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Mexican Black Kingsnake
Lampropeltis getula nigritus

Size:
  • Hatchling: 7 - 8 in.
  • Adult: 36 - 45 in.(normal)

Scalation:
  • Dorsal: 23 - 25 rows
  • Ventral: 213 - 225
  • Sub caudal: 47 - 56
  • Infra labial:9 - 10
  • Supra labial: 7 - 8
  • Anal Plate: Single

Photo by Troy Hibbitts
click to enlarge

Written By John Cherry

Coloration

This animal can be described as black, coal black or shiny black as an adult. Occasionally some less desirable individuals will have an occasional yellow/white spot. Juveniles will sometime display light yellow or white spotting that should disappear with age.Because of their unique solid black coloration and ease of care, these snakes reside in many collections.

Head:
Black

Dorsal:
Black

Ventral:
Black

Range :
Southern Arizona, Western Sonora and Northwestern Sinaloa, Mexico

Habitat:
Desert regions of northwestern Mexico in it's pure form. Similar to the valley area of Texas and the badlands of New Mexico.

Prey:
In captivity these animals do excellent on a diet of lab. raised mice. Juveniles normally feed after their first shed and continue to be aggressive feeders throughout their life.

Behavior :
This is a species that does well in captivity. At times it will signal agitation by tail rattling and display the normal getulas reaction to feeding etc.

WARNING : Be sure and house this animal separately and watch closely during breeding season as they do feed on other snakes.

Captive Breeding :
Breeding in captivity is achieved in the same manner as with all colubrids using the following as a guideline. Towards the end of October cease feeding totally, allowing at least 2 -3 weeks at normal temperature for clearing of the gut. Then gradually reduce the ambient temperature inside the cage to the lower 50's and maintain for a period of 3 months. Be sure and provide clean water and systematically check animals for general condition and welfare during this period. After brumation and the animals are brought back up to optimum temperature of 78 - 84 degrees, feeding should resume for approx. three weeks and the pair should be placed together under supervision for short periods of time until copulation can be confirmed. An egg laying chamber partially filled with damp vermiculite or sphagnum moss is helpful. Eggs should be removed immediately after laying and placed in damp vermiculite for the incubation period of 59 - 68 days at temperatures of 80 - 83 degrees.

Literature Cited :

Stebbins, Robert C. 1985 2nd edition
Field Guide To Western Reptiles and Amphibians

Cherry, John & Cindy Field & Breeding Notes


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