What Do Kingsnakes Eat? A Complete Guide!


What Do Kingsnakes Eat? A Complete Guide!

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What do kingsnakes consume? Kingsnakes are omnivores, however the majority of their diet is made up of birds and small animals. Other poisonous snakes, such as rattlesnakes and copperheads, are frequently eaten by king snakes. They use an innovative eating strategy to efficiently hunt down their prey. They coil around the snake while hunting, snapping its neck in two fast motions. They also kill lizards by using their own weight to strangle them.

There’s a considerable probability that Kingsnakes have already visited your home if you live in the USA, particularly California. This is due to the fact that these snakes are widespread in America and frequently kept as pets.

When pursuing larger prey like frogs or rabbits, kingsnakes employ the attracted mice and rats as bait. The king snake has the capacity to ingest prey twice its size. The prey is strangled to death when they coil around it. King snakes are constrictors, therefore they’ve developed a variety of hunting adaptations.

In order to prevent receiving a bite in return from a snake, their teeth are curled backward so that as soon as the bite has been administered, it is withdrawn from its prey instantly. King snakes don’t chew their meal. Prior to digestion, it swallows the prey and utilizes a gastric mill to break it up into minute pieces.

What Do Kingsnakes Eat?

As opportunistic feeders, kingsnakes will consume a variety of prey depending on what is available. In the wild, they primarily eat small mammals including mice, rats, and voles. Additionally, they will consume reptiles like lizards, snakes, and turtles. Along with birds and eggs, kingsnakes frequently hunt on amphibians like frogs and toads.

Kingsnakes have a distinctive diet because they don’t have any food preferences. Any tiny prey they come upon will be attacked and eaten as long as it’s alive. They love to eat other snakes, hence the moniker “kingsnake.” They particularly adore the venomous species, such as race running club tail boa constrictors, which, despite being large, may still be defeated when fought over by two rivals.

Depending on their size and the type of prey they are pursuing, kingsnakes employ a variety of hunting strategies. Smaller kingsnakes may suffocate their prey by restricting it during an assault. The weight of larger prey, such as frogs or bunnies, will be used by larger kingsnakes to pin them down before strangling them to death. The following is a list of Kingsnake diets:

Other Snakes: 

The king snake hunts and consumes other snakes as a carnivore. These amazing monsters can still consume other species of their kind despite not being purebred. The king snake will use its entire weight to encircle its target before swallowing it completely.

Mice and Rats: 

The main food sources for kingsnakes are mice and rats. These little creatures are simple to locate and make up a sizable portion of these snakes’ diet. When pursuing larger prey, such as rabbits or frogs, kingsnakes frequently utilize mice and rats as bait.

Lizards And Frogs: 

Not finicky eaters, kingsnakes. Any obstacle in their path will be pursued by them as prey. It’s possible that these snakes consider frogs and lizards to be small fry, but it wouldn’t be good to assume that just because you’re big or strong, you’re safe!

Birds : 

Birds are also consumed by king snakes. Although this is not their preferred food source, they will consume them if they are offered. The Black Kingsnake in Florida will readily consume chicks and quail. They are great climbers, which makes them perfect for catching birds off guard. They would eat quails and fledglings mindlessly in captivity.


Depending on the available prey in their location, the king snake is also known to eat turtles. They will consume turtles as a substitute for other small animals if they are unable to find any.


Both wild and domesticated eggs have been known to be consumed by kingsnakes, but only in captivity. These snakes prefer to eat routinely when other possibilities, such as mice or rats, aren’t available. An egg can give them the vital nutrients they need during development spurts, promoting overall health!


As a carnivorous predator, kingsnakes will consume any tiny animal they can catch and eat rodents like mice, rats, and voles. They hunt these creatures by either pinning them to the ground with their full weight before tightening the straps so they suffocate to death. Depending on what is available in their local environment, kingsnakes will also eat birds, amphibians, and reptiles.

While kingsnakes normally accept whatever prey is offered to them, owners of captive kingsnakes must provide a nutritious diet. This may consist of a range of premium rodent diets and live prey, including mice, rats, and chickens.

A kingsnake kept in captivity should eat the following foods:

  • Better rodent diets
  • Live prey including chickens, rats, and mice
  • a wide range of frogs, lizards, and other tiny animals
  • Kingsnakes are opportunistic feeders and will utilize any readily accessible and manageable food source. Since prey can readily escape from large cages or outdoor housing, it is crucial for pet owners to constantly keep a careful eye on their snakes for this reason.

    How Do Kingsnakes Hunt For Food?

    How Do Kingsnakes Hunt For Food?

    Additionally, when on patrol, the design of these Kings’ tongues enables them to find other ants hidden beneath rocks or explosives (or just waiting around).

    Kingsnakes must effectively hunt in the wild by using their great sense of smell and superb vision. Typically, they have been ambushed by predators who wait for their prey to pass by before hitting and squeezing them until they are immobile.

    As extremely versatile predators, kingsnakes will consume nearly any small animal, including rodents, birds, amphibians, and reptiles. They often consume high-quality rodent diets and live prey including mice, rats, and chickens when in captivity.

    King snakes use their great sense of smell and superb vision to locate prey in the wild while hunting. Typically, they have been ambushed by predators who wait for their prey to pass by before hitting and squeezing them until they are immobile.

    Are Kingsnakes Good As Pets?

    Yes, kingsnakes are wonderful pets for anybody searching for a snake that is manageable and won’t get too big. Additionally, kingsnakes are normally fairly calm and don’t bite people unless they feel threatened.

    It is crucial to get a kingsnake from a trustworthy breeder or pet shop and to get all the necessary supplies, such as a thermostat-controlled enclosure, food and water bowls, and hiding places for the snake to flee to when it feels stressed.

    In general, kingsnakes are a great choice for anyone searching for a fun and low-maintenance reptilian friend. They are an excellent addition to any reptile collection because they are normally relatively calm snakes that rarely attack people unless they feel threatened.

    Wrapping Up

    Wrapping Up

    Additionally, read:

    What Consume Bunnies? 5 Crucial Foods

    What Foods Eat Panthers? Complete Dietary Reference 2022

    What Consume Parakeets? 9 Foods I Love

    What Consume Cats? Seven Foods Cats Love!

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    Is the California kingsnake poisonous?

    They have a fair amount of resistance to the venom of coral and rattlesnake snakes (4). California kingsnakes lack venom and instead choke their prey to death (1).

    Are king snakes harmful to humans?

    Like other snake species, kingsnakes have a tendency to bite when startled. However, kingsnake bites are not particularly dangerous and usually don’t result in any issues because they lack teeth like pythons do. King snakes are constrictors that normally reach lengths of 4 feet or less. They are not aggressive and pose no threat to people. a week ago

    Do California kingsnakes bite humans?

    They tend to emerge in the mornings during the scorching summers. Kingsnakes will shake their tails and release an unpleasant scent if they feel threatened. Another instance of Batesian mimicry, but this time with a rattlesnake. Although their bite is not dangerous to humans, they are also known to bite.

    Do king snakes carry diseases?

    The chameleon, king snake, blue-tongued skink, and bearded dragon appear to be the species most frequently affected by adenoviral illness. Although leopard geckos and fat-tailed geckos have been discovered to be infected with the same adenovirus, reptile adenoviruses have so far been characterized tend to be rather species specific.

    Are king snakes good to have around?

    A useful snake to have around is the kingsnake. It consumes a wide range of species and, despite not being entirely immune, it can survive rattlesnake bites and will kill and consume rattlers.


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    Sarah Green

    Wildlife and Nature Fan & Author