WORLD PITUOPHIS WEB PAGE BY PATRICK H. BRIGGS

GOPHER SNAKES, PINE SNAKES & BULL SNAKES

SOUTHERN or FLORIDA PINE SNAKE

 

Pituophis melanoleucus mugitus 

Locality from Clermont in Lake County Florida 

Photo Image by Dave Nunlist 

 

 

 

Head photo slide scan by Pat Briggs 

 Florida Pine Snake from Clermont in Lake County Florida

Digital Image Below by Dave Nunlist 

 

 

 

 

Pituophis melanoleucus mugitus 

Photo by Patrick H. Briggs Courtesy Laurence Hope

 

 Natural pine snake intergrades in Florida: http://www.chattnaturecenter.org/includes/wildlife/factsheets/FloridaPineSnake.pdf

 http://www.flickr.com/photos/nclarkii/1404278578/in/set-72157611395034186/

 http://www.flickr.com/photos/50820641@N04/5180169550/in/photostream/

Baker County Georgia, Southern or Florida pine snake: http://www.flickr.com/photos/kstohlgren/5378305364/in/photostream/ http://www.flickr.com/photos/50820641@N04/5378302376/in/photostream/

 

SOUTHERN or FLORIDA PINE SNAKE (Barbour, 1921)

Pituophis melanoleucus mugitus 

 Photo slide by Patrick Houston Briggs Courtesy John Ginter

 

 Description of Pituophis melanoleucus mugitus

 

 

The Southern Pine Snake or Florida Pine Snake Pituophis melanoleucus mugitus gets its subspecific epithit from the Latin modification of mugitus which means "the bellower" referring to its intense defensive hissing. Listed as a "species of special concern" by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, this race occurs throughout the state of Florida including the Florida Keys and the Everglades and from southwestern and eastern Georgia to southern South Carolina. Characteristicly, as with other Pituophis, when it is threatened, it will swell and raise up the front part of its body and utilize a pre-glottal keel which amplifies its hissing. This is very distracting and intimidating to a menacing predator. Sometimes referred to as the Faded Pine Snake, this subspecies in one way or another is usually creamish, tan, whitish, or pale in ground color that varies with different individuals, and the faded, blending, ashy or brown vertebral blotching that occurs anteriorly, most often, becomes clearer and reddish or rusty towards the rear including the tail. On occassion, the blotches are an ashy black or brown throughout the length of the body, or they may be patternless or nearly patternless. The belly of this race is uniformly ashy or smudgy gray without spots. The head may be slightly marked or not at all above and there is no stripe running from the corner of the jaw to the eye as in many Pituophis. Generally, there are 29 mid-body dorsal scale rows. These scales are sharply keeled above gradually smoothing out on those lateral rows towards the belly. The head triangulates somewhat toward the snout that is covered by a raised rostral plate to facilitate a fossorial life of burrowing.  There are 8 or 9 supralabial scales and 10-15 (usually 14) infralabials, and like most United States Pituophis, there are four pre-frontal scales making contact with the middle plate between the eyes called the Frontal Scale or Plate. Mature animals are 48-66 inches (122-168 cm) in length with a record of 90 inches (228.6 cm) (Conant and Collins 1991). All the pine snakes are oviparous (egg layers). They build or modify communal nests

Distribution: Pituophis melanoleucus mugitus: S South Carolina to Georgia and S Florida; Type locality: Palm Beach, Forlida, 26.705639° -80.036419° (WGS84) , Error: 8000 m. Also extreme southeastern Alabama

Within its range, the habitat of these ophidians has been been fragmented and altered because of man's activities. They are found in long-leaf pine forests, dry mountain ridges, abandoned fields, sandhills, scrubland, and pine-turkey-oak woodland. They will frequent areas where there can be found plentiful food incuding pocket gophers and birds or eggs, and where there is protection from preditors such as gopher tortoise burrows or forest debris, and also, where palatable water is readily available. Eggs are laid underground in the summer and hatch from September to October. Young hatch at approximately 18-20 inches (46-51 cm). Their pattern is similar in color to the adults;  yet, more distinct, especially anteriorly.

