Lampropeltis meansi

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Scientific name Lampropeltis meansi
English name Apalachicola Kingsnake, Eastern Apalachicola Lowlands Kingsnake
Habitat Occurs in forest areas, on prairie plains, in marshes and estuaries.
Distribution In the Florida panhandle: in Franklin County and Liberty County, between the Apalachicola River and the Ochlockonee River south of Telogia Creek.

Some specimen have also been found on the south-western bank of the Apalachicola River and 2 specimen in Wakulla County on the eastern bank of the Ochlockonee River. In the wild, this species does not occur outside of Florida.

Details Was formerly a subspecies of L. getula.

In 2017 Lampropeltis getula, based on DNA research, 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.

Adult specimen of this species are usually between 80 and 120 cm long, but longer specimen are also known. Record length for this species is 142 cm. In the terrarium, with good care, this species can become 20 years old.

These snakes have a solidly built body with smooth scales, an oval-shaped head and round pupils.

Their drawing and colour is fairly variable.

It is a speckled snake and has at least 25 light-coloured cross bands each of which is at least two and a half scales wide. Some specimen are striped and in other instances, the drawing is missing in its entirety (without cross bands).

Newborn snakes are mostly black (the ones with cross bands) and have light-coloured crossbands that sometimes also contain some red. Adult specimen look like yellowish speckled snakes.

Newborn striped or complete drawing-free snakes do not have real, light-coloured crossbands.

This snake, which largely lives on the ground, is mainly day-active but is in the very hot summer months also active in the night and evening.

Food consists of lizards, snakes (also venomous, such as rattlesnakes), frogs, rodents, birds and eggs of birds and turtles. Sometimes cannibalism (eating your own kind) occurs.

This species is immune to the venom of rattlesnakes.

The copulations take place between March and May. In the early summer, the eggs (3 to 30) are laid which hatch in the late summer. The young are about 25 cm long at birth.