Eastern Kingsnake

Eastern Kingsnake: (Lampropeltis getula getula)

Eastern kingsnakes (lampropeltis getula getula); other wise known as the common kingsnake, black kingsnake and chain kingsnake belongs to the colubridae family. They average in size between 36 to 48 inches long, with the record being 82 inches long.

Eastern kingsnakes are thick bodied and have smooth scales. Their bodies are solid black to chocolate brown in color with 19 to 32 white to yellowish cross - bands that are narrow chain like pattern. Their belly varies and could be solid black or have a checkerboard pattern. Their heads are oval shaped and their pupils are round.  

Eastern kingsnakes are found throughout the northern peninsula from Alachua county as well as the north and west panhandle. Their preferred habitats include areas such as pine - lands, hardwood hammocks, cypress strands, prairies and marshes.

Eastern kingsnakes are carnivores, primarily consuming lizards, frogs, toads, small birds and their eggs, rodents other snakes including venomous, and small turtles and their eggs.

Eastern kingsnakes are diurnal, active during the day. During the summer they have been seen to be more active at night. They are terrestrial, preferring to be under ground or hiding under dense vegetation. When startled or threatened they will secrete a foul smelling odor and vibrate their tails, they will strike and bite if needed, their bite is strong, powerful and painful, but they seldom bite. Eastern kingsnakes are harmless to humans and can live up to 25 years or longer in captivity. The eastern kingsnake is among the largest snake species. It is also integrates with the Florida kingsnake.

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