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Stuart's Milk Snake
Lampropeltis triangulum stuarti

Size:
  • Hatchling: 8 - 10 in.
  • Adult: 38 - 46 in.

Scalation:
  • Dorsal: 21 rows
  • Ventral: 219 - 242
  • Sub caudal: 49 - 59
  • Infra labial:8 - 11
  • Supra labial: 7 - 8
  • Anal Plate: Single

Photo courtesy Rich Zuchowski
click to enlarge

Written By John Cherry

Coloration
A richly colored tri-colored Milksnake with wide red rings in the triads.

Head:
Snout black with a narrow white V .

Dorsal:
19 - 28 red body rings with little black tipping, white scales will normally have some black tipping.

Ventral:
All rings cross the body, Black and white rings will sometimes have reverse color encroaching, with red rings displaying very little if any tipping.

Range:
Pacific slopes of El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua And Northwestern Costa Rica.

Habitat:
Dry tropical forests and coastal plains.

Prey:
In captivity these animals fair very well on a diet of lab. raised mice. Juveniles are extremely voracious feeders. In the wild they feed on lizards and small rodents as available.

Behavior:
This is a species that does well in captivity. It is extremely robust and easy to care for in all respects.

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 - 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 as juveniles display exactly the coloration they will have as adults. Unlike a lot of animals " what you see is what you get ". Without specific locality information this species can be extremely hard to discern from several other Tropical Milksnakes.

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


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