Fun Pine Snakes Facts For Kids

Moumita Dutta
Feb 21, 2024 By Moumita Dutta
Originally Published on Aug 06, 2021
Edited by Luca Demetriou
Fact-checked by Kidadl Team
Louisiana pine snake facts are as fascinating as the snake itself
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Age: 3-18
Read time: 8.1 Min

Pine snakes (Pituophis melanoleucus), also known as the Northern pine snake or new jersey pine snake, are non-venomous snakes found in the mountain ridges and forest openings of various parts of the United States. This species of snake is the second-largest found in the northeastern part of North America. This species of snake is known by various names: common pine snake, bullsnake, black and white snakes, carpet snakes, chicken snakes, common bullsnake, eastern bullsnake, eastern pine snakes, North American pine snakes, Northern pine snakes, pilot snakes, and white gopher snakes.

Their colors and blotches of skin make it easy for someone to identify the species. You will notice that the ground color of the Northern pine snake or Louisiana pine snakes is usually white but it is yellow at times too.  

Pine snakes rattle by vibrating their epiglottis when approached or threatened. Their rattle is similar to the rattle of rattlesnakes.  They feed on rats, mice, and moles. The offsprings consume lizards and insects.

Pine snakes are harmless and not deadly, however, it is painful if they bite.  Black pine snakes are endangered due to environmental degradation and habitat loss. States like Georgia are taking active measures for their conservation.

If you like what you read, do check out these hognose snake facts and queen snake facts!
 

Pine Snake Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a pine snake?

It is a type of snake found in southeastern US and Florida.

What class of animal does a pine snake belong to?

Pine snakes belong to the class of reptilia. They are reptiles.

How many pine snakes are there in the world?

Although the exact number of snakes is not known, confirming the fact that they are the least concerned species its population more or less seems to be stable. In Louisiana and Georgina, these animals are depleting at a brisk pace and thereafter measures are been undertaken.

Where does a pine snake live?

Pine snakes are found in the states of Florida, Alabama, Kentucky, New Jersey, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, New York, Tennessee, Virginia, Delaware, and Louisiana.

The subspecies of these snakes are found in the southern belts of New Jersey and North Carolina. The coastal dunes of the Netherlands are inhabited by the subspecies that have escaped or have been set free from captivity.

What is a pine snake's habitat?

Apart from coastal lands with the barren ground and big canopies, sandy soil which cannot be put forward for cultivation and lacks fertility acts as a significant home for the pine snakes. The undulating surface with soft and shifting sand along with gullies acts as the perfect habitat with plenty of hibernating sites. A Florida pine snake is often found with the rodents, they live and usually move through the rat holes and burrows in search of food. Mostly occupying the scrublands, pine woods, and prairies, a substantial number of these species of snakes are also found in the longleaf pine forests and non-agricultural lands which are now of no use. The upland forests of Florida and New Jersey also have a considerable number of these snakes. The pine snake (Pituophis melanoleucus) prefers a dry climate and thus occupies mountain ridges too.

Who do pine snakes live with?

Pine snakes from North America are mostly found along with the members of their own species, but at times they reach the burrows of the pocket gophers in search of food.

How long does a pine snake live?

These snakes from Florida have an average life span of 15 years if it is living in its own natural habitat, but the life span of this species can extend up to 25 years in confinement.

How do they reproduce?

A Florida Pine Snake breeds annually.  Its mating season is spring and the females of this species breed between April -May and lays eggs between June and August.  Almost 3-24 eggs are laid, and after an incubation period of around 69 -79 days, these snakes hide their eggs behind dunes and big boulders. The average length and width of the bird eggs are 2.6 in (6.6 cm) and 1. 8 in (4.5 cm) respectively and they are more or less big.  The offsprings are as big as  13-18 in (33-45.7 cm).

What is their conservation status?

IUCN Red List has listed the status of these snakes from Florida as the species of Least Concern. Although habitat degradation is affecting their habitat. But the Pituophis melanoleucus is nothing close to getting extinct. However, a few pine snakes like the Pituophis ruthveni or the Louisiana Pine Snake is considered endangered. The reason for this is pine silviculture (alteration of forest vegetation).

Pine Snakes Fun Facts

What do pine snakes look like?

Pituophis melanoleucus have a color range lying between black, brown, and reddish-brown.  The ground color is pale with blotches of brown, reddish-brown, and black overlying the ground color of the species. Adult Florida pine snakes have a length of 48- 66 in (122-167.6 cm).  These snakes are mostly well-built and strong.  Apart from the anal plate of being single, these snakes have four prefrontal scales and besides its head being small it is directed with patches of rostral scales that range towards the middle of the internasal scales. The midriff of the Pituophis melanoleucus consists of 27 - 37 chains of keeled dorsal scales. Males of this species of snake can be well-distinguished from females because of their tails. Males have a slightly protruding tail. The length of the tail of a Florida pine snake is included in its total length.

A Florida snake looks good in its territory

(A Florida snake looks good in its territory)

How cute are they?

