What Is a California Kingsnake?

The California kingsnake is a non-venomous species of the Colubridae family that is native to the western United States and northern Mexico. The species typically grows to 2.5 to 3.5 feet in length and bears a black or brown body with white or yellow stripes.

The scales of the California kingsnake are shiny, smooth and unkeeled, and its head is only slightly wider than its neck. The reptile is most active during the day in cooler temperatures and at night in periods of extreme heat. The constrictor coils its body tightly around prey, which includes birds, chicks, a variety of eggs, frogs, lizards, rodents, salamanders, snakes, turtle hatchlings and small mammals.