What are they and where do they come from?

The kingsnake is renowned the world over for their beauty and are a popular pet.

They originate from North America and are known as kingsnakes as they regularly eat other species of snake in the wild.

The scientific name of the kingsnake is Lampropeltis spp. and they can be found in the Southern United States and into California.

How big are they?

Upon reaching maturity the kingsnake can measure between three and six feet long. This is an exceptionally strong snake.

How long do they live?

The average kingsnake has a lifespan between 15 – 20+ years

What kind of tank do I need?

Adult kingsnakes will require a vivarium such as the Vivexotic Compact Vivarium.

What sort of heat does it need?

A kingsnake will require both a heat lamp and an under tank heater. This can be done by placing a heat mat such as the Habistat Heat Mat underneath the terrarium and a Daylight Exo Terra heat lamp.

Please note that the heat mat and light should be placed on one side of the enclosure, with the habitat on the opposite side.

The heat mat is essential to provide heating to the snake’s belly when digesting.

An Exo Terra Analogue Thermometer should be included inside the vivarium to maintain the optimum temperatures, which can be found below:

Daytime temperature: 75 – 80 degrees farenheit

Basking temperature: 85 – 88 degrees farenheit

Night time temperature: 72 – 75 degrees farenheit

What sort of light does it need?

Snakes do not require UVB rays to meet their vitamin D requirements.

In terms of normal light you can either use natural light, or make use of an energy saving bulb, in combination with a timer to replicate the cycle of day and night.

What else do I need in my tank?

In addition to the heating of the terrarium you will also need an exo terra water dish, exo terra reptile cave, as well as a substrate of orchid bark.

It should also be noted that kingsnakes do not enjoy large empty spaces. They prefer décor and hideaways in which they can feel comfortable.

Please note that a terrarium lock, such as the Komodo Terrarium Lock is essential for housing this type of snake.

What does it eat?

Throughout their lives the kingsnake is fed solely on mice and rats. The rodents provide them will all of their calcium needs and mean that no calcium supplement is required.

When selecting mice or rats to feed your kingsnake a good rule of thumb is to choose a rodent that is approximately the same size as the girth of your kingsnake.

What are the positives about kingsnakes?

Kingsnakes are an incredibly popular pet and can be found in a large variety of colour morphs.

As very active snakes and keen feeders they are very manageable and are not overly large.

What are the negatives about kingsnakes?

This type of snake is known for being very alert and quick, which can be difficult for some snake handlers to get used to.