Do Gopher Snakes Eat Rattlesnakes


Do Gopher Snakes Eat Rattlesnakes?

Gopher snakes, also known as bull snakes, are large constrictors. They are non-venomous snakes found in parts of the United States and Mexico. As they are often mistaken for rattlesnakes, the question of whether gopher snakes eat rattlesnakes sometimes comes up.

Gopher Snakes and Prey

Gopher snakes have quite a varied diet, and they do not have any specific prey. They eat a variety of reptiles, birds, rodents and other types of prey.

Though gopher snakes can consume smaller rattlesnakes, it is highly unlikely for them to hunt or try to eat a larger rattlesnake due to the venomous danger. A large gopher snake may be able to overpower a small rattlesnake, but they are likely more fearful of their more venomous counterparts.

Avoiding conflict with Rattlesnakes

Though gopher snakes are not interested in eating rattlesnakes, they will still attempt to actively avoid them when they are in close proximity. Here are some of the common methods for avoiding conflict:

    • Hiding: Gopher snakes will often attempt to hide from rattlesnakes to avoid being attacked or noticed.


    • Fleeing: If able, gopher snakes will sometimes flee from a rattlesnake quickly to avoid conflict.


    • Jabbing: Gopher snakes may mimic the head shaking of rattlesnakes by lunging at them or jabbing them to make them back away.


In conclusion, gopher snakes will likely not eat rattlesnakes due to their size and the associated venomous danger. However, gopher snakes may still try other methods of avoiding conflict with them as a form of self-defense.

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