Scarlet kingsnake

A beautiful snake with patterns of red, black, and yellow rings encircling the body

Peter Paplanus from St. Louis, Missouri

The scarlet kingsnake is undoubtedly the US’s most attractive snake. It is assumed that they are deadly coral snake mimics based on how similar they look. Because they are nocturnal, scarlet kingsnakes spend most of their time underground or concealed by logs, leaves, and other debris.

They eat mostly the eggs of reptiles. However, they have also been observed consuming insects, tiny lizards, snakes, frogs, and salamanders. Although they are currently regarded as being of Least Concern, habitat destruction and the illicit pet trade are factors in this reptile’s population decline. Changes to the habitat can also have an impact on the scarlet snake population.


Population est.
United States

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Terrestrial / Aquatic

Altricial / Precocial

Polygamous / Monogamous

Dimorphic (size) / Monomorphic

Active: Diurnal / Nocturnal

Social behavior: Solitary / Pack / Herd

Diet: Carnivore / Herbivore / Omnivore / Piscivorous / Insectivore

Migratory: Yes / No

Domesticated: Yes / No

Dangerous: Yes / No