REPTILIA (Reptiles) SERPENTES (Snakes) COLUBRIDAE (Harmless Egg-laying Snakes)

PRAIRIE KINGSNAKE
Lampropeltis calligaster (Harlan 1827)
lăm-prō-pĕl-tĭs — kăl-lĭ-găs-tĕr


Conservation Status:

State: None

Federal: None
NatureServe State: S5 - Secure
NatureServe National: N5 - Secure
NatureServe Global: G5 - Secure
CITES: None

An adult Prairie Kingsnake from Meade County. Image © Travis W. Taggart.
An adult Prairie Kingsnake from Seward County. Image © Travis W. Taggart.
An adult Prairie Kingsnake from Osage County. © Patricia Schmidt.
An adult from Waubaunsee County. Image © Jim Scharosch.
An sub-adult Prairie Kingsnake from Barton County. © Maci Loughrea.
An adult Prairie Kingsnake from Shawnee County, Kansas. © Suzanne L. Collins, CNAH.

Diagnosis:
HARMLESS. The Prairie Kingsnake's coloration is variable, with some adult individuals appearing darker than others. The background may be light gray to tan to brown with a row of darker brown to reddish (rarely greenish) irregularly shaped transverse dorsal blotches down the center of the back. There is a similar colored row of offset smaller irregularly shaped lateral blotches running along each side. And a third row (smaller still; and in line with the dorsal mid-line blotches) just above the belly scutes. Each blotch has a thin dark brown/black border. Specimens from the southwestern extent of their range in Kansas have a lighter ground color (tan to gray) and the blotches are fewer and more spread out. Older individuals may be dark brown (and occasionally striped), to the point the dorsal pattern is obfuscated.
The belly is cream or yellowish with diffuse red to brown checkers scattered randomly on the venter. There is often a dark line from the eye to the angle of the jaw, and there may be dark sutures on the lips. The Prairie Kingsnake's scales are smooth and the anal plate is single. The young are more brightly and contrastingly patterned than adults. The neck is not clearly defined.
Adults normally grow 760-1,067 mm (30-42 inches) in total length. The largest specimen from Kansas is a male (KU 192452) from Miami County with a total length of 1,324 mm (52 inches) collected by R. B. Hager on 23 September 1982; maximum length throughout range: 56¼ inches (Bird et al., 2005). The maximum weight for Kansas specimen is 405 grams (slightly over 14 ounces). Males have relatively longer tails (15.2% of SVL) compared to females (13.5% of SVL) and reach a greater length (870 mm vs 823 mm) and mass ( 216 gms vs. 176.5 gms) respectively (Fitch, 1979).

Distribution:
This species occurs throughout the eastern two-thirds of Kansas and enters the southwestern quarter along the tributaries of the Arkansas and Cimarron rivers.
(,   Museum Voucher) (,   Observation) (,   Literature Record) (,   iNat Record)
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  • Occurrence Summary:  
  • 551
    Records 
  • 468
    Museum Vouchers 
  • 83
    Other Observations 
Some county occurrences indicated below may be too imprecise to map above.
County Breakdown: County Name (# occurrences):
Allen (9); Anderson (7); Atchison (6); Barber (28); Barton (7); Bourbon (13); Brown (6); Butler (10); Chase (10); Chautauqua (6); Cherokee (8); Clark (5); Clay (1); Cloud (1); Coffey (3); Comanche (8); Cowley (16); Crawford (11); Dickinson (1); Doniphan (2); Douglas (86); Edwards (1); Elk (7); Ellis (6); Ellsworth (5); Ford (7); Franklin (30); Geary (3); Gray (1); Greenwood (6); Hamilton (1); Harper (6); Harvey (4); Jackson (2); Jefferson (3); Johnson (17); Kearney (2); Kingman (6); Kiowa (2); Labette (11); Leavenworth (3); Linn (1); Lyon (2); Marion (1); Marshall (2); McPherson (1); Meade (14); Miami (6); Mitchell (1); Montgomery (4); Morris (2); Nemaha (1); Neosho (10); Osage (9); Ottawa (3); Pawnee (1); Pottawatomie (6); Pratt (7); Reno (5); Rice (6); Riley (8); Rush (2); Russell (7); Saline (5); Sedgwick (27); Seward (4); Shawnee (18); Stafford (6); Sumner (4); Trego (1); Unknown (2); Wabaunsee (5); Washington (3); Wilson (2); Woodson (5); Wyandotte (3);

Natural History:
Inhabits rocky hillsides with open woods, prairie grassland, and sand prairies. Very secretive; when not actively prowling, retreats beneath rocks or down burrows of other animals.  
The Prairie Kingsnake is a constrictor. Feeds on small mammals, small snakes and lizards, and bird eggs. Fitch (1979) found that of 66 recorded food items, 66% by volume, was Prairie Voles, Microtus ochrogaster.
Sexual maturity is obtained in the second or third year (Fitch, 1979). Prairie Kingsnakes mate soon after emergence from their brumacula. The male will bite the head or neck of the female during courtship and keep a hold during copulation. Collins (1993) reports egg laying in June or July. The average clutch size is 11 (5-17). The eggs hatch in September.
Prairie Kingsnakes are often the first terrestrial snakes active each year. During the summer they are more fossorial and surface actively primarily at night.

Occurrence Activity:
White dates indicate there is at least a single recorded occurrence on that date. The darker blue a date is, the greater the relative number of observations for that date.
Remarks:
First definitely reported from Kansas by Hallowell (1857). The earliest existing specimen (USNM 44368) was collected at Cairo (Pratt County) by Basil H. Dutcher (a biologist/mammalogist with the US Bureau of Biological Survey [=US Fish and Wildlife Service] and son of famed ornithologist William Dutcher) on 4 August 1892. Hallowell (1857) referenced three specimens on hand from Kansas that were received from Fort Riley surgeon William H. Hammond.
