Speckled King Snake

Our Speckled King Snake doesn't have an official name. He was surrendered as part of a whole collection from an older gentleman in Charlotte. Some of his friends got adopted and some have stayed as part of our educational program. You'll be seeing more of the king snake in the educational trailer.

Common Name: Speckled King Snake
Scientific Name: Lampropeltis holbrooki
Type: Colubrid
Diet: Carnivore
Average Life Span: Up to 20 years
Size: 48 inches in length
IUCN Red List Status: Least Concern
Current Population Trend: Stable

About the Speckled King Snake

The speckled kingsnake usually grows up to 48 inches (120 cm) in total length, but the record total length is 72 inches (180 cm). The common name is derived from the pattern, which is black, with small yellow-white specks, one speck in the center of almost every dorsal scale. It is also known as the "salt-and-pepper snake"

Speckled Kingsnakes are found throughout Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas, and Missouri. They intergrade with Desert Kingsnakes in Texas, western Oklahoma, and southwestern Kansas. In southern Alabama the intergrade with Eastern Kingsnake. Intergrades with the Black Kingsnake occurs in Northern Alabama, western Tennessee, western Kentucky, southern Illinois.

This subspecies of kingsnakes utilize a wider variety of habitat types than most of the related subspecies. Speckled Kingsnakes can be found in freshwater and brackish swamps, bottomland hardwood forests, prairie streams, and upland forests. However, these snakes are probably most abundant in wetter habitats.

Speckled Kingsnakes are usually sited sunning themselves on stream-sides or crossing roads during the warmer months. A common place to find them is near camps, old houses, and barns. Many are encountered while cleaning up woodpiles, stacks of firewood, or sheets of tin.

Captive specimens do extremely well on a diet composed entirely of captive produced domestic mice. Starting hatchling Speckled Kingsnakes on pinky mice may be problematic, though. Scenting techniques have proven to be effective. Wild juvenile Speckled Kingsnakes feed mainly on young snakes, particularly various garter snakes. Small mammals, frogs, skinks, anoles, and geckos will also be consumed. Adults feed mainly on mice and rats; snakes (both venomous and nonvenomous) will be consumed. Since kingsnakes are partially immune to the venom of native snakes, rattlesnakes, cottonmouths, and coral snakes make up a portion of the diet. Water snakes make up a substantial part of their diet. Other Speckled Kingsnakes also are consumed. Birds and their eggs are also readily consumed. An occasional fish may be eaten.

Wild-caught specimens range from completely docile to aggressive. Most start off calm, but almost all will calm down in captivity. Captive produced animals normally are calm throughout their life. Since these tend to be aggressive feeders, care should be taken at feeding time. Do not handle the animal at feeding time or maintain 2 together at any time. As with most of the snakes in this subfamily, Speckled Kingsnakes will rattle their tail when agitated. These snakes will readily musk and defecate when first caught or frightened as a defense mechanism.

Source: Kingsnake.com