Lampropeltis knoblochi

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Scientific name Lampropeltis knoblochi
English name Chihuahuan Mountain Kingsnake, Knobloch’s mountain kingsnake
Habitat This species occurs especially at heights between 800 and 2500 meters. They inhabit, among other things, coniferous forests, deciduous forests (chapparal) and near the juniper. Usually in the vicinity of running water or water sources.
Distribution Chihuahua, Mexico

Southeastern Arizona, USA

Details This species includes the representatives of the following two, former subspecies, namely.

L. pyromelana knoblochi and L. p. woodini.

Both L. knoblochi and L. pyromelana are now separate species. Both do not have subspecies.

If you want to know more about this, download the following article …

Burbrink, Frank T.; Helen Yao, Matthew Ingrasci, Robert Bryson, Timothy J. Guiher & Sara Ruane 2011. SPECIATION AT THE MOGOLLON RIM IN THE ARIZONA MOUNTAIN KINGSNAKE (LAMPROPELTIS PYROMELANA). Molecular Phylogenetics & Evolution 60: 445-454

For the appearance of this species, I refer to the clickable photo at the top of this page. The Western coral snake (Micrurus euryxanthus) has roughly the same appearance as this mountain king snake. A good example of mimicry.

Roughly you can say that the “pyromelana snakes” that live north of the Gila River belong to the species pyromelana and the snakes that live south of this river belong to the species knoblochi.

Lampropeltis knoblochi, three months old, male © Fons Sleijpen

They can hardly be distinguished on appearance. Knowing where it was found (or their ancestors) is of great importance for determining the species.

These snakes, which are mainly active during the day, can be found, among other places in dense bushes, in rocky crevices and under stones and tree trunks, etc. Sometimes they are also active during warm, humid nights.

Most likely you can see them during mid-morning and just before sunset. These are the moments that they are looking for prey.

The menu of this snake species includes birds, rodents, bats, lizards and possibly other snakes.

Lampropeltis knoblochi, three months old, female © Fons Sleijpen

It is mainly a ground-dwelling snake, but it also is perfectly capable of climbing. When they are caught they do not shun to bite and/or to spray the attacker with a stinking liquid.

They brumate during the late autumn and winter months. The copulations, as usual, take place during spring. At the end of spring or the beginning of the summer, the 3 to 10 eggs (on average 5 or 6) are laid. These hatch at the end of the summer. The young are about 15 to 18 cm long at birth.