Florida's Snakes thumbnail photo of snake identification guide cover

Common Kingsnake
(Lampropeltis getula)


bands icon

Common Kingsnake (showing color variation)

photo of common kingsnake showing specked tan body with cream crossbands

photo of common kingsnake showing northern color variation - snake is black with cream crossbands

 Photos by Kevin Enge (FWC, upper photo) and Dirk Stevenson (lower photo). These photos may not be used without the express written permission of the photographer


Usually 3–4 ft. (max. ~6.5 ft.)


In peninsular Florida, body is tan-brown with lighter cream-yellow crossbands. Each scale is tipped with brown, giving this snake a speckled appearance; bands are indistinct and fade as the snake lightens with age. In northern Florida, body is dark brown or black and marked with cream-white crossbands. In the Apalachicola River Basin, bands may be indistinct or absent. Scales are smooth. This snake lays eggs.


Found throughout Florida in pine and hardwood forests, edges of ponds and canals, cypress swamps, marshes, and tidal flats. This snake may also be found in agricultural areas and in and around abandoned houses and barns.


Frogs, salamanders, lizards, snakes (including venomous species), small turtles and turtle eggs, birds and bird eggs, mice, rats, young rabbits

map showing common kingsnakes are found throughout Florida

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

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