Scarlet Kingsnake

Scarlet Kingsnake

Scarlet kingsnake, Scarlet milk snake

2 languages
Kingdom
Phylum
Subphylum
Class
Order
Suborder
Family
Genus
SPECIES
Lampropeltis elapsoides
Population size
Unknown
Life Span
22 yrs
Length
40-50 cm

The scarlet kingsnake or scarlet milk snake (Lampropeltis elapsoides ) is a species of kingsnake found in the southeastern and eastern portions of the United States. Like all kingsnakes, they are nonvenomous. They are found in pine flatwoods, hydric hammocks, pine savannas, mesic pine-oak forests, prairies, cultivated fields, and a variety of suburban habitats; not unusually, people find scarlet kingsnakes in their swimming pools, especially during the spring. Until recently, and for much of the 20th century, scarlet kingsnakes were considered a subspecies of the milk snake; however, Pyron and Bubrink demonstrated the phylogenetic distinction of this species and its closer relationship to the mountain kingsnakes of the southwestern United States. These largely fossorial snakes are the smallest of all the species within the genus Lampropeltis, usually ranging from 40 to 50 cm (16 to 20 in) at maturity. The maximum recorded length is in Jonesboro, AR 76.2 cm (30.0 in). Hatchlings range in size from 8 to 18 cm (3.1 to 7.1 in).

No

Nocturnal

Ca

Carnivore

Te

Terrestrial

Pr

Precocial

Fo

Fossorial

Ov

Oviparous

Pr

Predator

Po

Polygynandry

No

Non-venomous

So

Solitary

No

Not a migrant

S

starts with

Re

Red Animals
(collection)

Appearance

Scarlet kingsnakes are nonvenomous snakes found in the United States. They are the smallest of all species within their genus. Scarlet snakes are born with white, black, and red banding. As they mature, they develop varying shades of yellow within geographic areas where this is expressed. In addition, the yellowing is not uniform, but rather this pigmentation proceeds from lighter to darker from the lowermost scales upward to the dorsum, or "back", presenting multiple yellowish bands. The yellow pigmentation varies from lemon to school-bus yellow, to tangerine, to apricot, and darkens as adults age.

Distribution

Geography

Scarlet kingsnakes occur in the southeastern and eastern portions of the United States. They are found in pine flatwoods, hydric hammocks, pine savannas, mesic pine-oak forests, prairies, cultivated fields, and a variety of suburban habitats; not unusually, people find scarlet kingsnakes in their swimming pools, especially during the spring.

Climate zones

Habits and Lifestyle

Scarlet kingsnakes are secretive, fossorial (living underground)snakes, that lead a solitary life and are infrequently seen by people. They are excellent climbers. They usually hide underneath the loose bark on rotting pines, under the bark on dying or decaying pines and their stumps, and in decaying wood. When the night comes, Scarlet snakes come out from their hiding places to hunt. They are not dangerous to humans and prefer to avoid any confrontation with them. If these snakes sense any danger, they will try to flee rather than attack.

Seasonal behavior

Diet and Nutrition

Scarlet kingsnakes are carnivores. They especially prefer skinks but also feed on small snakes, lizards, frogs, toads, mice, rats, voles, birds, and bird eggs.

Mating Habits

MATING BEHAVIOR
REPRODUCTION SEASON
March-June
INCUBATION PERIOD
40-65 days
INDEPENDENT AGE
at birth
FEMALE NAME
female
MALE NAME
male
BABY NAME
snakelet
web.animal_clutch_size
4-10 eggs

Scarlet kingsnakes are polygynandrous (promiscuous) which means that both males and females mate with multiple partners. Their breeding season takes place from March to June. Females lay 4-10 eggs, usually in rotting wood, under logs, or may bury them in the soil. Incubation lasts around 40-65 days. Hatchlings range in size from 8 to 18 cm (3.1 to 7.1 in) and are completely independent at birth. They become reproductively mature at 3 to 4 years of age.

Population

Population threats

There are no major threats to Scarlet kingsnakes at present.

Population number

According to IUCN, the Scarlet kingsnake is locally common and widespread throughout its range but no overall population estimate is available. Currently, this species is classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List and its numbers today are stable.

Ecological niche

Scarlet kingsnakes are important predators in their ecosystem of small rodents, snakes, frogs, and birds; this way controlling their populations.

References

1. Scarlet Kingsnake on Wikipedia - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scarlet_kingsnake
2. Scarlet Kingsnake on The IUCN Red List site - https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/67662850/67662876

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