California Kingsnake- Lampropeltis californiae

The California Kingsnake is a non venomous snake endemic to the Western states. This common snake is docile, but if provoked, it will bite and produce fecal material to get away. However, because it is non-poisonous and plentiful, it is often kept as a pet. In the wild it lives in forests, woodlands, deserts, and grasslands. They eat birds, rodents, amphibians and other reptiles, including rattlesnakes. California Kingsnakes are constrictors and kill their prey by suffocation.

Kingsnakes vary in color. Some have white or yellow stripes with alternating brown or black stripes.  A California Mountain King can have red, white and black stripes. (This one does not occur at the dam site.)

Although the Kingsnakes are “King” among other snakes, due to the fact that they can eat rattlesnakes and cottonmouths because they are somewhat immune to their venom.  However, they can fall prey to other predators including bobcats, coyotes, skunks, opossums, and several birds of prey.