Kingsnake Vs King Cobra: What You Need To Know Before Buying

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If you’re looking for an epic showdown between two of the most formidable creatures on the planet, look no further than the battle between the Kingsnake and the King Cobra. These two powerful predators are well known for their fierce strength and agility, and when they come face to face, the outcome is sure to be an entertaining show of survival of the fittest. In this article, we’ll explore the differences between these two snake species, and find out which one will come out on top.

Kingsnake vs King Cobra

Kingsnake King Cobra
Length: 3-5 feet Length: 8-13 feet
Non-venomous Highly venomous
Eats rodents, lizards, and eggs Eats other snakes, birds, and small mammals
Found in the US, Mexico, Central and South America Found mostly in Southeast Asia and India

Kingsnake Vs King Cobra

Chart Comparing: Kingsnake Vs King Cobra

Kingsnake King Cobra
King snakes are part of the genus Lampropeltis and belong to the Colubridae family of snakes. King cobras are part of the genus Ophiophagus and belong to the Elapidae family of snakes.
They are native to the Americas, ranging from the United States to Ecuador. They are native to parts of Southeast Asia, ranging from India to the Philippines.
They are non-venomous and primarily feed on smaller reptiles, amphibians, and other snakes. They are venomous and primarily feed on other snakes.
They can grow to be about 3-4 feet in length. They can grow to be about 10-13 feet in length.
They are commonly kept as pets due to their docile nature and hardiness. They are not commonly kept as pets due to their venomous nature and aggression.
They are typically brown or black in color with lighter colored bands or spots. They are typically yellow or green in color with darker colored bands or spots.

Kingsnake Vs King Cobra – A Comparison Guide

Kingsnakes and king cobras are two of the most iconic reptiles on the planet. Both species belong to the family Elapidae and have a long, legless body. They both have the ability to inject a potent venom, and they both have powerful coils that can trap and kill prey. Despite their similarities, the two species have many differences that set them apart. In this guide, we’ll look at the differences between kingsnakes and king cobras.


The most obvious difference between the two species is their appearance. Kingsnakes are usually black or brown with lighter stripes or patches. They have a glossy, smooth skin, and their average length is between 1 and 1.5 meters. King cobras, on the other hand, are usually yellow or tan with black or brown markings. They have a more rough and textured skin, and their average length is between 3 and 4 meters.

Another difference in appearance is the shape of their heads. Kingsnakes have a round head, while king cobras have an elongated head that resembles the hood of a cobra. This elongated head is also longer than the body, whereas the head of a kingsnake is shorter than the body.

The color of their eyes is also different. Kingsnakes have a yellow to reddish eye color, while king cobras have a blue to green eye color.


The two species also differ in their habitat preferences. Kingsnakes are typically found in deserts or grasslands, while king cobras prefer rainforests or wetlands. Kingsnakes are also more adapted to living in colder climates, while king cobras struggle to survive in temperatures below 25 degrees Celsius.

Kingsnakes are also more active during the day, while king cobras are primarily nocturnal. This is likely due to the fact that king cobras rely more on their vision to hunt, while kingsnakes rely more on their sense of smell.

Finally, kingsnakes are more social than king cobras. They often form large groups and are often found in the same area. King cobras, on the other hand, are solitary and rarely interact with other cobras unless they are mating or defending their territory.


The two species also differ in their behavior. Kingsnakes are generally gentle and docile, while king cobras are very aggressive and will attack if they feel threatened. Kingsnakes also rarely bite, while king cobras will bite if provoked.

Another difference in behavior is their defensive tactics. Kingsnakes typically rely on camouflage to hide from predators, while king cobras will often spread their hood and stand their ground. King cobras are also known to strike with lightning speed, while kingsnakes are slower and less likely to attack.

Finally, kingsnakes are known to eat a variety of prey, including rodents, lizards, and eggs. King cobras, on the other hand, are more specialized and primarily feed on other snakes.


The two species also differ in their venom. Kingsnakes have a mild venom that is not dangerous to humans, while king cobras have a potent venom that can be deadly if not treated quickly. It is important to note that both species have the ability to inject venom, but only king cobras are known to kill humans.

The potency of the venom is also different. Kingsnakes typically have a weaker venom that is not fatal, while king cobras have a much more potent venom that can be fatal to humans. The venom of a king cobra can also cause paralysis and other serious symptoms.

Finally, the effects of the venom are different. Kingsnakes typically cause pain and swelling, while king cobras can cause death if left untreated. It is important to note that both species can be dangerous if not treated quickly.


The two species also differ in their reproduction. Kingsnakes typically lay eggs that are incubated by the female, while king cobras lay eggs that are incubated by the sun. The eggs of both species are usually laid in a warm and humid environment.

