WORLD PITUOPHIS WEB PAGE BY PATRICK H. BRIGGS

GOPHER SNAKES, PINE SNAKES & BULL SNAKES

GREAT BASIN GOPHER SNAKE  Pituophis catenifer deserticola

GREAT BASIN GOPHER SNAKE

50" Male deserticola from Homewood Canyon-Argus Mountains California

Digital Image by Patrick Houston Briggs

 

Below is a 49.5 inch female individual also from Homewood Canyon California in the Argus Mountains.

Digital Image By Patrick H. Briggs Courtesy Jerry Hartley

 

The next 4 images are of an upset "deserticola" from Hwy 138 and Lancaster Lane in Lancaster, California of Antelope Valley. Notice the strange aberrant reddish color and pattern of this individual. Lancaster is northeast of Los Angeles in the same county, and to the west is annectens range, also, a bit more northerly is Kern County where the edge of the catenifer range ends; so this appears to be a natural intergrade form where possibly 3 racial forms may unite. Notice how she flattens her head as a defensive gesture. She was wild collected pregnant and produced eggs that hatched. One of these is pictured further below.

Digital images By Patrick Houston Briggs Courtesy Jerry Hartley

 

 

 

 

 

What a beautiful intergrade deserticola x annectens from Lancaster, California! 

Rather than black, it has square like brown markings on the neck. 

Digital Image By Patrick Houston Briggs 2014 

 

Below is a very young "deserticola x annectens" from Hwy 138 and Lancaster Lane in Lancaster, California. 

When the adult female was collected above, she was gravid, and the hatchling below came from one of the eggs that she deposited.

Digital Image By Patrick Houston Briggs Courtesy Jerry Hartley

The individual below is a Great Basin Gopher Snake from Jawbone Canyon California.

Digital Image by Pat Briggs Courtesy J. Hartley

 

The individual below is a light phase morph of deserticola from Jawbone Canyon, California.

Digital Image by Patrick Briggs Courtesy  J. Hartley

 

 

 

Young deserticola from Jawbone Canyon, California.

Photo by Patrick Houston Briggs Courtesy to Jerry Hartley 2014

 

Below is a 52.5 inch female from Jawbone Canyon California.

Photo image By Patrick Briggs Courtesy Jerry Hartley 

Below is another light morph Great Basin Gopher snake from Jawbone Canyon, CA.

Digital Image by Patrick H. Briggs Courtesy J. Hartley 

 

Great Basin Gopher Snake from Pioneertown, California parent stock

Photo by Patrick H. Briggs Courtesy Jerry Hartley

 

 Great Basin Gopher Snake  adult male, Closeup upper neck and head, Homewood Canyon- Argus Mountains California

Photo by Patrick H. Briggs Courtesy Jerry Hartley

 

 

                                                                         

GREAT BASIN GOPHER SNAKE

Pituophis catenifer deserticola ( Stejneger, 1893 )

By Patrick Houston Briggs

 

The scientific epithet for this race is a deriviative of the Latin deserere meaning "desert or abandon" attached to the suffix portion cola that is Latin for "inhabitant" and alludes to the fact that it sometimes, but not exclusively, lives in the desert.

The Great Basin Gopher Snake Pituophis catenifer deserticola resembles the Sonoran race to some degree. It infact, intergrades with the Sonoran,  Pacific, and the San Diego race where the boundries come together for long stretches. It seems that intergrades many times, are the norm when collecting specimens. Within its range, individuals will usually have dorsal blotches that are black or very dark brown and are connected to one another by a dark narrow lines or bars essentially running along each side at the anterior end of the body, so that the dark markings isolate the light dorsal interspaces. This forms round enclosed interspaces dorsally. Along each side of the neck, there may be a dark, narrow, longitudinal stripe bordered by light ground color that might break up along the side toward the rear forming dashes, small spots, and other marking as in other gopher snake species.

It is found as far north as south-central British Columbia in Canada, and extends southward through western Washington, Oregon, most of Nevada and eastern California to include northern Arizona, northwestern New Mexico, western Colorado, south and southwestern Wyoming, Utah and much of Idaho.

 Distribution: Pituophis catenifer deserticola: E Washington, Oregon, E California, Nevada, Idaho, N Arizona, NW New Mexico, W Colorado, Utah, SW Wyoming; Type locality: Great Basin and southwestern deserts.