The head of this animal is small when compared to the size of its body. It is mostly quiet despite being messy and will only hiss or bite when threatened or disturbed.  Apart from these, the fact that it is non-poisonous increases the cuteness of these snakes.  Although these snakes are not cute if judged conventionally, a lot of people prefer keeping these animals as pets.

How do they communicate?

These snakes have a peculiar habit of hissing loudly and curling themselves up into a coil while expressing annoyance.  They mostly ward off intruders by shuddering its tale and often striking them with it.  A Florida pine snake flattens its head and makes a rattling sound by throwing air out of its lungs while vibrating its epiglottis.

How big is a pine snake?

Florida pine snakes are quite heavily built and are mostly wide-reaching.  Its length extends up to 48- 66 in (122- 167.6 cm) and the range of its width is around 4- 8 lb (1.8- 3.6 kg).

Although the height of these Northern pine snakes is not known precisely, it seems to be quite far-reaching and is recognized as the largest non-poisonous snake in the world.

How fast can a pine snake move?

Not much is know about the speed of this animal, but considering their type, behavior, and habitat they seem to be quite swift and agile.  

How much does a pine snake weigh?

The average weight of a Northern pine snake lies between 4- 8 lb (1.8- 3.6 kg). They are two times bigger than the gopher snake as well as timber rattlesnake.

What are the male and female names of the species?

Males and females of this species of Northern pine snakes haven't been assigned any specific names.

What would you call a baby pine snake?

The babies of Northern pine snakes aren't given any specific names.

What do they eat?

Florida pine snakes usually hunt down rodents, moles, rats, and mice. It is omnivorous and at times enters the warrens of rats in search of food and eggs.  A Northern pine snake preys on certain small mammals and birds too. The offspring of this species usually feeds on lizards and insects.

Are they poisonous?

A pine snake (Pituophis melanoleucus) isn't poisonous, it is a huge, non-venomous snake from the United States.  They belong to the order Squamata family Colubridae and are absolutely harmless.  Their bite might be painful but not deadly.

Would they make a good pet?

These snakes are not deadly and are often domesticated. Their behavior varies. It is mostly harmless and only hisses and strikes with its tail when provoked.  Although this kind of snake is kept as a pet and is quite easy to nurture, not everyone can maintain these animals and keep them as pets due to their filthy nature and huge appetite. They need really large open spaces or rooms for moving around and can get really hostile at times.

Did you know...

The rattle of these black pine snakes often resembles the rattling sound made by the rattlesnakes.

The newborn hatchlings of this snake are as big as 13-18 in (33-45.7 cm) and the eggs do not require much care during the incubation period.

Facts about the Florida pine snake include they remain active during the daytime and is thus not a nocturnal species of snakes.

A snout is an elongated nose, all snakes of this species have a snout that helps them to dig the ground and reach the burrows of the pocket gophers.

Different types of pine snake

Pituophis melanoleucus has four subspecies of snakes namely,  the black pine snake, the Northern pine snake, the bull snake, and the Florida pine snake.

All of them prefer living in a dry habitat with little or no vegetation. The pine-oak stands serve as a significant habitat for all the subspecies.  All of these animals are found in the states of Florida, New York, Alabama Louisiana, Virginia, and Texas. The Florida pine snakes are slightly browner with more distinct patterns than the Northern pine snakes.

Why are pine snakes endangered?

Although the conservation status marked by IUCN Red List as Least Concern, Northern pines snakes are decreasing at a slower rate in the states of West Virginia and Maryland.  In Georgia they are under threat and the state is taking active measures for its conservation. These animals are endangered because they are suffering from habitat loss due to urbanization and timber cut down.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these rainbow snakes facts and black racer snakes facts for kids.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable pine snake coloring pages.

Pine snakes Facts

What Did They Prey On?

Rodents, rats, mice, moles, small mammals, eggs

What Type of Animal were they?

Omnivore

Average Litter Size?

3-12

How Much Did They Weigh?

4- 8 lb (1.8- 3.6 kg)

What habitat Do they Live In?

sandhills, southeastern coastal plains, pine-oak woodlands, prairies, cultivated lands, rocky desert

Where Do They Live?

north carolina, south carolina, Georgia, florida, virginia, tennessee

How Long Were They?

48- 66 in (122- 167.6 cm)

How Tall Were They?

N/A

Class

Reptilia

Genus

Pituophis

Family

Colubridae

Scientific Name

Pituophis melanoleucus

What Do They Look Like?

White, yellow, gray

Skin Type

Scales

What Are Their Main Threats?

poaching, deforestation, habitat loss, forest fires

What is their Conservation Status?

Least Concern
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Written by Moumita Dutta

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

Moumita Dutta picture

Moumita DuttaBachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

A content writer and editor with a passion for sports, Moumita has honed her skills in producing compelling match reports and stories about sporting heroes. She holds a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Calcutta University, alongside a postgraduate diploma in Sports Management.

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