Two Headed Snakes - Do They Exist? Everything You Need to Know.

Meet Ben & Jerry the Two-Headed California Kingsnake!

Ben & Jerry - Two Headed California King Snakes

What is a California Kingsnake?

The California Kingsnake (Lampropeltis californiae) is a snake native to the Westcoast of California and Northern area of Mexico, including the Baja peninsula. They tend to inhabit deserts, woodland and grasslands, marshes, and even suburban areas.


These snakes are born with a wide variety of colors (morphs) with most showcasing a black & white or brown & cream color range in a striped or spotted pattern. This species of snake is active during both day and nighttime hours, just depending on the temperature. During colder months, they will bury underground and hibernate. 

How Big Do California Kingsnakes Get?

California Kingsnakes grow to an average of 3 feet. to 4 feet. but some have been known to get as long as 6 to 7 feet in length!

What do California Kingsnakes Eat? 

The California Kingsnake is a carnivore and will dine on a wide array of foods including rodents, lizards, lizard eggs, snakes (including rattlesnakes), frogs, salamanders, birds and bird eggs. These snakes are constrictors, so their method to killing and eating their prey is by constricting or coiling tightly around its prey and suffocating the animal before digesting.

How Long Do California Kingsnakes Live?

In the wild, the California Kingsnake lives an average lifespan of 10 to 15 years. However, in captivity the California Kingsnake can live for well over 20 years with proper diet and care. 

Are California Kingsnakes Venomous or Dangerous?

No, they are not considered dangerous to humans, nor are they venomous or poisonous. If they do feel threatened, these snakes will coil their bodies, hiss, and rattle their tails, which can produce a sound resembling that of a rattlesnake. But they will not necessarily attack unless handled improperly, then they are known to bite, however, it will not cause harm to a human.

Are Two-Headed Snakes Real? 

Yes! Though this is not a common trait and can be pretty rare in nature, two-headed snakes can come from a mutation in the reproduction process. This condition is known as bicephaly. Bicephaly translates to “bi,” meaning two, and “cephaly,” meaning head. Bicephaly occurs when there is an incomplete splitting of an embryo. Because most snakes lay eggs, once the egg has been produced externally, the eggs are much more susceptible to environmental factors such as radiation, improper temperature or chemical exposure. Because of these risks, the embryo has a higher chance to have genetic issues and mutations. 

How Rare is a Two-Headed Snake? 

For every 100,000 snake births only 1 will be a two headed snake. That’s a 0.001% chance reproducing a two-headed snake. They are clearly one of the most interesting animals in the world. Even though the snake has one body, they still have two heads, which means two brains to operate one body system. This can make it challenging for these snakes to thrive and survive without complication. Snakes that have Bicephaly usually suffer from some of these difficulties in the wild: 


  • Sufficient Healthcare: Most two-headed snakes have a shorter lifespan than other snakes. It’s much more complicated for them to digest food and move about efficiently. The organs of the snake tend to be overworked and the body endures extra stress. 


  • Inability to Fully Thrive: It’s easy to forget that the two-headed snake is impaired. These snakes have limited mobility and will struggle to move in a normal fashion. This leaves the snake open and susceptible to predators. 

Are California Kingsnakes a Protected Species?

While California kingsnakes are not considered endangered or threatened, in certain states there are restrictions on buying and selling California kingsnakes. They have grown in popularity as household pets in recent years. In their home state of California, you need to obtain special permits to sell them. 


Check Out YouTube Video on Two-Headed California Kingsnake: