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Prairie Kingsnake Lampropeltis calligaster


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Prairie Kingsnake, Prairie subspecies
credit: Dawson

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Alternate name: Yellow-bellied Kingsnake

Family: Colubridae, Colubrid Snakes view all from this family

Description Light brown or grey, with dark grey, dark brown, or reddish-brown blotching down the length of its body. Crown of head and v-like markings. 21-27 rows of scales. Single anal plate.

Dimensions 76.2-142.7cm. (30-56")

Subspecies Prairie Kingsnake - scales in 25-27. Yellowish-white belly with brown spots. Illinois to Gulf, Louisiana, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas.
Mole Kingsnake - 21-23 rows of reddish scales. Blotches on back with black border. Maryland through to Florida, Tennessee and Louisiana.
South Florida Mole Kingsnake - brown/red blotches with dark border. Florida.

Breeding June-July. 5-17 eggs laid in earth cavity. Hatch after 7-11 weeks, August-September.

Habitat Open grassland with loose, dry soil, typically on the edge of a forested region, not far from a permanent source of water.

Range Maryland to Florida, Nebraska and Texas.

Discussion Nonvenomous and normally quite docile since it hides in burrows and under rocks most of the day. Diet of rodents, birds, frogs and lizards. Will shake tail if harassed, similar to rattlesnake.