King Snake California Facts

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King Snake California

The California King snakes (Lampropeltis getula californiae) are nonvenomous snakes.These snakes are the most common snakes found in North America. The kingsnakes are named as because they sometimes eat other snakes like king Cobra snake eats.

King snake California are popular pets and common snakes of captivity.

King snake California is member of the non venomous snake family, Colubridae family.

King Snake Facts

The species is very adaptable, these snakes can live in forests, deserts, chaparral, grassland, woodlands, along rivers or farms even bushy suburban areas. They are normally found up to 1000 meters but can be found in elevations up to 2100 m (7,000 ft) in the Tehachapi Mountains region.

This snake is more active during the daytime in the colder regions of its range. But with higher temperatures, the California King snake becomes more crepuscular and nocturnal. In the winter, they will usually go deep underground and enter brumation a hibernation-like state which is characterized by the reduced activity and slowed metabolism.

The California King snake can reach a length between 110 and 150 cm, with the same width throughout most of the body, the head being slightly wider than the neck. It is found in several colors most commonly with alternating bands of black or brown with white or yellow.

A crossed out color variation can be found on the south coast of California, bearing a white or yellow stripe running along its back. Another pattern variation without lateral bands and stripes is also common in some parts of California.

King snakes are medium-size nonvenomous snakes that kill by constriction. They are one of the most common snakes in North America. They are called king snakes because they sometimes eat other snakes, as does the king cobra. King snakes are popular among pet owners. Milk snakes are a type of king snake.

King snakes are members of the family Colubridae and the subfamily Colubrinae. Colubrid snakes are a large family of nonvenomous snakes found around the world, including North America. King snakes are members of the genus Lampropeltis. In Greek, this means “shiny shields,” . The name is appropriate for the genus, which is known for its well-defined, glossy scales. 

Most species of king snake have vibrant patterns on their skins with vivid contrasting colors. The patterns, especially bands and speckles, break up the snake’s body outline so it is less visible to predators like birds of prey, mammals like foxes and coyotes and other snakes, according to the San Diego Zoo. 

Their coloring can be understood by their geographic location. For example, the farther west one goes in the eastern king snake’s range, the more the snakes’ coloring resembles the black king snake, which lives in Tennessee. 

Across their various ranges, king snakes find similar habitats to live in. They live in forests, grasslands, suburbia, and rocky areas in fields and deserts. Snakes in wetter areas, such as the eastern and southern United States spend more time around swamps and riverbanks. They are terrestrial, meaning they stay mostly on land rather than venturing into water or trees. 

King snakes are meat-eaters. Their diet is based on other snakes, turtle eggs, lizards, small mammals, birds and frogs. King snakes belong to the group of snakes known as constrictors. They wrap the body around their prey and squeeze it until it dies out of suffocation. 

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