California King Snake

california king snake at Wingham Wildlife Park

California King Snake Natural History


On average this species will reach lengths of between 4 and 5 feet, however longer specimens have been recorded.

Habitat and Distribution

As its name would suggest the majority of its range is in California and Arizona, but they can be found as low down as Northern Mexico, where they tend to live in a variety of habitats (generally at fairly high altitudes).


These snakes can live to be around 20 years, however it has been reported that they can reach to be 33 years old.


These animals will feed on animals such as small mammals and birds on occasion however the majority of their diet is made up of other snakes, including Rattlesnakes.

Groups and Breeding

Generally the breeding season for this species will be during the spring months, shortly after they come out of a semi hibernation state, with eggs being laid 6 to 8 weeks after mating. A single females may lay up to around 20 eggs which will take 45 to 60 days to hatch.


Both in the wild and in captivity this is a very common species and faces no true threat to its survival even though it is often collected for the pet trade.

Interesting facts

In the pet trade this species has been selectively bred to show a variety of different colours and patterns. The wild type in mainly black with white rings. A specimen at the park however for example is a blueish gray colour and instead of having rings, has stripes which follow the length of the snakes body.

The California King Snakes During Your Day Out in Kent

At Wingham Wildlife Park we will always have just a single California king snake on display, as they can be quite aggressive towards each other, having been recorded eating one another, even in captivity.  If you would like to see this beautiful species during your day out, she can be seen in the reptile house.