Eastern King Snake
IN MARYLAND

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What does the eastern king snake look like?

The eastern king snake is a slender and long snake reaching between 36 to 50 inches. They are blackish with a yellowish chain-link going down the back and sides. This species is often called the chain-link king snake. The width of the yellow chain-link may vary depending on the region however the eastern kingsnakes found in the Montgomery County area tend to have a thin chain-link pattern. They have a short stout head with small dark eyes.

Where is the eastern king snake found in Montgomery County?

The eastern king snake is found in urban areas like Rockville and suburban areas like Potomac and rural areas like Damascus. Montgomery County pest control and snake removal companies occasionally remove this species from basements of homes and buildings as well as sheds, barns, and backyards. They are more commonly found in hardwood and pine forests, swamps and wetlands, meadows and farmlands.

What animals pray of the eastern king snake?

Hawks and owls feed on eastern king snakes as they cross open fields and meadows. Raccoons often feed on the eastern king snake when they encounter each other at a watering hole. With their keen sense of smell fox and coyotes will track down this snake for a healthy meal. Other snakes like Montgomery Counties mole king snake will feed on the eastern king snake.

Is the eastern king snake venomous?

The eastern king snake is not venomous. This is a calm snake however they do bite when they think they are in danger. The eastern kingsnake will rattle the tip of its tail to frighten predators away. They will also defecate on a predator and spray a predator with a foul smelling musk so the predator will leave it alone. If you attempt to pick up an eastern kingsnake it will bite you, defecate on you and spray you with a horrible smelling musk.

What does the eastern king snake eat?

The eastern king snake eats small rodents like mice and baby rats or voles. They feed on bird eggs, baby birds, small bird species like the sparrow, lizards, other snakes and turtle eggs. The eastern king snake will also feed on copperhead snakes and timber rattlesnakes because they are resistant to the venom. The eastern king snake is a constrictor so it will wrap its body around its prey and squeeze all of the air from its lungs until its dead. After the prey is dead the snake will swallow it whole starting with the feed first.

What are the habits of the eastern king snake?

During the cooler months of April, May, September and October the eastern king snake roam during the daytime. During the hot summer months of June, July and August the eastern king snake roams during the early morning as the sun is rising and the evening as the sun is setting. They may also roam during the night when temperatures are very hot (in July and August).

What are the hibernation habits of the eastern king snake?

The eastern king snake hibernates from October to April in the Montgomery County region. They will hibernate in logs, under logs, in rodded tree stumps, and burrows abandoned by other animals such as groundhogs. They will also hibernate in foundation walls of homes and buildings as well as wall cavities. The hibernation den must keep the snake from freezing and there must be the right amount of moisture so the snake does not dry out before springtime.

What are the reproduction habits of the eastern king snake?

The eastern king snake mates after hibernation in April or May. After mating is over the male and female go separate ways. The female will lay an average of 30 whitish leathery eggs in June or July. The eggs are laid in loose soil, under logs, under trash piles or wood piles, or in rotted tree stumps. The eggs hatch in August or September at which time the new born search for food. The eastern king snake becomes sexually mature at the age of three.

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