Branson (1904) reported examining specimens from Scott, Gove, and Logan counties which outside of its range as currently described. Tiehen (1937) reported a specimen removed from the stomach of a Great Horned Owl one mile east of Coolidge in Hamilton County.
These snakes utilize a wide variety of habitats. They are found in prairies, (including sand prairies), open grassland, fields, pastures, in ditches along cultivated field and roads, woodlands, and some stream valleys and associated bluffs. They are most common in grasslands along forest edges and are only occasionally found in sand prairies. They also do not appear to be found deep in heavy woodlands very often.
Burt (1935) reported on a young Prairie Kingsnake that was swallowed by an adult North American Racer near Lake City, Kansas, on 31 August 1934, and that an adult Six-lined Racerunner was regurgitated from the stomach of a half-grown Prairie Kingsnake at Lamont, Kansas, on 19 May 1934.

Bibliography:
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1827 Harlan, Richard. Genera of North American Reptilia, and a synopsis of the species Journal of the Academy of Natural Sciences Philidelphia 5(2):317-372
Contains the original description of Coluber calligaster (=Lampropeltis calligaster) page 43.
1857 Hallowell, Edward. Notice of a collection of reptiles from Kansas and Nebraska presented to the Academy of Natural Sciences, by Doctor Hammond, U. S. A. Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia 8():238-253
Contains reference to twenty-four species collected from 'Kansas', and includes the original description of Microps lineatus (=Tropidoclonion lineatum) from Kansas on page 241.
1857 Hallowell, Edward. Note on the collection of reptiles from the neighborhood of San Antonio, Texas, recently presented to the Academy of Natural Sciences by Dr. A. Heerman. Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia 8():306-310
Report on a lot of specimens received at the Museum of the Academy of Natural Sciences from Dr. Hammond of Ft. Riley Kansas. Of special note are three specimens of Phyrnosoma douglassii (=Phyrnosoma hernandesi) from Ft Riley (it does not naturally occur there and likely never did). Several of the specimens are marked Bridger's Pass (in Wyoming) (Western Milksnake, Plains Hog-nosed Snake, Slender Glass Lizard, and Western Tiger Salamander; all but the Slender Glass Lizard occur near there). A specimen of the Red-spotted Toad is reported as well, however, it does not occur near Ft. Riley, and as given "One Bufo punctatus, (young of Americanus)." there is some question as to its actual identity.
1859 Kennicott, Robert. Notes on Coluber calligaster of Say, and a description of new species of serpents in the collection of the North Western University of Evanston, Illinois. Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia 1859():98-100
Contains the original description of Diadophis arnyi (= Diadophis punctatus) from Hyatt, Anderson County. Also, details a specimen of Lampropeltis calligaster from Hyatt and provides characters distinguishing it from Scotophis emoryi (= Pantherophis emoryi).
1860 Cope, Edward D. Catalogue of the Colubridae in the Museum of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, with notes and descriptions of new species. Part 2. Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia 12():241-266
Report on Diadophis occipitalis (=Diadophis punctatus) from 'central Kansas' (page 250), three Lampropeltis calligaster collected Dr. Hammond (of Ft. Riley) in Kansas (page 255), four species of Lampropeltis doliata (=Lampropeltis gentilis) from Kansas collected by Dr. Hammond and compared against specimens from further east and Baird and Girard's Ophibolus gentilis (page 256-7).
1875 Cope, Edward D. Check-list of North American Batrachia and Reptilia; with a systematic list of the higher groups, and an essay on geographical distribution. Based on the specimens contained in the U.S. National Museum. Bulletin of the United States National Museum 1():1-104
The first reference to Anaxyrus fowleri (nomen nudum) (not in Kansas). List the following species from Kansas: Carphophiops vermis (= Carphophis vermis); Ophibolus calligaster (= Lampropeltis calligaster); Ophibolus doliatus and Ophibolus doliatus annulatus (= Lampropeltis gentilis/triangulum); Tropidonotus sipedon erythrogaster (= Nerodia erythrogaster); Opheosaurus ventralis (= Ophisaurus attenuatus); Coluber emoryi (= Pantherophis emoryi); Coluber vulpinus (= Pantherophis ramspotti); Pituophis sayi (= Pituophis catenifer); and Tropidoclonion lineatum
1877 Mozley, Annie E. List of Kansas snakes in the museum of the Kansas State University. Transactions of the Kansas Academy of Science 6():34-35
First attempt to compile a complete list of snakes reported from Kansas. Most specimens were from Douglas and Wallace counties.
Contains obvious identification/locality errors Thamnophis marcianus (Douglas County) and Heterodon simus (Wallace County).
Neroida holbrookii = Nerodia rhombifer.
Use of the name 'Kansas State University' actually refers to The University of Kansas where Annie E. (Mozley)Boddington received her BS @ KU in 1878 (see also Gloyd 1928).
1878 Jordan, David S. Manual of the Vertebrates of the Northern United States: Including the District East of the Mississippi River, and North of North Carolina and Tennessee, Exclusive of Marine Species. Second Edition, Revised, and Enlarged. Jansen, McClurg & Company, Chicago. pp.
1880 Cragin, Francis W. A preliminary catalogue of Kansas reptiles and batrachians Transactions of the Kansas Academy of Science 7():112-123
Also listed the Scarlet Snake (Cemophora coccinea) [=Ophibolus doliatus var. coccineus] and Red Salamander (Pseudotriton ruber) [=Spelerpes ruber] from Kansas.
