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Scarlet Kingsnake

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Is the Scarlet Kingsnake right for you?

Species group:

Scientific name: Lampropeltis elapsoides

The basics:
Scarlet Kingsnakes are found in eastern United States from New Jersey to Louisiana but mostly in Florida. Their natural habitat include pinelands, prairies, hammocks, open fields, and suburban areas.

Appearance / health:
Notably one of the smallest Kingsnakes, the mature Scarlet Kingsnake averages 18 inches in length. The striking coloration of the Scarlet Kingsnake is bands of red and yellow surrounded by black along the back and belly. The scales are smooth and shiny, the pupils are round, and the snout is red.

Behavior / temperament:
Scarlet Kingsnakes are considered good pets because they are small and are not prone to biting, although they can often be nervous. They are mostly active after sunset.

Housing:
Scarlet Kingsnakes are best housed in medium to large woodland terrariums equipped with several ground-level hiding places like dry leaves and roots, layers of cork, or rock caves. Substrate should be pine bark or cypress mulch that is deep enough for burrowing. A large water dish helps with the cage humidity and makes the snake feel more comfortable. Day temp: 73-77F; night temp: 59-68F; basking temp: 95F; humidity: 60-80%; lighting: 12 hours, partly UV.

Fresh water should be available daily. Cage should be cleaned and disinfected regularly.

Diet:
Scarlet Kingsnakes feed on small mammals, lizards, earthworms, insects, birds (and eggs), and other snakes.

Breeding:
Scarlet Kingsnakes lay clutches of 2-9 eggs in the summer after mating in spring. The eggs hatch after 52-57 days.

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