How Long Do King Snakes Get? (And How Long It Takes To Grow)

One of the biggest questions that I find most people asking about is how long do king snakes get, and how long does it take them to grow? King snakes, these vibrant Lampropeltis, populate much of North America all the way down to Ecuador. For those considering the king snake as a pet, you may take into consideration many different things, but size is definitely an important thing to understand. 

How long do king snakes get? Depending on the species, king snakes can grow from one to six feet long. King snake hatchlings can be born at a foot long and grow to their species’ maturity by the age of two and four, but this all depends on the type of snake species you have.

There are many different species of king snake, and it’s important to know the differences in size between them. Read on to learn about the specifics of King Snakes’ sizes and more!

How Long Do King Snakes Grow?

Below is a table of the nine recognized species of king snake followed by their estimated birth length and full adult maturity length.  Please note that every species and every individual snake is different and these are just estimated probabilities.

Texas Gray-banded10 in.3 ft.
Prairie 10 in.3-5 ft.
Common8-13 in.4-6 ft.
Mexican Gray-banded10 in.3 ft.
Arizona Mountain8-13 in.3.5 ft.
Ruthvens8 in. 3 ft. 
Milksnake6 in.4 ft.
Sinaloan Mountain 6 in. 3.5 ft. 
Californian Mountain8-12 in.2.5 ft

Many may wonder how long king snakes live for. When you adopt a king snake into your life, you are signing on for a long time. Essentially, when you are getting ready to buy your king snake, be prepared for ten to twenty years of pet ownership. Ten to fifteen years is average for a pet king snake.

How Many Species of King Snakes Are There?

While the King Snake consists of over fifty known varieties of snake there are currently officially nine recognized species of King Snakes. They are listed as follows:

  • Texas Gray-banded King snake
  • Prairie King snake
  • Common King Snake
  • Mexican Gray-banded King Snake (San Luis Potosi King Snake)
  • Arizona Mountain King Snake
  • Ruthvens King Snake
  • Milksnake 
  • Sinaloan Mountain King Snake 
  • Californian Mountain King Snake 

Fun Fact! You may be wondering why or how king snakes got their name? King snakes are called as such because they are the king of their food chain. They are ruthless hunters and will overpower anything they think they can kill with their constricting and will even go as far as to killing other snakes!

Are King Snakes Good Pets?

King snakes are extremely good pets for both beginners and experienced snake owners.

It is important, though, to remember that these snakes, while pets, are still wild animals and will follow their instinctive nature to hunt. Please note that these species of snakes are constrictors, and therefore that is their method of hunting and killing their prey no matter what or who they are.

If you are a beginning snake owner or are a snake owner with small children of it may be more recommended that you adopt a more common king snake like a milksnake or California king snake into your home rather than perhaps a Prairie Rattlesnake.

Safety is important and it is recommended that you do proper research on the specific species of king snakes to find the right fit for you and or your family before buying and adopting a snake into your family.

What Habitat Will My King Snake Thrive Most in?

With the adoption of a snake into your home comes great responsibility.  Because all of the species of king snakes are rather large, you will need a rather large environment and habitation for your snake or snakes to live in.

King snakes are from of environments and habitations all over North and South America which means you will need to again to proper research on what will best fit the needs and situations of your particular species of snake.

When it comes to the matter of cage or terrarium size, bigger is better. We as humans like to move around and stretch, so rest-assured your pet snake does too! Your snake requires at least a twenty-gallon enclosure, but as previously stated, bigger is better.

It is also extremely important that you make sure that your snake’s enclosure is secure, especially if you have little children or other small animals as pets. King snakes are extremely smart and if given the opportunity to escape, they will.

What Should I Feed My King Snake?

King snakes live up to their names by being able to eat just about anything. King snakes can and will eat anything smaller than them or anything they can overpower, this even includes other snakes.

As a pet, king snakes can still be fed various different food items, but maybe not as many enticing entrees as they found themselves hunting in the wild, which of course is not likely to be provided by your local pet store.

It is recommended that you feed your pet snake rodents such as mice either thawed or unthawed.

You can obtain these from a local pet store along with many other types of food depending on preference and local availability.

If you prefer not to feed your snake mice such as rodents perhaps a king snake is not best for you. But worry not! There are many different types of snakes that do not need to be fed mice or other rodents in order to survive. 

Related Questions

Are king snakes endangered? While the king snakes that are found in North America are not currently endangered, the population numbers of some of the species are decreasing. There is a king snake species that is critically endangered, this is the Todos Santos Island king snake.

This snake is very rare because it is only found on the island of Todos Santos, this most likely is one of the contibuting factors as to why this specific species is going extinct. 

Do king snakes attack humans? As in all species, especially those of wildlife, if threatened they will attack. King snakes are no different. Obviously, if you come across a wild king snake you should avoid invading into its territory so as not to threaten it, bringing upon yourself an unwanted attack. Also with a pet king snake, you have given it a territory and a schedule of cleaning and feeding. Avoid any unwanted attention or advancements towards your snake. Your snake will show threatening signs by emmitting a musk sound and shaking their tail.

Do king snake bites hurt?  It is important to note that all king snakes are non-venomous. While you may sincerely be shocked at being bitten by a king snake, they do not hurt. Of course, with punctures of the skin, there may be bleeding which should be seen to and taken care of immediately after the bite takes place. Be sure to treat the wound with antiseptic and to keep a close eye on it for unwanted infection. If you believe you are gaining an infection to the bite area, please call your doctor and schedule an examination. If you feel you need immediate medical attention, call 9-1-1 or present at your local emergency room.

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