1882 Yarrow, Henry C. Check list of North American Reptilia and Batrachia with catalogue of specimens in U. S. National Museum. Bulletin of the United States National Museum (24):1-249
A summary of all herpetological species known at the time, with reference to specimens in the United States National Museum. Including one three Acris blanchardi from Fort Riley; Agkistrodon contortrix from Fort Riley; three Ambystoma mavortium from "Kansas" and another from Fort Riley; one Anaxyrus woodhousii from "Kansas"; one Anaxyrus cognatus from "Kansas" and another from Fort Riley; one Carphophis vermis from Fort Scott; three Coluber constrictor from "Kansas" and two from Fort Riley; one Crotalus horridus from 1858; one Diadophis punctatus from Hyatt [Hyette sic], Kansas (Anderson County); one Graptemys pseudogeographica from the Republican River in Kansas;   two Heterodon nasicus from Fort Riley; one Lampropeltis calligaster from Neosho Falls; one Lampropeltis holbrooki from Fort Riley, one from "Natchez", Kansas, and one other from Shawnee Mission, Kansas;one Lampropeltis gentilis from Fort Riley and one other from the Republican River, Kansas; one Pantherophis obsoletus from Fort Riley;fourteen Phrynosoma douglassi from "Kansas" and four from Fort Riley; three Phrynosoma cornutum from Fort Riley (Riley County);  three Pituophis catenifer from "Platte Valley", Kansas [likely from eastern Colorado prior to 1861] and two specimens from Fort Riley; one Plestiodon septentrionalis from Neosho Falls (Woodson County); one Plestiodon obsoletus from Fort Riley; one Thamnophis sirtalis from "Kansas"; one Nerodia sipedon from Fort Riley and another from Neosho Falls; one Scincella lateralis from Fort Scott (Bourbon County); one Thamnophis proximus from Fort Riley; four Sceloporus consobrinus from Fort Riley; one Tantilla nigriceps from Fort Riley; four Thamnophis sirtalis from "Kansas" and two from Little Blue River, Kansas; 
1891 Cope, Edward D. A critical review of the characters and variations of the snakes of North America. Proceedings of the National Museum 14(882):589-694
1901 Brown, Arthur Erwin. A review of the genera and species of American snakes, north of Mexico. Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia 53(1):10-110
1904 Branson, Edwin B. Snakes of Kansas. University of Kansas Science Bulletin 2(13):353-430
1907 Ditmars, Raymond L. The Reptile Book; A comprehensive, Popularised Work on the Structure and Habits of the Turtles, Tortoises, Crocodilians, Lizards and Snakes which Inhabit the United States and Northern Mexico. Doubleday, Pae, and Company, New York. 472pp.
Several references to Kansas in the distribution of specific species accounts.
1911 Hurter, Julius. Herpetology of Missouri. Transactions of the Academy of Science St. Louis 20(5):59-274
1921 Blanchard, Frank N. A revision of the king snakes: Genus Lampropeltis.. Bulletin of the United States National Museum (114):1-260
1927 Burt, Charles E. An annotated list of the amphibians and reptiles of Riley County, Kansas. Occasional Papers of the Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan (189):12
Accounts on forty species known from the vicinity of Manhattan, Riley County, Kansas. There have been several scientific names changes since publication, which is understandable... however, some usages cannot be explained by subsequent taxonomic reappraisals(e.g.  Gastrophryne carolinensis for Gastrophryne olivacea). The writer lists Eumeces (=Plestiodon) obsoletus and E. guttulatus yet correctly reasoning that the latter is the young of the former. Within the account of Tantilla gracilis (a common form) the writer mentions that T. nigriceps was reported from Riley County by Branson (1904) but that the specimens at Kansas State were absent at the time of publication. The Prairie Rattlesnake (Crotalus viridis) was first reported from Riley County by Branson (1904) and is reported by the writer based on a specimen in the museum at Kansas State University by Professor E. A. Popenoe. The Prairie Rattlesnake is not currently native to Riley County, and closest reliable localities are 150 to the west.
1929 Taylor, Edward H. A revised checklist of the snakes of Kansas. University of Kansas Science Bulletin 19(5):53-62
1933 Stejneger, Leonhard and Thomas Barbour. A Checklist of North American Amphibians and Reptiles. 3rd Edition. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts. pp.
Reference to Kansas is the listed range of several species.
1933 Brumwell, Malcolm J. Distributional records of the reptilia and amphibians of Kansas. Privately printed, . 22pp.
County dot maps of the Kansas herpetofauna. This work has been attributed to have been written around 1933, but that may be in error.
1933 Burt, Charles E. Some distributional and ecological records of Kansas reptiles. Transactions of the Academy of Science St. Louis 26():186-208
1934 Brennan, Lawrence A. A check list of the amphibians and reptiles of Ellis County, Kansas. Transactions of the Kansas Academy of Science 37():189-191
1934 Burt, Charles E. and W. L. Hoyle. Additional records of the reptiles of the central prairie region of the United States. Transactions of the Kansas Academy of Science 37():193-216
1935 Brennan, Lawrence A. Notes on the Distribution of Amphibia and Reptilia of Ellis County, Kansas. Thesis. Fort Hays State University, Hays, Kansas. 114pp.
1935 Burt, Charles E. Further records of the ecology and distribution of amphibians and reptiles in the middle west. American Midland Naturalist 16(3):311-366
1935 Burt, Charles E. and William L. Hoyle. Additional records of the reptiles of the central prairie region of the United States Transactions of the Kansas Academy of Science 37():193-216
1936 Hurd, Myron Alec. The reptiles of Cherokee County, Kansas. Thesis. Pittsburg State University, Pittsburg, Kansas. 103pp.
