last changes: Saturday, January 05, 2008

Keeping and Breeding of the

San Diegan Gopher Snake

    Pituophis catenifer annectens

1,0 amel. striped annectens, adult

0,1 amel. striped annectens, adult

Keeping and Behavior

Adult San Diego Gopher snakes reach close to 1,7 m, it need a spacious terrarium with some stable hiding places and if it's possible a climbing branch. However, the climbing need of the adult animals lasts in limits.

As seldom frequented bath place I offer a tone bowl. The advantage temperatures of the gopher snake lies between 25-27° C.


The animals aren't particular and take various rodents and birds. It doesen't matter if the food lives, fesh dead or whether it is thawed frost food is usually identical. Some of my adult animals refuse some times thawed mices and starved until there was living food again.


You should offer the animals a 2-3 month hibernation period at 5-15 ° C. It is also helpful to the fathering ability of the males but it was already obtained to have breeding success without a hibernation.

1,0 amel. saddled annectens Applegate, aprox 2 years oldt

With my animals I have tried it with one-month brunation in the terraruim with turned off lighting and heating. The temperature were between 17-18 ° C during that time. The animals endured the brunation without any breeding problems. I hibernate the snakes at the moment the line of 8 weeks at about 12° C in the cellar and gets also fertilized eggs, too.

Propagation and Breeding

After the hibernation the animals eat a few times and come in mating atmosphere. After about 6-8 weeks the female lays after a successful mating between 4-25 eggs at a suitable place. After the clutching the eggs are converted into an incubator and brood at approx. 27° C. They hatched after a middle incubation period of about 63-67 days. The young snakes cut the eggshell and slip 1-2 days later.

With my animals the clutch of eggs lays between 5-13 eggs, now.


Young Snakes

After the hatch they have a lengh between 30 and 40 cm.

The colouring corresponds to the parents animals approximately but is the primary color usually a little more darker and the back spots and stripes aren't that rich in contrast. As first food considered tawned nest young mice. Food objectors are the exception.

The further breeding is easy, if you avoid deeper stress. At corresponding food offer the young animals grow fast.


Maturity and Lifespan

Depending on food offer and animal qualities the sexually mature begins in the 2nd or 3rd year.

The snakes get 15-18 years old in the normal case.


My Animals

With me there live some amel. striped animals, some heterozygote from 2 various blood lines and and some hypomelanistic animals. All breed regulary now.

Biology in Habitat

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