Page 123 - A Field Guide to Fairfax County's Plants and Wildlife
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tern Kingsnake

(Lampropeltis getula)


The Eastern Kingsnake has a small
head and stout body. Its color
is shiny black with thin white or
yellow bands on its back, white
patches on its rounded belly, and
white or yellow spots on its head.
The adult is 91 to 122 centimeters
long. Eastern Kingsnakes are active from about April through October, and
during that time they move around during the day (diurnal). They mate in
spring. Eggs that are laid in June usually hatch in August. Eastern Kingsnakes
usually live 10 to 15 years.

Distribution and Habitat Eastern Kingsnakes are constrictors,
which means they squeeze their
This snake is found in the prey. They are nonvenomous.
Appalachian Plateau, Blue Ridge,
Coastal Plain and Piedmont When threatened, an Eastern
provinces. It lives in hardwood and Kingsnake will sometimes coil up
pine forests, abandoned fields, and hide its head.
swamps, freshwater marshes
and along creeks and streams in
agricultural and urban areas.

Role in Food Web

Eastern Kingsnakes eat lizards, turtle
eggs, birds and small mammals, and
they are important in controlling
rodent populations. Since they seem
to be immune to the venom of pit
vipers, they can also eat other snakes
such as Northern Copperheads.
Young Kingsnakes are eaten by
American Bullfrogs, hawks and owls.

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