As a form of enrichment, and especially to help with shedding, you may offer your MBK a “humid hide” – any waterproof hide or cave filled with dampened sphagnum moss. She has written and researched many different snakes species and even has her own website on snakes. Aspen is great for this as it is relatively cheap and easy for your snake to burrow in. This will cause its teeth to disengage. Mexican Black Kingsnakes are common nonvenomous snakes found in North America. However, this is not to say just anyone should go out an adopt a Mexican Black Kingsnake…. You can always offer the snake a larger enclosure if you can, this is entirely up to you. Any smaller and they would be too cramped to move freely. As long as there is a window in the room in which they are kept, this will probably suffice. With hundreds of educational care guides covering the health, habitat, husbandry and behaviour of lizards, snakes, turtles, and more; we are here to provide anyone keeping or studying reptiles and amphibians with expert guidance. His hemipenes will evert, meaning they’ll pop out naturally. As with all snakes, the Mexican Black Kingsnake needs to feel secure. Required fields are marked *. These are at the back of the head, near the neck. As the snake grows larger, you can either feed it 2 pinkies or 1 fuzzy/adult mouse. Clean everything that can be safely sprayed, and put in fresh substrate afterwards. During the rest of the year, it may be very difficult to find a youngling or juvenile, but there may be adults available for purchase. If it still isn’t happy, take it out of the enclosure with a. Don’t handle it when it’s expecting to be fed. You’ll face the risk of introducing disease or parasites to your MBK! Glass or ventilated plastic enclosures work best: Babies should be kept in 15-gallon enclosures. Snakes don’t usually need lighting. The humidity should be 50% to 75%. Consider the overview below…. The disadvantage with these is that it is difficult to regulate the temperature effectively. Signs your Mexican Black Kingsnake is healthy and happy: Thanks to their curious and confident personality, many Mexican Black Kingsnakes come to recognize and enjoy their owner’s company. Black Kingsnakes are known as the Lampropeltis getula nigrita because of their black appearance. Tubs simply don’t offer the snake the opportunity to these things. Do so gradually over a week. If the snake does bite don’t do anything, it will let go! Remove the snake and place it in a temporary holding enclosure (if you have one). Its tractability makes it appropriate for first-time snake owners, and on the whole, it is very popular in the pet industry. For maximum effect, continue until all the females have bred with the male/males. In addition to this, place foliage, artificial or natural, in the cage. Kingsnakes are generally easy going snakes, which seem to enjoy being out of their enclosure and don’t mind being handled. I will get into the reasons later on. sphagnum moss. If your MBK hisses or rattles its tail, it’s probably having a bad day. Keep it on the cool side of the enclosure to avoid spiking up the humidity. is oviparous) in the summer. Your email address will not be published. You should spot-clean your tank daily to remove feces and any shed. Mexican Black Kingsnakes in general need a very basic set up. After handling your snake or cleaning its cage you should wash your hands. They aren’t an arboreal snake, which means that they don’t sit or live in trees. But it’s important that you don’t worry about this. Two months after successfully mating, the female will shed. No. The first is for when the snake is a juvenile (10 gallons), and the second is for when they are an adult (20 gallons). Temperature cycling is where you first cool the snake’s environment before warming it up again. Your snake will sit in the bowl for fifteen minutes before it sheds. Lighting need not take as much regulation as humidity and temperature. How to Care for a Mexican Black Kingsnake. Typical household humidity of 40-60% works great for Mexican Black Kingsnakes. Size and age will slightly affect the price. Although named the ‘Black’ Kingsnake, these snakes aren’t actually black. They still haven’t opened their eyes, but are slowly developing a coat. This makes handling impossible unless you lift it out with a hook. A suitable enclosure is a glass aquarium with a 20-30 gallon capacity. Hatchlings measure in the region of 7 inches and must fend for themselves immediately. But for now, as long as your snake is happy to remain active during the winter months, (provided it is warm enough) you can bypass brumation. A good rule of thumb is to watch for when the snake defecates. The female will then hold onto the male’s sperm. Be more humid than usual. They are non-venomous colubrids, and a subspecies of the common kingsnake. Let it move freely without allowing it to drop. Good news! First, ensure that the snake has defecated recently, and has not eaten for two or three weeks. About a week after the snakes have come out of brumation you can introduce the male Mexican Black Kingsnake into the female’s enclosure. Their range extends into the Southern parts of Arizona. They even like to burrow! These snakes play an important role in their ecosystem. Juveniles are very small and vulnerable, whereas adult kingsnakes are much larger and more able to kill without sustaining any injuries. You’ll need to upgrade the hides several times in your snake’s life, especially if you get a hatchling. The. Your Mexican Black Kingsnake will be spending at least 90% of its life in its enclosure. Aspen bedding can be unpleasant to work with when it gets wet, so if you are using aspen, a heavy water bowl is recommended! Many beginners keep this pet for more than their black appearance! The hatchlings emerge weighing roughly 9-14 grams and measuring 9-13 inches long. To be precise, the colubrid family contains 524 genera, and more than 1,700 subspecies. Mexican black kingsnakes