Can King Snakes Cohabitate?

King Snake

King snakes are known for being vicious predators and hunters, even to the point where they are known to eat other snakes, but can two king snakes live together? I have researched this important question and found some very interesting answers. 

Can King Snakes cohabitate?  King snakes will likely fight and attempt to eat any other snake that is in their habitat, so it is best to not allow these snakes to live in the same tank. Even when attempting to breed these snakes there is a danger that they will fight instead of mate and one will eat the other. Do not cohabitate king snakes.

These snakes are fierce but their power and clear predatorial tendencies raise some questions: How are king snakes so powerful? Are they harmful to humans? How do king snakes breed? What can live with a kingsnake? I’m here to put your queries to rest!

How are King Snakes so Powerful?

King snakes are vicious predators that have been known to take on even rattlesnakes in combat. In the realm of snakes the title of “king” is given to the snakes that are cannibalistic in nature. The king cobra and king snake top this list.

The king snake is much more powerful than it looks with a unique ability to take on predators that are a much larger size than itself. Predators are supposed to be bigger than their prey. It’s how the world works, but the king snake defies this by eating things that are equal to or even larger than themselves.

“Pick an ecosystem, pick a food web, pick anything you know on the planet … and 90% of the time, predators are bigger than what they eat. Then you meet the kingsnake, and they just defy that.”

David Penning

King snakes capture and kill their prey through constriction. They wrap their bodies around their prey and then pull their bodies in tighter and tighter until their prey is done moving.

Several snakes hunt through this method, but the king snake is far superior to any snake in its size category with the capability to over double the necessary constricting pressure needed to kill an average rodent.

King snakes are by far the superior constrictors.

On top of constricting their prey, or the pressure offense, the king snake has a strong defense as well. The king snake, while just as large as a rat snake, for instance, have a greater strength to pull away than most rat snakes. This means that when the king snake engages with another snake in combat the king snake has the upper hand in escaping from the grapples/constriction of their adversaries.

And as soon as they escape, they wrap themselves around their much slower prey, ending in a victory for the king snake. Furthermore, after killing the other snake, the king snake will eat their adversary whole, fitting a snake that is their own size into their body.

Will King Snakes Harm Humans?

King snakes are not harmful to humans. King snakes are much too small to do any real damage to a human. Their main offensive trait is their means of constricting and they are too small to cause any real harm to a human through that means of fighting.

King snakes, like all snakes, will bite if provoked, but since this isn’t their main means of fighting, and with their main means of fighting being so ineffective already, there is really very little force behind the snake’s bite. More importantly, king snakes are not venomous. This means any bite will only be as effective as the force of the bite itself which isn’t all that powerful.

These snakes are likely to attempt at the time to bite at you, particularly at fingers and toes, but it is not very harmful. King snakes are rather hard to train to not bite, as they will act relatively calm through most of their encounters with someone and then just bite down rather randomly.

So, harmful? Not really. Unpredictable, always. King snakes, man, they break all the rules!

How do King Snakes Breed?

King snakes breed much like other snakes do. The female snake releases a chemical trail that males can pick up on. Any males that these king snakes encounter along their travels will be fought and taken care of before they encounter the female. When encountering the female, the male will often bite the female’s neck.

This isn’t a sign of aggression, rather part of their reproductive process. Female lay anywhere between 3-24 eggs and will leave their eggs behind almost as soon as they have laid them.

The king snake female then moves on. If this happens in captivity, you will want to separate the hatchlings as they may eat each other or be eaten by their parents. Needless to say, king snakes don’t make great parents.

If Not Snakes, then What Can Live With a King Snake?

It is best to leave your king snake alone. They are very territorial creatures and they will kill almost anything you put into its habitat. If you insist on putting another creature with your king snake, then you will want to put a creature that can avoid the king snake with it.

These fall into the categories of birds or overall just larger creatures that the snakes won’t bother picking fights with. Additionally, king snakes can kill fish, so you will want to avoid mixing your king snake with your swimming friends as those fish will be hunted.

The king snake is an insanely powerful creature in a small package. From rattlesnakes to rabbits, this snake will kill its prey. The snake has stupefied many with its ability to take down its prey despite the prey’s size. Outside of way overreaching the snake’s size or avoiding it completely, the snake has proven it will fight and it will often win.

Related Questions

Do King Snakes Climb? King snakes know how to climb and in the wild can often be found in trees, but providing a climbing space for king snakes is not needed for them to live healthy lives. 

Are King Snakes and Milk Snakes the Same Species of Snakes? Although these two snakes look incredibly similar and both belong to the same genus they are not the same species and need to be treated differently. 

Connor

Connor is a nerd to the highest degree. Having grown up on comic, StarWars, and Lord of the Rings he found that stories were his passion. Throughout his life, he has softened life's falls with the hardcover of a book. Writing has become a passion for Connor, no matter the subject, as he loves how words can be used in so many different and persuasive combinations.

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