The conservation status for the Scarlet Kingsnake is Unknown in the state of Virginia
- Scientific Name
- Lampropeltis elapsoides
- Central and Southern Virginia
- Also Known As
- Scarlet Milksnake
- Red to Black To Yellow To Black Bands
- Skinks, Lizards, Small Snakes
- Litter Size
- 2 - 8 Eggs per Birth
- Life Span
- 10 - 15 Years
- 14 - 20 Inches
Quick Links for Scarlet Kingsnake
Scarlet Kingsnake Description
Scarlet Kingsnake Appearance
These are thin snakes with alternating red to black to yellow to black rings. It is important to note that the yellow and red rings do not touch.
This difference is what separates the Scarlet Kingsnake from the venomous Coral Snake. Although the coral snake does not appear here in Virginia, knowing the difference between the two is important. If you can’t remember then think of this phrase:
“Red to black venom lack, red to yellow kill a fellow”
This snake is usually between 14 to 20 inches long, however, the record length for this snake is about 27 inches.
Juveniles tend to be 3 to 7 inches long.
Scarlet Kingsnake Behavior
While these snakes are not venomous they will bite if handled. If you are bitten make sure to wash the wound with soap and water to prevent infection.
These Kingsnakes are secretive, and not much is known about their behavior in the wild, especially in Virginia. What is known is that these snakes kill with constriction, and will hunt at night.
It is illegal in Virginia to keep Snakes found in the wild as pets
Range and Habitat of The Scarlet Kingsnake
They can be found in southern and central Virginia. However, due to their secretive nature and low numbers correctly identifying their range is pure guesswork. Researchers believe that they can go as far north as Spotsylvania County. But the only specimens we can find goes as far north as Henrico County
Kingsnakes prefer the same habitat as other Colubrids such as the milk snake and Copperhead. These snakes prefer forests and fields, or in other words areas with a lot of covers. However, these snakes are excellent climbers and can be found climbing trees or buildings.
Diet of Scarlet Kingsnake
Their main diet are lizards and small snakes, which are killed by constriction. Larger individuals will eat small mammals such as rodents, and newborns have been seen eating amphibians. They usually go out at night to hunt for these animals.
Young and Reproduction
Reproduction in these snakes has been little studied in Virginia. We can hypothesize that the mating season should be in the spring to summer. In other areas, these snakes lay their eggs underground, in rotten logs, or piles of debris