Kingsnakes typically lay between 10 and 30 eggs, while king cobras lay between 20 and 40 eggs. The eggs of both species usually hatch within 2 to 3 months.

Finally, the offspring of both species differ. Kingsnakes usually give birth to live young, while king cobras hatch from eggs. The young of both species are usually self-sufficient at birth and can fend for themselves.

Kingsnake Vs King Cobra Pros & Cons


  • Kingsnakes are not venomous.
  • Kingsnakes are smaller and easier to care for.
  • Kingsnakes are more docile than King Cobras.
  • Kingsnakes are more widely available.


  • King Cobras are more impressive looking.
  • King Cobras can grow to much larger sizes.
  • King Cobras are more expensive to buy and care for.
  • King Cobras are more difficult to handle.

Which is Better – Kingsnake Vs King Cobra?

Both the Kingsnake and the King Cobra are fascinating creatures that have long captivated people. Both are beautiful, impressive, and powerful animals, making it hard to decide which one is better. But when considering the facts, the King Cobra is undoubtedly the superior reptile.

The King Cobra is the world’s longest venomous snake, growing to up to 18 feet in length. It is a highly intelligent creature, capable of making complex decisions, and is highly adaptable to changing environments. It is also one of the most venomous snakes in the world, making it a formidable predator.

The Kingsnake, on the other hand, is a smaller animal, growing to around 6 feet in length. It is a less dangerous reptile, and does not possess the same level of intelligence or adaptability as the King Cobra. It is also not as venomous, and is not as powerful a predator.

For these reasons, the King Cobra is the clear winner when it comes to deciding which is better – Kingsnake Vs King Cobra. The King Cobra is larger, more intelligent, more adaptable, and more venomous, making it the superior animal.

Reasons why King Cobra is the better choice:

  • It is larger than the Kingsnake, growing up to 18 feet long.
  • It is highly intelligent, capable of making complex decisions.
  • It is one of the most venomous snakes in the world.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here you will find answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about Kingsnakes Vs King Cobras.

What is the Difference Between a Kingsnake and a King Cobra?

The main difference between a kingsnake and a king cobra is their size. The king cobra is the world’s longest venomous snake, reaching up to 18 feet in length. The kingsnake, on the other hand, is much smaller, typically reaching a length of only three to five feet. In addition, the king cobra has a hood that it can expand when threatened, while the kingsnake does not.

Another difference between a kingsnake and a king cobra is their diet. The king cobra eats smaller snakes and lizards, while the kingsnake eats small mammals like mice, rats, and birds. The kingsnake may also eat other snakes, including other kingsnakes.

Do Kingsnakes and King Cobras Live in the Same Locations?

No, kingsnakes and king cobras typically live in different locations. The king cobra is native to southern and southeastern Asia, while the kingsnake is native to the Americas. The kingsnake is commonly found in the United States, Mexico, and Central and South America.

The two species may overlap in certain areas, but generally, the king cobra is found in tropical rainforests and other areas of high humidity, while the kingsnake is found in more arid climates.

Are Kingsnakes and King Cobras Both Venomous?

No, only the king cobra is venomous. The kingsnake is a constrictor, meaning it kills its prey by squeezing it until it stops breathing. The king cobra, on the other hand, has venom that it injects into its prey, which can be deadly to humans.

The kingsnake is often mistaken for the cobra because of its name, but it is actually a member of the colubrid family, which is not venomous. The king cobra is a member of the elapidae family, which is venomous.

Do Both Species Make Good Pets?

The kingsnake is a popular pet, due to its docile nature and ease of care. It is a hardy snake that can live for up to 20 years in captivity, and it is relatively easy to handle.

The king cobra, however, is not a suitable pet. It is an aggressive snake that can be dangerous to humans, and its diet consists of other snakes, which many people may find difficult to provide. It is also illegal to own a king cobra without the proper permits and certifications.

Do Both Species Mate for Life?

No, neither the kingsnake nor the king cobra mate for life. The kingsnake will mate with multiple partners during its lifetime, and the same is true for the king cobra.

Mating for both species typically takes place during the springtime, when the snakes emerge from their winter hibernation. The female will then lay her eggs, which will hatch a few weeks later. The young snakes are then left to fend for themselves, and they will reach sexual maturity within a few years.

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The battle between the Kingsnake and the King Cobra is truly remarkable. They are two of the most powerful and dangerous snakes in the world, and their battle is one that has captivated people for generations. Both of these reptiles are incredibly powerful and have the ability to take down a full grown human with ease. Both of these snakes are symbols of strength and power, and are admired by many. Although the King Cobra may have an advantage in terms of size and venom, the Kingsnake proves to be a formidable foe and can prove to be a deadly opponent. The Kingsnake and the King Cobra are two of the most impressive and dangerous snakes in the world, and they make for an unforgettable experience.

Aubrey Sawyer


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