Other common names

Mole King Snake

Basic description

Most adult northern mole kingsnakes are about 30-42 inches (76-107 cm) in total length. Adults are gray, brown, or orangish, with typically around 55 black-bordered reddish-brown blotches down the body and tail. Older individuals may be almost solid brown. The neck is indistinct, and there is sometimes a dark line through the eye. Juveniles are similar in appearance to adults but more vivid and with a silvery ground color.

tan and red blotched snake on leaf litter
Northern Mole kingsnake. Photo courtesy Mark Kenderdine/iNaturalist

Range in Florida

Northern mole kingsnakes are found in the Panhandle east to Franklin and Liberty counties.

Assessment of risk to people and pets

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

Comparison with other species

Eastern cornsnake
Photo courtesy of Todd Pierson.

Red Cornsnake (Pantherophis guttatus) Non-venomous Eastern cornsnakes have a distinct neck, a light spear-shaped pattern on the back of the head and neck, and a black and white checkerboard-patterned belly.

light colored snake on sand
Photo courtesy of Mark Kenderdine

South Florida Mole Kingsnake (Lampropeltis occipitolineata) Non-venomous South Florida Mole kingsnakes are only found in parts of central Florida. This species has over 75 small, dark blotches down the back, 21 midbody scale rows or fewer, and a network of dark lines on the back of the head.

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 Mark Kenderdine/iNaturalist/CC-BY-NC-4.0 Please credit any photographers on the page and see our copyright policy.