Gopher Snakes are non-venomous. Vipers (venomous snakes) have triangular heads. Look at the photo of the gopher snake’s head, and you can see that it is thin and oval shaped. This is how you can easily tell the difference between a Rattlesnake. Though the 2 snakes coloring may be similar, the Gopher Snake has no rattle and the thin, oval head. Gopher Snakes may also mimic rattlesnakes as a form of protection. If a Gopher Snake is threatened they may hiss, flatten their heads and vibrate their tails to mimic Rattlesnakes.
Gopher Snakes can grow from 3 to 8’ long, and they are experts at catching rodents, including Gophers which is reflected in their common name. Gopher Snakes coloring vary from species to species. Some may be dark, some may be lighter, but all will have a chain-like splotched pattern on their backs. Their bellies are a light tan to white.