Brooks' (South Florida) King Snake Lampropeltis getula brooksi
PRICE FOR CB BABIES: $65-95 each
Below: A highly speckled adult Brooks' king snake from our colony
Though now recognized by herpetologists as merely a color morph of the Florida king snake, the Brooks' king is a still a favorite among herpetoculturists because of its light coloration. Adult Brooks' kings have yellowish or white cross bands on a yellow and black speckled background.
Below: An adult Brooks' king snake from our colony with more whitish coloration
The nicest adults are so heavily speckled in yellow that the background color is not apparent. The babies start out looking much different. They have yellow bands on a dark brown or black background. Many babies have red coloration in the bands, though this is usually lost with age. Our stock descends from animals that we collected ourselves in Southern Miami-Dade County, FL.
Below: A colorful hatchling Brooks' king snake from our colony
In the Wild
Below: One of the many canals cutting through the Everglades
The Miami Rim Rock and southern Everglades is the historic domain of brooksi. The king snake's coloration in this area is thought to be an adaptation to the light oolitic limestone background. As in other areas of Florida, the king snake population here has been greatly reduced. Several factors contributing to this reduction have been discussed, but the exact cause is still a mystery. One thing is for sure, finding a nice Brooks' king specimen in the wild is now quite a challenge.
Below: Anthony Flanagan inspects the edge of a path near a canal edge. King snakes are now rarely seen at this locale, though Burmese pythons are common.
Much of the founding stock for today's captive bred kings was collected in decades past along the canals that crisscross the area. Levees along the canals cut dry strips of land through the expansive marshlands and provide habitat for numerous herp species including eastern diamondback rattlesnakes, dusky pygmy rattlesnakes, corn snakes, Everglades rat snakes, Everglades racers, and Florida box turtles, as well as king snakes.
Below: A wild Brooks' king snake found coiled in the shade of a poisonwood tree
The snakes were found basking on the canal banks or out on the crawl when conditions were favorable, most commonly in the spring. The more clever collectors selectively placed artificial cover such as old carpets and boards in prime areas for king snakes. Brooks' kings still turn up occasionally today, though it seems like more of them are found crossing roads, rather than by the traditional collecting techniques.
Below: An average looking wild king snake from southern Miami-Dade County, FL.
Not every king snake found in this area is a stunning example. Many specimens are average in looks and can hardly be distinguished from a typical Florida king snake from further north. Kings are much less commonly seen than the exotic Burmese python, which now shares the same habitat. I have seen a precious few specimens in many trips to south Florida in the last decade. For even the most dedicated field herper, finding a nice brooksi in the wild is a true challenge.
Below: An exceptional wild young adult Brooks king snake from southern Miami-Dade County, FL.
Below: Daniel Parker holds a freshly caught Brooks' king snake (Photo by Anthony Flanagan)