Short - tailed Kingsnake

Short - tailed Kingsnake: (Lampropeltis extenuata)

Short - tailed kingsnakes (lampropeltis extenuata); also known as the short tailed snake, is a member of the colubridae family. They average in size between 14 to 20 inches long, with the record being 25.75 inches long. The short - tailed kingsnake is classified as a threatened species and is protected by Florida State laws.

Short - tailed kingsnakes are extremely thin, almost a thin as a pencil. Their scales are smooth and they are gray in color having a spotted or blotched pattern. They have dark brown or black spots down the middle of their backs, and the dark spots on their sides alternate with the spots on their back. The light colored spaces between the black spots on their backs usually have an orange center, appearing as an orange stripe running down its back. Its belly is white in color with dark blotches. Its small blunt, oval like shaped head is the same diameter of the body, and their pupils are round. Their tails are short compared to other snakes.    

Short - tailed kingsnakes are found throughout northern central Florida, west of the St. Johns River. Their preferred habitats include areas such as sandy soils, pine or oak wood - lands, coast live oak hammocks and sand pine scrub.

Short - tailed kingsnakes are carnivores, primarily consuming lizards and other snakes.

Short - tailed kingsnakes terrestrial, spending all their time in its burrow under ground rather than appearing above ground, even during the day, because of this secretive and fossorial behavior they are rarely ever seen. They are non - venomous and harmless to humans. The short - tailed kingsnake is listed by the State of Florida as a Threatened Species. It is protected by State laws.


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