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Apalachicola king snake, Lampropeltis getula meansi

Apalachicola king snakes are a good choice for beginner snake keepers

At a glance...
  • Apalachicola king snakes are stunning to look at
  • Easy husbandry requirements similar to other popular snakes
  • Docile temperaments make them a suitable choice for beginners
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Do Apalachicola king snakes make good pets?

Apalachicola king snakes are a unique looking snake endemic to Florida, where they are only found in the Apalachicola lowlands, in the panhandle between the Apalachicola and Ochlokonee rivers. This species can be a little skittish when young, but tame down quite easily when the time is spent with them.

At Swell Reptiles, all of our Apalchicola king snakes are captive bred in the UK, leaving you safe in the knowledge that your new snake came from a reliable source. King snakes are cannibalistic, and naturally predate on other snakes, so they should always be kept individually to avoid an inevitable confrontation that will likely lead to the death and even consumption of one individual.

What size enclosure does an Apalachicola king snake need?

Kingsnakes in general are very active and inquisitive, and the Apalachicola king snake is no exception. Due to this, we recommend a minimum enclosure size of 120 x 60 x 60cm (4 x 2 x 2ft), for example, the VivExotic Repti-Home Bearded Dragon Vivarium Large. Wooden vivariums generally work best as they hold heat in better, but glass or PVC enclosures can also work.

Do Apalachicola king snakes need to be heated?

Just like with other reptiles, an Apalachicola king snake enclosure should have a thermogradient running from one end of the enclosure to the other to allow them to regulate their internal body temperature. The ideal warm end or basking temperature for this species is between 30-32°C (86-89°F), and the cool end should be between 22-25°C (71-77°F), which should be achieved using an overhead heating system installed into one end of the enclosure, such as a basking lamp and dimming thermostat or ceramic heater and pulse thermostat.

Do Apalachicola king snakes need UVB?

At Swell Reptiles, we recommend that all snakes are kept with a low-level UVB, with the ideal UVI for an Apalachicola king snake being between 2-3. Contrary to popular belief, snakes can benefit significantly from the presence of this, both in terms of their health and for providing them with a more natural captive environment.

The best way to achieve this is using an Arcadia ShadeDweller Max positioned 25-40cm (10-15”) above the basking area, or an Arcadia ProT5 Kit - Forest 6% positioned 40-45cm (15-18”) above the basking zone.

How do I decorate an Apalachicola king snake’s vivarium?

For the substrate, we recommend using either soft chip reptile bedding or a more natural sand-soil mix, such as Arcadia EarthMix Arid, which is also a great planting medium for more arid plants. Once you have your substrate in place, at least two hiding areas should be provided, either using traditional reptile caves or using natural decor pieces.

Other decor items such as branches, logs, tunnels and rocks should be placed in the enclosure to provide mental stimulation and enrichment, and a large water dish, large enough for the snake to soak in is also an important consideration.

What do Apalachicola king snakes eat?

Apalachicola king snakes would naturally feed on a varied diet, comprising other snakes (including venomous ones), lizards, amphibians, rodents, birds, turtles and eggs. In captivity, a lot of these items are not easy to come by, so Kingsnakes are generally fed a staple diet of reptile frozen food, mainly mice. Rats, chicks and other feeders can also be offered once your snake is large enough.

How do I buy an Apalachicola king snake?

If you would like to purchase one of our UK captive bred Apalachicola kingsnakes, please come into our store and see us. We will ask a few quick questions and request to see some images of your set-up, which should be completely ready for the snake to go straight into. We reserve the right to refuse adoption to anyone we feel is unprepared to adopt.

Common names Apalachicola king snake, Apalachicola lowlands king snake
Scientific name Lampropeltis getula meansi
Country North America (Florida)
Captive-bred Yes
Adult size 120-150cm (4-5ft)
Natural habitat Desert basins, grasslands, shrublands and forest habitats
Housing 120 x 60 x 60cm (4 x 2 x 2ft)
Ideal temperature 30-32°C (86-89°F) (warm end); 22-25°C (71-77°F) (cool end)
UVI 2-3
Ideal humidity 40-50%
Diet Carnivorous
Average lifespan 15-20 years
Personality Docile, youngsters can be defensive and skittish
Ease of handling Easy
Cohabitable No
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