The common kingsnake is our star this week on Meet the Critters. The common kingsnake is considered to be the most beautiful snake native to Cheyenne Bottoms, and our resident here at KWEC is no exception. Their striking black and yellow patterns are like no other snake found on the refuge.
Kingsnakes got their name from their habit of eating other snakes, including venomous snakes. They kill their prey by constricting, and are known to eat rodents, small birds, lizards, and the eggs of birds and reptiles.
Raptors, water birds, and small mammals are all predators of adult kingsnakes, and their young are on the menu for large frogs and other snakes. Like several other snake species, the common kingsnake will vibrate its tail against grass or leaves in order to mimic the sound of a rattlesnake, and hopefully frighten off predators.
Adult common kingsnakes can reach three to four feet in length. The largest specimen ever recorded reached a whopping 6 feet 10 inches. Captive common kingsnakes have been known to live over 33 years!