Buckeye Herps Blog

A photographic journal of the reptiles and amphibians of Ohio, Michigan and other places interesting wildlife call home.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Black King

Black kingsnakes, Lampropeltis getula nigra, are definitely on my list of Ohio favorites. I still remember finding my first with Carl Brune quite a few years ago now, a young juvenile. They are large, attractive, and powerful snakes that are relitively mild mannered, but live up to their name - kingsnake. They are not afraid to snack on other serpents, even copperheads and timber rattlesnakes.

A picture of my first, from 04, included for nostalgia.

Thought to be rare or uncommon in Ohio they are actually quite abundant locally.  They are on the northern edge of their range, and thus have a small range in Ohio.  Within their range though, they can be one of the most common snakes found.

I have had luck finding them in a few different ways - primarily roadcruising and flipping rocks and tin/boards.  I can't recall if I even found one out on the crawl while hiking, but I don't think I have.

I often ask permission of people to search their property when looking for kings, and do my best to explain that the presence of these snakes is good and will "help" keep the population of venomous snakes down.  We are all salesman in a way...

So if you happen across a king someday, remember I put in a good word for him.  Take time to enjoy his presence, but please let him return to rule sovereign over his land and subjects.

No comments:

Post a Comment