Mexican Black Kingsnake Caresheet

 

Background Information
The mexican black kingsnake is a jet black king that is native to mostly Mexico but are found in parts of Arizona and the Sonora desert. Growing up to 6ft in length this kingsnake comes from dry desert regions. Being active in the day it comes out early to bask using its black colouration to absort heat quickly to hunt for other reptiles that may still be warming up in the earlier hours of the day. When it gets to the hottest part of the day mexi blacks often burrow to escape the heat. Then come back out afternoon early evening time when the temperature has cooled slightly resuming their hunt for food. This king when adult size tends to average 4 - 5 ft long, glossy black in colour and quite stocky in build. They have more strength then given credit when comparing them to their size. At night they tend to seek shelter in rocky crevices and caves.

Level of Experience

Beginner

Habitat

Arid scrublands, rocky outcrops

Life Span

15 years could reach up to 20

Active Time of Day

Diurnal

Natural Prey

Rodents, lizards, other snakes

Terrestrial / Semi Arboreal / Arboreal / Aquatic / Fossorial

Terrestrial

Reproduction

Mate: Spring
Lay: Summer

Clutch Size

7 - 16

Breeding Weights / Length / Age

Males: 160g+ / 3ft / 2 years of age
Females: 300g+ / 3ft / 3 years of age

Brumation Time

2 months

Brumation Temperature

12 – 15 ‘C

Incubation Time

59 - 68 days

Incubation Temperature

27 – 30 ’C

 

 
Captive Requirements and Welfare
Mexican blacks compared to other kings are much more docile in general, making them good starters if you particularly want a king. This species often burrows so a subtstrate should be given to accomodate this behaviour. A wooden vivarium is best for mexi blacks due to the warm climate they derive from. When in shed this species of king turns from a shiny black to glossy blue. They are a confident kingsnake compared to other nervy species of kings but placid as well making bites rare. However they do have a strong feeding response, common to the lampropeltis family, this is when bites tend to accidently occur.

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 day, heat mat at night

T8 2% Natural sun Arcadia UV tube

Substrate

Most Natural: Sand / dried LR desert bedding
Alternatives: Aspen, Woodchip

Hides

2 at minimum: one on each side to allow for thermoregulaion

Decor

Branches and fake plants allow the opportunity to climb and aids in shedding

Water

Fresh water topped up when needed clean out water bowl every few days to prevent slime build up.

Food (Feeding)

Hatchlings often need assist feeding but once feeding they’re good eaters. Then increase the size appropriately. Always place in a separate box for feeding to avoid substrate ingestion.  

Cleaning

Spot pick weekly, full clean monthly