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Kingsnakes of Louisiana

Updated on December 25, 2015
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Louisiana has abundant wildlife, including reptiles such as snakes and turtles. All are welcome in Yvonne's backyard wildlife habitat.

Reptile: Lampropeltis species, Beautiful and Beneficial Snakes

Since we were children we have welcomed the gentle, non-poisonous (non-venomous) reptile, the King snake into our yard. On this page you will find information about and photographs of the Kingsnake species that inhabit Louisiana.

Kingsnakes are constrictors that live in many habitats, but seem to prefer ridges and levees that border wet areas. These attractive reptiles will kill and eat poisonous snakes, but their most common prey is mice and rats. Members of the Lampropeltis species are very beneficial snakes and are friends of the farmers and gardeners alike. King snakes should be prized and protected from harm because, like other snakes, they are an important link in the food chain.

We hope that this page will encourage many people to welcome this beautiful creature into their habitats.

Kingsnake photo copyright Y.L. Bordelon aka naturegirl7, All Rights Reserved

Speckled Kingsnake Poster on Zazzle

This photo was taken in our backyard in Baton Rouge, LA.
This photo was taken in our backyard in Baton Rouge, LA. | Source

Speckled King Snake and other reptile posters by naturegirl7 are available on Zazzle.

Louisiana Kingsnakes

There are 5 different species of Kingsnakes in Louisiana and a similar looking species, the Scarlet Snake. The photo below was found in Dundee, Harold A. and Douglas A. Rossman's, The Amphibians and Reptiles of Louisiana and shows:

A. Common Kingsnake, Lampropeltis getulus

B. Prairie Kingsnake, Lampropeltis calligaster calligaster

C. Mole Kingsnake, Lampropeltis calligaster rhombomaculata

D. Louisiana milk snake, Lampropeltis triangulum amaura

E. Scarlet Kingsnake, Lampropeltis triangulum elapsoides

F. Scarlet Snake, Cemphora coccinea

Louisiana Kingsnakes
Louisiana Kingsnakes

The most common Kingsnake in Southeastern Louisiana, where we reside, is the Common or Speckled Kingsnake. We have had many encounters with this lovely and gentle creature and we welcome them in our habitat. Kingsnakes are constrictors, which means they wrap their bodies around their prey and squeeze until the prey is dead. One unique fact about Kingsnakes is their ability to overpower and kill poisonous snakes without succumbing to their venom.

Kingsnake Eating Copperhead by Michael Roedel
Kingsnake Eating Copperhead by Michael Roedel

This great photo of a Speckled Kingsnake killing and eating a venomous Copperhead was taken by Michael Roedel. Click on the photo to go to Flickr to see a larger image or on the link to view more of Michael's outstanding snake photographs.

Kingsnakes primarily eat mice and rats so they are handy to have in the garden or in the yard. If you encourage Kingsnakes to inhabit your area, the rodent population will decrease.

Kingsnakes are egg layers and lay a clutch of from 5 to 17 eggs in the spring.

Speckled Kingsnake
Speckled Kingsnake

Some Facts About Speckled Kingsnakes

All kingsnakes are egg layers. They mate in spring and lay from 3-24 eggs in early summer in a moist protected spot such as rotting logs or stumps. The young hatch from 2 to 2 1/2 months after the eggs are laid.

Besides venomous snakes, their prey includes lizards, rodents, reptile eggs, birds and their eggs and also small turtles. Kingsnakes hunt prey primarily through smell, but vision is also used.

Because of their large size, King snakes only fear large predators. When threatened they will vibrate their tail and go into a striking position. A musky liquid will also be released. All these are defensive actions and king snakes are usually docile if handled gently.

Photo by Y.L. Bordelon, All Rights Reserved

Herping Video

Common Kingsnakes

Common Kingsnakes (Advanced Vivarium Systems)
Common Kingsnakes (Advanced Vivarium Systems)

You'll find much information about some varieties of this reptile here.

