Marti Malin

Written by Marti Malin

Modified & Updated: 06 Mar 2024

Jessica Corbett

Reviewed by Jessica Corbett


Black king snakes are fascinating creatures that have captured the curiosity of animal enthusiasts around the world. With their sleek black bodies and distinct patterns, these non-venomous snakes have become popular pets and are often found in various regions across North America. In this article, we will explore 15 interesting facts about black king snakes, shedding light on their behavior, habitat, diet, and more. Whether you’re a snake lover or simply looking to expand your knowledge of the animal kingdom, these facts will surely pique your interest. So, without further ado, let’s dive into the world of black king snakes and uncover the secrets that make them so captivating!

Key Takeaways:

  • Black King Snakes are harmless, non-venomous, and great climbers. They help control rodent populations and have a lifespan of around 20 years.
  • These snakes have a glossy black color, mimic venomous snakes, and shed their skin multiple times a year. They are important for pest control and are known for their docile nature.
Table of Contents

The Black King Snake is native to North America.

The habitat of the Black King Snake encompasses a wide range of regions in the United States, including forests, grasslands, and even suburban areas. They are commonly found in states such as Texas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana.

They are non-venomous snakes.

Despite their intimidating appearance, Black King Snakes are harmless to humans. They use constriction to subdue their prey rather than relying on venom.

Black King Snakes are excellent climbers.

These snakes have strong bodies and scaled bellies that allow them to easily scale trees, walls, and fences in search of food or shelter.

They are opportunistic eaters.

Black King Snakes have a varied diet that includes rodents, birds, eggs, lizards, and small mammals. They are known to consume venomous snakes, including rattlesnakes, making them valuable for pest control.

Black King Snakes can reach lengths of up to 6 feet.

Adult Black King Snakes can grow quite large, with females typically being slightly larger than males. Their long and slender bodies allow them to navigate through narrow crevices and under rocks.

They are known for their glossy black coloration.

Black King Snakes have a shiny black skin that sometimes reflects a bluish hue under certain lighting conditions. This dark coloration helps them blend into their surroundings, making them efficient predators.

Black King Snakes are primarily nocturnal.

These snakes are most active during the night, preferring to hunt and explore under the cover of darkness. They have excellent vision and heat-sensing abilities, allowing them to locate prey even in low-light environments.

Black King Snakes are excellent swimmers.

While they might not spend a lot of time in the water, Black King Snakes are proficient swimmers when necessary. They can cross streams and bodies of water with ease.

They shed their skin multiple times a year.

Like other snakes, Black King Snakes periodically shed their skin to accommodate their growing bodies. This process helps rejuvenate their appearance and remove any parasites or other external irritants.

Black King Snakes have a distinct pattern of white or yellow bands.

Although their name suggests an entirely black coloration, these snakes often have distinctive patterns of white or yellow bands on their bodies. These bands can vary in thickness and intensity.

They are known for their docile nature.

Black King Snakes are generally non-aggressive and will only bite if threatened or cornered. They can be easily handled and are often kept as pets by reptile enthusiasts.

They are skilled at mimicry.

Black King Snakes have the ability to mimic the appearance and behavior of venomous snakes, such as the coral snake. This mimicry provides them with protection against potential predators.

Black King Snakes are important for pest control.

These snakes are natural predators of rodents, making them valuable assets for controlling populations of rats and mice. Their presence can help keep rodent populations in check and reduce the spread of diseases.

They hibernate during the colder months.

Black King Snakes enter a state of brumation, which is similar to hibernation, during the winter months. They find secluded spots to spend the colder season until temperatures become more favorable for their activity.

Black King Snakes have a lifespan of around 20 years.

With proper care and a suitable environment, Black King Snakes can live for over two decades. This longevity allows them to establish stable populations in their native habitats.

In conclusion, the Black King Snake is a fascinating species native to North America. With its glossy black coloration, climbing abilities, and non-venomous nature, it is a unique and valuable member of the ecosystem. These snakes play an essential role in controlling rodent populations and are known for their docile temperament. By understanding these 15 Black King Snake facts, we can gain a deeper appreciation for these incredible creatures.


In conclusion, black king snakes are fascinating creatures with unique characteristics and behaviors. They play a crucial role in controlling rodent populations, and their non-venomous nature makes them relatively harmless to humans. Black king snakes are known for their striking black coloration, which serves as effective camouflage in their natural habitats. These snakes are constrictors, using their muscular bodies to wrap around and squeeze their prey. They have a diverse diet, feeding on small mammals, birds, reptiles, and even other snakes. Black king snakes are highly adaptable and can be found in a variety of environments, from forests and grasslands to marshes and urban areas. Overall, black king snakes are a key component of the ecosystem and are worthy of admiration and respect.


1. Are black king snakes dangerous?

No, black king snakes are not dangerous to humans. They are non-venomous and pose no threat to people. In fact, they are beneficial as they help control rodent populations.

2. What do black king snakes eat?

Black king snakes have a varied diet. They prey on small mammals, such as rats and mice, as well as birds, reptiles, and even other snakes. Their ability to consume other snakes, including venomous species, makes them valuable in maintaining ecological balance.

3. Where can black king snakes be found?

Black king snakes are native to North America and can be found in a variety of habitats, including forests, grasslands, marshes, and urban areas. They are highly adaptable and can thrive in different environments.

4. How do black king snakes catch their prey?

Black king snakes are constrictors. They use their powerful bodies to wrap around their prey and squeeze until it is suffocated. This method of predation allows them to consume animals larger than their own size.

5. How long do black king snakes live?

Black king snakes have an average lifespan of about 15 to 20 years in captivity. In the wild, their lifespan may vary depending on various factors, including predation, habitat quality, and availability of food sources.

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