Field Frame Friday: Snake is king

The California kingsnake (Lampropeltis californiae) is a wide-foraging generalist predator which feeds on a variety of prey items including small mammals, lizards, birds, and even other snakes. Though this species is broadly, anecdotally known for preying on venomous rattlesnakes, recent studies highlight dietary composition reflective of seasonal and geographically available prey [1]. In the photo, an adult kingsnake lifts its head to get a better view as it checks out its surroundings. 

[Photo and caption by Cassidy Cooper]

[1] Wiseman, K.D., Greene, H.W., Koo, M.S. and Long, D.J., 2019. Feeding ecology of a generalist predator, the California kingsnake (Lampropeltis californiae): why rare prey matter. Herpetological Conservation and Biology14(1), pp.1-30.

The San Diego Zoo has a really good fun fact/audience page on native kingsnakes! If you’re interested in more information, check it out here:

[Edited by Maggie Creamer]

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