My only “lifer” snake found this year was encountered in a glade in Missouri. I was flipping rocks and enjoying seeing Slimy Salamanders, Black Widow Spiders and Bark Scorpions, when this fine serpent turned up.
This is an easy to identify medium-to-large, shiny black snake covered with small yellow spots. The ground color is generally black or dark brown. A white or yellow spot occurs in the center of most of the scales, to make the snake look speckled.
Speckled Kingsnakes are not only common in relatively undisturbed habitats, but often are also common in agricultural areas, particularly around buildings and junkyards.
This reptile kills its prey by constriction. Its foods include small rodents, lizards and other snakes, including venomous species such as Copperheads, Cottonmouths and Rattlesnakes. It is immune to the venom of snakes living in its home range.
The Speckled Kingsnake is often called the “salt-and-pepper” snake. This reptile was a most welcome find on my Autumn outing.