Original Description:

Pituophis catenifer - (Blainville, 1835) - Nouv. Ann. Mus. Hist. Nat. Paris, Vol. 4, p. 290, pl. 26, figs. 2-2b
Pituophis catenifer deserticola - Stejneger, 1893 - N. Amer. Fauna, No. 7, p. 206 

Jerry Hartley with a Great Basin Gopher Snake from Little Lake, California

Digital Image By Patrick Briggs November 2014

Below is a 51.5 inch wild female Great Basin Gopher Snake from Little Lake, California.

Digital Image By Patrick Houston Briggs Courtesy Jerry Hartley

 

 

 Below is a wild 45" female individual from Pyramid Lake Nevada.

Digital Image by Patrick Houston Briggs Courtesy Jerry Hartley

The upper head close up of the Pyramid Lake Nevada Great Basin gopher snake female above. 

Digital Photo by Patrick Houston Briggs

Left side close up head study of the smaller female Pyramid Lake Nevada Great Basin gopher snake.

Digital Study by Pat Briggs

 

 

 

 Here's the 2nd female individual at 53" from Pyramid Lake Nevada.

Digital Image by Patrick Houston Briggs July 13, 2014 Courtesy Jerry Hartley

 

 

 Close up upper head study of the larger 53' female from Pyramid Lake Nevada.

Digital Photo by Pat Briggs

 

Below is another nice specimen collected at Pyramid Lake Nevada by Jerry Hartley.

Digital Image taken by Patrick Briggs

 

The Belly of the same deserticola above from Pyramid Lake, Nevada.

Digital Photo Image taken and posted by Patrick H. Briggs, Courtesy Jerry Hartley, the collector.

 

 

The neonate Great Basin Gopher Snake below was collected from Stead, Nevada.

Digital by Pat Briggs Courtesy Jerry Hartley, the collector

 

 

  Below is an incredible looking natural occurring intergrade Pituophis catenifer affinis x deserticola from Oatman, Arizona.

Photo by Patrick Houston Briggs courtesy Jerry Hartley

 

 

Distrubution Map for the

Great Basin Gopher Snake Pituouphis catenifer deserticola

Patrick Houston Briggs May 2014

 

 

Photo below by Jon Siess (Individual from Big Bear Lake of the Pacific Crest Trail in California)

Great Basin Gopher Snake Pituophis catenifer deserticola

 

 

 

                                                       Scutelation

                  Midbody Scales            29-35                            Supralabials            8-10

                  Ventrals                      214-259                         Infralabials             9-15

                  Caudals                       54-71                            Preoculars              1-2

                  Anal                            Entire                            Postoculars            2-6

                  Prefrontals                    Usually 4

Visit the resources below

(See Olive Stull, p. 22 Bulletin 175, U. S. Natl. Musm, TABLE 1.---Synopsis of the forms of Pituophis)

(See also California Reptiles and Amphibians http://www.californiaherps.com/snakes/pages/p.c.deserticola.html)

(Check out REPTILES magazine, April 2001 Pituophis Parade: The Bull, Gopher & Pine Snakes, p. 48-73 By Patrick Briggs)

http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/wld/documents/recovery/rcvrystrat/gopher_snake_rcvry_strat_130208.pdf 

 

 

 A young Pituophis catenifer deserticola from Ridgecrest, California below.

Digital image by Patrick H. Briggs Courtesy Isaiah Fairchild 

 

 

 

Below is another young "deserticola" from Ridgecrest California collected by Jerry Hartley.

Digital Photo Image by Patrick Briggs

 

 

 

 

http://www.californiaherps.com/noncal/northwest/nwsnakes/pages/p.c.deserticola.html

http://www.flickr.com/photos/cameronrognan/3751789901/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/47456931@N07/4423094345/in/set-72157623429334120/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/primevalnature/3802343752/

Defensive posture of a Great Basin gopher snake adult: http://quacked.com/image-291-gopher+snake.htm

British Columbian Great Basin gopher snake study video:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QASjtsLYzZA

Great Basin gopher snake from Las Vegas, Nevada: http://www.birdandhike.com/Wildlife/Snake/Pit_cat/_Pit_cat.htm

 

 Below is a nice robust wild  Great Basin gopher snake from Klickitat County Washington.

Photo by Andy O'connor

 

 

Here's another nice image from Andy O'connor.

