follow us on facebook follow us on twitter follow us on YouTube link to us on LinkedIn
 
click here for Reptiles By Mack
Locate a business by name: click to list your business
search the classifieds. buy an account
events by zip code list an event
Search the forums             Search in:
News & Events: Climate change lethal to baby lizards . . . . . . . . . .  Deccan Banded Gecko: My first memorable reptile. . . . . . . . . . .  SHS Los Angeles Meeting - Sept. 02, 2015 . . . . . . . . . .  Greater Cincinnati Herp Society Meeting - Sept. 02, 2015 . . . . . . . . . .  Central Illinois Herp Society Meeting - Sept. 03, 2015 . . . . . . . . . .  Calusa Herp Society Meeting - Sept. 03, 2015 . . . . . . . . . .  Minnesota Herp Society Meeting - Sept. 04, 2015 . . . . . . . . . .  East Texas Herp Society Expo - Sept. 4-6, 2015 . . . . . . . . . .  Steel City Reptile Expo - Sept 5, 2015 . . . . . . . . . .  ReptiCon West Palm Beach - Sept. 05-06, 2015 . . . . . . . . . .  Jacksonville Herp Society Meeting - Sept. 05, 2015 . . . . . . . . . .  ReptiDay Savannah - Sept. 06, 2015 . . . . . . . . . . 


full banner - advertise here $.50/1000 views year
click here for Reptile SuperShow
pool banner - $25 year
Black Milk Snake
Lampropeltis triangulum gaigeae

Size:
  • Hatchling: 12 - 14 in.
  • Adult: 48 - 60 in.(normal) 71 in.(personal record)

Scalation:
  • Dorsal: 19-23 near mid body
  • Ventral: 216 - 236
  • Sub caudal: 42 - 63
  • Infra labial:8 - 10
  • Supra labial: 7
  • Anal Plate: Single

Photo courtesy Al Zulich
click to enlarge

Written by Stuart Tennyson

Coloration
This is a very unusual subspecies in that it under goes a complete ontogenetic color change from birth to maturity.

Juvenile:
Black Milksnakes are typically tricolored at hatching not unlike most other Central and South American triangulum subspecies. They have about 17 to 22 red body rings. The red rings are bordered by black rings and separated by white rings. The first red ring ranges from 9 to 13 scales long. The rest of the red body rings range between 3 to 9 scales in length. The snout pattern is highly variable. Some specimens have a complete white nose band while others have only white mottling and remnants of a nose band. Black tipping of the scales is moderately evident in some juveniles but is nonexistent in others. Most juveniles are so brightly colored and attractive at birth it is hard to believe they will become so dark as they mature.
Adult:
The darkening of growing gaigeae seems to be a gradual process that doesn't have a definite rule. It appears how fast they turn black could be a genetic trait governed by the individual gene pool. I have observed hatchlings from three different gene pools through this process. Of all juveniles one of the first to start showing signs of darkening was the smallest and youngest at about six months of age and 24 inches in length. Some of the larger, older hatchlings didn't begin darkening until they reached 8-10 months of age and 30 inches in length. One juvenile still hasn't shown any darkening at 11 months of age. I guess it would be safe to say that most juveniles start turning dark between 6 and 10 months of age. The change doesn't appear to be size dependent as much as age and locality dependent. The gaigeae from the same localities tend to turn dark in the same manner. In some specimens the white rings are the first to start darkening. The black tipping will gradually get more intense until the white rings are completely obscured giving the snake a bicolored appearance similar to some of the other triangulum subspecies (hondurensis). Others will show signs of darkening starting with the red rings. The black tip on some of the red scales will gradually get so large as to completely obscure the red coloration on the scale. When they start darkening this way (red first) the juveniles go through phases where they take on the appearance of other triangulum subspecies such as andesiana and stuarti.

It is interesting to note that as the different color change phases occur that gaigeae exhibits color patterns similar to several of its other triangulum cousins. Things that make you go hummm..... In any event, the darkening process continues until the entire snake is black and any remnants of pattern is obliterated by black. This process is usually completed during the second year of life and when the snake has reached about 3 feet in length.

