Black Pine Snake
Western Alabama and eastern Louisiana.
Pine oak woodlands and cultivated fields. Will take refuge in burrows or under rocks and logs.
This snake is almost uniformly dark brown to black. There are some traces of blotching on back and sides. Large and powerful constrictor.
This reptile is a bad-tempered creature and resents familiarity with human beings. It is generally active during the day but may become active during the night in hot weather. This snake emits a loud and prolonged hiss when annoyed. This sound is produced by an arrangement of the glottis, which is the air opening, tube-like in form, attached to the lower jaw of snakes. This sound is to intimidate an enemy. It usually strikes at the offending object at the same time. Sometimes vibrates its tail so rapidly, that if among dried vegetation, it produces a noise similar to that of the rattlesnake.
Mating takes place in the spring. This species is oviparous and the eggs vary from 3-24 in number. The eggs are laid in burrows or large rocks or logs. The eggs hatch in 64-79 days and the young at birth are 12-18 inches long.
The scales of the black pine snake are keeled. The snout is somewhat pointed with an enlarged rostral scale extending upward between the internasal scale. When swallowing eggs, the egg is engulfed without breaking and swallowed for a distance of about 8 or 10 inches down the neck. That portion of the snake is pressed against the ground, the muscles are called into play and exert themselves in such a manner that strong pressure is brought against the egg. The shell is broken and the fragments are swallowed along with the contents of the egg. This snake can swallow the eggs of a hen and will consume from 4-6 at a time.