Species group: Kingsnakes and Milksnakes
Other common names: Western Black Kingsnake; Black Desert Kingsnake; Black Mexican Kingsnake; Sonoran Black Kingsnake
Scientific name: Lampropeltis getula nigrita
The Mexican Black Kingsnake is native to rocky and vegetated areas of the Sonoran Desert of northern Mexico and southern Arizona. It is a constrictor and opportunistic hunter which feeds on small rodents, birds and other reptiles like lizards and small snakes.
The Mexican Black King Snake is a popular pet, and is often recommended to beginner snake owners. It generally has a mellow temperament and is a hardy eater.
Appearance / health:
Adult Mexican Black Kingsnakes start off as black with patterns of small yellowish white specks. As adults, the color becomes solid black all over the body. The scales are very smooth and shiny. The snake grows to an average length of 4 feet. The pupils are round.
Behavior / temperament:
Mexican Black Kingsnakes are inherently nocturnal but can be diurnal during the cooler months. They are tamed through regular gentle handling but can become excited at feeding time. When threatened, the Mexican Black Snake will roll itself into a ball and hide its head under the coil.
The best enclosure for the Mexican Black Kingsnake is a medium to large long tank that has a secure lid to prevent escape. Although Mexican Black Kingsnakes are terrestrial, their curiosity makes them explore; stable climbing branches may be added to the enclosure. A water dish should be available for drinking and bathing. Recommended substrate includes aspen wood shavings, cypress mulch, and newspaper.
Mexican Black Kingsnakes are best kept alone because of their tendency to prey on fellow snakes. Fresh water should be provided daily and the cage should be cleaned and disinfected regularly.
Constrictor Mexican Black Kingsnakes feed on rodents, lizards, amphibians, turtles, birds, eggs, and other snakes.
Mexican Black Kingsnakes are egg layers that mate starting in March and lay up to 24 eggs in clutches that hatch after about 70-80 days.
glossy dark, sweet snakes, mildtempered snake, great starter snakes, hardy eaters, black beauty
wonderful escape artists, musk smell
Nighttime temperatures, basic colubrid requirements, pretty nocturnal snake, small little heads
Mexican Black King Snake (L. getula nigrita) Care Sheet
the best housing for a baby to subadult Mexican Black King Snake is the Exo Terra Medium/Low size (24”x18”x12”) And for subadult to adult Mexican Black King Snakes the Exo Terra Terrarium Large/Low size (36”x18”x12) is the best way to go.
Mexican black king snakes need to be maintained between 84-90 degrees during the day. Nighttime temperatures should range between 68-75 degrees.
I recommend pine shavings, or aspen shavings. A deep layer is recommended to allow your snake to hide if it chooses to do so.
King snakes feed on pinkie and fuzzy mice as babies and subadults. As your snake grows it will soon move up to adult mice. I recommend that you feed baby and subadult king snakes one time per week. Adult king snakes can be fed once every 7-10 days to maintain proper body weight..
From Mark Clabaugh Apr 8 2013 12:59PM
This one was a baby, but lunged and bit every opportunity it got. I got curious to see if it was flesh or blood it liked, and so put a glove in the tank, it bit every finger, one by one, for 5 minutes a time. I have since had a negative view of kingsnakes as it seems a lot of them are biters. Although I'm sure this can't be true with all of their species.
From Shade67 Jul 15 2011 6:34AM