In a few specimens some faint remnants of pattern can still be discerned if the snake is closely examined especially in the throat and belly area. For the most part, large adults are uniformly black all over and closely resembling an Indigo Snake.

Range:
The mountains of Costa Rica and western Panama.

Habitat:
The habitat for this triangulum subspecies is wet, high mountain cloud forests at elevations between 5000-7400 feet (Costa Rica) and 4300-6500 feet (Panama).

Prey:
Most gaigeae readily accept mice and rats in captivity but little is known of their diet in the wild.

Behavior:
Very little is known concerning the habits of this particular subspecies. Collecting dates are March, July and November. Due to the habitat that gaigeae is from it is suggested they are active year round and forage for food mostly during the day because of mild daytime temperatures.

Breeding:

Literature Cited:


Photo by Al Zulich
Click to Enlarge

Photo by Jim Kane
Click to Enlarge

Photo by Jim Kane
Click to Enlarge

Photo by -
Click to Enlarge
Sponsored Link
advertise here
New & Updated Business Listings
Looking for a reptile or amphibian related business? A reptile store, breeder, importer, maunfacturer or supplier? Our business directory lists some of the most popluar herp businesses in the world.
Locate a reptile or amphibian business by name:
New
• Rat Daddy Rodents
• IndoReptile
• Buy Dubia Roaches
• Reptile Rapture
• Backwater Reptiles
• Dubi Deli
• Steel City Reptile Expo
• Reptilinks Whole Prey
• BoaMorph.com
• Xtreme Exotics
Updated
• Geckos Etc.
• Richmond Reptile Expo
• Northern Virginia Reptile E...
• Fredericksburg Reptile Expo
• All-Maryland Reptile Shows
• Bushmasters Online(Ripa)
• Eden Reptiles
• PerfectPrey.com
• Underground Reptiles
• ECO WEAR & Publishing
list your business on kingsnake.com

Recent Milk Snake Forum Forum Posts
• 2015 Hondo Hatchlings:, posted by mingdurga
• Gentilis, posted by Jcrawford
• South of the Border annulata., posted by AaronBayer
• "blanchardi" yucatan milks, posted by AaronBayer
• Mazatlan locale sinaloae, posted by AaronBayer
• Ghost hondos het Amel, posted by sdr
• husbandry changes for different ssp., posted by AaronBayer
• Sexing tinies, posted by Donski
• L.t.gigae re: Black Milks, posted by lateralis
• Contact info for James Tintle, posted by AaronBayer
• shedding question., posted by oursnakes
• Breeding?, posted by colubrids91
• A few Hondos from last year, posted by Denbar
• Polyzona Observation, posted by gerryg
• World's First Hybino Crazy line Hondo, posted by mikefedzen

Recent Milk Snake Classifieds:
- Male Hypo Female het hyp...
- HYPO TANGERINE HONDURAN ...
- JUVENILE PUEBLAN MILKSNA...
- Nelson Albino Nelson Mex...
- Sinaloan Milk Snakes Clo...
- Apricot Pueblan Hypomela...
- Nelson Albino Nelson Mex...
- Black Milk Snakes Aneryt...
- Albino Milk Snakes on sa...
- Milk Snakes on sale for ...
- Pueblan Milk Snakes on s...
- Apricot Pueblan Milk Sna...
- Tangerine Honduran Milk ...
- Albino Tangerine Hondura...
- Albino Nelson Milk Snake...

Banner Pool
click here for Underground Reptiles
$100.year special flat rate banner! - click for info

Sites by OnlineHobbyist.com Inc:
kingsnake.com | NRAAC.ORG | ReptileBusinessGuide.com | ReptileShowGuide.com | ReptileShows.mobi | Connected By Cars | DesertRunner.org | Lizardkeepers
AprilFirstBioEngineering | GunHobbyist.com | GunShowGuide.com | GunShows.mobi | GunBusinessGuide.com | club kingsnake | live stage magazine


powered by kingsnake.com
click here for CrestedGecko.com
pool banner - advertise here $50 year
Click here for Reptile Rapture
pool banner - $30 year
click here for Helix Controls
pool banner - $25 year
kingsnake.com® is a registered trademark of OnlineHobbyist.com, Inc.© 1997-
    - this site optimized for 1024x768 resolution -