|Scarlet kingsnake, Lampropeltis triangulum elapsoides|
Kingsnakes are colubrid snakes. They are members of the genus Lampropeltis, which include milk snakes and four other species. There are many subspecies, and experts differ on their classification. These snakes are mostly found in the United States and Central America.
Their colouration is an example of Batesian mimicry, because it is very similar to poisonous coral snakes living in the same areas. This gives the kingsnakes protection from the birds which prey on them.
References[change | change source]
- Conant R. 1975. A field guide to reptiles and amphibians of Eastern and Central North America. 2nd ed, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, genus Lampropeltis, p. 201. ISBN 0-395-19977-8
- Kikuchi, David W. & Pfennig, David W. 2010. Predator cognition permits imperfect coral snake mimicry. The American Naturalist. 176 (6): 830–834.