King snake Facts

King snake Facts
King snake is a type of non-venomous snake that belongs to the colubrid family. There are 11 species and 45 subspecies of king snakes that can be found in North, Central and South America. King snakes inhabit areas near the streams, marshes, fields, forests, rocky outcrops, hillsides and river valleys. They are often collected from the wild due to pet trade (king snakes are very popular among reptile lovers). Despite that, king snakes are widespread and numerous in the wild (they are not on the list of endangered species).
Interesting King snake Facts:
King snakes can reach 3 to 6 feet in length and up to 3.3 pounds of weight.
Most species of king snakes have black body with yellow and white bands arranged in chain-like manner (some king snakes have red, brown and orange bands). King snakes are also known as "chain snakes" or "chain kings" due to specific coloration of the body.
King snakes have strong body covered with smooth scales, hence the scientific name for this group of snakes: "Lampropeltis" ("shiny shield" in Greek).
King snakes are terrestrial animals (adapted to the life on the solid ground).
Most species of king snakes are nocturnal. Few king snakes are active during the day (diurnal) or at dusk or dawn (crepuscular). Their activity often changes during the year (they become nocturnal during the summer).
King snakes are meat-eaters. Their diet is based on other snakes, turtle eggs, lizards, small mammals, birds and frogs.
King snakes belong to the group of snakes known as constrictors. They wrap the body around their prey and squeeze it until it dies out of suffocation.
Name "king snake" refers to the fact that these snakes tolerate venom of pit-vipers and eat poisonous snakes such as copperhead, rattlesnake and cottonmouth without any visible side effects.
When they are faced with danger, king snakes release unpleasant odor and produce rattling sound by moving their tail in leaf litter. King snakes look like poisonous coral snakes. Specific body coloration repels many predators. King snakes are not aggressive by nature, but they will bite in self-defense.
Natural enemies of king snakes are birds of prey such as hawks and eagles and mammals such as coyotes, raccoons, foxes and bobcats.
Majority of king snakes hibernate during the winter or remain dormant short period of time ("pseudo-hibernation").
Mating season of king snakes takes place during the spring.
Female deposits 3 to 13 eggs under decaying logs or into the ground. Babies emerge from the eggs 2 to 3 months later. They are 4 to 12 inches long at birth and able to fend for themselves from the moment of birth.
King snakes reach sexual maturity at the age of 3 to 4 years.
King snakes can survive 20 to 30 years in the wild.

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