Arizona Mountain Kingsnake
Biome: Great Southwest
Biography: The Arizona Mountain Kingsnake is usually found in the higher elevations of the mountains. Food is killed by constriction and includes various lizard species, lizard eggs, rodents, other snakes and birds. This snake inhabits rocky areas, often near streams. A hatchling measures about nine inches, while an adult ranges from 18 – 41 inches in length. When disturbed this species emits a very strong and foul smelling musk. Predators with a strong sense of smell find the musk repugnant and will often release the snake before any extensive damage is done. The coloration of the kingsnake is an example of mimicry in nature. The red, black and white bands of the nonvenomous Arizona Mountain Kingsnake are often mistaken for the red, black and white or yellow bands of the venomous Arizona Coral Snake. By closely imitating the colors of the Coral Snake, the kingsnake can often scare off potential predators. Upon closer examination, you can see that the red bands of the Arizona Mountain Kingsnake are bordered by black, whereas the red bands of a Coral Snake are bordered with white or yellow.