NON-VENOMOUS

Other common names

Apalachicola King Snake

Basic description

Most adult Apalachicola kingsnakes are about 36-48 inches (90-122 cm) in total length. These snakes are variable in coloration and distinguished from all other kingsnakes by their overall light body coloration, having either narrow or wide crossbands with considerably lightened color between the bands, or being non-banded (striped or patternless). Banded individuals have fewer than 26 yellowish and usually wide crossbands down the back. The neck is indistinct, and the scales are smooth and shiny. Banded juveniles are mostly black with white or yellowish crossbands down the body. Striped and patternless juveniles are mostly black and lack light crossbands.

snake with small dark checked pattern
Apalachicola kingsnake. Photo courtesy of jakescott/iNaturalist

Range in Florida

Apalachicola kingsnakes occur in the eastern and central Florida Panhandle, primarily in the eastern Apalachicola lowlands south of Telogia Creek. However, Apalachicola kingsnakes are known to interbreed with eastern kingsnakes (Lampropeltis getula) throughout areas surrounding this range

Assessment of risk to people and pets

Non-venomous Apalachicola kingsnakes are not dangerous to people or pets, but they occasionally bite to defend themselves. These snakes avoid direct contact with people and pets. Virtually all bites occur when people intentionally bother the snakes.

Comparison with other species

 

coiled snake with black and yellow scales
Photo courtesy of Todd Pierson.

Florida kingsnake (Lampropeltis floridana) Florida kingsnakes have more than 34 light crossbands on the body, lightening of the black scales between crossbands, a degenerate lateral chain-like pattern, and usually 23 scale rows at midbody.

 

large black snake with yellow rings
Photo courtesy of Todd Pierson.

Eastern kingsnake (Lampropeltis getula) Eastern kingsnakes have 19-32 light crossbands on the body, no lightening of the black scales between crossbands, a chain-like pattern along the sides of the body, and usually 21 scale rows at midbody.


Share your observations

You can help scientists better understand the biology and distribution of this species by sharing your observations. Send photos or videos of interesting observations, along with associated information, by emailing the herpetology staff at the Florida Museum for documentation in the Museum’s Herpetology Master Database. You can also post your observations on iNaturalist.

Additional helpful information

Do you have snakes around your house? Learn how to safely co-exist with snakes.

Still have questions about snakes or identifications? Feel free to email the herpetology staff at the Florida Museum with your questions or feedback on this profile.

Banner photo courtesy jakescott/iNaturalist/CC-BY 4.0. Please credit any photographers on the page and see our copyright policy.