Lampropeltis calligaster calligaster (Prairie Kingsnake)
Fort Bend County, Texas - Spring 2014
One day this spring I had plans to meet some friends on the central Texas coast. It's a long 4hr+ drive for me. They wanted to meet at 8am to get started early. I woke at 3am and headed out around 4am.
I knew I was going to be passing by a board just a few feet off the highway that I had success flipping before. With that in mind, I decided to stop and flip it, despite the fact that it was dark and a brisk 46°F out. At 5am when I arrived, I put on my gloves and grabbed a flashlight and ran over to it. I was understandably surprised, to find not one, but two snakes under the board! Both a speckled king (Lampropeltis getula holbrooki) and this prairie king were sharing the board.
I grabbed the prairie king, which, being in the final stages of ecdysis, promptly began to shed. I collected it to photograph later in the day.