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A Guide to the Amphibians
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California Kingsnake - Lampropeltis californiae
Page 2 - Naturally-Occurring Aberrant Morphs

(= Lampropeltis getula californiae)
 






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





observation link

 

Pictures and information about this species and its habitat have been put on three pages:

Page 1
, the main page, includes pictures of the more common banded form of the California Kingsnake, 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 found in the wild (not aberrant morphs created by breeders.) The titled sections are not intended to be a definitive illustration of California Kingsnake morphs, they are just a way to sort the pictures of aberrant kingsnakes that have been sent to me. (For a more in-depth account of the morphs, see the Brian Hubbs book below.)

Page 3
shows some of the wide variety of habitats utilized by this snake.

In his 2009 book, "Common Kingsnakes, A Natural History of Lampropeltis getula", Brian Hubbs includes a list of more than 30 prominent aberrant color patterns found in California Kingsnakes. The morph names used here are mostly based on this book. The range map shown to the left shows in dark blue the approximate location where most of the aberrant morphs are typically found in southern California and where the "Delta" and "Eiseni" morphs are found in northern California. This map is based on the maps shown in Brian Hubbs' book. For much more information about these morphs, including lots more pictures, descriptions, and more detailed range maps, please 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 snake  
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.
This striped morph California Kingsnake was found in a park in Chico, Butte County, not far from where a non-native Corn Snake was found a month later. The striped pattern is not typically found in Butte County. It is more typical of snakes found near the coast in San Diego County. Therefore I assume that this, like the Corn Snake, was an abandoned pet, probably one bred in captivity. © Kurt Geiger  
       
Typical Newport-Long Beach Morphs and Variations

Typical Newport-Long Beach morphs found along the coast of Los Angeles and Orange Counties are threatened with extinction from continual loss of habitat due to land development.

California Kingsnake California Kingsnake California Kingsnake California Kingsnake
Typical Newport-Long Beach morph found by Brian Hinds in Irvine, Orange County, California.  Photo © Brian Hubbs

Notice that on the typical Newport-Long Beach morph the top of the tail is always dark past the vent.
Bright yellow, typical Newport-Long Beach morph found in coastal Los Angeles County by Robert Edwards. Photo © Brian Hubbs Adult Newport-Long Beach morph Orange County © Ivan Vershynin 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
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
A Newport-Long Beach "Barred" morph from western Riverside County.
© Ross Padilla
California Kingsnake      
Whittier "Mud" morph, coastal Los Angeles County. It's different from the typical Newport-Long Beach morph in that it has markings on top of the tail, different head markings, and a solid black belly © Don Huffman      
     
Eiseni Morphs
California Kingsnake California Kingsnake California Kingsnake
Adult from the Central Valley in Merced County © Holly Lane
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
 
       
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
   
       
Delta Morphs
California Kingsnake
California Kingsnake
California Kingsnake
California Kingsnake
Delta morph adult male, Yolo County. © Gary Nafis  Specimen courtesy of Rick Staub Delta morph juvenile,
Yolo County © Rick Staub
California Kingsnake California Kingsnake California Kingsnake California Kingsnake
This Delta morph adult was found found just east of the coast range hills in the tiny part of the Central Valley
that is in Alameda County. © Zachary Lim
Delta Aberrant morph, Stanislaus county. © Brian Hubbs
       
Delta Banded Morphs
       
California Kingsnake California Kingsnake California Kingsnake California Kingsnake
Delta banded morph, Yolo County
© Zachary Lim
Golden-Brown Black-belly morph adult, Sutter County © Richard Porter
California Kingsnake California Kingsnake California Kingsnake California Kingsnake
Adult, Golden Brown Black-belly morph, Yolo County © Dave Feliz Golden-Brown Black-belly morph juvenile, Sutter County
© Richard Porter
Golden-Brown Black-belly morph juvenile, Sutter County
© Richard Porter
California Kingsnake California Kingsnake    
Golden-Brown Black-belly morph adult, Sutter County © Richard Porter Delta Banded Brown-belly morph, San Joaquin county © Brian Hubbs    
       
Aberrant Banded Morphs
California Kingsnake
California Kingsnakes California Kingsnake California Kingsnake
This juvenile from coastal Los Angeles County has a very high band count, with 48 bands.
© 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 with "Zipper" pattern, Los Angeles County. © Byron De Stouet
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 due to habitat destruction and photographed by Brian Hubbs. It is now part of a growing breeding colony designed to preserve this melanistic trait.
California Kingsnake California Kingsnake California Kingsnake  
Adult with a high band count and strong yellow markings, Yolo County. © Richard Porter  
       
Miscellaneous Morphs and Possible 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 top of the picture on the right.) © Cody Merrylees
California Kingsnake California Kingsnake California Kingsnake  
Aberrant morph, Orange County
© Ivan Vershynin
This "Lavender Phase" king snake was found wild in creosote bush plains in
Kern County. © Amy Patten.
 
california kingsnake California Kingsnake    

This juvenile was found in the wild in Orange County. It is thought to be a mix of a California Kingsnake and a Desert Kingsnake, which not found in Orange County, making the snake a probable released pet.  © Brian Nann

This strange looking snake is probably a cross between a California Kingsnake and a Pacific Gophersnake. It was found in the wild in Yolo County by Steven Hinds. Photo © 2005 Brian Hubbs
   
       
Normal Banded Morph Snakes and California Kingsnake 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.
       
 

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