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North American Animals - mamals, birds, reptiles, insects

 Prairie Kingsnake (Lampropeltis calligaster calligaster)




Prairie Kingsnake | Lampropeltis calligaster-calligaster photo
Prairie Kingsnake

Photograph by LA Dawson. Some rights reserved.  (view image details)

PRAIRIE KINGSNAKE FACTS

Description
The Prairie Kingsnake is brown or gray-brown with darker grey or brown blotches down the body. Typical specimens have a series of larger, roundish brown blotches with alternating smaller blotches on the sides. Some snakes have faint markings and appear almost solid brown. The head is fairly small in comparison to the body and about the same width as the neck. The scales are smooth. The underside is yellow or cream mottled with rusty spots and blotches. Young snakes have a brown stripe along the back, two black spots behind the head and smaller black spots along the back on either side of the stripe.

Other Names
Mole Kingsnake

Size
length 75cm - 100cm

Environment
open grassland, open areas on edge of forest, prefers loose dry soil near permanent water.

Food
rodents, but they will also consume lizards, frogs and occasionally other snakes.

Breeding
lays eggs which hatch after about 60 days

Range
south eastern United States in the area bounded by Nebraska to Virginia in the north and Texas to Florida in the south.

Notes
The Prairie Kingsnake is non-venomous and usually docile. It does not bite readily, although when handled will excrete a foul smelling musk. When threatened, it flattens its body.

There are albino and striped forms being bred for the pet trade.

Classification
Class:Reptilia
Order:Squamata (Serpentes)
Family:Colubridae
Genus:Lampropeltis
Species:calligaster calligaster
Common Name:Prairie Kingsnake


Relatives in same Genus
  Gray-banded Kingsnake (L. alterna)
  Mole Kingsnake (L. calligaster rhombomaculata)
  California Kingsnake (L. getula californiae)
  Florida Kingsnake (L. getula floridana)
  Eastern Kingsnake (L. getula getula)
  Speckled Kingsnake (L. getula holbrooki)
  Desert Kingsnake (L. getula splendida)
  Mexican Kingsnake (L. mexicana mexicana)
  Mexican Milk Snake (L. triangulum annulata)
  Pueblan Milk Snake (L. triangulum campbelli)
  Scarlet Kingsnake (L. triangulum elapsoides)
  Honduran Milk Snake (L. triangulum hondurensis)
  Nelson's Milk Snake (L. triangulum nelsoni)
  Sinaloan Milk Snake (L. triangulum sinaloae)
  Red Milk Snake (L. triangulum syspila)
  Milk Snake (L. triangulum triangulum)
  San Diego Mountain Kingsnake (L. zonata pulchra)