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A Guide to the Amphibians
and Reptiles of California





California Kingsnake - Lampropeltis californiae
Page 2 - Naturally-Occurring Aberrant Morphs

(= Lampropeltis getula californiae)
 






California Kingsnake Range Map
Range of California Kingsnake: Red
Range of Naturally-occurring Aberrant Morphs: Blue





observation link

 

Pictures and information about this snake and its habitat have been put on three pages:
Page 1, the main page, shows to see pictures of the more common banded form of the California Kingsnake, plus a range map, a species description and natural history information, references, and links to more information.
Page 2, this page, illustrates some other naturally-occurring pattern types and aberrant patterns.
Page 3 shows some of the wide variety of habitats utilized by this snake.

In his book, "Common Kingsnakes, A Natural History of Lampropeltis getula" 2009, Brian Hubbs includes a list of more than 30 prominent aberrant color patterns found in California Kingsnakes. The map shown to the left shows the approximate location for all of these morphs combined in southern California, with the "Delta" and "Eiseni" morphs shown to the north in the central valleys, based on the maps shown in Brian Hubbs' book. For much more detailed information about these morphs than I show here, including maps showing more detailed locations for many of these morphs, consult the book.

San Diego Striped Morphs, and Variations
California Kingsnake
California Kingsnake
California Kingsnake
California Kingsnake
San Diego Striped morph,
coastal San Diego County
San Diego Striped morph, coastal San Diego County Juvenile San Diego "Highway Stripe" morph, Riverside County.
© Cody Merrylees
California Kingsnake California Kingsnake California Kingsnake California Kingsnake
A Stripe-Blotch-Stripe morph from San Diego County. Juvenile Stripe-Band-Stripe morph, San Diego County © Kyle McCann
California Kingsnake California Kingsnake California Kingsnake California Kingsnake
Adult, Riverside "Dotted" morph, Riverside County. © Ross Padilla

Adult, Riverside "Dotted" morph, Riverside County. © Adam Helbert Adult, Striped morph, Riverside
County.© Adam Helbert
California Kingsnake California Kingsnake    
A San Diego Striped morph adult patrolling a thin strip of vegetation on a bluff 140 feet above a San Diego County beach. Hypomelanistic San Diego Striped morph from San Diego County
© Michael McCormick.
   
       
Banded Morphs
California Kingsnake
California Kingsnakes California Kingsnake California Kingsnake
48-band juvenile , a very high band count, from coastal Los Angeles county
© 2005 Brian Hubbs
A hypomelanistic Banded morph from Whitewater, Riverside County, along with a darker snake which is a more typical example of the Banded morph kingsnakes from the same area.
© Ross Padilla
Melanistic Banded morph, Butte County
© Brian Hubbs
Narrow-banded Coastal Los Angeles morph, Los Angeles County.
© Don Huffman
California Kingsnake California Kingsnake California Kingsnake California Kingsnake
Adult, Yuma morph,
Imperial County
© Joe Bouvier
Adult, Yuma morph,
Pima County, Arizona
© Tim Burkhardt
Adult, Golden Brown Black-belly morph, Yolo County © Dave Feliz
California Kingsnake California Kingsnake California Kingsnake California Kingsnake
Adult with "Zipper" pattern, Los Angeles County. © Byron De Stouet

Adult with a high band count and strong yellow markings, Yolo County. © Richard Porter
Newport-Long Beach Morphs
California Kingsnake California Kingsnake California Kingsnake California Kingsnake
A Newport-Long Beach "Barred" morph from western Riverside County.
© Ross Padilla
A juvenile Newport-Long Beach "Barred" morph from San Juan Capistrano, Orange County, discovered by Brian Hubbs and Brian Hinds, 2/19/06.
Photo © Brian Hinds
Newport-Long Beach "Mud" morph, coastal Los Angeles County. (The belly is completely brown.) © Don Huffman
California Kingsnake
California Kingsnake
California Kingsnake California Kingsnake
A juvenile Newport-Long Beach "Scrambled Banded" morph, wild-caught in coastal Los Angeles County. The belly is all yellow with no hint of brown or black.
© Josh Rosenstein
Bright yellow, typical Newport-Long Beach morph found in coastal Los Angeles County by Robert Edwards. Photo © Brian Hubbs Typical Newport-Long Beach morph found by Brian Hinds in Irvine, Orange County, California.  Photo © Brian Hubbs
California Kingsnake
California Kingsnake    

Melanistic Long Beach morph from Long Beach, CA.  An increasingly rare find within a shrinking urban range.  Commonly called "grease kings," these snakes may cease to exist in the wild very soon if developers keep bulldozing all the remaining habitat in the urban Long Beach area. The snake was rescued from imminent slaughter by habitat destruction and photographed by Brian Hubbs.  It is now part of a growing breeding colony designed to preserve this melanistic trait.

Delta banded morph, Yolo County
© Zachary Lim
   
Eiseni Morphs
California Kingsnake California Kingsnake California Kingsnake  
Valley Phase morph, Fresno County
© Patrick Briggs
Dark underside of Valley Phase morph,, Madera County © Patrick Briggs An adult, Central Valley Black-bellied "Eiseni" Morph, Fresno County
© David Tobler

 
Delta Morphs
California Kingsnake
California Kingsnake
California Kingsnake
California Kingsnake
Adult male Delta morph, Yolo County. © Gary Nafis  Specimen courtesy of Rick Staub Juvenile Delta morph,
Yolo County © Rick Staub

Speckled Morphs
California Kingsnake California Kingsnake    
Adult "Speckled" or "Washboard" morph, Fresno County. Specimen courtesy of Brian Hubbs  © Patrick Briggs

Adult, with light speckling, Yolo County
© John Stephenson
   
Other Morphs and Hybrids
California Kingsnake California Kingsnake California Kingsnake California Kingsnake
75 percent Blotched morph, San Diego County. © Alexus Cazares 95 percent Blotched morph, Riverside County.
(Striped morph on right at the top.) © Cody Merrylees
California Kingsnake California Kingsnake California Kingsnake  
This "Lavender Phase" king snake was found wild in creosote bush plains in Kern County. © Amy Patten. A probable cross between a Banded morph California Kingsnake and a Pacific Gophersnake, found in the wild in Yolo County by Steven Hinds.
Photo © 2005 Brian Hubbs
 
     
Normal Banded Morph Snakes and Habitats
California Kingsnake California Kingsnake habitat    
Go to Page 1 to see pictures of the more common banded form of the California Kingsnake, plus a range map, a species description and natural history information, references, and links to more information.

Go to Page 3 to see pictures of some of the wide variety of habitats used by California Kingsnakes.
   
Short Videos of Striped and Aberrant Kingsnakes

(Videos of Banded Kingsnakes Here)
California Kingsnake California Kingsnake California Kingsnake California Kingsnake
A Striped morph California Kingsnake crawls across a dirt road in the afternoon in San Diego County. A disgruntled kingsnake rears up in a partially-coiled defensive posture, strikes repeatedly at the photographer, then races off a rock to get away. A distressed San Diego County California Kingsnake vibrates its tail. Click to see a YouTube video of this snake shaking its tail defensively and making a rattling sound.
California Kingsnake      
Click on the picture above to watch a YouTube Video that shows what appear to be two males in combat in May in San Diego County, © Sean Kelly.      
 
 
 

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