August 5, 1804, near the mouth of the Niobrara River, Nebraska.
A large yellowish snake with 41 or more black, brown, or reddish-brown body blotches, dark line from eye to angle of jaw. Length: 4-8 ft (1.2-2.4 m).
Many habitats from sea level to mountains.
Southern Alberta to southern and central Wisconsin and western Indiana, south through central and western Texas to northeastern Mexico.
The six distinct subspecies of the gopher snake inhabit most of the United States from the Great Plains westward. Because of their behavior when cornered, these snakes are sometimes mistaken for rattlesnakes. Their bites are not venomous.