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California Mountain Kingsnake
Lampropeltis zonataCalifornia Mountain Kingsnake

Appearance: The California Mountain Kingsnake can grow up to 4 feet long, and has red, black, and yellow/cream colored markings.

Range: Found in deserts, swamplands, grasslands, pine and deciduous forests, and elevations up to 8,500 feet.

Reproduction: Lays eggs in loose, well-aerated soil under rocks or other surface objects or within decaying logs.

Diet: A variety of prey including amphibians, lizards, rodents, and birds, and are well-known for their ability to consume rattlesnakes.

Interesting Facts:

  • Unfortunately, the numbers of Mountain Kingsnakes are dwindling because the pet trade is poaching them.
  • Secondly, people often mistake them for the venomous Coral Snake, due to their similar coloration.
  • The Coral Snake is not indigenous to California. A good way to differentiate the two is by the order of their banding. In Mountain Kingsnakes, the red band is next to the black band and the snout is black. In Coral snakes, the red is next to yellow or white.
  • A good way to remember the difference is by this poem:
    "If Red touches Yellow, it can kill a fellow
    If Red touches Black, it's okay for Jack."

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