Scarlet Kingsnake

Scientific Name
Lampropeltis elapsoides
Also Known As
Scarlet Milksnake
All of Florida
Small Mammals, Amphibians, Eggs, Lizards
Life Expectancy
6 - 8 Years
The Scarlet Kingsnake
Scarlet Kingsnake conservation status - Least Concern

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This Snake is Not Venomous

Scarlet Kingsnakes in Central Florida

The Scarlet Kingsnake (Lampropeltis elapsoides) is a non-venomous colubrid species indigenous to the southeastern United States, including central Florida. This slender yet powerful constrictor is appreciated by many for its vibrant coloration and valued role in controlling pest rodents.

This guide provides detailed identification tips, biology facts, and information on scarlet kingsnake habits, reproduction, diet, and human interactions in central Florida.

Appearance and Identification

Scarlet kingsnakes can be identified by their smooth and glossy scales, colorful banding patterns, and other distinctive features

Adult Scarlet Kingsnake

Photo 187627480 © Crowley Museum & Nature Center Inc, CC BY-NC

Adult Scarlet Kingsnakes

  • Size: Adult scarlet kingsnakes reach 20 to 48 inches (51 to 122 cm) long. Larger specimens may exceed 4 feet.
  • Coloration: Vibrant bands of red/orange and black rings cover the length of the body. White or yellow rings separate the darker bands. The red bands fade to pinkish anteriorly.
  • Scales: Thin smooth dorsal scales in 17 scale rows at midbody. Ventrals number 213-232. Subcaudals 41-57.
  • Head: The head is distinct from the neck with a rounded snout and large eyes with round pupils.