Are Mexican Black Kingsnakes Good For Beginners? Answered

Continue reading to know Are Mexican Black Kingsnakes Good For Beginners? A non-venomous subspecies of the common kingsnake, which can include up to ten different species, is the Mexican black kingsnake (Lampropeltis getula nigrita). The Western kingsnake is the name given to them. The Sinaloa and Sonora deserts in the northwest of Sinaloa and western Sonora are where the black kingsnake is found in the United States.

However, recent research suggests that Mexican black kingsnakes found in Arizona occasionally interbreed with the California kingsnake and the black desert kingsnake. They are situated in semi-arid grasslands and exceptionally well adapted to the desert, rocky places occupying the semi-desert. They are active both at night and throughout the day.

However, as they depend on their eyesight to find prey, they often hunt during the day. However, Mexican black kingsnakes will hide out during the day if it is too hot to avoid the harsh desert sun, emerging only at night if it is cooler to go hunting.

Are Mexican Black Kingsnakes Good For Beginners?

They are a fantastic option for novices because they have specific nutritional needs and appreciate handling. Many novices keep this pet for reasons other than only its dark color! Beginners can manage it with ease.

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Are Black Kingsnakes From Mexico Friendly? Tips For Handling

As long as they were exposed to handling when they were young, Mexican Black Kingsnakes appreciate it. Rarely do adults who were never held as children enjoy being held as adults. On the other hand, exposed snakes appear to love being held.

We advise gently picking up the snake when it is young to help acclimate it to people and handle it. When you try to hold the young, remember that they could get slightly defensive, but they will get over it. Always clean your hands before and after handling to stop the spread of infections.

Shedding & Brumation: What To Expect?

Snakes in captivity may not brumate since variations in humidity and temperature initiate the process. If you want to induce brumation, you can. If you wish to breed these snakes, you should do this. Though the snake will be less active during brumation, it is not entirely hibernating. The snake sheds its skin following the brumation stage. Adult Kingsnakes shed two to six times per year, even if you never force brumation. It might be beneficial to increase the humidity and do further cleaning.

How Much Do Mexican Black Kingsnakes Cost?

Most modern Mexican Black Kingsnakes sell for between $200 and $250. The breeder’s size, age, and location can all have a negligible impact on the price. Choosing a Mexican Black Kingsnake bred in captivity is crucial since it will be more accustomed to handling people and less prone to transmit diseases.

How Much Do Mexican Black Kingsnakes Cost

Mexican Black Kingsnakes Appearance & Colors

The hue is the Mexican black kingsnake’s most distinctive characteristic. They have an all-over deep brown or black color. Their entire bodies are dark! This one is the only species in the Lampropeltis getula family without a pattern. A young person’s chin could have a few paler areas.

But as they age, those markings usually disappear, leaving nothing but pure black beauty! One outstanding quality can come as a welcome surprise throughout the day. Despite being completely black, the scales exhibit a little iridescent sheen. These snakes will reflect a stunning blue shimmer under the appropriate lighting.

All-black Mexican black kingsnakes are considered to be the “standard” and most common kind. But there are also a lot of morphs accessible. Breeders love to use this species. There are about 50 distinct morphs as a result of selective breeding.

You might see snakes with spots, ones with white spots, or even striped varieties. Expect to pay more for any hue other than pure black because specialty mutations are scarce. Mexican black kingsnakes have a fat and stocky body type. Since they are constrictors, these snakes have muscular bodies and don’t use length to outwit prey.

Mexican Black Kingsnake Size

When fully grown, the Mexican black kingsnake typically grows to three to five feet. Within that range, there can, however, be a great deal of variation. As adults, the majority will continue to be around four feet tall. There have been a few isolated instances of these snakes growing closer to six feet long!

The growth rate of this species is average. The length of a hatchling is only six to eight inches. However, until they reach adulthood, their size will double annually. These snakes can devour prey many times their size since they are constrictors. If a giant rodent or even another snake gets in their way, they won’t think twice about eating it!


In captivity, the Mexican black kingsnake often lives 20 to 25 years. If you’re considering getting one of these species as a pet, it’s essential to understand that it requires a substantial commitment over time. There is no way to predict or guarantee how long a particular snake will live. Numerous things influence life expectancy. Along with genetics, the caliber of your care can make a huge difference.

Snakes can better fend off illness and preserve good health in a well-kept habitat. People who consume poor diets and live in subpar environments are more likely to pass away young. Your duty as a pet owner is to follow the optimum Mexican black kingsnake care guidelines as closely as possible to ensure your pet thrives.

Breeding Mexican Black Kingsnakes

Please think about whether your adults are in good health and genetically free of any issues that could be passed on before breeding. Breeding any snake before it is wholly developed can result in significant health issues for the female.

