California Kingsnake (Lampropeltis getula californiae)
The California Kingsnake is a subspecies of the Common Kingsnake. California Kingsnakes show polymorphism, with the coloration usually either consisting of black and pale yellow alternating bands, or black and yellow longitudinal stripes (as shown).
This snake is non-venomous, and generally mild-mannered, and so falls victim to collecting by snake enthusiasts. It does make a good pet, but snakes removed from the wild always negatively impact the populations as a whole, especially as habitat loss in Southern California continues.
California Kingsnakes are habitat generalists, meaning that they can live in a variety of habitats. This means that they can be found almost anywhere with e the San Dieguito River Park.
Kingsnakes are named for their ability to attack and consume other snakes, even rattlesnakes. Immunity to the venom helps tremendously with these efforst! The photo shows a California Kingsnake wrapped around and subduing a young Red-diamond Rattlesnake.
Keep an eye out for California Kingsnakes in the River Park in the warm months as they sometimes wander abroad in the daytime, although more often are nocturnal.
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