Under the supervision of thesis adviser Harry H. Hall. Report on 38 species (8 turtles, 7 lizards, and 23 snakes)... most unsubstantiated. Interesting inclusion are Crotalus horridus, Crotalus viridis, Kinosternon subrubrum, Opheodrys vernalis, and Phrynosoma cornutum.
1937 Tihen, Joseph A. Additional distributional records of amphibians and reptiles in Kansas counties Transactions of the Kansas Academy of Science 40():401-409
1939 Tihen, Joseph A. and James M. Sprague Amphibians, reptiles, and mammals of the Meade County State Park Transactions of the Kansas Academy of Science 42():499-512
1942 Hudson, G. E. The amphibians and reptiles of Nebraska. Nebraska Conservation Bulletin 24():1-146
1945 Bugbee, R. E. A note on the mortality of snakes on highways in western Kansas. Transactions of the Kansas Academy of Science 47():373-374
1947 Hall, Henry H. and Hobart M. Smith Selected records of reptiles and amphibians from southeastern Kansas Transactions of the Kansas Academy of Science 49(4):447-454
Report on certain Kansas specimens housed in the collection at what is now Pittsburg State University. Included are several species of dubious status today, including Cryptobranchus alleganiensis from the Neosho and Spring rivers (the only specimens from those significant drainages ever documented), Ambystoma maculatum from just north of Pittsburg, Crawford County, Heterodon nasicus from Crawford County, Opheodrys vernalis from Crawford County, Sonora episcopa from Crawford County, Agkistrodon piscivorus from Cherokee County, Crotalus atrox from Crawford County, and Crotalus viridis from Crawford County. They report several significant range extensions including Kinosternon flavescens from Turkey Creek in southeast Cherokee County, Graptemys geographica from just north of Pittsburg, Crotaphytus collaris from near Columbus, Cherokee County, Sceloporus consobrinus from just north of Pittsburg, Phrynosoma cornutum from Cherokee and Crawford counties, Heterodon platirhinos from Cherokee and Crawford counties, Haldea striatula from Crawford County, Sistrurus tergeminus from Crawford County, and a 402 lb Macrochelys temminckii in Cherokee County from just east of Chetopa (Labette County). They allude to the potential for Anaxyrus fowleri to occur in southeast Kansas and for native populations of Crotalus atrox in south central Kansas (in part from the disclosure that John R. Breukelman [then of ESU] had obtained three specimens in Woods County Oklahoma, 3/4 of a mile south of the Kansas line). None of the specimens the paper was based on, exist today.
1950 Smith, Hobart M. Handbook of Amphibians and Reptiles of Kansas. University of Kansas, Museum of Natural History, Miscellaneous Publication (2):336
The first modern herpetology of Kansas. Includes locality dot maps within individual species accounts. Reports 96 species from Kansas (table and text say 97 on p. 10) and 13 "probable but unverified" species and subspecies.
1951 Wolfenbarger, Keith. A. Systematic and Biological Studies on North American Chiggers of the genus Eutrombicula (Acarina, Trombiculidae). Thesis. University of Kansas, Lawrence. 77pp.
1951 Brumwell, Malcolm J. An ecological survey of the Fort Leavenworth Military Reservation American Midland Naturalist 45(1):187-231
Published posthumously. Lieutenant Brumwell died December 14, 1941, as a result of injuries incurred during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. This paper is a condensed version of his thesis for the Master's degree.
1953 Schmidt, Karl P. A Check List of North American Amphibians and Reptiles. 6th Edition. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, Illinois. 280pp.
Schmidt's first edition of his standardized checklist to North American amphibians and reptiles. Includes several specific references to Kansas in the range descriptions.
1956 Smith, Hobart M. Handbook of Amphibians and Reptiles of Kansas. Second edition. University of Kansas Museum of Natural History Miscellaneous Publication (9):1-356
Hobart M. Smith's updated second edition of his first (1950) modern herpetology of Kansas. Includes locality dot maps within individual species accounts. Reports 96 species from Kansas (table says 97 on p. 10; text says 98 on p. 10) and 11 "probable but unverified" species and subspecies. The second edition has updated taxonomy, added Plestiodon laticeps, and removed Eurycea tynerensis.
1956 Loomis, Richard B. The chigger mites of Kansas (Acarina, Trombiculidae). University of Kansas Science Bulletin 37():1195-1443
Examined 2,628 Kansas reptiles of 48 species consisting of 27 turtles of 4 species, 1,736 lizards of 12 species and 892 snakes of 32 species for chiggers. Eleven species of chiggers were recovered from reptiles.
For amphibians, 1188 individuals of 21 species were examined. Five species of chigger mite were recovered from amphibians.
1962 Gish, Charles D. The Herpetofauna of Ellis County, Kansas. Thesis. Fort Hays State University, Hays, Kansas. 34pp.
1967 Moehn, Loren D. A combat dance between two Prairie Kingsnakes. Copeia 1967(2):480-481
1973 Blaney, Richard M.. Lampropeltis. Catalogue of American Amphibians and Reptiles (150):1-2
1973 McLeran, V. Friendly constrictors. Kansas Fish and Game (30(2)):8-11
Popular article: states that "Kansas is host to six constrictor reptiles" (Lampropeltis calligaster, L. holbrookia, L. gentilis/triangulum, Pantherophis emoryi, Pantherophis obsoletus, and Pituophis catenifer)... omitting Arizona elegans and Rhinocheilus lecontei. The image of the 'milk snake' is actually an Eastern Kingsnake (Lampropeltis getula) and the bullsnake in the Red-tailed Hawk nest (apparently a natural predation event recorded by the author) is a Prairie Kingsnake (Lampropeltis calligaster).