The beautiful "deserticola" below is from Clark County Nevada.

 

 

 http://www.flickr.com/photos/janelka/3936211858/

Ashcroft British Columbia, Canada Great Basin gopher snake: http://www.flickr.com/photos/6khz/4014678045/

 Red Butte near Salt Lake City Utah Great Basin gopher snake: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zharkikh/6998923717/

Great Basin gopher snake at Sage Junction Idaho: http://www.flickr.com/photos/50655108@N05/4665606546/

Great Basin gopher snake: http://www.flickr.com/photos/the_horned_jew_lizard/7587525994/ 

Summerland, British Columbia Canada: http://www.flickr.com/photos/taniaseyes/8052777776/ 

Barstow, California Great Basin gopher snake: http://www.flickr.com/photos/cameronrognan/3752573180/in/photostream/

 

Here's a "deserticola"  also from Clark County Nevada with striping in the neck and anterior region.

Digital photo below by Andy O'conner  

 

 

 Harney County Oregon Great Basin gopher snake: http://www.flickr.com/photos/birding4me/7388565414/  http://www.flickr.com/photos/birding4me/7388366264/

Adams County, Washington Great Basin gopher snake: http://www.flickr.com/photos/10561585@N00/219246181/

Tooele County, Utah Great Basin gopher snake female: http://www.flickr.com/photos/47456931@N07/4423094339/in/photostream/   http://www.flickr.com/photos/47456931@N07/4423094345/

Washington County, Utah Great Basin gopher snake: http://www.flickr.com/photos/47456931@N07/4423094349/in/photostream/  http://www.flickr.com/photos/47456931@N07/4423112793/in/photostream/

Great Basin gopher snake from Torrance Ranch, Nye Co, Nevada: http://www.flickr.com/photos/fugl/7154613296/

 

 

 Here's an adult female Great Basin gopher snake from Salt Lake County, Utah. She appears

to have had an accident which severed her tail now healed to a stub.

Photo by Patrick Houston Briggs Courtesy Michael Buckley

 Wild collected Doyle, California Lassen County natural intergrade juvenile.

Photo by Patrick H. Briggs Courtesy Jerry Hartley

 

 

 Wild collected Doyle, California Lassen County natural intergrade juvenile.

Photo by Patrick H. Briggs Courtesy Jerry Hartley

 

 

 Wild collected Doyle, California Lassen County natural occurring intergrade deserticola x catenifer juvenile.

Photo by Patrick H. Briggs Courtesy Jerry Hartley

 

 

Below is the snake as above, but about a year later Doyle California in Lassen County

Digital by Pat Briggs

 

Below is another individual collected from Doyle in Lassen County California.

Digital Image by Patrick Briggs Courtesy Jerry Hartley

 

 Below is the Venter of the same ophidian above from Doyle in Lassen County in California collected by Jerry Hartley.

Digital Photo by Pat Briggs

 

 

 

Nevada Great Basin gopher snake: http://www.flickr.com/photos/the_horned_jew_lizard/7587525994/in/photostream/

Great Basin gopher snake? from where?  http://www.flickr.com/photos/the_horned_jew_lizard/6131379799/in/photostream/

http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/wld/documents/recovery/rcvrystrat/gopher_snake_rcvry_strat_130208.pdf

Imnaha Canyon, Wallowa County, Oregon Great Basin gopher snake: http://www.flickr.com/photos/primevalnature/3802343752/

Colorado bull snake constricting a grouse: http://www.mytowncolorado.com/photo/2021996:Photo:6138?context=user  http://www.mytowncolorado.com/photo/2021996:Photo:6137?context=user

Great Basin gopher snake images and other things: http://www.herpfamily.com/showthread.php?t=9773

A nice young Great Basin gopher snake:  http://quacked.com/image-104-gopher+snake.htm

Closeup side head study of an angry Great Basin gopher snake:  http://quacked.com/image-168-gopher+snake.htm

Great Basin gopher snake coiled from above:  http://quacked.com/image-134-gopher+snake.htm

Las Vegas, Nevada gopher snake: http://www.birdandhike.com/Wildlife/Snake/Pit_cat/_Pit_cat.htm

 

   The Great Basin Gopher snake

 Photo by Patrick Houston Briggs Courtesy Thomas Moisi

 

Below: Wild from Dove Springs-Red Rock Canyon Mojave desert, an intergrade zone

Photo by Patrick Houston Briggs Courtesy Chris Hooke

 

Below is a wild  67.5 inch male Fernly Nevada male Great Basin Gopher snake

Digital Image By Patrick Houston Briggs Courtesy Jerry Hartley 

 

Below is a close up head study of a 67.5 inch wild male  Pituophis catenifer deserticola from Fernly, Nevada. 

