California mountain kingsnake
The California mountain kingsnake (Lampropeltis zonata ) is a species of nonvenomous colubrid snake that is endemic to North America. It is a coral snake mimic, having a similar pattern consisting of red, black, and yellow on its body, but the snake is completely harmless. Seven subspecies are recognized, with five found in the U.S., including the nominotypical subspecies, and two in Mexico.
Diurnal animals are active during the daytime, with a period of sleeping or other inactivity at night. The timing of activity by an animal depends ...
A carnivore meaning 'meat eater' is an organism that derives its energy and nutrient requirements from a diet consisting mainly or exclusively of a...
Terrestrial animals are animals that live predominantly or entirely on land (e.g., cats, ants, snails), as compared with aquatic animals, which liv...
Predators are animals that kill and eat other organisms, their prey. Predators may actively search for or pursue prey or wait for it, often conceal...
Oviparous animals are female animals that lay their eggs, with little or no other embryonic development within the mother. This is the reproductive...
Precocial species are those in which the young are relatively mature and mobile from the moment of birth or hatching. Precocial species are normall...
NoNot a migrant
Animals that do not make seasonal movements and stay in their native home ranges all year round are called not migrants or residents.
Hibernation is a state of minimal activity and metabolic depression undergone by some animal species. Hibernation is a seasonal heterothermy charac...
The California mountain kingsnake is a nonvenomous colubrid snake native to North America. It has a banded pattern that consists of red, black, and white crossbands. The bands are always arranged in the same order with each red crossband being surrounded by two black crossbands, forming what is called a triad. Each triad is separated from the next triad by a white crossband, or in some examples by a cream or yellow crossband. Some individuals may have reduced amounts of red pigment, and rare individuals may have virtually no red bands at all.
California mountain kingsnakes are found in western North America, in the Western United States and northwest Mexico. They range from extreme southern Washington state through Oregon and California, to northern Baja California. These snakes live mostly in the mountains where they inhabit coniferous forests, oak woodlands, and shrubland.
California mountain kingsnakes are secretive creatures that lead a solitary life and spend most of the time in their underground burrows or hide under rocks, logs, bark, and other objects. They are very good climbers and may sometimes climb in trees. During cold months of the year, California mountain kingsnakes hibernate in burrows under the ground or in deep rock crevices. They are generally diurnal and hunt by day using their sight and smell to find prey. Being nonvenomous, California mountain kingsnakes rely on their bright coloration when they feel threatened; they are similar in appearance to the very venomous Coral snake, and thus bright coloration warns and confuses potential predators.
California mountain kingsnakes are carnivores. Their diet includes small mammals and snakes, as well as lizards, small birds, and their eggs.
California mountain kingsnakes breed between April and early June. Females lay a clutch of 2-10 white eggs which are then incubated for 50-87 days.
California mountain kingsnakes are not endangered at present. However, locally some populations suffer from habitat destruction and illegal collection for the pet trade.
According to IUCN, the total adult population size of the California mountain kingsnake is unknown but probably exceeds 10,000 individuals and may exceed 100,000 individuals. Currently, this species is classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List but its numbers today are decreasing.
California mountain kingsnakes are important predators in their ecosystem and help control populations of their prey items.