Lampropeltis alterna

(L. mexicanus alterna)


Grey-banded Kingsnake



Range: Trans-Pecos/Chihuahuan desert; Southwestern Texas and Northern Mexico

Size: 4 ft (1.2 m) average, normal range 20 to 46 inches; max. 57 inches (1.46 m) weight usually 200 g, but can get obese (up to 350g)

Lifespan:: 20 (?)

Active: nocturnal

Habitat: desert cliffs, rocky limestone cliffs (live in fissures)
20-30 gal aquarium, undertank heating; newsprint, dried pine or aspen, Care Fresh or Lizard Litter; water bowl large enough for soaking, fresh water at all times; shelter Ophiophagus (snake eating) -> house separately!

Temp.: juveniles,80-90F
adults: gradient of 65F (18C) to 88F (31C)
brumate at 55F

Foods: in nature: rodents, birds, lizards, frogs, snakes
in captivity: mice -> pinky, fuzzy (adults are too large), neonates may require lizards, feed medium meal every 4-6 days

Temperament: calm; can be problem feeders

Barringer, Jeff (1997) Val Verde County. [On-line] Available:
Bryson, Robert W. (1997) A Biological Profile of the Gray-banded Kingsnake. [On-line]. Available:
Forks, Joe (1997) Gray-Banded Kingsnake Lampropeltis alterna. [On-line]. Available: alterna.html.
Markel, Ronald (1990) King Snakes and Milksnakes. T.F.H. publications, Inc., Neptune City, NJ. 144pp.
Markel, Ronald (1997) King Snakes and Milksnakes from alterna to zonata. Reptiles USA Annual pp. 107-119.
Merker, Gerold and Merker, Cindy (1996) The Mystical Gray-Banded: Gem of North American Kingsnakes. Reptiles 4(7): 60-85.
Walls, J.G. (1996) Grey-banded Kingsnakes, Identification, Care and Breeding. T.F.H. publications, Inc., Neptune City, NJ. 64pp.

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