Eastern Black Kingsnake

Lampropeltis nigra
Other Common Name
Eastern Black King Snake

Colubridae (nonvenomous snakes) in the order Squamata (lizards and snakes)


The eastern black kingsnake is very similar to the speckled kingsnake, with white to yellow dots on a black body. However, the eastern black kingsnake pattern is very faint or incomplete, with white or yellow dots, and in some individuals the pattern can be a faint, chainlike marking along the side.


Length: 36 to 45 inches.

Habitat and conservation

This species occurs in open woodlands and dry, rocky hills. It was known to occur east of the Mississippi River, but recently individuals of this species were discovered in southeastern Missouri.


Foods include lizards, other snakes (including venomous snakes), and small rodents.

Eastern Black Kingsnake Distribution Map
Distribution in Missouri

Restricted to the southeastern corner of the state.

Life cycle

Presumably similar to its close relative, the speckled kingsnake, with courtship and mating in spring, eggs laid in summer, and the young hatching in late summer.