NON-VENOMOUS

Other common names

South Florida Mole King Snake

Basic description

Most adult south Florida mole kingsnakes are about 30-42 inches (76-107 cm) in total length. Adults are gray, brown, or tan with at least 75 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. There is a network of dark lines on the back of the head. Juveniles are similar in appearance to adults but more vivid and with a silvery ground color.

light colored snake on shady sand
South Florida Mole Kingsnake. Photo courtesy of Mark Kenderdine

Range

South Florida mole kingsnakes are known to occur only in the peninsula from Brevard County south to Lake Okeechobee and west to Charlotte and DeSoto counties. It is not found outside of Florida.

Assessment of risk to people and pets

Non-venomous. South Florida mole kingsnakes are not dangerous to people or pets, but they may bite to defend themselves. They avoid direct contact with people and pets. Virtually all bites occur when the snakes are intentionally molested.

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.

brown snake on leaf litter
Photo courtesy Mark Kenderdine/iNaturalist

Northern Mole kingsnake (Lampropeltis rhombomaculata) Non-venomous Northern mole kingsnakes are only found in the Florida Panhandle. This species typically has 55 small dark blotches down the back and 21-23 midbody scale rows.


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 and 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.