Mole King Snake
IN MARYLAND

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What does the mole king snake look like?

The mole king snake is a slender snake that reaches lengths up to 30” inches or 40” inches (2 ½ feet to 3 ½ feet). The color of the adults back can vary in tones of a light or dark brown or a brownish to reddish or greyish or olive-brown color. Their belly is yellowish- brown or light olive with brown spots. They have an elongated chestnut brown to reddish color spot that runs down each side and down the center of the back. Some older adults may be brownish with no pattern as the pattern fades with age. The juveniles look a lot like the adults except for the dark brownish or dark grayish color edge around the elongated spots on the back and sides. The head is the same width as the neck.

Where is the mole king snake found in Montgomery County?

The secretive behavior of the mole king snake misguides people into thinking they have a very small population. However this snake burrows and spends much of its time underground. Many homeowners in Gaithersburg, Germantown, Olney, Damascus and Chevy Chase have found a mole king snake under boards or trash debris lying on the ground in the backyard. In the summer of 2015’ only 6 were removed by a Montgomery County pest control company that specializes in snake removal. Two of the six were removed from under trash cans that were sitting in the backyard grass. Two others were removed from under old woodpiles in the backyard. The final two were removed from the basement of an old stone home that had a lot of gaps and openings in the foundation walls.
The mole king is most commonly found in land that is farmed like cornfields and soybean fields. They are also found in thickets, meadows, and along the edge of forested areas.

What animals pray of the mole king snake?

Montgomery County has several species of animals that prey on mole king snakes as well as other snakes. The main predators are raccoons, skunks, opossums, fox, coyotes, and birds of prey. Larger birds like ravens and crows may feed on juveniles and small snakes. Eastern king snakes will also feed on the mole king snake.

Is the mole king snake venomous?

The mole king snake is not venomous. This is not an aggressive species however it will bite if it feels like it needs to defend its self.

What does the mole king snake eat?

The mole king snake feeds on mice and other small rodents that inhabit Montgomery County. They also feed on other snakes, lizards, frogs and toads. This snake is a constrictor meaning it will wrap its body (once or twice) around its prey and squeeze all the air out of the lungs of the prey until it’s dead. Once the prey is dead the mole king snake will swallow it whole. The amount this snake eats depends on the time of the year and the availability of food. Most snakes can live between 6 months and a year without food.

What are the habits of the mole king snake?

The mole king snake is predominately nocturnal during the hot days of summer. However, the cooler nights of spring and fall may present a problem so they are forced to roam while the warm sun is up to. This snake can burrow into loose or sand soil. They can burrow into mulch flowerbeds or landscaping as well as rotted tree stumps or soft wood. Besides burrowing into the ground on their own they also use rodent tunnels. The mole king snake is known to reach the age of almost 15 years.

What are the hibernation habits of the mole king snake?

The mole king snake and most of the other snake species that inhabit Montgomery County begin hibernating in October and emerge from hibernation in April. They hibernate in burrows they made their self or in burrows that were abandoned by other animals. If the snake does not hibernate deep enough to protect its self from cold temperatures then it may die.

What are the reproduction habits of the mole king snake?

The mole king snake mates in the spring between April and May in the Montgomery County region. After mating is complete the male and female depart ways. Two months later in June or July the female will lay an average of 15 to 20 eggs. The eggs are laid in loose soil or in logs or in rotted tree stumps or under trash pile or under piles of wood. The eggs hatch sometime in August or September. After the young hatch they are on their own and begin the search for something to eat before hibernation starts.

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