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Class Reptilia
Order Squamata
Suborder Serpentes
Family Colubridae


Lampropeltis sp. // Lampropeltis getula—Common Kingsnake // Lampropeltis pyromelana—Sonoran Mountain Kingsnake // Lampropeltis triangulum—Eastern Milksnake

Lampropeltis sp.—KingsnakesRegional Pleistocene distribution of Lampropeltis sp.

Various species of kingsnakes are possible within our region, but limited samples may prevent identification to species.


Rancholabrean: Bedford Properties (Jefferson 1991a).

Wisconsin: CC:5:1 (Mead et al. 2003: cf.)

Mid/Late Wisconsin: Diamond Valley (Springer et al. 2009: cf. gen.).

Late Wisconsin: Dust Cave (this work: cf.); Mountain View Country Club (Jefferson 2014).

Literature. Jefferson 1991a, 2014; Mead et al. 2003; Springer et al. 2009.


Lampropeltis getula (Linnaeus 1766)—Common KingsnakeDistribution of fossil Lampropeltis getula.

Synonyms. Lampropeltis intermedius. Parmley (1994) synonymized L. intermedius, finding the holotype indistinguishable from L. getula.

Lampropeltis getula. Photograph by Carl S. Lieb.Van Devender and Worthington (1977) gave the preferred habitat as mesic grasslands but noted that it also occurs out into desert environments along riparian washes.

Fig. 1. Common Kingsnake. Photograph courtesy of Carl S. Lieb.


Late Blancan/Irvingtonian: California Wash (Lindsay 1978); Curtis Ranch (Brattstrom 1955); Vallecito Creek, Anza-Borrego Desert (Cassiliano 1999).

?Late Irvingtonian/Rancholabrean: Emery Borrow Pit (Jefferson 1991a).

Sangamon: Newport Bay Mesa (Jefferson 1991a); San Pedro Lumber Co. (Jefferson 1991a).

Mid Wisconsin: McKittrick (Jefferson 1991a); Pacific City (Wake and Roeder 2009; Pendejo Cave (UTEP); Rancho La Brea (LaDuke 1991): cf.).

Mid/Late Wisconsin: Tsuma Properties, San Clemente (Jefferson 2014).

Mid Wisconsin-Holocene: Shelter Cave (Brattstrom 1964).

Late Wisconsin: Gypsum Cave (Brattstrom 1954); Red Tail Peak Midden (Jefferson 1991a); Picacho Peak (Van Devender et al. 1991); Rampart Cave (Van Devender et al. 1977a); Stanton's Cave (Olsen and Olsen 1984); Test Trench II (UTEP).

Late Wisconsin/Holocene: Deadman Cave (Mead et al. 1984); Fowlkes Cave (Parmley 1990); Kokoweef Cave (Reynolds, Reynolds, et al. 1991); Shelter Cave (Brattstrom 1964); Howell's Ridge Cave (Van Devender and Worthington 1977); Pendejo Cave (UTEP).

Literature. Brattstrom 1954, 1955 , 1964; Cassiliano 1999; Harris 2003; Jefferson 1991a, 2014; LaDuke 1991; Lindsay 1978; Mead et al. 1984; Olsen and Olsen 1984; Parmley 1990, 1994; Reynolds, Reynolds, et al. 1991; Van Devender and Worthington 1977; Van Devender et al. 1977a; Van Devender et al. 1991; Wake and Roeder 2009.


Lampropeltis pyromelana (Cope 1866)—Sonoran Mountain KingsnakeDistribution of fossil Lampropeltis pyromelana.

Lampropeltis pyromelana. Photograpy by Jeff Servoss, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.This is a snake of mesic or riparian montane habitats (Van Devender and Worthington 1977). It currently is widespread in montane situations in a broad band from northwestern Arizona to extreme southwestern New Mexico and south in Mexico.

Fig. 1. Sonoran Mountain Kingsnake (Lampropeltis pyromelana). Photograph by Jeff Servoss, courtesy of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.


Late Wisconsin: Vulture Cave (Mead and Phillips 1981).

Late Wisconsin/Holocene: Howell's Ridge Cave (Van Devender and Worthington 1977: cf.).

Literature. Mead and Phillips 1981; Van Devender and Worthington 1977.


Lampropeltis triangulum (Lacépède 1788)—Eastern Milk SnakeDistribution of fossil Lampropeltis triangulum.

Synonyms. Lampropeltis doliata.

Lampropeltis triangulum. Photograph by Carl S. Lieb.The fossil records are within or at the margins of the current range, which is largely to the north or east.

Fig. 1. Eastern Milk Snake (Lampropeltis triangulum). Photograph by Carl S. Lieb.


Late Wisconsin: Blackwater Draw Fauna ((Slaughter 1975: cf.).

Late Wisconsin/Holocene: Fowlkes Cave (Parmley 1990).

Literature. Parmley 1990; Slaughter 1975.


Last Update: 6 Jan 2016