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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.

This animal is not on exhibit in the habitats. It is one of our Animal Ambassadors and is used in public and school programs.

Latin Name

Lampropeltis zonata

History at CuriOdyssey

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.

Date of Birth

The first snake was born in 1998 and on July 2, 2002. The next two were both born 2009.

Fun Facts about California Mountain King Snakes

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.

What do Mountain King Snakes eat?

California Mountain King Snakes feed on other snakes, lizards, bird eggs and nestlings, and occasionally small mammals. At CuriOdyssey, they are served mice.

How long do Mountain King Snakes live?

In the Wild: 10 to 15 years.
In Captivity: 15 years.

Where do Mountain King Snakes live?

California Mountain King Snakes' habitat are 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. They range in Baja California north to Southern Washington.

Are California Mountain King Snakes endangered?

Not endangered, although there are five 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.

Adopt me!

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.


Help provide for the care and feeding of our wildlife
guests by sponsoring an animal of your choice for a year.

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1651 Coyote Point Drive
San Mateo, CA 94401

[email protected]

CuriOdyssey is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, Tax ID 94-1262434

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