King Snake Care
King Snake Care
many varieties exist including Scarlet, Mole, and Eastern Kingsnakes. The California kingsnake (Lampropeltis getula califoniae), and grey-banded kingsnake (Lampropeltis alterna) are the most popular with collectors.
Popularity: Make good house pets due to their ease of care and hardiness.
Origin: North America
Native habitat: Widely varies from desert to wetlands and forest.
Size: 3-4 feet
Lifespan: 10-15 years
Appearance: The majority of kingsnakes have vibrant patterns on their skin. Their name is a reference to their dorsal scales, and it means “shiny shield.” They are found in multitudes of colors and patterns, many of them being very beautiful.
Diet: Other snakes (ophiophagy), including venomous snakes; lizards; rodents; birds and eggs.
Activities: Kingsnakes are generally docile, curious and gentle.
Defense Mechanisms: The Common Kingsnakes are immune to the venom of other snakes.
Misc characteristics: The Scarlet Kingsnakes have coloration and patterning which resembles the venomous coral snakes. There are mnemonic rhymes to help people distinguish between the coral snake and its non-venomous look-alikes, including “Red and yellow kills a fellow. Red and black is safe for Jack.” Kingsnakes use constriction to kill their prey.
Only one Kingsnake can be placed in a house at a time, as they will eat each other. A 20-gallon aquarium tank is sufficient for housing. It should be vented, but secure to prevent escape. A temperature gradient should range from 75 to 85 degrees F at opposite ends. Humidity is not important. The substrate can be the newspaper, but the more attractive reptile carpet or aquarium gravel will work well. The reptile will need a few rocks, branches and hides or reptile caves to go into and hide around.
They eat appropriately sized rodents, pre-killed or frozen-thawed. Water should be left for them in a large bowl for bathing.