The beautiful kingsnake may grow up to 5 feet long. Its smooth dark brown to maroon body is banded with white to cream color. Found throughout the Sacramento region and on into the foothills, it prefers brushy, wooded or rocky areas where there are hiding places.
Although gentle and quiet by nature, kingsnakes can pursue and capture other snakes, including rattlesnakes. Like other snake species, it does not seem to be affected by the rattlesnake's poison. Kingsnakes feed on rats, mice, lizards, and birds. Prey is killed by constriction.
A mountain species may have the additional beauty of red and yellow bands. This has caused this harmless and beneficial snake to be killed because of its resemblance to the poisonous coral snakes of the southern states.
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