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Black Milksnake

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Is the Black Milksnake right for you?

Species group:

Other common names: Costa Rican Black Milksnake; Black Milk Snake

Scientific name: Lampropeltis triangulum gaigeae

The basics:
The Black Milksnake is native to the wet, high mountain cloud forests of Panama and Costa Rica in Central America.

Appearance / health:
Black Milksnakes are non-venomous constrictors that mature to about 4-5 feet long. Their bodies are slim and round, covered with flat, smooth-feeling, shiny scales. When the Black Milksnake is young, it resembles other milk snakes with red, black and yellow rings. When they are between 6 and 10 months of age, the Black Milk Snake will begin to change colors, and start to turn black as they grow to adulthood.

Housing:
Since Black Milksnakes dwell in high elevations in the wild, they do well with their temperatures between 72 and 78 degrees Fahrenheit. If they are kept at temperatures between 80 - 85 degrees, they metabolize their food much more quickly than other colubrids, and can become overweight very easily.

Black Milksnakes are best kept singly. When housed in pairs or a group, they should be of the same size (to prevent cannibalism) and fed separately.

Diet:
Like all milksnakes, the primary diet of the Black Milksnake is rodents of appropriate size. They will also accept lizards, amphibians, and nestling birds.

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