Florida's Snakes thumbnail photo of snake identification guide cover

Scarlet Kingsnake
(Lampropeltis elapsoides [formerly Lampropeltis triangulum elapsoides])


bands icon

Scarlet Kingsnake

photo of scarlet kingsnake showing red and yellow-white bands separated by black bands

 Photo by Ryan C. Means (Coastal Plains Institute). This photo may not be used without the express written permission of the photographer


Usually 1–1.5 ft. (max. ~2 ft.)


Body is marked with broad bands that completely encircle the body. Red and yellow-white bands are separated by black bands; yellow-white and red bands never touch. Snout is pointed and red, and a wide black band runs across the back of the head. Scales are smooth. It is often mistaken for the venomous Coralsnake. This snake lays eggs.


Found throughout Florida in a variety of habitats, including swamps, bottomland, pinewoods, sandhills, hardwood hammocks, agricultural areas, and abandoned suburban lots. It spends most of its time hidden under rocks, logs, or loose bark on standing dead trees (mainly pines).


Lizards, small snakes

map showing scarlet kingsnakes are found throughout Florida

Map by Monica E. McGarrity - may be used freely for education.

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