Did you now there are many types of king snakes available in the pet space? Known for their vibrant color patterns and docile nature, a king snake might be a great addition to your pet snakes list. They are highly popular for their glossy appearance, which attracts snake enthusiasts. Also, due to a diverse variety in color and pattern, it is easy to fall in love with these beautiful creatures.
You can find them in different environments ranging from forests and woodlands to deserts. Whatever the habitat is, you can see contrasting bands of color along the length of their bodies. These bands and body markings significantly vary among different species.
Therefore, you can choose from various body shades and patterns when researching king snakes for sale. To clearly understand the types of king snakes available, let’s delve deeper into their physical characteristics below.
Physical Characteristics of a Kingsnake
Commonly, king snakes are known for their shiny scales and vibrant color patterns. The best thing is that you can find a variety of distinctive patterns across the different types of king snake species, ranging from irregular white markings to bright red bands. These bands may vary depending on the habitat and natural morph of the species. Curious to know more about these beautiful creatures? Let’s discuss some other physical characteristics one by one:
As evidenced by the name, king snakes are medium to large-sized animals measuring about 3 to 6 feet long. However, the size may vary depending on the gender and age of the snake. On average, adult king snakes can grow to a maximum length of 3.5 feet or 42 inches. Sounds like a gigantic creature. Right? Well, female king snakes are even bigger with a slightly larger size than male species. They can grow from 4 to 6 feet on average.
Compared to other reptiles, king snakes have unique and astonishing feeding requirements. Why? This is due to their Ophiophagus nature or simply the ability to eat other snakes. They are carnivorous and thus primarily feed on other snake species, even on venomous snakes. This is because they are immune to venomouse snakes and can easily consume them. Besides this, here are some other things included in the diet of different types of king snakes:
- Amphibians and lizard species.
- Birds and bird eggs, including the eggs of bobwhite quail.
- Small rodents, such as mice and rats.
- Invertebrates such as insects.
Endemic to Mexico and the United States, king snakes are adaptable to a variety of habitats. You’ll often find them in open grasslands, meadows, forests, or climbing on stone walls. They are commonly diurnal and are most active during the daytime for food or mating. During winter, they hibernate in burrows and old stumps, so you might not see them more frequently in this season. They also make great pets and can be safely kept in a 10 to 40-gallon terrarium.
What Various Types of King Snakes Look Like?
Now that you have a basic understanding of their size, diet and habitats, We can look closer at specific types of king snakes by local and more. Fortunately, they occur in a variety of morphs, each displaying a unique color combo.
These diverse colorations allow pet owners to choose from a wide collection of morphs. However, their morphs differ from one region to another, and one color combo to a more stunning pattern. Let’s look at some of the popular morphs in detail below.
Eastern King Snake
This king snake is also known as the eastern king snake, Florida kingsnake, or chain kingsnake. Native to the United States, it is a favorite snake of reptile enthusiasts. Morphologically, it shows dark brown or glossy black patterns embedded with white chain-like rings. Usually, they have thicker bands, but in some regions, such as the mountains, you’ll find completely black eastern kingsnakes.
Moreover, breeders have made different types of king snake colorations so you can get the one that looks more appealing to you. They are usually blended with high-yellow or melanistic morphs to make more contrasting colors. As far as their diet is concerned, they mostly feed on venomous snake species, including copperheads and coral snakes. When kept as pets, you can feed them amphibians, rodents, and small mammals, as these food items are easily available at specialty pet stores.
California King Snake
The California king snake is native to Baja California and Mexico. It displays alternating light and dark bands throughout the body. The bands are usually black but can vary from cream to white or brown. It means you can find different types of this king snake naturally occuring in nature.
Owing to their attractive appearance, California king snakes are popular pet snakes in their family. Yet their popularity is not just limited to colorful patterns. The docile nature and low maintenance also play a vital role in increasing their demand in the pet trade. Above all, people love their natural color variations, giving these snakes an elegant and more vibrant look.
Mexican King Snake
Another slender, vibrant, and more flattened species of kingsnakes is the Mexican kings nake. Their body is covered with glossy, broad red markings attired in dark scales. This gives the body a more vivid look, the head has intricate, deep red markings so you can get a clear idea of what this type of king snake looks like.
Found primarily in Mexican cities, the Mexican kingsnake comes in a variety of morphs with distinctive colors and patterns. However, the most common one is the Mexican black kingsnake. It is medium-sized, with an adult snake measuring about 3 to 4 feet in length. On the black body, they show white or yellow spots that fade away with the age.
Albino King Snake
A highly popular and attractive species of kingsnake is the albino snake. They lack melanin pigment and thus show yellow or white color patterns depending on the age. For instance, juvenile albino kingsnakes have a pinkish appearance, but as they grow, they change to yellowish or white. Nonetheless, each shade fits perfectly on this snake and gives it an elegant and robust look.
Overall, these kingsnakes have a pretty variable coloration surrounded by purple or yellow markings throughout the body. The scales are also relatively thick, with bright red eyes. Compared to other kingsnakes, albinos give a realistic appeal due to their unique appearance. You can find them in different regions, including Mexico, Florida, and California.
Baby Hypo Mosaic King Snake
First produced in 1997, baby hypo mosaic is a clear illustration of what selective breeding king snake morph can look like. They are native to Central Florida and are very popular reptiles in the pet trade. Even snake enthusiasts highly admire their bright and visually striking appearance. They are usually blended with different morphs to produce an entirely new color combo. Some of the fascinating morphs include lavender, ultra hypo, high-red hypo, and albino as well.
In addition, the solid orange or brown colors distinguish them from other types of kingsnakes and give an eye-catching look. You can also research Mosaic kingsnakes in creamy yellow bands or brown bodies with yellow stripes. In fact, they are a blend of red, orange, and black colors, so pet owners can easily get the one that fits their preferences.
Banded Black and White
With clear markings and sharp, solid color patterns, the black and white kingsnake is a real treat to watch. The crystal clear white stripes on black markings just add an additional factor of elegance to this snake. You might love its clean white and black bands throughout the whole skin. Not only this, but the bright eyes also add up to its beauty and give a mesmerizing view of this little appealing creature.
When bred with other morphs of kingsnakes, they show dark brown or half-black shades with intensely sparkling eyes. The scales are thick, and the body can grow to almost 40 inches in length. What’s more interesting is their non-aggressive and friendly nature, making them happy pets for snake lovers.
To summarize, each type of king snake is unique and stunning, with its own set of colorations and patterns. By understanding what king snakes look like by locale and observing their variety of patterns you will gain a better understanding of the different types of king snakes available. Beyond their aesthetic appeal and robust colorations, they are highly adaptable animals and thus easy to manage as pets. Hence, making them a great option as your new reptilian friend.