Scarlet Kingsnakes spend much of the year in stump holes underground; but between late March and early May, these reptiles appear aboveground in the Sandhills and southeastern Coastal Plain, the regions of North Carolina they call home. Scarlet Kingsnakes crawl under the bark of dead longleaf pine trees, where they seek their prey of small lizards, including ground skinks, Five-lined Skinks, and Carolina Anoles. Because of its bright coloration, the Scarlet Kingsnake is often mistaken for the venomous Coral Snake; you can tell the difference because the Scarlet Kingsnake's red bands don't touch its yellow or white bands.
A Striking Resemblance - how a UNC research team tested Batesian mimicry using the Scarlet Kingsnake/Coral Snake resemblance and 1,600 plasticine snake models. From Endeavors magazine.
Scarlet Kingsnake - species account and ID guide from the Florida Museum of Natural History.
Scarlet Kingsnake - PDF fact sheet from the Savannah River Ecology Laboratory Outreach office.
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Left photo: Paris Trail