Scarlet King Snake

This Was the male king snake-By snakes1000000

The Scarlet kingsnake (Lampropeltis elapsoides) is a species of kingsnake found in the southeastern and eastern portions of the United States. They are found in pine flatwoods hardwood hammocks, prairies, cultivated fields, and suburban areas. Long thought to be divergent from other tri-color kingsnakes and milksnakes, Pyron & Bubrink demonstrated the phylogenetic distinction of this species and its closer relationship to the mountain kingsnakes of the Southwest than to milksnakes. These beautiful, fossorial snakes are among the smallest of all kingsnakes, usually ranging from 16 to 20 inches at maturity. The maximum recorded length is 68.4 cm (27 inches). Hatchlings range in size from 3.5 to 7.5 inches.


The generic name (Lampropeltis) is derived from the Ancient Greek lamprós (λαμπρος) meaning "bright" and peltas (πελτα) meaning "shield", after the sheen of their scales. Its specific name, elapsoides, is a Latinization of the Greek word éllops which refers to coral and is used to describe the genus of the elapids, which includes the coral snake, a species the scarlet kingsnake resembles.

It was once believed that Scarlet Kingsnakes intergrade with the Eastern Milksnake which produced a variation once named the coastal plains milk snake (Latin: Lampropeltis triangulum temporalis), but this is no longer recognized as a legitimate subspecies.

Description Edit

Scarlet Kingsnakes have a tri-color pattern of black, red, white, and various shades of yellow bands that are believed by some to mimic the venomous coral snake. A method to help differentiate between venomous and non venomous tri-color snakes in North America is found in the popular phrases "red on yellow, kill a fellow; red on black venom lack" or "If red touches yellow, you're a dead fellow; if red touches black, you're all right, Jack" and "Red and black is a friend of Billy Jack". While these sayings are helpful, many people become creative with it making it more difficult than useful. There is a much easier way to remember the difference between the Coral Snake and Scarlet Kingsnake in the Southeast. Coral Snakes have a black snout, while Scarlet Kingsnakes have a red snout. No two other snakes in this region can be confused for these two species, so an easier rhyme is "Red face, safe in my space." Note that as one moves westward into western Louisiana, Texas and further west that this simple rhyme no longer applies as many species of milksnakes can have black snouts.

All Scarlet Kingsnakes are born with white banding. With adults that have shades of yellow instead of white, the juveniles develop the yellow, apricot, or tangerine colored banding of their parents as increase in length, with most specimens expressing this beginning around 10 inches.

Scarlet kingsnakes are secretive, mostly nocturnal, fossorial snakes and are seldom seen by people. Loose bark on rotting pine trees is a favorite place for them to hide during spring or during heavy rains. They are often found at the base of decaying pines below the fallen bark, decaying wood, and soil where they hunt for they favorite prey, skinks.

My encounter in the UK-By Snakes1000000Edit

My Friend had left a patch of his garden to grow, and when it came to tidying it up they found a nest of snakes. There were around 40 eggs and about 5% of them had hatched. Both the male and female adult were also at the scene. My freind new I was into stuff like this so he called me round to take a look. As I am not a complete expert all I could I could identify them as a type of king snake. They then called round a near nabour who was an expert on snakes. He then identified the snakes as Scarlet King Snakes. I then took a look on some herping websites and found out that a small group of them had been breeding on the outskirts of Liverpool. There are about 15 breeding pairs. This was my encounter by snakes1000000

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