1974 Collins, Joseph T. Amphibians and Reptiles in Kansas University of Kansas Museum of Natural History Public Education Series (1):283 pp
Joseph T. Collins first Kansas herpetology. <Need to get species total and principal differences with previous 'version' (= Smith 1956)>
1974 Karns, Daryl, Ray E. Ashton, Jr., and Thomas Swearingen. Illustrated Guide to Amphibians and Reptiles in Kansas: An Identification Manual. University of Kansas Publications Museum of Natural History Public Education Series(2):viii + 18
1975 Rundquist, Eric M. Amphibians and Reptiles of Kingman County, Kansas. Privately Printed, Lawrence, Kansas. 3pp.
Short accounts for twenty-nine recognized amphibians and reptiles from Kingman County, Kansas. With habitat descriptions and for some species, estimates of population density.
1976 Rundquist, Eric M. Field checklist (of) amphibians and reptiles of Kansas. Kansas Herpetological Society, Lawrence. pp.
1976 Caldwell, Janalee P. and Gregory. Glass. Vertebrates of the Woodson County State Fishing Lake and Game Management Area. Pages 62-76 in Preliminary inventory of the biota of Woodson County State Fishing Lake and Game Management Area. Report No. 5. State Biological Survey of Kansas, Lawrence. pp.
1977 Price, Robert M. Systematics of the colubrid snake Lampropeltis calligaster (Harlan). Thesis. Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland. 98pp.
1977 Trott, Gene. Chikaskia River wildlife study. Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter (19):2-3
1977 Perry, Janice. KHS members achieve goal: Get Cottonmouth. Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter (21):3-4
1978 Curl, Richard L. Final Environmental Statement: Milford Lake Kansas operation and maintenance. US Army Corps of Engineers, Kansas City District. 158pp.
Notable mentions: Spotted Salamander, Smooth Green Snake
1978 Fitch, Henry S. and E. Raymond Hall. A 20year record of succession on reseeded fields of tallgrass prairie on the Rockefeller Experimental Tract. University of Kansas Museum of Natural History Special Publication (4):1-15
1978 Capron, Marty. Four county collecting raid: A south central Kansas herping saga. Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter (26):9-12
1978 Collins, Joseph T. and Janalee P. Caldwell. New records of fishes, amphibians, and reptiles in Kansas for 1977. Technical Publication of the State Biological Survery of Kansas 6():70-88
1978 Fitch, Henry S. A field study of the prairie kingsnake (Lampropeltis calligaster). Transactions of the Kansas Academy of Science 81(4):353-363
1979 Fitch, Henry S A field study of the prairie kingsnake (Lampropeltis calligaster) Transactions of the Kansas Academy of Science 81(4):441-461
1980 Clarke, Robert F. Herptiles and fishes of the western Arkansas River in Kansas. United States Army Corps of Engineers, Albuquerque, New Mexico. 55pp.
A summary of known information on the amphibian, reptile, and fish faunas of the Arkansas River above Great Bend. The report details associated field activities for procuring fish, however no new surveys for amphibians and reptiles were undertaken. Information on herps from Finney County was provided by Michael Rush (FHSU) and thus made available before the publication of his thesis (Rush, 1981). The western Arkansas River drainage had experienced little attention by herpetologists before this study, and the species accounts reflect that paucity of data. Additionally, the report omits several older records (e.g. for Anaxyrus debilisThamnophis cyrtopsis, and Lampropeltis calligaster) from the westernmost reaches of the Arkansas River drainage in Kansas.
1982 Fitch, Henry S. Resources of a snake community in prairie-woodland habitat of northeastern Kansas. Pages 83-97 in Herpetological communities: A symposium of the Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles and the Herpetologists League, August 1977.  Wildlife Research Reports 12. 239 pp. U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Washington, D. C. pp.
1982 Collins, Joseph T. Amphibians and Reptiles in Kansas. 2nd edition. University of Kansas Museum of Natural History Public Education Series (8):
Joseph T. Collins second Kansas herpetology. <Need to get species total and principal differences with previous 'version' (= Collins 1974)>
1983 Miller, Larry L. Bourbon County field trip well attended and successful. Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter (54):6-7
1983 Collins, Joseph T. New records of fishes, amphibians, and reptiles in Kansas for 1982 . Technical Publication of the State Biological Survey of Kansas 13():9-21
1983 Halpin, Zuleyma T. Naturally occurring encounters between Blacktailed Prairie Dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) and snakes. American Midland Naturalist 109(1):50-54
Details encounters occurring on a 1.7-ha prairie dog town located at the Quivira National Wildlife Refuge in south central Kansas.
1984 Brown, Kenneth L. Pomona: A plains village variant in eastern Kansas and western Missouri. Dissertation. University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas. 519pp.
1984 Collins, Joseph T. New records of fishes, amphibians, and reptiles in Kansas for 1983. Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter (56):15-26
Invalidated the specimens of Thamnophis sirtalis from Hamilton County (reidentified as T. cyrtopsis; KU 2088) and Wallace County mapped in Collins, 1982.
1985 Ernst, Carl H. Reproduction in the Mole Kingsnake, Lampropeltis calligaster rhombomaculata. Bulletin of the Maryland Herpetological Society 21(1):16-22
1986 Capron, Marty. Winter activity noted in southern Kansas herps. Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter (64):15-16
1987 Simmons, John E. September 1987 field trip report. Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter (69):42894
1987 Fraser, John C. The egg and eye. Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter (70):10-11
1988 Nulton, Michael T. and Michael S. Rush. New county records of amphibians and reptiles in Gray County, Kansas. Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter (74):10-12
1989 Collins, Joseph T. New records of amphibians and reptiles in Kansas for 1988. Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter (75):15-18
1990 Collins, Joseph T. Results of second Kansas herp count held during April-May 1990. Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter (81):10-12
1990 Collins, Joseph T. Maximum size records for Kansas amphibians and reptiles. Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter (81):13-17
1991 Conant, Roger and Joseph T. Collins. Peterson Field Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians of Eastern and Central North America. 3rd ed. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, Massachusetts. pp.
