ANIMAL: Speckled Kingsnake Lampropeltis holbrooki Type of Animal: Colubrid Habitat: Freshwater/brackish swampland, rivers, woodlands, fields, prairies, brush, forest edge, rocky wooded hillsides, marshland, farm buildings, forests, prairie streams, campsites, old houses, streamsides, farmland, suburbs, towns, rural areas, grasslands, rocky areas, riverbanks, lowlands, riversides, pastures Location(s): Ranges from SW Illinois & Iowa, south to E Texas, & east to SW Alabama Appearance: Black w/ small yellow-white specks, sometimes called black pepper snake or salt-and-pepper snake, yellowish-whitish belly, juveniles dark olive green Food/Diet: Other snakes (including venomous species & own species), lizards, birds, amphibians, small mammals, eggs, fish, turtles Status in Wild: Stable Conservation: Breeding from zoos & private breeders Lifestyle: Solitary Additional Info: Called: Male Female Young-Snakelet Group-Solitary Weight: Male-2.8 lbs Female-3.3 lbs Young-0.49 oz Gestation: 2 months Life Span: 15-20 years Body Length: Male-3-4 ft Female-4-5 ft Young-9 in Tail Length: 6 in Main predators of adults are snapping turtles, bears, coyotes, foxes, bobcats, raptors, larger snakes, dogs, cats, raccoons, skunks, badgers, otters, roadrunners, & pigs. Fire ants prey on young. Females lay 5-25 eggs per clutch, which hatch in late summer. Kills prey by constriction. They can be very active snakes. Hibernates in winter in caves or small mammal burrows. Has partial immunity to venomous snakebites. Spend most of their time on the ground. Sexually mature at 2 years old. Like most snakes, they don’t have eyelids. Males fight by wrestling each other. First described by American herpetologist John Edwards Holbrook in 1842. Diurnal for most of year except summer when they become nocturnal. Fun Fact(s): Due to pattern, sometimes called salt-and-pepper snake. They’re beneficial in that they eat rodents & venomous snakes. Will shake tail like a rattlesnake when threatened. Will also expel foul smelling musk/feces and/or bite when threatened. Tends to be rather docile species. They’re called king snakes because one of their favorite foods is other snakes. They can make decent pets.