Species group: Kingsnakes and Milksnakes
Scientific name: Lampropeltis triangulum campbelli
The Pueblan Milksnake’s colors stand out even among a group of relatives well-known for their beauty. Very popular with advanced and novice keepers, it is hardy, easy to handle and breed, and can be kept in modestly-sized terrariums.
The Pueblan Milksnake is found in states of Puebla, Oaxaca, and Morelos in southern Mexico, where it inhabits desert fringes, thorn scrub, and other arid environments.
Appearance / Health:
Pueblan Milksnakes are brilliant red in color and ringed with alternating bands of black and yellow. Hobbyists have produced an astonishing array of color and pattern morphs. Adults range from 36-48 inches in length.
Well-cared-for Pueblan Milksnakes are quite hardy, with captive longevities sometimes exceeding 20 years. “Blister disease” and other skin infections can take hold if your pet is kept in a damp terrarium, and as with most snakes they may be subject to mites or, more rarely, inclusion body disease, and other ailments.
Behavior / temperament:
Pueblan Milksnakes are nocturnal, shy, and retiring, and at first may be defensive, but most calm down and take well to gentle handling. As with all snakes, they will bite when stressed and must be handled with care.
Hatchlings may be raised in 5-10 gallon aquariums, while average-sized adults require a 20-40 gallon tank. The screen top should always be secured with clips or locks. A hide box should always be available. Newspapers, washable terrarium liners, eucalyptus, mulch or aspen bedding work well as substrates.
An ambient temperature of 80-85 F and basking temperature 90 F should be established. Large enclosures are necessary if a thermal gradient is to be established. Thermal gradients allow snakes to regulate their body temperature by moving from hot to cooler areas.
These powerful constrictors take a wide range of prey, including mice and other rodents, birds and their eggs, frogs, other snakes (including venomous species), and lizards. If housed in pairs for breeding, Milksnakes should be watched carefully and separated at feeding time, as they favor nothing more than another snake as a meal.
Pairs must be watched closely to prevent cannibalism. Reproduction can be stimulated by a 2-4 month cooling off period at 55 F in the fall. The 2-14 eggs are deposited 30-40 days after mating. At an incubation temperature of 80-82 and 90-100% humidity, the 7-10 inch-long youngsters hatch in 55-65 days.
Written by Frank Indiviglio
excellent beginner snake, beautiful species, colourful, great starter snake
flighty nature, escape artists, shy snakes, biting, excrement, musk
nocturnal species, heavy water dish, impossibly small holes, desert open environment
Not my favorite milk...
Pueblans can be very pretty. The hypos are especially nice with their clean white, vermilion, and metallic gray. The downside is they are squirmy brats when they are young. And they will try to escape at every opportunity. Some are even too shy to eat from thongs which is a hassle. Adults do grow out of it, but there are milks (e.g. Hondurans) that make much better handling pets from a younger age. But if you really like the look of them, I wouldn't discourage you from getting one--they certainly don't need as much taming as a carpet python or something of that nature--just be aware of their flighty nature.
From CrownJewelRept Dec 20 2010 8:41PM
Beautiful but very flighty
These small milk snakes are quite easy to keep, but will spend the majority of their time in hiding, and do not tame easily. While they rarely bite, they will musk and thrash violently--the reluctance to bite is the only thing that permits me to score their temperment as high as I did. They are quite nervous, as a species, and flee readily and violently, with great speed, when disturbed. They are also escape artists. As a result, I don't recommend them for first-time snake keepers, for those who want a tame pet, or a visible pet.
They feed readily on f/t mice in most cases, and are generally healthy and vigorous. They have the same temperature requirements as most pet snakes--90F basking spot, 80F daytime temps. A night drop of 5 degrees is acceptable but not necessary. Cage should be dry, with a water dish large enough for soaking, and an appropriate hide box.
From WingedWolfPsion May 4 2009 2:17PM