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Kingsnake has a deadly copperhead for lunch

By Gary Bogue
Tuesday, November 29th, 2011 at 7:22 am in King snake.

Speckled kingsnake swallowing a poisonous copperhead. Photo by Sheran Clark, Livermore, CA
1copperhead vs king2 sheran clark livermore

Gary:
Earlier this year, I was visiting my family in DeSoto, Missouri. One afternoon, my grandson came into the house to tell us that there was a snake under the porch in the back of the house. He said he heard a rustling in the leaves, and when he checked, he saw a large snake.

By the time we all gathered around to see the snake we saw that the snake, a speckled kingsnake, had captured a copperhead by the neck and was beginning to strangle it.

Speckled kingsnake swallowing a poisonous copperhead. Photo by Sheran Clark, Livermore, CA
1copperhead vs king sheran clark livermore

The kingsnake had coiled itself around part of the body of the copperhead, as well as having his head in his mouth. We watched the activity of the snakes struggling for about a half an hour. This was a very interesting piece of nature for my grandson to witness, as well as the rest of us.

The kingsnake ultimately totally consumed the  copperhead, which was pretty much the same length the king was.
Sheran Clark, Livermore, California

Sheran:
Speckled kingsnakes from the southeastern part of the country, and other kingsnake subspecies (California kingsnakes are found throughout the state), are immune to the bites of poisonous snakes like copperheads (from the Southeast), rattlesnakes, etc. And the amazing elasticity of their skin allows kingsnakes to swallow other snakes as long (and sometimes longer!) as they are. Definitely bad news for other snakes, lizards, small mammals and birds.

They are truly fascinating creatures. /Gary

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