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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.

Latin Name

Lampropeltis zonata

History at CuriOdyssey

Our California mountain king snake hatched at UC Santa Cruz in 2009, is the San Diego subspecies, and came to CuriOdyssey in 2011.

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.


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1651 Coyote Point Drive
San Mateo, CA 94401
Ohlone Land Acknowledgement
[email protected]

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

Accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. The gold standard for animal care and welfare.
ASTC Member. Association of Science and Technology Centers.
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