrast can vary as well.  In captivity, there are other variants that include amelanistic and leucistic individuals that are sold under a variety of names. 

These impressive serpents are found in open sandy areas, abandoned fields, and longleaf pine forests, as well as some oak forests.  They are reported to spend about 85% of their time underground.  This illustrates why many people never see one in the wild.   They occupy burrows made by other animals such as gopher tortoises Gopherus polyphemus,   and pocket gophers, which are preyed upon by the pine snakes.  Other prey items include mice, rats, small rabbits, and even ground dwelling birds such as quail.

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Photo by Mike Monlezun  (snake from near Orlando)

These snakes can be quite impressive, especially a wild caught individual.  Typical af most pine snakes, Florida pine snakes will usually raise the anterior portion of the body and loosely coil up and hiss very loudly while preparing to strike.  They will strike very quickly to scare off a predator.  Hissing is usually al it takes to scare off most people.  Occasionally, a placid individual will be found.  Sometimes wild pine snakes will calm down much the same way that a rat snake or kingsnake will. 

Florida pine snakes lay about 7 or 8 eggs that are quite large, ranging from 70 to 105mm in length and weighing around 100grams.

For more information:   www.kingsnake.com/pituophis/p_m_mugitus.html

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Male showing aggressive nature!

 

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