Kingsnake (California)

Lampropeltis getula californiae

IUCN Red List status: Least Concern

For more info on classifications, visit www.iucnredlist.org

Least Concern

Factfile

Where they live

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

Habitat

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

Size

length 0.8-1.2m

Weight

up to 1.5kg

Lifespan

30 years

Threats

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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