Lampropeltis calligaster 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Reptilia Squamata Colubridae

Scientific Name: Lampropeltis calligaster (Harlan, 1827)
Common Name(s):
English Prairie Kingsnake, Yellow-bellied Kingsnake
Coluber calligaster Harlan, 1827

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.
Reviewer(s): Cox, N., Chanson, J.S. & Stuart, S.N. (Global Reptile Assessment Coordinating Team)
Listed as Least Concern in view of its wide distribution, tolerance of a degree of habitat modification, presumed large population, and because it is unlikely to be declining fast enough to qualify for listing in a more threatened category.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is endemic to the United States. Its range extends from northern Florida to southern Texas, and north to Nebraska (west to Thayer County, Herpetological Review 20:13), Illinois, Kentucky, and Maryland (Conant and Collins 1991, Tennant 1997, Phillips et al. 1999, Werler and Dixon 2000, Ernst and Ernst 2003).
Countries occurrence:
United States
Additional data:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:This species is represented by a very large number (hundreds) of occurrences (subpopulations) (e.g., see dot maps in Palmer and Braswell 1995, Werler and Dixon 2000, and Trauth et al. 2004). The adult population size is unknown but presumably exceeds 100,000. This snake is common in many parts of its large range. The extent of occurrence, area of occupancy, number of subpopulations, and population size are probably relatively stable or declining at a rate of less than 10% over 10 years or three generations.
Current Population Trend:Stable
Additional data:

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Habitats include various open and semi-open areas, including weedy fields, farmland, barnyards, pastures, prairies, rocky hillsides, thickets, open woodland, sandhills, pine flatwoods, landward side of barrier beaches, coastal salt-grass savannas, marsh borders, and residential areas (Palmer and Braswell 1995, Werler and Dixon 2000, Ernst and Ernst 2003). This secretive snake (especially females) spends much time underground or under surface cover. Eggs are laid in an underground cavity (Behler and King 1979).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): No major threats are known. This species thrives on many sorts of minor disturbances or habitat alterations that create openings in forested landscapes. Locally, populations have declined as a result of conversion of habitat to intensive human uses. In Missouri, this species incurred a high rate of mortality as a result of prescribed burning of tallgrass prairie in late October (Frese 2003).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Many occurrences are in protected areas.

Citation: Hammerson, G.A. 2007. Lampropeltis calligaster. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2007: e.T63826A12719786. . Downloaded on 21 September 2017.
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