Lampropeltis getula

Google pictures
Scientific name Lampropeltis getula
English name Eastern Kingsnake
Habitat Lives mainly on open grasslands and the like but does not shy away from all other biotopes such as oak forests, farmland, human settlements and wetlands.
Distribution The “panhandle” and the northern part of the peninsula of Florida.

From the east of the Appalachian Mountains till the south of New Jersey.



In 2017 Lampropeltis getula has, based on DNA research, been split into 4 separate species (L. floridana, L. getula, L. meansi and L. nigrita). These four species currently have no subspecies.

Krysko, Kenneth L.; Leroy P. Nuñez, Catherine E. Newman, Brian W. Bowen.  (2017) Phylogenetics of Kingsnakes, Lampropeltis getula Complex (Serpentes: Colubridae), in Eastern North America. J Hered (2017) 108 (3): 226-238.

Appearance: usually completely black or dark brown with 19-45 light-coloured crossbands. These crossbands are usually between 1.5 to 2.5 back scales wide.

L. getula feeds on amphibians, lizards, reptiles and bird eggs, snakes (also venomous), birds and mammals.

This species is mainly diurnal. When the temperature is too high during the day, they are also active in the evening and night. Like many Lampropeltis species, they lead a hidden life where they can be found a lot underneath tree stumps and the like.

Ages between 20 and 25 years are not uncommon with this species.

After the brumation/winter rest, the copulations take place in May/June. Six to eight weeks after mating, the female lays her eggs. This may be a few dozen per clutch. The young usually hatch after 55 to 62 days.

The young are between 18 and 30 cm long at birth. These sometimes have some red colouration in the light crossbands. These snakes are usually between 100 and 150 cm long, but specimens of 200 cm or even longer are also known.

In the terrarium they are usually calm, curious snakes that do well in captivity.