|Common name: Arizona's Scarlet King Snake|
Species name: Lampropeltis triangulum elapsoides
Description: The Scarlet king snake is often called the "false coral" because of the similarity of many colors and patterns. Again, the first color on the Scarlet King Snake is red; the coral snake starts with black. Average length 12 inches; maximum length 18 inches. A kingsnake is a member of any one of eight species and multiple subspecies that make up the genus Lampropeltis. The eight species include the gray-banded kingsnake (alterna), prairie kingsnake (calligaster), common kingsnake (getula), Mexican gray-banded kingsnake (mexicana), Sonoran mountain kingsnake (pyromelana), Ruthven’s kingsnake (ruthveni), California mountain kingsnake (zonata) and milk snake (triangulum). (Milk snakes are also kingsnakes; they are the only one of the eight species that doesn’t have the word "kingsnake" as part of their common name, but oddly one of the subspecies of the milk snake group is the scarlet kingsnake.) Kingsnakes have the largest natural geographical range of any land snake, being found from southern Canada to northern South America, from below sea level to more than a mile high in elevation and from jungle to desert habitats. Kingsnakes are powerful constrictors that feed on almost any animal they can overpower and swallow whole, including venomous snakes. They range in size from 18 inches to almost 8 feet. Most kingsnakes make good pets. Many are very colorful, and some are coral snake mimics. Most are easy to care for in captivity. This article will concentrate on breeding this wonderful group of snakes in captivity.
Distribution: Southeastern U.S. from Virginia to Florida, west to southern Kentucky and eastern Louisiana.
Habitat: A secretive, nocturnal snake often found near bodies of water and in areas with loose, sandy soil and many hiding places.
Foods: elongated lizards, especially young anoles and skinks.
(Image by LaVonne)
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