1991 Fitch, Henry S. Reptiles and amphibians of the Kansas ecological reserves. Pages 71-74 in Multidisciplinary Guidebook 4. Kansas Academy of Science, Lawrence. pp.
1991 Collins, Joseph T. New records of amphibians and reptiles in Kansas for 1990. Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter (83):7-13
1991 Taggart, Travis W. Geographic distribution: Lampropeltis calligaster calligaster. Herpetological Review 22():67
1992 Collins, Joseph T. Results of the fourth Kansas herp count held during April-May 1992. Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter (89):10-
1992 Lokke, John Some thoughts on the status of the Western Fox Snake (Elaphe vulpina) in southeast Nebraska, southwest Iowa, northwest Missouri, and northeast Kansas Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter (89):14-16
1993 Collins, Joseph T. and Suzanne L. Collins. Amphibians and Reptiles in Kansas. Third Edition. University Press of Kansas, Lawrence, Lawrence. 397pp.
Joseph T. Collins third Kansas herpetology. <Need to get species total and principal differences with previous 'version' (= Collins 1982)>
1993 Collins, Joseph T. and Rundquist, Eric M. Results of the fifth Kansas herp count held during April-June 1993 . Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter (94):7-11
1994 Collins, Joseph T. New records of amphibians and reptiles in Kansas for 1993. Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter (97):15-19
1994 Rundquist, Eric M. Results of the sixth annual KHS herp counts held 1 April-31 May 1994. Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter (97):5-14
See, 1994 Rundquist, Eric M. Additions and corrections [to the results of the sixth annual KHS herp counts held 1 April-31 May 1994]. Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter (98):4.
1995 Rundquist, Eric M. Results of the seventh annual KHS herp counts held 1 April-31 May 1995. Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter (101):11-17
1996 Collins, Joseph T. New records of amphibians and reptiles in Kansas for 1995. Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter (103):13-15
1996 Miller, Larry L. Results of the KHS 1995 fall field trip. Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter (103):3
1996 Rundquist, Eric M. Results of the eighth annual KHS herp counts Held 1 April-31 May 1996. Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter (104):6-17
1996 Rakestraw, J. Spring herp counts: A Kansas tradition. Reptile & Amphibian Magazine (March-April):75-80
1997 Rundquist, Eric M. Results of the ninth annual KHS herp counts held 1 April-31 May 1997. Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter (108):12-17
1997 Busby, William H. Midwinter herp activity in Kansas. Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter (108):19
1997 Collins, Joseph T. A report on the KHS fall field trip to the Marais des Cygnes wildlife refuges. Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter (110):2-3
1998 Conant, Roger and Joseph T. Collins. Peterson Field Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians of Eastern and Central North America. 3rd ed, expanded. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, Massachusetts. pp.
1998 Gamble, Jerre Marais des Cygnes National Wildlife Refuge Comprehensive Conservation Plan U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Hartford, Kansas. 91pp.
1998 Rundquist, Eric M. Results of the tenth annual KHS herp counts for 1998, held 1 April-31 May. Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter (112):11-18
1998 Rundquist, Eric M. KDWP herp sting so far nets nine on Kansas and Federal charges. Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter (112):5-6
1998 Collins, Joseph T. Results of the KHS silver anniversary fall field trip. Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter (114):6-
1999 Rundquist, Eric M. Kansas Herpetological Society herp counts: A 10 year summary and evaluation. Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter (115):42962
1999 Collins, Joseph T. New records of amphibians and reptiles in Kansas for 1998. Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter (116):14-15
2000 Fitch, Henry S. Population structure and biomass of some common snakes in central North America. Scientific Papers of the Natural History Museum University of Kansas (17):1-7
2000 Taggart, Travis W. KHS spring field trip sets record for attendance. Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter (120):5-5
2000 Taggart, Travis W. Biogeographic analysis of the reptiles (Squamata) in Ellis County, Kansas. Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter (121):7-16
2000 Rundquist, Eric M. Results of the eleventh and twelfth annual KHS herpetofaunal counts for 1999-2000, held 1 April-31 May. Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter (122):11-16
2001 Johnson, Richard W. Spatial ecology of the Eastern Coachwhip (Masticophis flagellum flagellum) in and eastern Texas upland community. Thesis. Stephen F. Austin State University, Nacogdoches, Texas. 54pp.
2001 Taggart, Travis W. The KHS 2001 spring field trip: A rainy rendezvous. Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter (124):12-14
2001 Rundquist, Eric M. Results of the thirteenth annual KHS herp counts for 2001, held 1 April-30 June. Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter (125):13-16
2002 Kingsbury, Bruce and Joanna Gibson. Habitat Management Guidelines for Amphibians and Reptiles of the Midwest. Publication of Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation, Address not given. 152pp.
2002 Riedle, J. Daren and A. Hynek. Amphibian and reptile inventory of the Kansas Army Ammunition Plant, Labette County, Kansas. Journal of Kansas Herpetology (2):18-20
2002 Ellis, Mark R. Fall 2002 KHS field trip to Washington County. Journal of Kansas Herpetology (2):4-5
2002 Collins, Suzanne L., Joseph T. Collins, and Eric Kessler. Geographic distribution: Lampropeltis calligaster. Journal of Kansas Herpetology (3):13
2002 Taggart, Travis W. Results of the KHS 2002 fall field Trip. Journal of Kansas Herpetology (4):11-13
To Washington County, Kansas (also includes ancillary counts from Clay and Marshall counties).
