2012 AH Classic Wall CalendarShop the AH Store >>

Our 2014 calendars are now available!

Classic Wall Calendar

CL14 $10.99

Our classic 13-month spiral-bound calendar features 30 full-color photographs and a handy map of Arizona on the back.

Order Now >>
Purchase Camping GuideShop the AH Store >>

Featured Book

Arizona Highways
Camping Guide

AGCS3 $22.95

Our newest book, which includes Arizona Highways iconic photography and maps, is sorted by region and is written for car-campers and families. Detailed information about accessibilty, amenities and fees is included for each campground.

Order Now >>
2011 AH Wildlife CalendarSee Selection of Images >>

Featured Prints

Poster Prints
Special Edition Prints

Many of the extraordinary images found in our award-winning magazine, scenic coffee-table books and exquisite calendars can be purchased as fine posters and prints.

Order Now >>
Shop the AH Store >>

Featured Gift Item

Centennial Issue Reprint

SPCENN2 $4.99

If you missed our February 100-page Centennial Issue on newsstands earlier this year, here's your second chance to get a copy of this special collector's edition of Arizona Highways magazine..

Order Now >>

  • print page
  • Tell a Friend
  • Post to Facebook
  • YouTube
  • past to del.icio.us
BULLETnature archive
Nature Archive Photo
© John Cancalosi

>> Click on image to view
it larger in a separate window.
Kingsnakes Can
Be a Royal Pain

By Leah Duran

What's in a name? The common kingsnake possesses an uncommon trait: immunity to rattlesnake venom. In fact, the kingsnake will even eat rattlesnakes, which it detects by scent. A constrictor, the kingsnake surprises rodents, birds and frogs with a bite before coiling around the meal-to-be.

Its scientific name, Lampropeltis getula, alludes to its scale pattern of alternating black and cream bands: the Latin "getula" refers to the Getulians, an ancient people of northwestern Africa whose artwork featured similar ringed designs. The bands framing the snake's 2- to 4-foot length help hide it from predators.

Of the nine subspecies of getula, Arizona is home to three. Color variations of desert kingsnakes in Southeastern Arizona include yellow bands, while all black is the defining look for western black kingsnakes at the state's southern edge.

Kingsnakes thrive in a variety of environments, from low-elevation deserts to grasslands and forests. At dawn and dusk, when kingsnakes are most active, you're likely to find this non-venomous species slithering near rocks or water. Sightings are more common in warmer months, as kingsnakes hibernate throughout fall and winter.

>> Back to Nature Archive


Story ArchivesFind previously published stories online... [more]

Global SnapshotsSend us a photo of you or someone you know posing with Arizona Highways. We'll post it on our website. It's that simple... [more]

Photo of the DaySend us a photo of you or someone you know posing with Arizona Highways. We'll post it on our website. It's that simple... [more]

 

Social MediaJoin our Facebook, Twitter and Flickr communities for behind-the-scenes glimpses at Arizona Highways... [more]

Events & PromotionsEscape, experience and explore Arizona, one event at a time... [more]

Travel GuidesThere's so much to see and do in Arizona. Let our online travel guide be your one-stop resource for planning your next Arizona adventure... [more]

site map  |  terms of use  |  privacy policy  |  corporate sales  |  about us  |  contact us

Arizona Highways Television AZ Dept. of Transportation AZ Dept. of Public Safety Arizona Highways Photo Workshops

© Copyright 2014 Arizona Department of Transportation, State of Arizona. All rights reserved. Reproduction in part or whole without written permission from the publisher is prohibited. The images on this Web site are copyrighted, digitally watermarked and registered with the Digimarc tracking system. All rights reserved. Copying and downloading images from this site are strictly prohibited.