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"Lampropeltis getula getula"
Lampropeltis getula getula. (2008, June 29). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 00:32, January 5, 2010, from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Lampropeltis_getula_getula&oldid=222444198
Lampropeltis getula is a harmless colubrid species found in the United States and Mexico. A distinct color pattern and the common belief that this species actively hunts for venomous snakes helps to protect them from immediate death, which is the usual outcome when snakes encounter people. It has long been a favorite among collectors. Eight subspecies are currently recognized, including the nominate subspecies described here.
Adult specimens are 39-78 inches (98.5-197 cm) in length. Specimens up to 82 inches (208.2cm) have been recorded. 
The color pattern consists of a glossy black, blue-black or dark brown ground color overlaid with a series of 23-52 white chain-like rings. King snakes from the Coastal Plain have wider bands, while those found in mountainous areas have thinner bands or may be completely black.
Eastern kingsnake, common kingsnake, chain kingsnake, king snake, Maggie Muncher, Sophie Swallower, Ruby Ravager, Carolina Kingsnake, chain snake, bastard horn snake, black king snake, black moccasin, common chain snake, common king snake, cow sucker, eastern king snake, horse racer, master snake, North American king snake, oakleaf rattler, pine snake, racer, rattlesnake pilot, thunder-and-lightning snake, thunderbolt, thunder snake, wamper, wampum snake.
Found in the United States in New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, Kentucky, Tennessee, southern Indiana, south and southwest Illinois, southern Iowa, Missouri, southeastern Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, portions of Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, southern and western Nevada, southern Utah, California, southern Oregon, southern Ohio and West Virginia. Also found in northern Mexico, including all of Baja California [Hubbs, 2009].
Open areas are preferred, particularly grassland, but also chaparral, oak woodland, abandoned farms, desert, low mountains, sand, and any type of riparian zone, including swamps, canals and streams [Hubbs, 2009].
Oviparous, females lay up to several dozen eggs that hatch after 2-2.5 months of incubation. Hatchlings are brightly colored and feed on small snakes, lizards and rodents.
Long a favorite among collectors, they do well in captivity, living for up to 25 years or more.
Hubbs, Brian. 2009. Common Kingsnakes. Tricolor Books, Tempe, Arizona.Lampropeltis getula getula. (2008, June 29). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 00:32, January 5, 2010, from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Lampropeltis_getula_getula&oldid=222444198
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