2003 Freeman, Craig C. A natural areas inventory of the Ft. Leavenworth Military Reservation, Leavenworth County, Kansas. II. Open-file Report No. 117. Kansas Biological Survey, Lawrence, Kansas. 199pp.
2003 Suleiman, G. Fort Riley herpetofaunal count. Journal of Kansas Herpetology (5):11-12
2003 Wolhuter, Bruce. Lampropeltis calligaster (Prairie Kingsnake): Winter activity. Journal of Kansas Herpetology (5):12
2003 Collins, Joseph T. New records of amphibians and reptiles in Kansas for 2002. Journal of Kansas Herpetology (5):13-16
2003 Taggart, Travis W. KHS conducts first systematic road survey. Journal of Kansas Herpetology (6):11-12
2003 Platt, Dwight R. Lizards and snakes (Order Squamata) of Harvey County, Kansas. Journal of Kansas Herpetology (6):13-20
2003 Fitch, Henry S. Reproduction in snakes of the Fitch Natural History Reservation in northeastern Kansas. Journal of Kansas Herpetology (6):21-24
2003 Taggart, Travis W. Results of the 2003 KHS spring field trip to Wilson County. Journal of Kansas Herpetology (6):2-5
2003 Collins, Joseph T. Douglas County herp count. Journal of Kansas Herpetology (7):8
2003 Fitch, Henry S., Scott Sharp, and Kylee Sharp. Snakes of the University of Kansas biotic succession area. Journal of Kansas Herpetology (8):20-21
2003 Pisani, George R. Natural history notes: Lampropeltis calligaster calligaster. Herpetological Review 34():150
2004 Delisle, Jennifer M. and William H. Busby Biological inventory for vertebrates at Fort Larned National Historic Site of the southern plains network. Natural Heritage Inventory, Kansas Biological Survey, Lawrence. 61pp.
2004 Pilch, J. A. Lampropeltis calligaster. Winter activity. Journal of Kansas Herpetology (9):7
2004 Washburne, M. Ellsworth County herp count. Journal of Kansas Herpetology (11):10
2006 Taggart, Travis W. Distribution and status of Kansas herpetofauna in need of information. State Wildlife Grant T7. Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks, Pratt. vii + 106pp.
2007 Bartels, Brian C. Geographic distribution: Lampropeltis calligaster. Journal of Kansas Herpetology 24():15
2009 Murrow, Daniel G. KHS 2009 spring field trip. Journal of Kansas Herpetology (29):42769
2010 Miller, Larry L. Investigation of the Checkered Garter Snake in Kansas with notes on other Amphibians, Reptiles, and Turtles encountered. Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks, Pratt, Kansas. 31pp.
2010 Collins, Joseph T., Suzanne L. Collins, and Travis W. Taggart. Amphibians, Reptiles, and Turtles of Kansas Eagle Mountain Publishing., Provo, Utah. 400pp.
Joseph T. Collins fourth Kansas herpetology. <Need to get species total and principal differences with previous 'version' (= Collins 1993)>
2010 Murrow, Daniel G. Kansas Herpetological Society spring field trip. Journal of Kansas Herpetology (33):2-3
2011 McMartin, David C. U. S. Army 2011 Fort Leavenworth Herpetofaunal Survey: 23 April - 09 May 2011. Privately printed, Leavenworth, Kansas. 33pp.
2011 Taggart, Travis W. Kansas Herpetological Society 2011 spring field trip to beheld in Chautauqua County. Journal of Kansas Herpetology (37):5-7
2011 Taggart, Travis W. Results of the KHS Spring Field Trip to Chautauqua County. Journal of Kansas Herpetology (38):2-4
2011 McMartin, D. Chris. Herp Count: Fort Leavenworth Herpetofaunal Survey for 2011. Journal of Kansas Herpetology (39):8-9
2011 Houck, Mike. Fort Riley Herpetofaunal Survey for 2011. Journal of Kansas Herpetology (39):9
2012 Rohweder, Megan R. Spatial conservation prioritization of Kansas for terrestrial vertebrates. Thesis. Fort Hays State University, Hays, Kansas. 151pp.
2013 Miller, Larry L. Wellington Lake Herpetological Survey. Collinsorum 2(1/2):12
2013 Taggart, Travis W. KHS 2012 Spring Field Trip to Bourbon County State Lake. Collinsorum 2(3/4):3
2013 Taggart, Travis W. KHS 2013 Spring Field Trip to Schermerhorn Park, Cherokee County. Collinsorum 2(3/4):4
2013 Taggart, Travis W. KHS 2013 Summer Field Trip to Coldwater Lake, Comanche County. Collinsorum 2(3/4):5
2013 Taggart, Travis W. KHS 2013 Fall Field Trip to Butler County State Lake. Collinsorum 2(3/4):6
2013 Mardis, Dexter and Kevin Scott. 2013 Kansas Herpetofaunal Counts. Collinsorum 2(3/4):7
2014 Taggart, Travis W. Results of the 2014 KHS Spring Field Trip to Barber County Collinsorum 3(2-4):11
2014 Taggart, Travis W. Results of the 2014 KHS Fall Field Trip to Woodson County. Collinsorum 3(2-4):12
2014 Taggart, Travis W. Recent scientific and standard English name changes effecting the Kansas herpetofauna. Collinsorum 3(2-4):9-10
2015 Brown, Kasandra A. Occupancy Modeling Of Herpetofauna And Grassland Nesting Birds At Quivira National Wildlife Refuge. Thesis. Fort Hays State University, Hays, Kansas. 72pp.
