Description: The eastern kingsnake is fairly stout with a black back marked with a chain-like pattern of thin white or yellow bars. The belly has yellow or white patches on a black background. Kingsnakes found on the Outer Banks are usually brown rather than black and have light speckles between the chain-like pattern. In the western-most mountains of North Carolina, the kingsnake’s chain-like markings are usually broken up into tiny spots.
Feeding/Diet: Eastern kingsnakes are strong constrictors that prey on a variety of other animals, including rodents, eggs, frogs, lizards, small turtles, salamanders, and snakes—even venomous species such as rattlesnakes and copperheads.
Activity/Behavior: Eastern kingnsakes are active during the daytime and are often found around farms and even in suburban areas, taking refuge under objects such as old boards or tin.
Habitat/Range: Eastern kingsnakes live in a variety of habitats but are often found near water.
Reproduction: Kingsnakes lay 10–24 eggs in early summer and the babies, hatching in August or September, resemble the adults.
Miscellaneous: Kingsnakes are immune to the venom of pitvipers such as copperheads, cottonmouths, and rattlesnakes. The kingsnake is usually rather docile, but may bite and release a foul musk when first captured.