What Do King Snakes Eat?

Last Modified on: 05/25/2018

The most common prey a king snake will eat include: other snakes, rodents, lizards, birds, and eggs.

Kingsnakes are constrictors which means that they will squeeze and kill their prey first and then swallow it whole. They are immune to venom of some other snakes and will at times eat rattlesnakes. They sometimes eat other venomous snakes as well but they aren't necessarily immune to all venomous snakes from different localities.

The reason the word "King" is in their name is because it refers to the fact that they will eat other snakes. Similar to how there is a King Cobra which will also eat other snakes.

The kingsnake has twice the constriction strength of pythons and ratsnakes of a relative body size. Some scientists believe the reason for their increased strength is because of the adaptation to snake and other reptile prey, which can avoid asphyxiating for longer due to their ability to sustain lower blood-oxygen levels.

Types of King Snakes

Some of the different species of kingsnakes include:

  • Eastern kingsnake (common kingsnake)
  • Black kingsnake
  • Speckled kingsnake
  • California kingsnake
  • Scarlet kingsnake

More About What They Eat

Kingsnakes are active hunters and they do not sneak up on their prey at all. Through scent they will actively find their prey an grab it with their mouth and start squeezing. Kingsnakes do not need to eat often as the size of their meals are large. Therefore they may only need a few meals a month depending on the size of the prey they consume.

Some other things king snakes will eat are:

  • Turtle Eggs
  • Frogs
  • Cottonmouths
  • Rattlesnakes
  • Rat Snakes
  • Garter Snakes
  • Other Kingsnakes!
  • Copperheads
  • Coral Snakes
  • Rats
  • Mice
  • Chicks

Types of Snakes and What They Eat



Garden (Garter) Snake

Garden (Garter) Snake


Worm Snake

Worm Snake


King Cobra Snake

King Cobra Snake


Grass Snake

Grass Snake


Bull Snake

Bull Snake


Coral Snake

Coral Snake


Rat Snake

Rat Snake


Python Snake

Python Snake


King Snake

King Snake


Rattlesnake

Rattlesnake


Anaconda Snake

Anaconda Snake


Rainbow Boa Snake

Rainbow Boa Snake