Speckled Kingsnake (Lampropeltis holbrooki)

Description: Black with a yellow spot in the center of most scales; chain-like patterns can be apparent in young.

Habitat: Open woodlands and grasslands, particularly wetter sites.

Size: Typical adult length: 91-114 cm (36-45in); Maximum 50 inches (Collins & Collins 1993).

Diet: Lizards, snakes, birds and small mammals, kills by constriction.

Natural History: Kills by constriction. When disturbed snake may vibrate tail. In hottest times of summer this snake will hunt at night, otherwise it hunts during the day. Kingsnakes consume a wide variety of prey, but they are most famous for eating other snakes. They are immune to the poison of rattlesnakes and will eat them. Kingsnakes are powerful constrictors and can attack and kill snakes larger than themselves and sometimes too large to eat (Hammerson 1999).

Similar species:

  1. Light speckles on scales distinctive. In Black Rat Snake the light pattern sometimes seen is light skin between dark scales. In Common Kingsnake look for light dot in center of scale, not light at edges of scales.