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Lampropeltis californiae (California kingsnake) behavior, male-male combat

March 1, 2021

There are few published descriptions of male-male combat in Lampropeltis spp. under natural conditions. Shaw (1951. Herpetologica 7:149-168) briefly described aggressive interactions between two captive male L. annulata (Mexican Milksnakes) that appeared to be associated with feeding, and Moehn (1967. Copeia 1967:480–481) described the "combat dance" between two male L. calligaster (Prairie Kingsnakes) in the field over a period of 30 minutes, with the snakes "completely intertwined..." and "...in constant motion." Carpenter and Gillingham (1977. Southwest. Nat. 22:517–524) described and illustrated interactions of two male L. holbrooki (Speckled Kingsnake) in a small artificial enclosure. Tabulated categories of male–male combat behaviors in Boid, Colubrid, and Viperid snakes (including Lampropeltis spp.) have been compared in an attempt to relate behavior patterns to phylogenetic relationships (Senter et al. 2014. PLoS ONE 9(9): e107528).

Citation Information

Publication Year 2021
Title Lampropeltis californiae (California kingsnake) behavior, male-male combat
Authors S. Starr, Charles A. Drost, A.T. Holycross
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Herpetological Review
Index ID 70218795
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Southwest Biological Science Center