Help Name the Newest RA Animal Star
A new animal has joined our animal star team – a gray banded king snake! This handsome animal was donated to us a few months ago and is about to leave quarantine to begin work as a Reptiles Alive education animal. One more thing needs to happen, however, before he can start meeting people – he needs a NAME!
We want YOUR HELP in choosing his name. Read his description below and think of a name befitting such an awesome animal. Comment below or email the name to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Keep in mind we want a name that somehow relates to this snake’s natural history, geographical range, or any special features. A coolness or cuteness factor is also great! Read the description below and SEND IN YOUR NAME SUGGESTIONS!
Reptiles Alive Name: YOU DECIDE!
Hissstory: This handsome snake was donated to us from a friend of Reptiles Alive.
RA Diet: Frozen/thawed mice.
Natural Diet: Lizards are the favorite food of gray-banded kings in the wild. They will also dine on rodents, eggs, and other snakes, including venomous rattlesnakes! They catch their prey by biting first and then wrapping around and constricting, just like a boa or python.
Range: Gray-banded kingsnakes are found in the deserts of southwestern Texas, southern New Mexico and northern Mexico.
Habitat: Dry rocky areas and hillsides in the Trans-Pecos/Chihuahuan desert range is where gray-banded kingsnakes like to hang out. They are primarily nocturnal and can often be seen crossing desert roads after dark.
Size: These are medium sized snakes – they average around 3 feet long.
Lifespan: Like many snakes, gray-banded kingsnakes have an average lifespan of 30 years.
Reproduction: Gray-banded kingsnakes lay clutches of 3-13 leathery eggs in early summer. As with most snakes, the female abandons the eggs after laying them. When the eggs hatch approximately 9 weeks later, the hatchlings are about 10 inches in length. Although small, they already know how to catch prey and elude predators.
Conservation: The unregulated take of gray-banded kingsnakes by commercial and private collectors has caused this species to become threatened in many parts of its range. Some snake collectors will destroy the habitat of the snakes (and other species) while searching for them. Luckily, most gray-banded kingsnakes available in the pet trade today are being captive bred, so the wild populations have less pressure from collectors. And states such as New Mexico have protected gray-banded kingsnakes and have a recovery plan in place to help this awesome snake species.
Cool Facts: Gray-banded kingsnakes are super popular with snake enthusiasts for a variety of reasons including their incredible beauty. They come in many different colors and patterns – some are almost all gray while others are more orange and/or red.