Lampropeltis alterna 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Reptilia Squamata Colubridae

Scientific Name: Lampropeltis alterna
Species Authority: (Brown,1901)
Common Name(s):
English Gray-banded Kingsnake
Ophibolus alternus Brown, 1901
Taxonomic Notes: This species was formerly included in L. mexicana (see Garstka 1982).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2007
Date Assessed: 2007-03-01
Assessor(s): Hammerson, G.A. & Santos-Barrera, G.
Reviewer(s): Cox, N., Chanson, J.S. & Stuart, S.N. (Global Reptile Assessment Coordinating Team)
Listed as Least Concern in view of the probably relatively stable extent of occurrence, area of occupancy, number of subpopulations, and population size. Roadside populations perhaps have been depleted by collectors in some areas, but this species is apparently not threatened in most of its range.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species' range extends from southeastern New Mexico (Painter et al. 1992, Degenhardt et al. 1996) and southwestern Texas (Werler and Dixon 2000) in the United States, southward to northeastern Durango and extreme western Nuevo Leon, central Mexico (Stebbins 2003), at elevations of 670 to 2,286 m asl (1,200 to 7,500 feet) (Werler and Dixon 2000).
Countries occurrence:
Mexico; United States
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: This secretive snake probably occurs in many more localities than are currently known, especially in areas away from roads. It is represented by many occurrences or subpopulations (e.g., see map in Werler and Dixon 2000). The total adult population size is unknown but undoubtedly exceeds 10,000. its extent of occurrence, area of occupancy, and number of subpopulations are probably relatively stable. The population size is probably also relatively stable, although roadside populations perhaps have been depleted in some areas. No population data exist for this species in Mexico.
Current Population Trend: Stable
Additional data:

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: The species' habitat includes dry, rocky (limestone, igneous) dissected desert terrain (including desert flats, rocky hillsides, canyons, escarpments, limestone ledges, roadcuts, and mountain gaps), vegetated primarily by Chuhuahuan Desert plants such as acacia, lechuguilla, desert willow, creosote bush, mesquite, ocotillo, opuntia, or sotol (Degenhardt et al. 1996, Werler and Dixon 2000, Ernst and Ernst 2003, Stebbins 2003). This secretive snake stays in crevices or under cover during daylight hours.
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species is one of the most desirable and sought-after snakes in the commercial pet trade in North America. Collectors perhaps have depleted roadside populations in some areas (snakes found on roads are mostly adult males; see Werler and Dixon 2000). The threat from collection has been reduced somewhat in recent years. Collection without a permit is illegal in Texas and New Mexico. Captive breeding has generated a good supply of animals for the pet trade. Populations away from roads (the majority of the population) presumably are not significantly threatened. Occasional persecution by humans occurs in Mexico because of confusion with the coral snake.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Some occurrences of this species are in national and state parks. In the United States, state wildlife regulations prohibit collection without a permit or license.The species occurs in protected areas within Mexico.

Citation: Hammerson, G.A. & Santos-Barrera, G. 2007. Lampropeltis alterna. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2007: e.T63825A12719595. . Downloaded on 30 November 2015.
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