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Ruthven's Kingsnake
Queretaro Kingsnake

Lampropeltis ruthveni

Size:
  • Hatchling: 6 - 7 in.
  • Adult: 24-36 inches

Scalation:
  • Dorsal: 23 at mid body
  • Ventral: 182 - 196
  • Sub caudal: 49 - 57
  • Infra labial: 8 - 9
  • Supra labial: 7 - 8
  • Anal Plate: single

click to enlarge


Written by John Cherry


Coloration
This animal is best described as an animal that at first glance closely resembles a Milksnake of some type. Upon closer observation things just don't exactly look right. The black rings tend to have a light lime green outline. The black and white colors are usually only two or three scales wide. White dorsal rings usually number 23 - 34. The albino form of this animal is in my opinion one of the true classics when it comes to albino's. BEAUTIFUL to say the least.

Head:

Top of head is black with red and/or tan markings. White ring at back of head.

Dorsal:

Ringed in white, red and black. Lime green margins on black rings.

Ventral:

Rings extending around entire body. Many times the red rings and black rings pale or disappear ventrally.

Range:
States of Michoacan, Quretaro, Jalisco and possibly into Durango, Mexico.

Habitat:
Rocky upland areas of the Mexican Plateau .

Prey:
In the wild these animals are known to feed on a variety of lizards and rodents.In captivity these animals fair very well on a diet of lab. raised mice. Juveniles sometime require new born pink mice scented with lizards. They tend to be very aggressive feeders once started well.

Behavior:
This is a species that does well in captivity. It is very secretive and requires a hiding box at all times. Somewhat reclusive in nature and the juveniles tend to be flighty. They are extremely beautiful snakes that are within reach of the average collector and receives a five star rating from most that keep it.

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. After brumation and the animals are brought back up to optimum temperature of 78 - 82 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 58 - 65 days at temperatures of 80 - 83 degrees

NOTE : This species is a problematic one in that displays a broad head and hemipenes that resembles the mexicana group, but has other characteristics of the Triangulum group. Hopefully this can be cleared up with more research.

Literature Cited:

Stebbins,Robert C. 1985 second editition revised. A field guide to Western Reptiles and Amphibians. Houghton Mifflin Company

Cherry, John & Cindy - Field & Breeding Notes


Gallery Photo by Errtu
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Gallery Photo by Justin Mitcham
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Gallery Photo by Justin Mitcham
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Recent Mexicana Kingsnakes Forum Posts
• 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
• melanistic thayeri, posted by RinL
• Greeri Adult Size, posted by middlefork
• Greeri Adult Size, posted by middlefork
• Striped and speckled mex mex, posted by Burnsy
• Hypo Greeri, posted by Burnsy

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