2015 Mike Houck. 2015 Fort Riley Herpetofaunal Count final report. Collinsorum 4(1):10-11
2015 Taggart, Travis W. Spring Field Trip to the Greenhorn Limestone of Russell County. Collinsorum 4(3):2
2015 Taggart, Travis W. Summer Field Trip In The Harvey County Sandhills. Collinsorum 4(3):3
2015 Taggart, Travis W. Fall Field Trip Held In Washington County. Collinsorum 4(3):4
2016 Pittman, Galen L., Henry S. Fitch, and W. Dean Kettle Vertebrate animals on the Fitch Natural History Reservation (1948-2002) Kansas Biological Survey Report Number 188, Lawrence. 48pp.
2016 Powell, Robert, Roger Conant, and Joseph T. Collins. Peterson Field Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians of Eastern and Central North America. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Boston. 494pp.
2016 Taggart, Travis W. Results of the KHS Summer field trip to Caney River, Chautauqua County, Kansas. Collinsorum 5(2-3):4-5
2016 Taggart, Travis W. Results of the KHS ‘Fall’ field trip to Barber County. Collinsorum 5(2-3):6-7
2016 McKelvy, Alexander and Frank T. Burbrink. Ecological divergence in the Yellow-bellied Kingsnake (Lampropeltis calligaster) at two North American biodiversity hotspots. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 106(2017):61-72
2017 Taggart, Travis W. and J. Daren Riedle. A Pocket Guide to Kansas Amphibians, Turtles and Lizards. Great Plains Nature Center, Wichita, Kansas. 69pp.
2017 Mardis, Dexter R. Results from three Herpetofaunal tallies at Wichita State University’s Youngmeyer Ranch in Northwestern Elk County. Collinsorum 6(1):8-10
2017 Taggart, Travis W. Results of the 2017 KHS Spring Field Trip to Elk County, Kansas. Collinsorum 6(2-3):6-8
2018 Burbrink, Frank T. and Marcelo Gehara. The biogeography of deep time phylogenetic reticulation. Systematic Biology 67(5):743–755
Kansas specimens used in this study (by county):
Lampropeltis calligaster: Atchison (USNM 197619), Brown (CM 36962, USNM 316532), Chautauqua (USNM 90606), Cowley (MCZ R-33428, MVZ 14025, USNM 88770, USNM 89931, USNM 90607), Doniphan (USNM 197620), Douglas (CM 55426, CM 58570, CM 58618, CM 58621, LACM 25392, MVZ 59335), Elk (SDNHM 21847), Franklin (CM 8654), Jefferson (CM 54766), Johnson (LACM 102464), Kearney (USNM 86914), Kingman (MCZ R-100454), Labette (USNM 85541), Leavenworth (CM 88841), Miami (CAS 62650), Morris (USNM 90604), No_Further_Locality_Data (USNM 307565), Pratt (USNM 44368), Shawnee (CM 58717),Wabaunsee (USNM 90605), Washington (USNM 82008), Woodson (USNM 5229);
Lampropeltis gentilis: Anderson (FHSM 9699), Crawford (LACM 38549), Douglas (LACM 38553, LACM 38555), Jefferson (LACM 38556, LACM 38557, LACM 38558, LACM 38559), Jewell (LACM 38544, LACM 38547), Leavenworth (FHSM 7991), Linn (FHSM 8310), Logan (FHSM 8504), Marshall (LACM 38560), McPherson (MVZ 45719), Miami (LACM 38563, LACM 38564, LACM 102468), Mitchell (LACM 38562), Ness (FHSM 8275, FHSM 8496), Pottawatomie (LACM 38550), Pottawatomie (LACM 38552), Rush (FHSM 7910), Russell (FHSM 8549, SRSU_6564), Russell (LACM 38561), Washington (FHSM 8838);
Lampropeltis holbrooki: Atchison (USNM 118466), Barber (FHSM 11267, FHSM 11295,FHSM 11304, FHSM 13220), Bourbon (FHSM 8477, FHSM 11209, FHSM 12905), Butler (FHSM 11456), Chase (USNM 307585), Comanche (FHSM 11300), Cowley (USNM 88618), Crawford (FHSM 12932), Douglas (CM 58562, FHSM 10796), Elk (FHSM 12755, FHSM 12771), Ellis (FHSM 11718, FHSM 13255), Ellsworth (FHSM 8446, FHSM 10862, FHSM 10960, ROM 4356), Franklin (FHSM 9755, FHSM 10692), Geary (USNM 5512), Gove (FHSM 9385), Harper (FHSM 8525), Jefferson (FHSM 12472, USNM 51553), Johnson (USNM 316), Kiowa (FHSM 9550), Leavenworth (FHSM 7930), Logan (FHSM 8095, FHSM 10944, FHSM 11100, FHSM 12618), Meade (USNM 310972), Rooks (USNM 86911), Rush (FHSM 7909), Russell (FHSM 8963, FHSM 11507, FHSM 12391, FHSM 10745), Shawnee (FHSM 10826), Wilson (FHSM 7669, FHSM 7681).
2020 Daniel, Richard E. and Brian S. Edmond. Atlas of Missouri Amphibians and Reptiles for 2019. Privately printed, Columbia, Missouri. 86pp.
2020 Riedle, J. Daren. Revisiting Kansas Herpetological Society field trip and Herp Count data: Distributional patterns and trend data of Kansas amphibians and reptiles. Collinsorum 9(1):7-16
2021 Taggart, Travis W and Sarah L Taggart. Herp Count: Cherokee County: KHS-2020-02 Collinsorum 9(3):11-12
Account Last Updated:
5/11/2022 5:00:34 PM