Is there a black king snake that is not a Mexican king? - FaunaClassifieds
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Old 07-18-2020, 08:40 AM   #1
Question Is there a black king snake that is not a Mexican king?

OK folks hereís the deal:
My very first snake that I acquired was in 1998 (yes Iím old) and was a kingsnake. He was mostly solid black with a white/creamy belly and some light speckling on his sides (if I remember correctly itís been a long time and Iíd need to dig up some photos of him). At that time in my herp life I had never heard of a Mexican king snake.
Now I see them everywhere and theyíre beautiful but I donít think they necessarily look like my guy.

So my question is this: is there a king snake that looks similar to a Mexican black king but is not a Mexican black king?

I thought I had uncovered one a while back doing a Google search but canít find it now.

Iíll try to dig up some photos of my guy but theyíre pretty buried. I appreciate any and all responses.

Thank you for your time.
Old 07-18-2020, 09:56 AM   #2
Mexican kings and black kings that are found in the United States are the same species, Lampropeltis nigra. They used to be L. getula nigra until the taxonomy fully split them from L. getula. The black kingsnake actually has a decently large range in North America, and they can be quite variable in pattern. This is why common names suck, haha. I bet you had a black king.
Old 07-18-2020, 10:33 AM   #3
Thank u!

I was beginning to suspect as much but back in my day you know ole 1998 I never heard of a Mexican King (until recently) so hence my confusion thank you for clearing it up.

Vaseel was great I really miss him. My first snake was a great experience and probably instilled for me my love of colubrids- though these days Iím more into ratsnake than kings. But they will always remain my first love.

Thanks again!
Old 09-29-2020, 01:58 AM   #4
There is also a melanistic [i]Lampropeltis leonis[\i]
Old 10-11-2020, 05:20 AM   #5
Originally Posted by jlassiter View Post
There is also a melanistic [i]Lampropeltis leonis[\i]

Is that a relative of Black Milk snake
Lampropeltis triangulum gaigeae ?

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Old 10-11-2020, 11:41 AM   #6
All kings and milks are in the same genus, and therefor closely related. Leonis, known as the Thayer's, Variable or Nuevo Leone Kingsnake, is a distinct species from milksnakes, including the Black Milksnake. In addition, all Black Milksnakes eventually become black, but are not born that way. Melanistic leonis are born black, but it is not the normal appearance of species, but rather a recessive trait (morph).

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getula, king, kingsnake, lampropeltis

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