There’s something hypnotic about this kingsnake climbing a vertical brick wall – it looks like a game on an app! The way the snake’s body follows the lines of cement is just beautiful. The video was released by the US National Park Service and was recorded at the visitor center at Coronado National Memorial. We see a Sonoran mountain kingsnake (Lampropeltis pyromelana) which is a medium-sized snake with striking white, black and red bands. It looks very like the coral snake – and uses this as a tactic to ward off predators.
All About Kingsnakes
Kingsnakes are very popular as pets. People like their bright colors and their docile nature. Compared to many other species of snakes, they are easy to care for. These snakes are not aggressive and are not venomous. They catch prey by wrapping themselves around the animal and squeezing, exerting 180 mm Hg of pressure. However, because they are small snakes, this is not a danger to humans.
Even though they do not have fangs, they do have short and conical teeth and they will bite. This happens if they feel threatened – the bite is quick and is released quite quickly. It would cause mild pain and discomfort.
Kingsnakes can grow up to four feet in length but the average length is three feet. The females tend to be larger than the males. Captive individuals have lived for up to 20 years when they have been cared for correctly.
In the wild, most are native to Mexico and their habitats are around the mountain regions of Chihuahua, Sonora and Huachuca – hence the name Sonoran. They live in forested areas and can enjoy altitudes of up to 9,000 feet. Sonoran mountain kingsnakes live in rocky habitats and if you are looking for them in wild, you are most likely to find them hiding under rocks but near a source of water. You may also discover them in piles of leaves and they are good at climbing trees. Their expertise at climbing is apparent in this short clip!
Kingsnakes are not coral snakes but they do look similar. Coral snakes are venomous and grow to lengths of around 30 inches but some are less than 20 inches. Apparently, you can tell these two snakes apart using the rhyme: ‘Red on yellow, kill a fellow. Red on black, venom lack.’ This means that coral snakes never have their black and red rings touching in their patterns, but kingsnakes do. Just goes to show that beauty can be dangerous!
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