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Our 2015 calendars are now available!

Classic Wall Calendar

CL15 $10.99

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

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Camping Guide

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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.

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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.

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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..

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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

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