Kingsnake (California)

Lampropeltis getula californiae

IUCN Red List status: Least Concern

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Least Concern


Where they live

California, Oregon, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Mexico


wide variety including forests, woodlands, chaparral, grassland, marsh, deserts and even urban areas


length 0.8-1.2m


up to 1.5kg


30 years


no major threats

Did you know...

  • Kingsnakes get their name from their snake eating habitats
  • California kingsnakes have a tolerance to rattlesnake venom

More about California kingsnakes...

The California kingsnake is easily recognised by its characteristic black and white colouration which may be banded, striped or spotted.

It is diurnal or day active, ground living and solitary. It feeds on a range of food including small mammals , turtles, birds, eggs, lizards frogs and other snakes. Kingsnakes kill their prey by constriction.

They mature at 3-4 years of age. Following the mating season, which is normally between May and August, the females lay 2 -24 eggs. After an incubation period of up to 48 days the eggs hatch and the hatchlings, which measure some 10-30 cm, are left to survive on their own.

Humans benefit from the presence of king snakes because they control rodent populations and also eat venomous snakes such as rattlesnakes, cottonmouths and copperheads.

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