used to be a lot cheaper than they are now. They don’t hibernate, but they move and eat very little. Easy to feed and have a simple diet of mice. Putting a live rodent in with a juvenile could pose a major risk. You can use a glass or acrylic aquarium or terrarium, or a PVC enclosure. Reintroduce him again two or three days later. He will leave behind a cloacal plug, which stops other males from breeding. This is almost certainly a lot warmer than the temperature of your living room, so you’ll need a heat lamp. As such, they tap into our oldest, most instinctual, primeval fears. Offer them as much food as they want because they’ll be hungry. They aren’t shy, don’t easily become stressed, and enjoy exploring while they’re being handled. The best way to do this is by placing the heat source at one end of the cage to create a hot spot that is a few degrees warmer then the ambient temperature (i.e. They aren’t overly picky about their temperature and humidity. The Mexican Black Kingsnake is a subspecies of the Common Kingsnake. If you get your kingsnake as a tiny hatchling, consider keeping them in a plastic tub (with breathing holes.) They are a hardy, docile snake that doesn’t need a high level of maintenance. Wild Mexican black kingsnakes are of moderate length, but they can grow longer in captivity. The most frequently occurring diseases among Mexican black kingsnakes are necrotizing dermatitis (otherwise known, slightly less delicately, as ‘scale rot’), stomatitis (‘mouth rot’), pneumonia and ecroparasites (‘snake mites’). Snakes can tell the movement of the seasons based on sunlight and warmth. Heat mats can get excessively hot. These double as a form of lighting, which can be useful. Without being able to tell the season, this has knock-on effects on breeding, feeding, and more. Most MBKs are more than happy to accept dead prey, so live feeding shouldn’t be necessary. Short answer: Absolutely, positively, yes!! Because snakes require a cooler side and a hotter end. Their beautiful black color and iridescent blue scales makes them very popular. The smallest, and therefore the most appropriate for juveniles, is the pinky. Not many other animals do that! This isn’t an overly sensitive or picky species when it comes to humidity. While this sort of behavior was made famous by rattlesnakes, it is quite common among kingsnakes. The colubrids’ emergence during this epoch might be due to the global expansion of grasslands. Its first feed should be a week or ten days after it hatches. However, variety is the spice of life. You should use enough substrate that your snake can burrow. Hatchlings: For the first week, a Mexican black kingsnake does not require feeding. Rinse and clean the bite mark with a mild disinfectant. After her first molt, the female is ready. This arrangement allows you to track the temperature gradations, and gives the snake, much like Goldilocks, a happy medium at all times. The more plants, the better! Imagine yourself as a tree, not as a human handler. A tank that is too wet or humid can breed mold and bacteria. Some of the other commonly known sub-species of Kingsnake include the California Kingsnake and the Florid Kingsnake. Besides other snakes, the Mexican black kingsnake feasts on a diet of lizards, rodents, birds and birds’ eggs. It involves checking whether the male has hemipenes by ‘popping’ them. Some materials require more or less maintenance—cleaning and suchlike. As you may have guessed, these snakes garner the rest of their name from their beautiful, seemingly black scales. They are good-natured and non-venomous, and comparatively easy to care for. Humidity is best kept at 40-60%. To create a cooler space, you can place a hide in the enclosure. There is some variation in length of adults, but you can expect a full grown adult to be 36” to 60” (3 to 5 foot long.) He will then try and lift the female’s tail to find her cloaca. This means only handling your snake when it shows interest in leaving the enclosure after opening the lid or door. They can stay active the whole year round. This is because of the way the enamel shimmers. There is a delicate balance. When kept as pets they have a simple diet and tolerate handling very well. I hope that you find this website useful! A snake’s enclosure has to be the optimal size for its needs. Whatever you decide to use as a substrate, check it over potentially toxic elements, bacteria or infestations. Aspen shavings are perfect for burrowing and keeping the humidity down if your enclosure doesn’t have adequate ventilation. Ackie Monitor Care Sheet: Habitat, Diet, and Care Advice for Owners. The same does not go for younglings. Also, plant cover, artificial or live, is a MUST to add a sense of realism. However, there are certain situations where it would be beneficial to provide lighting: When a snake doesn’t have access to sunlight, it affects its health. If an infection does occur, repeat the washing process, and start a course of antibiotics. These spots are usually around the neck of the snake. The Mexican black kingsnake likes fairly warm climates—typically 79-84° F (26-29° C) during the daytime and 70-75° F (21-24° C) at night. Adults eat adult mice, or if your snake is large, small rats every 7 days. They are not immune to the venom, but they have built up a tolerance to it. This period, often lasting three to four months, is a kingsnake’s natural, semi-hibernatory, pre-breeding winter, during which it moves and eats very little. Exo Terra Glass Enclosure (For Juvenile Only). Mistakes happen in a hobby such as this. Your email address will not be published. Live prey can bite and scratch your pet, and freezing may help to kill some parasites. Want a quick yet thorough education on all things Mexican Black Kingsnakes? Two months later, you should have your very own brood of nippers. Aspen or cypress are very good substrates. If it flicks its tongue towards you, it’s sniffing you and checking whether you’re a threat. Give it some space.