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Mexican Kingsnake
San Luis Potosi Kingsnake

Lampropeltis mexicana mexicana

Size:
  • Hatchling: 6 - 8 in.
  • Adult: 24 - 36 in.(normal)

Scalation:
  • Dorsal: 21 - 25 rows
  • Ventral: 190 - 212
  • Sub caudal: 51 - 65
  • Infra labial:8 - 11
  • Supra labial: 7
  • Anal Plate: Single

Image courtesy Jim Kane
click to enlarge

Written by John Cherry

Coloration
A highly variable animal with an overall mottled gray to brown ground color. Saddles of black and/or red usually bordered with white.

Head:
Normally displays a forked or inverted Y darker colored marking. A nuchal blotch is common.

Dorsal:
Blotched or saddled red to brown/black

Ventral:
Mottled dark and/or light gray to brown sometimes with an enlarged anterior tail blotch. Lt. To dark gray brown sometimes with red extending across the entire caudal area.

Range:
Mexican States of Tamaulipas, San Luis Potosi, Coahuila, Nuevo Leon, Zacatecas and Guanajuato.

Habitat:
Dry areas of non-desert mountainous terrain.

Prey:
In captivity these animals fair very well on a diet of lab. raised mice. Juveniles sometime require new born pink mice scented with lizards. Adults seem to fair better on several small food items (Hoppers) rather than one large food animal. In the wild they feed on lizards and small rodents as available.

Behavior:
This is a species that does well in captivity. It is somewhat secretive and requires a hiding box at all times. It has been our experience that certain strains of this species more readily feed on mice as juveniles than others. It should be noted this can't be proven scientifically yet, but is just our general observation and experience. Juveniles can be somewhat difficult to get started feeding.

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 tempeture 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. There is a school of thought that embraces the belief that the males of this species require lower temperatures to produce large quantities of viable sperm. It has been my experience that while certain individual snakes may indeed be helped by this, the norm is that it is NOT required as in some other species. 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.

NOTE : This species along with L.m.thayeri, L.m.greeri, and L.alterna are in question as to their validity and until this can be cleared up from the taxonomic perspective there will continue to be some confusion regarding the actual classification of these animals. Stay Tuned !!

Literature Cited:
Stebbins, Robert C. 1985 2 nd edition
Field Guide To Western Reptiles and Amphibians Mattison ,1995

Cherry, John & Cindy Field & Breeding Notes


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Recent Mexicana Kingsnakes Forum Posts
• "Imprinted" Thayeri?, posted by charlescory
• Does anyone know what Chris Baubel or..., posted by Patton
• hypo-e mex mex clutch all hatched, posted by sballard
• Hide size, posted by TacitGrunt
• Striped ruthven kings, posted by presentdaydino
• going wild, posted by stumble
• hypo-e mex mex, posted by sballard
• Thayers or Greers, posted by steeve111
• Email Change - Mike Bodner, posted by pikiemikie
• king snake question, posted by crmargolis
• "White" Thayeri ??, posted by ssshane
• Ruthveni, posted by HappyHeathen
• Greeri Brumation, posted by middlefork
• Breeding ages?, posted by Norcal_Jim
• Not so variable variable king snakes., posted by chenderson421

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