Sunday, June 8, 2008
King snakes, genus Lampropeltis, in the family Colubridae, are moderately sized, powerful constrictors and have smooth scales and single anal plates (the scale in front of the vent). Their diet consist of a variety of vertebrates, including other snakes. Six species occur in the United States. The prairie king snake, or mole snake, L. calligaster, is distributed from Maryland westward to Nebraska and Texas and southward to Florida. It is brown or tan with darker biotches. Most subspecies of the common king snakes, L. getulus, are dark brown or black with white or yellow bands, stripes, or spots. This species occur from coast to coast. Two species, the Sonora mountain king snake, L. pyromelana, and the California mountain snake, L. zonata, are restricted to mountainous region in the western United States and Mexico. They are tree colored with red, black, and white. The Mexican king snake, L. mexicana, is marked with gray, black and sometimes orange and is found in southwestern Texas and northern portion of the Mexican often known as Milk Snakes.