California kingsnakes are relatively large snakes up to a about 4-5 feet in length. They are a shiny black color with white crossbands along the body. They occur a variety of desert habitats, but seem to be most common in riparian areas near water.
Kingsnakes earn their name by constricting and eating other snakes including rattlesnakes. They have anti-toxins in their blood that allows them to withstand high doses of venom. These are generally snakes you want to keep around since they are effect at controlling populations of venomous snakes and rodents. Although not venomous, when threatened they often vibrate their tail and can bite if handled. These snakes are protected in the state of Utah and cannot be collected without a permit.