Pueblan Milksnake

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Is the Pueblan Milksnake right for you?

Species group:

Scientific name: Lampropeltis triangulum campbelli

The basics:
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

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