Discover Maryland's Herps

Field Guide to Maryland's Snakes (Order Squamata)

Sub-order Serpentes, Family Colubridae

Mole Kingsnake
Lampropeltis calligaster rhombomaculata

Photo of Mole Kingsnake courtesy of John White
Photo of Mole Kingsnake courtesy of John White

Size

30 inches – 40 inches. Record: 47 inches.

Appearance

  • This smooth shiny snake (scales not keeled) is brown to olive above with reddish brown blotches on the back, which alternate with smaller blotches on the sides; although some individuals may
    have no spots at all.

  • The belly is yellow to yellow-brown, with the yellow tint traveling up the sides.

  • There may be indistinct spots on the belly.

  • The head is small, not distinct from the neck.

  • Photo of Habitat for Mole Kingsnake courtesy of Rebecca Chalmers

    Photo of Habitat for Mole Kingsnake
    courtesy of Rebecca Chalmers

    Habitats

    This is a subterranean species, preferring to live in other animals' burrows. It may also burrow in sandy or loamy soils.

    How to Find

    This is a nocturnal species. It usually only is seen above ground in plowed fields or after heavy rains. On a post-rainy evening, go out to open areas near woods. Look in rodent burrows or rotted tree roots. They may also be found crossing roads.

    Distribution in Maryland

    Found only on the western shore of the Coastal Plain and adjacent Piedmont counties.

    Maryland Distribution Map for Mole Kingsnake

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    Maryland Amphibian
    and Reptile Atlas Project

    "A Joint Project of the Natural History Society of Maryland, Inc. and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources"

    For monthly newsletters of the Maryland Amphibian & Reptile Atlas Project click on Recent Newsletters and scroll down to the MARA Newsletters.

    The Maryland Herpetology Field Guide is a cooperative effort of the MD Natural Heritage Program and the MD Biological Stream Survey within the Department of Natural Resources and their partners. We wish to thank all who contributed field records, text, and photographs, as well as support throughout its development.