Arizona Mountain Kingsnake

ANIMAL:
Arizona Mountain Kingsnake Lampropeltis pyromelana

Type of Animal:
Colubrid

Habitat:
Mountainous areas from 3,000-9,000 ft-rocky mountainous areas, conifer forest, heavily wooded rocky slopes, steep canyon bottoms w/ abundant leaf litter/fallen logs/rocks, chaparral, open rolling hills, grassland, woodland, streams/streamsides, springs, rock piles at woodland edges near water, riversides, forests along streams, rocky forest, ponderosa pine forest, pine-fir belts

Location(s):
Arizona, Utah, Nevada, extreme SW New Mexico, N Mexico

Appearance:
Small slender species, red body w/ white/yellow-white rings bordered by thin black & wide red sections, white/yellow snout, head black on top (sometimes w/ red flashing over eyes), large eyes, Utah subspecies darker than nominate Arizona subspecies & have more black rings as well as whiter face w/ distinct black mask, look similar to venomous Arizona Coral Snake but have less yellow than that species

Food/Diet:
Lizards, other snakes (including each other & venomous snakes), rodents, birds, bats, eggs, amphibians

Status in Wild:
Stable

Conservation:
Breeding in zoos, wildlife centers, & herpetoculture

Lifestyle:
Solitary

Additional Info:

Called:
Male
Female
Young: Snakelet
Group: Solitary

Weight:
Male: 2.08 oz
Female: 2.38 oz

Gestation:
3 months 

Life Span:
12-20 years

Body Length:
Male: 2.9 ft
Female: 3.6 ft
Young: 1 ft

Tail Length:
Male: 0.7 ft
Female: 0.4 ft

Main predators are raptors, roadrunners, mammals, & larger snakes.
 
These nonvenomous snakes kill prey by constriction.
 
Sexually mature at a year old.
 
Also called Sonoran Mountain Kingsnake and/or Utah Mountain Kingsnake.
 
These snakes rather shy in wild.
 
While primarily terrestrial, they’re great climbers.
 
Most often diurnal but will come out on moister nights.
 
They hibernate in colder weather.
 
Females lay clutches of 3-20 eggs.
 
Juveniles shed more often than adults.
 
Breed in late spring w/ eggs hatching in late summer.
 
When they hatch, they’re immediately on their own.

Fun Fact(s):
Often mimic patterns of highly venomous Arizona Coral Snake to deter predators-this species red bands bordered by black (Red On Black, Friend of Jack) while Coral Snake has red bands bordered w/ white/yellow (Red On Yellow, Kill That Fellow).
 
Name “king” comes from habit of eating other snakes.
 
Almost impervious to snake venom.
 
These snakes tend to be very docile in captivity making decent pets.
 
While fairly docile, these snakes will bite & discharge musk/feces when threatened.

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