Lampropeltis alterna

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Scientific name Lampropeltis alterna (BROWN, 1901)
English name Gray-banded Kingsnake
Distribution In the U.S.A. the gray-banded Kingsnake lives in the extreme south-east of New Mexico and eastwards from this area in the Trans-Pecos area from south-western Texas.

The distribution in Mexico is not as clear as in the U.S.A.

From the Texan border southwards into the Chihuahuan Desert of north-central Mexico (including Coahuila, Durango, Nuevo Leon and most probably also in northern Zacatecas).

But is also found outside the borders of the Chihuahuan Desert at Monterrey, Nuevo León and on the eastern flank of the Sierra Madre Occidental in northern Durango (> than 2300 metres).

Snakes from the eastern part of the Mexican distribution area were found at heights between 1000 and 1800 metres.

Lampropeltis alterna, 2 years old

The habitat of this species consists of dry and rocky desert area (plains, hills, deep gorges, limestone and rocky slopes, roadsides and rocky crevices).

During the day this snake species is mainly found in rocky crevices etc to avoid the heat.

They are found on the rocky, mainly limestone soil that is covered with desert vegetation of the Chihuahuan Desert (Coahuila and eastern Durango).

Further to the west, on the eastern slopes of the Sierra Madre Occidental (northern Durango), this species lives at moderate heights in mixed forests (conifers and oaks).




In the sixties, this species was “formed” by two subspecies of L. mexicana (L. m. alterna and L. m. blairi)

In 1991 these two subspecies were described as one species L. alterna by Conant, R. & Collins, J.T.

Lampropeltis alterna, locality Langtry, Texas – Born in 2009

It is a very variable species in colour and drawing. Therefore, you can click on the picture above this description; In this case, pictures say more than words.

This species reaches an adult size of 60 – 120 cm (and sometimes even a little bit longer)’

At birth, they are between 21 and 28 cm long.

Lampropeltis alterna, six months old

This species can be pubescent at an age of ca. 20 months. But this will only happen when the snakes are excessively fed.

When they are fed normal, this species will be adult/pubescent at an age of 3 years.

All of these data are based on measurements of animals from the American part of the distribution area.