Lampropeltis rhombomaculata (State Status: S3; vulnerable)
Mole Kingsnakes are a closely related species to the Prairie Kingsnake, which was recently separated based on genetic evidence (McKelvy & Burbrink, 2017). They can be identified with distinctly separated blotches that are often reddish or orange in coloration. Space between blotches is usually tan or gray, and constitute more space than the blotches do (unlike the Prairie Kingsnake). Belly is yellow with brown checkering. Adults may reach lengths of up to 4 feet or more (Powell et al., 2016). This snake may be found in the south half of the state in the open pine forests. Uncommonly observed in MS due to their secretive nature.
- Smooth brown, tan, or grayish coloration
- Blotches are distinctly separated, often reddish (differentiates from Prairie Kingsnake)
Sandhills, pine forests, slopes
Secretive, often in animals burrows, may be seen crossing roads or active in spring
Eats small mammals, frogs, lizard, other snakes