Sunday, December 19, 2010

Common Kingsnake

California Kingsnake 
(Lampropeltis getula californiae)
Common Kingsnakes (Lampropeltis getula) are native to the United States and Mexico, living in a wide variety of terrestrial habitats including forests, fields, scrublands, and near bodies of water. There are eight named subspecies. Common Kingsnakes measure 30-85in (76-216cm) and are identified by their shiny scales and dark and light banded pattern. Their coloration can vary depending on subspecies population and location, but they are most commonly either brown or black with white bands.

Desert Kingsnake
(Lampropeltis getula splendida)
One really interesting fact about he Common Kingsnake is that it is immune to the venom of rattlesnakes and several other venomous snake species. Because of this, the Kingsnakes are actually able to kill and consume these snakes, though they also feed on birds, rodents, amphibians, other reptiles, and eggs. Essentially, they will kill and consume whatever they can overpower. They are non-venomous and kill their prey through constriction.

Common Kingsnakes are oviparous, meaning that they lay eggs. Females lay them between May and August and they hatch between about 50 and 80 days. Hatchlings measure up to 1ft (30cm) at birth.

Common Kingsnakes are popular in the pet trade, and their population is not currently at risk.

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