 Upland longleaf pine-wiregrass (Pinus palustris) (Aristida beyrichiana) is great habitat for Florida pine snakes

Upland turkeyoak (Quercus laevis) barren sandhill habitat is also good for  this snake form

 Says Pierson Hill, "....eats southeastern pocket gopher (Geomys pinetis)

....coastal sand pine scrub in the Florida panhandle. The Florida Pine Snake is a large diurnal inhabitant of sandhill and scrub habitats throughout Florida."

 

Says Kenny Wray,"An adult female Florida Pine Snake from north central Florida. Animals from the peninsula of Florida tend to lack the dark brown or black pigments of individuals from the panhandle and south Georgia, though there is variation throughout the range and occasionally very dark specimens can be encountered from south Florida or very light (almost white) animals can be found in the western panhandle."

Federal Status: Not Listed
FL Status: State Species of Special Concern
FNAI Ranks: G4T3?/S3 (Globally: Apparently Secure, Sub sp. Rare [Tentative Ranking]/State: Rare)
IUCN Status: Not ranked

listed as a Threatened species in New Jersey.

Scutelation:

                                   Mid-body Scale Rows                      29-35                              Supralabials                      8-9

                                   Ventrals                                          218-235                           Infralabials                       12-15

                                   Caudals                                           53-67                               Preoculars                        1-2

                                   Anal                                                Single                               Postoculars                       3-4

                                   Prefrontals                                      4

Pituophis melanoleucus mugitus  adult female

Locality is Clermont, Lake County Florida 

Digital Image By Dave Nunlist 

 

 

 

 

 http://www.flickr.com/photos/9753476@N03/3531388129/in/photostream/ 

See this site: http://www.pituophis.org/gallery.htm

http://www.flickriver.com/photos/nclarkii/3115673283/

http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pdffiles/UW/UW29600.pdf

http://www.cherryvillereptiles.com/bull/snowmug.html

West central Florida pine snake:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/kwray/7025766829/

Southwestern Georgia Florida pine snake:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/kwray/6879657976/

 

Southern Pine Snake Pituophis melanoleucus mugitus from Saint George Charlton County, Georgia

Photo below by Nathan Nazdrowicz

Slide photo by Patrick Houston Briggs Courtesy Rick Smith (Southern Pine snake, patternless Individual below)

 

 

 

Southern Pine Snake Pituophis melanoleucus mugitus from Saint George Charlton County, Georgia

Photo below by Nathan Nazdrowicz

 

 Click on to this photo site below in red to see an excellent photo of a Southern pine snake in its habitat of Telfair County Georgia. Photo by Kevin Stohlgren.

 http://www.flickr.com/photos/50820641@N04/7270451646/in/photolist-c5sXYA-c5sXKA-c5sXxu-c5sYDq-c5sYco-c6sc4U-9a2A11-9a2z11-8FNguU-cauATL-cauBbA-8FNgYb-9cgcVj-8Epzpb-a3Vkrs-5gmkhX-734rdN-cuhzP1-dfu7EW-c9QmyE-4nVuvj-9WtoZ2-47FWki-5d75nx-9SSVG3-9SPPan-9SQNke-9STyQw-9STzqd-9SQ79r-9STANs-cauAdj-5DA5qy-5DA5qs-dBVXyX-756mwc-ax6aRT-5zVzhu-47JVR2-47FU56-9cgdNQ-bjNuGC-47L1Ju-5dbp6s-5d75de-7k5pLa-cuhBJY-7ug5Bc-aaLM3p-391L44-5KoQgm

Florida, Southern, or Faded Pine Snake

 

Photo by Patrick H. Briggs Courtesy Virginia Hope 

 

See the range map number 12 below