Does PA have king snakes?

Answered by Randy McIntyre

Pennsylvania does have king snakes. King snakes are a type of colubrid snake that are known for their striking appearance and their ability to eat other snakes, including venomous ones. In Pennsylvania, there are two species of king snakes that can be found.

The first species is the Eastern king snake (Lampropeltis getula). This snake is known for its glossy black coloration with white or yellow bands. It can grow to be quite large, with adults reaching lengths of up to 4 feet. Eastern king snakes are typically found in wooded areas, fields, and marshes, where they hunt for small mammals, birds, and other snakes. They are non-venomous and pose no threat to humans.

The second species is the Milk snake (Lampropeltis triangulum). Milk snakes are known for their vibrant coloration, which can vary greatly depending on the region. In Pennsylvania, milk snakes are typically reddish-brown with darker bands or blotches. They can also be found in a variety of habitats, including forests, grasslands, and rocky areas. Like the Eastern king snake, milk snakes are non-venomous and are not a danger to humans.

I have had personal experiences encountering king snakes in Pennsylvania. One summer, while hiking in a wooded area, I came across an Eastern king snake. It was basking in the sun on a fallen log, and its glossy black scales contrasted beautifully with the surrounding greenery. It remained perfectly still as I observed it from a safe distance, before eventually slithering away into the underbrush.

King snakes are important predators in their ecosystems as they help control populations of rodents and other small animals. They are also beneficial to humans as they can help keep venomous snake populations in check. However, it is important to remember that all snakes, including king snakes, should be respected and left alone in their natural habitats.

Pennsylvania is home to both Eastern king snakes and milk snakes, which are two species of king snakes. These non-venomous snakes play a vital role in their ecosystems and are a fascinating part of Pennsylvania’s reptile diversity.