 

Young Prairie King Snake

Source

Prairie King Snake print by scenro on Zazzle These are more common in the western part of Louisiana.

Scarlet King Snake

Source

Scarlet Kingsnake

When trying to tell the non-venomous, Scarlet King snake from the venomous, Coral Snake, always remember the childrens rhyme:

Red on yellow, kill a fellow

Red on black, come on back.

When the red stripe touches a black stripe, the snake is a king snake. When the red and yellow stripes touch, the snake is a Coral snake. You'll find more information about the Scarlett King Snake at the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries site.

Do you have kinder feelings toward Kingsnakes, now?

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Speckled Kingsnake Shirt on Zazzle

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Snakes on Zazzle

See more designs at Naturally Native Creations aka naturegirl7. I enjoy photographing all of God's creatures. Most of the reptile pictures were taken on our 9 acre private sustainable habitat in Southeastern Louisiana.

Snakes of the Southeast

Snakes Of The Southeast (Wormsloe Foundation Nature Book) (Wormsloe Foundation Nature Book Ser.)
Snakes Of The Southeast (Wormsloe Foundation Nature Book) (Wormsloe Foundation Nature Book Ser.)

One of the best reference books about snakes of the southeastern U.S. The photos are excellent and the information is accurate and timely. Wormsloe Foundation publishes a number of wonderful books about the flora and fauna of the South.

 

Speckled Magnet on Zazzle

Source
Speckled Kingsnake
Speckled Kingsnake

Speckled King Snake by Y.L. Bordelon aka naturegirl7 These reptiles are good climbers because they are constrictors and can wrap around small branches.

© 2008 Yvonne L. B.

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    • profile image

      PhotoBuff 3 years ago

      We get nothing like these where I live. Just a few garter and milk snakes. These pix and videos are awesome. www.learnphotographyathome.com

    • profile image

      merleannw 4 years ago

      I love snakes. Thank you for this great lens

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I lost a dog to a rattlesnake bite last year. The next day, I walked in the mowed grass and a King Snake was stretched across the grass in my back yard. I knew I had one King living close to the house. I'm not paranoid of rattle snakes. I just keep my grass cut and appreciate the King.

    • ForestBear LM profile image

      ForestBear LM 6 years ago

      I enjoyed your lens.Very interesting, I didn't know anything about the King Snake. Thank you

    • Goldenpig999 profile image

      Goldenpig999 6 years ago

      I have come across several of your lens all of them presented great information this on included. I hava had california kingsnakes before.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Nice Squidoo. Very enjoyable to read. Chris

    • ajgodinho profile image

      Anthony Godinho 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Beautifully crafted lens and I learned a lot on this king snake. Wishing you and yours a Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year! **Blessed by a Squid-Angel**

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      These are beautiful snakes and I am at peace with any creature that will help control rats, mice and poisonous snakes. Of course, I even find the poisonous ones beautiful, because they are. I always learn so much from your lenses. Wonderfully done!

    • darciefrench lm profile image

      darciefrench lm 6 years ago

      Such an engaging lens- angel blessed.

    • LoKackl profile image

      LoKackl 7 years ago

      Way cool photos! Beautifully done. SquidAngel Blessed.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Well executed lens, and informative. Well done.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Ewwwwww, sorry I so hate snakes, they just totally creep me out, but wait, I love your lens! - Kathy

    • ElizabethJeanAl profile image

      ElizabethJeanAl 8 years ago

      Welcome to the Totally Awesome Lenses Group.

      Lizzy

    • ElizabethJeanAl profile image

      ElizabethJeanAl 8 years ago

      Now this snake I've never seen. I'm more familiar with the rattlers of the midwest.

      Very informative lens.

      Lizzy

    • evelynsaenz1 profile image

      Evelyn Saenz 8 years ago from Royalton

      The Alligators int eh Swamp have their eyes on you and for such a delicious lens they are sending you virtual rats and mice to fatten you up.

      5 Stars and favored!