(Lampropeltis getula splendida)
The desert kingsnake is found in all the counties covered by this work.
They are usually referred to as "splendida" by the local collectors, or as desert kings.
There is some variation in their color and pattern throughout the range. In some areas they have a great deal of white in them, particularly on the sides. Some of them appear as a white snake when seen in the headlights, while others look black. Some have completely black heads and necks, while others have a lot of white markings on the head. Some have yellow instead of white.
Splendida are docile snakes which rarely bite. They will often musk you when they are first captured.
Splendida will eat almost anything, including other snakes. The first time I tried to breed splendida, I put a 36" female in with a 32" male. After an hour I had seen no activity, so I left them together while I went out for a cup of coffee. Upon returning an hour and a half later, my spledida collection was down to one fat female.
This snake was collected on Juno Rd., north of Comstock, Val Verde County.
Photo courtesy of David Heckard.