Nelson's Milksnake

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Species group:

Other common names: Nelsons Milk Snake

Scientific name: Lampropeltis triangulum nelsoni

The basics:
Nelson’s Milksnakes are found in Mexico from the Pacific Coast through Jalisco to southern Guanajuato. Their favorite habitats are along the Rio Grande River close to waterways and irrigated farmland. They also inhabit thorn scrubs and tropical forests. They are also found in the Tres Marias Islands.

Appearance / health:
Nelson’s Milksnakes are considered a subspecies of the Sinaloan Milksnakes, the difference being the Nelson’s Milksnake has wide black bands which are thrice the width of the white band. Albino varieties (pale white where the black bands should be, and yellowish bands instead of the original white) are available. The adult Nelson’s Milksnake averages 4 feet in length. The scales are smooth and the nose is often white with small black blotches.

Behavior / temperament:
Nelson’s Milksnakes are preferred in the pet trade especially by beginners for their ease of care, regular feeding habits, medium size, and attractive colors. They are also very hardy and enjoy being handled. Under proper care, they can live for 15-20 years.

Nelson’s Milksnakes are best housed in escape-proof terrariums of 20-40 gallons per full-grown adult. Substrate should be soft and easy to clean. Sufficient hiding places provided by natural or artificial foliage, caves, crevices, and hiding boxes makes the snake feel secure. A water dish should also be available. Day temp: 71-82F; night temp: 64-68F; basking temp: 82-90F; humidity: 50-70%; lighting: 12 hours, partly UV.
Fresh water should be provided daily, and the cage cleaned and disinfected regularly.

Like other Milksnakes, Nelson’s feed on small mice, rats, birds, lizards, and other snakes. They also feed on bird eggs and nestlings.

Mating occurs in late spring to summer. Nelson’s Milksnakes are egg-layers, depositing clutches of 6-12 eggs in warm and humid locations. The eggs hatch in 30-38 days.

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