Grey Banded King Snake


Grey Banded King Snake

Place of Birth:

USA and Mexico: Gray-banded kingsnakes live in a fairly small section of the southwestern United States and into northern Mexico. Depending on their location, they live at elevations as low as 350 feet (107 m), all the way up to 7,546 feet (2,300 m)

Eating Habits:

Under natural conditions, gray-banded kingsnakes seek out prey by cornering them in crevices, under rocks, and in rodent burrows. In the wild, they eat mostly lizards with an occasional snake or rodent. Considered poor constrictors, they rarely immobilize their prey before swallowing it alive.

Quick Facts:

Scientific Name Lampropeltis alterna
Size Typical adult body length is 24 – 36 inches (61 – 91 cm) and weigh around 200 g.
Color Coloration, ranges from bizarre to mundane patterns. Color bands include red, orange, gray, black and white.
Lifespan They can live 15 years or more in captivity.
Eco Status Not endangered. Once believed to be quite rare, they are now considered to be one of the most common snakes in their range.


Gray-banded kingsnakes live in a variety of habitats, including rocky desert hills, canyons, arroyos, limestone ridges, piles of boulders and occasionally desert flats. They inhabit extremely hot and dry areas, surviving by spending the majority of their lives underground, emerging only when conditions are suitable.

Animal’s Behaviour

In the wild, grey-banded kingsnakes are not often encountered. They are a common species, but are solitary, nocturnal and quite secretive. Their natural range is sparsely populated with humans, and many regions are virtually impassable due to the mountainous terrain. During the long periods of drought that the southern summers often bring, the Gray-Banded Kingsnake retreat to there underground home to prevent dehydration. Gray-banded kingsnakes have wide heads, large eyes with round pupils and an even, cylindrical body. Males and females are not easy to distinguish; the only difference is that males have slightly longer tails than females. In the spring, 30 days after breeding, the female kingsnake lays a clutch of 4 to 13 eggs. She lays the eggs in a secluded nest. Eggs measure between 1.2 – 1.6 inches (3 – 4 cm) in length. The young hatch after 55 – 75 days (average is 62) of incubation, at an average temperature of 81°F (27°C). At birth, hatchlings are between 6 – 12 inches (15 – 30 cm) in length.