Speckled Kingsnake (Lampropeltis holbrooki)

Copmmon Kingsnake (young)

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

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 the tail may vibrate. 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. The 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 too large to eat (Hammerson 1999).

Similar species:

  1. When young the Common Kingsnake has a blotched pattern. No other blotched snake in Nebraska is boldly black and yellow.

Range: (see map of specimens in the University of Nebraska State Museum.)