Arizona Mountain Kingsnake
Lampropeltis pyromelana pyromelana
Names and Personal History:
Louis: He was donated to us by a family who was no longer able to care for him properly.
Pyro: He was donated to us by a Tree Frog Treks staffer.
Central and southeastern Arizona, southwest New Mexico into northwest Mexico.
They are found in chaparral woodland and pine forests in mountainous regions and brushy, rocky canyons. Also near streams and springs. They are very secretive snakes, spending most of the day hiding under rocks and logs, then coming out at night to hunt. Finding one in the wild is very rare and lucky.
There are several subspecies of Sonoran Mountain Kingsnake in the Southwestern states. Judging by the number of white rings (<43) and lower lip scales (10), both of ours are of the Arizona variety.
They are Coral snake mimics. The rhyme "Red touches yellow will kill a fellow; red touches black, venom lack" helps you tell the difference, but this is true ONLY here in the United States. This rhyme will not apply anywhere else so be careful of ANY small banded snakes.
Like other "King" snakes, they eat snakes and lizards in the wild and are partially immune to the local rattlesnakes venom. In captivity they are fed small rodents.