Mountain Kingsnake

Lampropeltis zonata

California Mountain Kingsnake
Photo: Rob Lovich, USGS

The markings of the beautifully colored Mountain Kingsnake are often confused with those of the coral snake. Just remember the saying, “red next to black is a friend of Jack, red next to yellow is a dangerous fellow.”

Banded red, black and creamy white encircling entire length of body; the red band bordered with black. Length 20” – 40” (5 to 10 dm); average about 2 ft.
Mainly in wooded canyon bottoms and moist forests; coast range chaparral, often near rocks or brush; also found along rocky streams
Sporadically in mountains of the west, south of Canada; western slopes of Sierra Nevada into southwestern OR.
Lizards, skinks, young birds, small mammals, and other snakes (rattlesnakes thought be part of their diet)
Most probably March to October; hibernate from late Nov until mid-Feb or later
Skip to toolbar