We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is a Bullsnake?

By S. Ashraf
Updated Jun 04, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A bullsnake, or Pituophis catenifer sayi, is a large, non-venomous constrictor snake. It ranges from roughly 48-100 inches (1.2-2.5 m) in length, which makes it one of the biggest snakes in North America. Bullsnakes range in weight from 4-20 pounds (1.8-3.6 kg), with the average weight thought to be about 8 pounds (3.6 kg). In color, the bullsnake is creamy to a yellowish brown and has black, brown or sometimes reddish splotches on its back. Distinctively, bullsnakes have an enlarged nose shield that is useful for digging and a small ridge between their eyes, which has given them their name.

Geographically, the bullsnake is one of the most common and widely distributed snakes in North America. Its east-to-west range extends from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean. This snake is found as far north as Canada and as far south as Mexico and Baja California.

Bullsnakes are comfortable in a lot of different types of habitats. They are most often found in brushy areas that are semi-arid and close to farms. This species also is comfortable, though, in prairies, open forests, sandy areas and rocky deserts and canyons. Almost all of the activity of the bullsnake takes place either on the ground or below it in burrows, but this snake also is a very good climber and is sometimes found high in trees looking for food. These snakes are able to live at elevations as high as 9,000 feet (2,743 m) above sea level.

The bullsnake eats only meat. It will hunt mammals that live in burrows, such as squirrels, mice and rabbits, as well as birds that nest on the ground. Lizards and insects also are a food source. Depending on the size of the prey, the bullsnake will either swallow it whole or kill it by constriction. If it eats a large animal, the bullsnake will rest for weeks, because it won’t need to feed again for some time.

Bullsnakes have natural enemies in coyotes, owls and hawks. When cornered or frightened, a bullsnake imitates a rattlesnake. It will flatten its head and produce a hissing sound that comes from shaking its tail in dry grass.

Mating season is in mid-spring to late spring after the snakes emerge from hibernation. Females lay three to 20 eggs in the early to mid-summer, with incubation lasting about 64 to 80 days. The eggs hatch in late summer or early fall. Newly-hatched bullsnakes are about 12-18 inches (30-46 cm) long. Neither parent provides care for the hatchlings.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.