Lampropeltis mexicana (San Luis Potosí Kingsnake)

Valle de los Fantasmas, San Luis Potosí

The “Valley of the Phantoms” is traversed by Mex. Hwy 70 running east through the mountains from Cd. San Luis Potosí before dropping into Río Verde. Elevations here are mostly 7000–7200 ft/2133–2194 m, ranging up to 7850 ft/2392 m at nearby Alvarez. The “Valle” and nearby areas provided the founder stock of nearly all Lampropeltis mexicana represented in captivity. This area is characterized by extensive limestone outcroppings bordered by oak forests, and receives abundant rainfall mixed with fog during the cool summer monsoonal period. Other snakes observed here were Queretaran Dusky Rattlesnake (Crotalus aquilus), Mexican Plateau Earth Snakes (Conopsis nasus), Graceful Brown Snakes (Rhadinaea gaigeae), Baird’s Patch-nosed Snakes (Salvadora bairdi), and Black-necked Gartersnakes (Thamnophis cyrtopsis). (July 2005, July 2008).