California Kingsnake Caresheet

 

Background Information
California Kingsnakes are colubrids that grow to a medium size of 4 - 6 feet. Kingsnakes get their name because they eat other snakes including rattlesnakes. Their are many different types of kings that come from all over North / Central America, some species reaching as far south as Mexico. Cali Kings are black bodied with white markings, these can be spots, thin stripes or patterned black and white banded across the whole snake. Kingsnakes are quite active, living in drier regions, they come out early in the day to bask. This allows them to warm up early to catch other animals that come out later and aren't as quick to move around especially other snakes and lizards - their common prey.

Level of Experience

Beginner to Intermidiate

Habitat

Desert savannahs and rocky outcrops

Life Span

15 - 20 years

Active Time of Day

Diurnal (active during the day)

Natural Prey

Rodents, lizards, other snakes

Terrestrial / Semi Arboreal / Arboreal / Aquatic / Fossorial

Terrestrial

Reproduction

Varies on where the particular species of chameleon is from

Clutch Size

Most lay eggs but some can give live births

Breeding Weights / Length / Age

Males 160g / 2ft / 18 - 24 months of age

Females 300g / 3 - 4ft / 2 - 3 years of age

Brumation Time

2 months

Brumation Temperature

12 - 15 'C

Incubation Time

60 - 70 days

Incubation Temperature

26 - 28 'C

 


Captive Requirements and Welfare
Cali kings vary greatly on temperment. When young they do have a snappy tendency but you do get some minorities that are quite docile. With regular handling the majority of kings do calm down. These snakes must be housed individually as they eat other snakes in the wild therefore gives a high chance of the same thing happening if they are co-habited. Even when thinking of breeding kings, they must be watched whilst they mate just in case things go wrong. Its best to seperate as soon as they have finished locking, a good way to prevent problems is by feeding them the day before that way hunger doesn't become an issue.

Vivarium size

30x30x30cm for hatchling
3ft x 1.5ft x 1.5ft for adult

Daytime Temperature (cool – warm)

24 - 32 ' C

Night-time Temperature

18 - 22 'C

Heating / Lighting Equipment (on timer)

Spot bulb during the day, room temperature at night

Lighting - T8 2% Natural Sun Arcadia UVB tube

Substrate

Most Natural:
Alternatives: Aspen, Wood chip

Hides

Hide on each end of the vivarium to give the snake the security it needs and allows it to thermoregulate. A 3rd moss hide is benificial for when the snake is due to shed its skin

Decor

Rocky areas to allow it to climb and hide, arid designed foliage and hides for natural look

Water

Fresh water topped up when required, clean the water bowl every few days to prevent slime build up.

Food (Feeding)

Pinkies when young and increase the size as they grow, kings are known to have a big appetite. Feeding in a seperate box to prevent substrate ingestion is recommended

Cleaning

Spot clean weekly,full clean monthly