California Kingsnake

CA king-snake-LC1111-8 - Sarah Erb Parnell

California Kingsnake
Lampropeltis getula californiae

Kingsnakes vary in color and pattern but usually have noticeable bands or stripes. Color variations include black with creamy yellow bands, brown with yellow bands, black with a white vertical stripe, brown with yellow stripe, and speckled patterns.

A kingsnake will hiss, shake its tail, or strike when threatened.  It may also curl into a ball with its head at the center and emit a bad odor through their vent (the opening from which they excrete fecal matter). They are neither venomous nor aggressive but might bite if surprised or threatened.

Kingsnakes will eat other snakes, even rattlesnakes, killing them by biting around the head and constricting.

Apollo came to us from the Stanislaus Wildlife Care Center in 2019. He was confiscated by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife after being kept as an illegal pet. Wild snakes that have been taken as pets should not be returned to the wild because they have lost their “home” to another snake. Kingsnakes have home territories and defend them against other snakes. 

Apollo was named in keeping with the Greek “theme” we established with Zeus, our late California kingsnake ambassador. We wanted Zeus’ legacy to live on, as he was a very much loved ambassador. Apollo has a big personality and is already a great ambassador!