Make sure you know the name of your neighborhood exotics physician and have the resources to take care of any potential medical issues that may come from breeding. Even the healthiest snakes might experience complications during breeding that require a veterinarian’s assistance. Additionally, it would help if you made sure that you could feed, house, and find new homes for each of your hatchlings separately.


In the wild, brumation happens frequently. It’s not required in captivity, but if you want the kingsnakes to reproduce, it helps because they would typically do so in the spring after brumating. Make sure the digestive tract is entirely empty before brumation by stopping feeding at least two to three weeks before lowering the temperature, or about the middle of October.

Reduce the temperature to between 55 and 60 °F around November. You might need to utilize an outbuilding that you can maintain at a constant temperature because it might be challenging to achieve these low temperatures indoors in the UK. We use heat mats on thermostats to brumate our snakes in our attic, allowing us to achieve low, consistent temps.

While most of us brumate for three months, some only brumate for six weeks. What matters is that the snake recognizes the seasonal change, believes spring has arrived, and is ready for breeding. After acclimatizing for a week, raise the temperature to the normal range and start feeding. Females should be given more food now because they’ll need it all for reproduction.

Courtship And Egg Laying

If feasible, introduce the male into the female enclosure. This is because the female emits pheromones, which will be more potent in her tank if she has recently shed. Breeding needs to be controlled because this species is capable of cannibalism.

Males frequently bite and hold on to females; while this usually doesn’t result in significant damage, it occasionally can break the skin. If she is open to it, he will line up on top of her, and she will lift her tail. Copulation can go on for several hours, so try not to disturb them during that time.

They can be split up once more after copulation. Check again a few days later to be sure she is pregnant. After about four weeks, the female will lose her pre-lay egg. She will start searching for a suitable location to deposit her eggs a week after she sheds, roughly six weeks after successful copulation.

It would help if you gave her a sizable egg-laying box that is big enough to lay her eggs comfortably. We advise placing a thin layer of vermiculite at the bottom, followed by a thick covering of moss that is kept damp but not soggy. Six weeks later, she will start laying eggs from 5 to 15. If the eggs are likely to be stuck together, don’t break them apart.

When an egg is laid, an air bubble is at the top; therefore, take care not to turn the eggs. Instead, carefully transfer all of the eggs into your incubator. Without a second breeding, a double clutch is still feasible; therefore, you should keep feeding the female well and monitor her weight and shedding cycle to ensure the egg box is still accessible.

Incubation And Hatching

We recommend a professional incubator and use vermiculite as an incubation medium, but you can use anything that maintains a constant temperature and humidity as an incubator. Most incubators resemble refrigerators; however, instead of a cooler, they include a heater.

At 80-82F, the eggs will hatch after 60 days. The eggs can be killed if the temperature rises above 85F. Therefore accurate temperature control is crucial. The snake will use an egg tooth that falls off after use to smash its way out of the egg.

They frequently spend several hours or even days sitting in the egg with their heads poking out and inhaling air as they absorb the egg yolk. This is acceptable, and you should allow the eggs to hatch at their rate. You can make a small egg gap and check if the snake inside moves.

Suppose it has been 2-3 days since the other snakes have all hatched, and there are still a few. In this case, the snake has typically already died, though occasionally, some eggs don’t make it into every clutch. King snake eggs hatch with an appetite and are known for eating one another.

Put the infants in separate enclosures right away. You must keep an eye on your incubator to identify when the eggs have hatched and remove them as soon as possible.

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I hope you understand Are Mexican Black Kingsnakes Good For Beginners? Mexican Black Kingsnakes are excellent starting snakes all around. You can enjoy handling these snakes due to their size and gentleness. Additionally, they are entertaining to watch during the day because they are busy.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a king snake an excellent first snake?

These snakes are wonderful starting snakes because they are simple to maintain. Their size, color, and pattern variations are vast. Many subspecies have stunning, eye-catching patterns, and some even mirror the venomous coral snakes’ red, black, and yellow coloration as a defense.

What is the personality of a Mexican black kingsnake?

Although Mexican black kingsnakes are often placid, if handled against their will, they may bite or release offensive-smelling chemicals.

What is the size tank for a Mexican black kingsnake?

A 20 to 30-gallon glass aquarium with a screen lid is suitable for housing adults. A 4-foot snake will feel more at home in a 40-gallon breeding tank; therefore, the bigger the containment, the better.

What is the world’s friendliest snake?

The corn snake is the most amiable in the world. They would win the “best personality” award in the snakes’ yearbook. Corn snakes are incredibly friendly and enjoy being handled. They are one of the most well-liked pet snakes since they require little maintenance.

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