California Mountain King Snake
This animal is not on exhibit in the habitats. It is one of our Animal Ambassadors and is used in public and school programs.
All three of our snakes were captive hatched. Our eldest snake was captive hatched at the University of California Santa Cruz. There he was used in non-invasive experiments using different spectrums of light. He was transferred to CuriOdyssey in July of 2006. The two other snakes were also hatched at UCSC, are the San Diego subspecies, and have been here since July 2011.
Bright patterns and coloration usually serve as a warning signal to predators that an animal is venomous. In the case of the California Mountain King Snake, which is not venomous, it not only has bright coloration, but it also mimics the colors of the very venomous Coral Snake.
The first two snakes were born in 1998 and on July 2, 2002. The next two were both born 2009.
Diet in the Wild
Feeds on other snakes, lizards, bird eggs and nestlings, and occasionally small mammals.
Diet at the Museum
In the Wild: 10 to 15 years.
In Captivity: 15 years.
Most coniferous, woodland, and chaparral habitats from sea level to 9000 ft. Prefers well-lit rocky stream beds with heavy rock cover or rotting logs.
Baja California north to Southern Washington.
Not endangered, although there are 5 subspecies, each with very irregular and spotty distribution. Those snakes have been targeted by California Fish and Game for special consideration. The primary threat to the California Mountain King Snake is habitat loss from large-scale development, which drains the moist habitats they require. The pet trade is injurious to these snakes, but more from habitat destruction than from loss of individual animals to captivity; when wet rocks and rotting logs are overturned to search for snakes underneath, these important moist hiding places are ruined.
Your contribution helps provide my food, toys, and medical care. I’ll stay at the museum, and you’ll get a photo of me and a certificate as reminders of your generosity. Check out our adoption section and see all of our adoption levels.