Gray-Banded King Snake

        Picture by: Wayne Howell and Jeff Necessary
Scientific Name: Lampropeltis alterna
Geographical Range: Northern Mexico, Southeastern Texas, and Southeastern New Mexico
Habitat: Arid, semihumid climates such as desert flats, canyons, and mountain areas.
Diet in the Wild: Lizards, snakes, and small rodents.
Conservation Status: Considered a endangered species in New Mexico only.
Location in the Zoo: Herpetarium

Physical Description:
The Gray-Banded King snake is usually about 3 feet long and has beautiful array of colored stripes.  The snake has broad gray bands surrounded in smaller black bands that are outlined in a single row of white scales.  Some Gray-Banded King snakes have been seen with red stripes between the black bands. 
Social Organization:
The Gray-Banded Kingsnake is a solitary snake that is primarily nocturnal.  It is not seen alot because of its nocturnal nature.
Special Adaptations:
 During the long periods of drought that the southern summers often bring, the Gray-Banded Kingsnake retreat to there underground home to prevent dehydration. 

   Picture by: Wayne Howell and Jeff Necessary
Reproductive Behavior: 
The Gray-Banded Kingsnake usually lays around 4 to thirteen eggs.  The Kingsnakes breed after their winter hybernation and the breeding process takes about 30 days to produce the eggs.  The hatchlings range in size from 7 to 12 inches long. 
The Animal at the Zoo:
Page Author:
Brad Schilder 
mail to:
Sources and Links:
Conant, Roger. A Field Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians.© 1975 Library of Congress Catalog Publication Data.

Eichhorst, Tom. Lampropeltis Alterna--Gray-Banded Kingsnake.

Forks, Joe. Gray-Banded Kingsnakes Lampropeltis alterna. URL:

 VMS Professional Herpetoculture.©2000. URL:


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Reptiles and Amphibians at the Fort Worth Zoo