Friday, June 05, 2009
California Kingsnake, Lampropeltis getula californiae, Mission Trails, California. This Kingsnake was about 4 ft. long and what a beauty! These versatile snakes eat a whole variety of things including rodents, lizards, snakes, invertebrates (snails, for example), bird eggs, turtle eggs, young birds/turtles and small mammals. Kind of a slithering stomach on the go! They are constrictors and are generally not considered a threat to humans (a.k.a., no venim)and are apparently popular in the pet trade. [If you're into constrictors, there is also a boa native to the area, the Rosy Boa!]
The park ranger had warned us of a large rattlesnake along the road. Little did I guess that I would see a large kingsnake instead! It was slithering across the hiking trail, generally oblivious to the people. Apparently, a Kingsnake will eat a rattler if it can catch one. Pretty cool stuff.