California King Snake

Lampropeltis californiae

The California Kingsnake is a highly adaptable snake found throughout the west coast from Oregon to Baja Mexico. They can be spotted in fields, forests, and deserts, but are most often found near streams.  

Kings Snakes are constrictors, meaning they squeeze their prey. However, King Snakes will often use mimicry to ward off predators. This includes tail rattling, and coiling its body similar to a Rattlesnake. When bothered, they can become rather aggressive.  

Their main diet consists or rodents and other reptiles, including venomous snakes. Rattlesnakes that encounter King Snakes in the wild will selom rattle their tails, instead, sitting motionless until they pass.  

Click HERE for a King Snake Activity Sheet!

Our Current Residents

Taco, Male - Born 2013 (estimated)

Taco came to ZooMontana in 2017 as a pet surrender. He was rather aggressive when he arrived, however, after several months of training through handling, Taco is now an ambassador animal used for educational programming.


  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Reptilia
  • Order: Squamata
  • Family: Colubridae
  • Genus: Lampropeltis
  • Species: L. californiae

Animal Facts

  • Carnivore
  • Common
  • Forests, deserts, fields 
  • Crepuscular 

Our Animals