Digital Photo Image By Patrick H. Briggs Courtesy Jerry Hartley 

 

 

Wild 54" male Great Basin gopher snake is from Fernly Nevada.

Digital Photo by Patrick Houston Briggs Courtesy the collector Jerry Hartley

 

Here's a close up study of the upper head and neck of the 54" male Fernly Nevada specimen.

Digital Photo by Pat Briggs July 13, 2014

 

The wild underweight 45" young adult female Great Basin gopher snake is from Keeler California on the east shore of Owens Lake.

July 15, 2014 Digital Image by Patrick Houston Briggs Courtesy Jerry Hartley

 

The close up of a wild young adult female Great Basin gopher snake is from Keeler California on the east shore of Owens Lake.

July 15, 2014 Digital Image by Patrick Houston Briggs Courtesy Jerry Hartley

 

  Photo Slide by Patrick Houston Briggs Courtesy Chris Hooke

 

Great Basin Gophersnake (near Dove Springs-Red Rock Canyon of the Mojave desert, an intergrade zone

Photo by Patrick Houston Briggs Courtesy Chris Hooke

 

Pituophis catenifer deserticola 

Photo below by Patrick H. Briggs Courtesy Lloyd Lemke

 

Pituophis catenifer deserticola

 Photo below by Patrick H. Briggs Courtesy Tom Moisi 

 

 

 

Upper Head Study of a Great Basin Gopher Snake (Dove Springs Recreation Park in California)

Photo by Patrick H. Briggs 

 

 

 

               Below is a fresh "DOR" Great Basin Gopher Snake from Kramer- Junction Mojave Desert in California.

 Photo slide scan by Pat Briggs

Notice the 5 pre-frontal scales on this desert natural occurring intergrade individual below from Randsburg, California with 3 touching the frontal scale.

Photo by Patrick H. Briggs 

   

 

 Images above and below Pituophis catenifer deserticola x catenifer adult female from Randsburg of Kern County California of the Mojave desert.

Notice the azygous or intermediate prefrontal scale  at the middle in front of the frontal scale prevents the other two anterior prefontals

 from making contact with the frontal between the oculars. This snake actually has 5 prefrontals. This is more common in some Pituophis

species than many researchers may be aware of. Notice the reddish brown color of the markings and  the same color invading the black

markings anteriorly. This animal is also a natural occuring intergrade of Kern County on the south side of the mountain range. 

 

Photo by Patrick H. Briggs Courtesy Paul Slocumb 

BelowDOR Pituophis catenifer deserticola from Morgan, Utah

Image by Greg Fernald 2016

 

 

 

Robert Stebbins in the mid-90s with Patrick Briggs President San Joaquin Herpetological Society below

 

 

 

Mid 1990s, Dr. Robert Stebbins, Author, Biologist, and Wildlife Artist with Patrick Briggs, President of the San Joaquin Herpetological Society in Fresno California.

Photo by Paul Slocumb 

 

 

Below is a wild subadult female Great Basin gopher snake collected from Crystal Lake near Sparks, Nevada

Photo by Pat Briggs Courtesy Jerry Hartley

 

 Below is a dorsal view of the same specimen from Sparks, Nevada  photographed above.

Photo by Pat Briggs Courtesy Jerry Hartley

 

 Here's the venter of the same Great Basin gopher snake. Photo by Patrick H. Briggs

 Jerry Hartley with a Black Pine Snake and Patrick Briggs with a Kankakee County Bull  Snake November 15, 2014

Although Jerry Hartley is usually known for his work with locality rosy boas and king snakes, he also enjoys, 

 Pituophis forms, and his recording dates and location, photographing, and collecting has proved to be so important.

Patrick Briggs has bred or kept hundreds of different forms of reptiles and amphibians, and although he is known

for his work with the Pituophis group, his interest involves all the California species of reptiles and amphibians.

Distrubution Map for Pituouphis Pat Briggs 2010