Mole and prairie kingsnakes belong to a kingsnake species, Lampropeltis calligaster, with three subspecies. When taxonomists collectively speak of this group, they often refer to it as the yellow-bellied kingsnake group, but hobbyists steadfastly separate mole kings from the prairie king.
Although kept by hobbyists, they are not as popular as the members of either the common kingsnake group or the many species and subspecies of tricolored kingsnakes and milk snakes.
Although all three subspecies have characteristic differences, they share at least one similarity. Dorsal blotches on each subspecies are broadest and brightest anteriorly, and they may become solid-black posteriorly. These blotches may be broken vertebrally, thus forming two lines of dorsolateral spots rather than a single saddle.