South Florida Mole Kingsnake
Scientific Name: Lampropeltis Calligaster Occipito Lineata
Share this Post
The South Florida Mole Kingsnake, as the name shows is a Floridian snake comparable to the mole kingsnake Lampropeltis calligaster rhombo maculata. The scientific name for the South Florida Mole Kingsnake is Lampropeltis calligaster occipito lineata. Adult mole kingsnakes are tarnish-gray and are believed to have two more extra black-bordered reddish body blotches more than its close resemblance the Lampropeltis calligaster rhombo maculata. The Lampropeltis calligaster rhombo maculata has 50 color patterns, the making the Lampropeltis calligaster occipito lineata to have 52. These color patterns resemble crossbands with irregular shaped markings. It has small of these markings on the sides with larger patterns appearing on the dorsal section. The belly is brownish in color or it may be checkered. The snake has a distinct neck with a tinted y-shaped outline that extends up towards the backside of the head. It has smooth scales with about 22 dorsal scale rows. It has a round pupil with a murky line running through the eye. When making a search for the snake on the internet, one may be amazed at how little information may be found about the snake. This is because less than 40 specimens of this rare snake have been documented. However, there are many pictures of this snake and one can use them to identify the snake while in its habitat. Juvenile snakes will usually resemble the adults although they may have slightly darker pigmentation.
South Florida Mole Kingsnakes Are Beautiful Creatures
Facts About South Florida Mole Kingsnakes
The snake is not found outside of Florida although there have been isolated reports of its sightings in the peninsula from DeSoto County in the West all the way to the south in Brevard county in Lake Okeechobee. It can also be found in the southeastern states of Florida all the way westward to central Texas.
It has been found in prairies, near pinelands, cattle pastures and agricultural fields. The snake is a terrestrial burrower coming out mainly at night. Being a nocturnal animal, it has been found around plowed fields and crossing roads in the middle of the night. The snake feeds on rodents, lizards, birds, frogs and pries on other smaller snakes. Due to its fossorial behavior, no natural nests have been found or newborns been recorded. In some places, the Kingsnake can be found more abundantly preferring wooded areas and fields.
The snake is non-venomous. However, this does not mean that it will not bite when threatened. Being a nocturnal animal, the snake spends most of its daytime hours hidden under rocks, burrows or buried in loose sand or dirt. One may easily confuse the snake with other species of the Elaphe genus. Unlike this genus, the kingsnake is typically more slender but the greatest defining mark is its single anal plate. Snakes of the genus Elaphe have divided plates.
However, it has been shown that breeding occurs during spring, and the eggs being laid anytime between June and July. Newborns measure about 4-5 inches and hatch in late summer.
With few sightings and difficulty studying this snake in its natural habitat, most of the information learned about the snake is because of studying it in captivity. However, these studies have helped experts understand this elusive nocturnal slithering creature.