click here for Rodent Pro  
Click Here for Mobile Access - http://mobile.kingsnake.com
Locate a business by name: click to list your business
search the classifieds. buy an account
reptile events by zip code list an event
News & Events: Alligator on the lam in Wisconsin . . . . . . . . . .  How climate change impacts reptiles in the wild - and what to do about it . . . . . . . . . .  ReptiDay Central Kansas - July 26, 2014 . . . . . . . . . .  Repticon Atlanta - July 26-27, 2014 . . . . . . . . . .  East Coast Reptile Super Expo - July 26, 2014 . . . . . . . . . .  ReptiDay Charleston - Aug 02, 2014 . . . . . . . . . .  Repticon Jacksonville - Aug 02-03, 2014 . . . . . . . . . .  Northwestern Berks Reptile Show - Aug 02, 2014 . . . . . . . . . .  Kentucky Reptile Expo - Aug 02, 2014 . . . . . . . . . .  Reptile Super Show - Aug 9-10. 2014 . . . . . . . . . .  ReptiDay Sarasota - Aug 09, 2014 . . . . . . . . . .  ReptiDay Chattanooga - Aug 09, 2014 . . . . . . . . . . 
follow us on facebook follow us on twitter follow us on YouTube link to us on LinkedIn follow us on kingsnake connect

click to return to kingsnake.com index


full banner - advertise here $.50/1000 views year
click here for Pendleton Pythons
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

Zoo Med Naturalistic Terrarium
advertise here

Herp Events

Reptile and amphibian expos, symposiums, zoo and museum exhibitions and other educational events are great places to ask questions, get answers and network with other herp keepers.
Upcoming Reptile and Amphibian Events:
Submit a non-profit event - Purchase a commercial listing

Photo Gallery

Our gallery allows registered users to upload their favorite reptile and amphibian photos to the topic galleries and personal photos to the member galleries. Photos can be used on our forums, classifieds, and Connect, or shared with friends and family.

more photos   upload a photo

snakes
lizards
amphibians
chelonians
crocodilians
venomous

New/Updated

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
 - PerfectPrey.com
 - CJ's Pets
 - Wicked Pythons
 - GS Reptiles
 - Eublah Exotics
 - Beechdale Animal Supplies I...
 - Bowsers Reptile Kingdom
 - Five Points Cricket Farm
 - Odd By Nature
 - RECO AQUA REP
Updated
 - Field Outfitter Store
 - ECO WEAR & Publishing
 - Phoenix Reptile Expo
 - Rustys Balls
 - Freedom Breeder
 - Geckos Etc.
 - PerfectPrey.com
 - Eden Reptiles
 - Underground Reptiles
 - Bushmaster Reptiles
list your business on kingsnake.com

Connect

kingsnake.com's Connect is a beta project being developed to let the herp community stay in touch with their friends and fellow hobbyists, keep each other up to date on legislative issues as they develop, and to build and strengthen the herp community network. Registered users of kingsnake.com can use it to share photos, links, information, alerts, updates and more.
log in   find connections









Video Gallery

Check out these reptile and amphibian submitted by staff, volunteers, and users of the kingsnake.com community. Our system supports videos hosted on YouTube. If you have a favorite YouTube video, please submit it here.

more videos       submit a video


Recent Milk Snake Forum Forum Posts
• Anyone Hatching Halloween Phases?, posted by SouLou
• ID Request: Annulata or Hybrid?, posted by Ameron
• REAL DEAL ALBINO PUEBLAN MILKS, posted by mikefedzen
• 2012 annulata holdbacks, posted by mikefedzen
• Updated VP picture, posted by Denbar
• Humane Euthanization, posted by dburdick
• Rookie of the Year 2 years running, posted by mikefedzen
• New Website, posted by oursnakes
• Picked up some stuarts this weekend, posted by AaronBayer
• incubator question, posted by oursnakes
• some milk clutches.., posted by mikefedzen
• Several milk clutches, posted by dniles
• Easterns? (triangulum triangulum), posted by storycrafter
• Annulata eggs cooking, posted by bisch7
• Sizing and Feedings, posted by captainjack0000

Recent Milk Snake Classifieds:
- Adult Female Imperial Pu...
- Black Milk Snakes Aneryt...
- Sinaloan Milk Snakes Clo...
- Nelson Albino Nelson Mex...
- Apricot Pueblan Hypomela...
- Nelson Albino Nelson Mex...
- Honduran Milksnake pair ...
- 11 Vanishing Pattern Hyp...
- 22 Central Plains MIlksn...
- 2013 Female hypo Tricolo...
- Prices lowered 2013 Ghos...
- Albino Hondurans Snow Ho...
- WANTED Your Captive Bre...
- Beautiful Yearling Puebl...
- Albino Nelson Milk Snake...

Site Tools

Manage - manage your user and advertising accounts
Register For A User Account Click Here
Manage Your User Profile Click Here
Reset Your Password Click Here
Change Your Email Click Here
Manage Your Banner Account/View Stats Click Here
Manage Your Business Directory Listing Click Here
Mark Your Business Directory Listing As Updated Click Here
Manage Your Classified Account Click Here
Post A Classified Advertisement Click Here
Remove A Classified Advertisement Click Here
Purchase - advertising and services purchase quick links
Purchase a classified account$20.00-$85.00Click Here
Renew a classified account$20.00-$85.00Click Here
Upgrade to an enhanced classified$ variesClick Here
Purchase a business directory listing$150 a yearClick Here
Purchase a banner advertisement$ variesClick Here
Purchase a standard event listing$100 a listingClick Here
Pay an open invoice Click Here
Contact the sales department Click Here
Support - help, tips, & resources quick links
Classified Account Terms Of Service Click Here
Classified Help Click Here
Classified Tips Click Here
Classified Complaints Click Here
Banner Ad Help Click Here
DBA Search Click Here
Business Name Registration Verification Click Here
Are you registered? To advertise here using a business name you must have your legal business name registration verified. Click here for details on the program or to register your business FREE!

Glossary