This site was created by students in the herpetology class at Towson University. Site last updated: 05/21/07.
Acknowledgements: Herb Harris - Range Maps; Mark Tegges - Photography; Dan Lapascha & Gigi Forester - TU Herpetology Logo
The Eastern kingsnake is a larger snake ranging in length from 91-122 cm. They are shiny, chocolate brown to black in color with white crossbands that form chain link markings. The venter, chin and throat are variably black to yellow and sometimes with checkered markings. Pupils are round. The scales are smooth in 19-25 rows with an undivided anal plate.
The Eastern kingsnake is found in a variety of habitats such as woodlands, fields and freshwater wetlands. They can also be found burrowed under debris, sawdust piles, fallen farm buildings and climbing in shrubs. During the spring and fall this species is most active in the morning and near dusk, but in the summer heat they tend towards nocturnal activity.
Mating occurs in the spring and in June or July females lay a clutch of 3-24 creamy colored, elongated eggs (1.25-2.75” long). Nests are made in rotten logs, sawdust piles or soil. In August or September after 8.5-11.5 weeks of development, the young hatch and are 9-12” in length.
Distribution in Maryland
Range map adapted from Harris, 1975.