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This study examined the diel activity patterns of six Louisiana pine snakes in eastern Texas using radio-telemetry. snakes were monitored for 44 days on two study areas from May to October 1996. Louisana pine snakes were primarily diurnal with moderate crepuscular activity, spending the night within pocket gopher burrows or inactive on the surface. During daylight hours, snakes spent approximately 59% of their time underground within gopher burrows, burned out/rotten stumps, or nine-branded armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus) burrows. Remaining time was spent on the surface either close to subteranean refuge, or in long distance movements that generally terminet at another pocket gopher burrow system. Long distance movements occurred on 45% of the days snakes were monitored and averaged 163 m/movement. When snakes were active, movements related to ambientair temperature; 82% of these movements occurred between 1000 and 1800 hours. These resutls confirm that Louisiana pine snakes are diurnal and closely associated with Baird's pocket gophers and their burrow systems, and have provided new insight on the ecology of this rare snake.


Ealy, Marc J.; Fleet, Robert R.; Rudolph, D. Craig. 2004. Diel activity patterns of the Louisiana pine snake (Pituophis ruthveni) in eastern Texas. Texas Journal of Science. 56(4): 383-394.



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