How to Tell the Age of a Bull Snake

Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images

Bull snakes (Pituophis melanoleucus) are frequently mistaken for rattlesnakes due to their ability to vibrate their tail and hiss when alarmed. These large, nonpoisonous snakes are constrictors; they devour numerous rodents over their lifetimes. You cannot tell the exact age of a bull snake unless you recorded its date of birth. But you can hazard a guess based on size.

Baby Snakes

Juvenile bull snakes hatch from eggs 2 to 4.5 inches long, emerging at 12 to 18 inches in length. The baby snakes are fully equipped to devour rodents. If captured and handled at this age, a bull snake will usually become tame over time.

Sexual Maturity

Bull snakes reach sexual maturity at about 2 years of age; females may be older before engaging in breeding. By then, they have attained a length of at least 4 feet -- a shorter bull snake, then, will be less than 2 years old.

Older Snakes

Mature bull snakes average 5 feet in length and can exceed 6 feet. As snakes mature, their bodies become thicker and their heads becomes broader than younger snakes'.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images

Author

A former world-class swimmer, J.T. O'Connell shares her love of adventure travel, extreme sports and pets through thousands of published articles. O'Connell studied journalism at Grand Canyon University, and brings professional experience as a tour guide and travel consultant. She authors the blog, Traveling With Large Dogs.