FWS Focus


Louisiana pinesnakes are egg-laying, non-venomous constrictors with small heads and pointed snouts, and are good burrowers. Reaching up to about five feet long, Louisiana pinesnakes are black, brown and russet. They have a buff to yellowish background color marked with 28 to 38 dark blotches that become better defined towards the tail. The belly is either unmarked or boldly patterned with black markings. Adults range from to 48 to 56 inches in length. The Louisiana pinesnake is generally associated with sandy, well-drained soils; open pine forests, especially longleaf-pine savannah; moderate to sparse midstory; and a well-developed herbaceous understory dominated by grasses. Bairds' pocket gophers appear to be an essential component of Louisiana pinesnake habitat. They create the burrow systems in which the pine snakes are most frequently found and serve as a major source of food for the species. Snakes disturbed on the surface retreated to nearby burrows, and hibernation sites were always within burrows.

Scientific Name

Pituophis ruthveni
Common Name
Louisiana Pine Snake
Louisiana Pinesnake
FWS Category

Location in Taxonomic Tree

Identification Numbers



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