Smooth, shiny scales. Body is black or dark brown, speckled with yellow or white spots. Spots sometimes form narrow bars on the back. Belly is yellow, patterned with irregular rectangular black markings. Young resemble adults. Adults average 36-48 inches in length.
Habitat and Habits
Habitats include swamps, bottomland hardwood forests, marshes, prairies, pastures and mixed pine-hardwood forests. Active from MarchNovember. Breeds in early spring, lays 6-14 eggs under logs, stumps, rocks or decaying plant material. Eggs hatch in late summer months. Like all kingsnakes, it is a constrictor and eats rodents, lizards, birds and other snakes. Noted for its ability to eat venomous snakes.