Nuevo leon king snake, Lampropeltis mexicana thayeri

Nuevo leon king snakes are a stunning beginner-friendly snake

At a glance...
  • Nuevo leon king snakes are suitable for beginners
  • A stunning snake that is easily tamed
  • Easy husbandry requirements similar to Corn snakes
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Do Nuevo leon king snakes make good pets?

Nuevo leon king snakes are a beautifully marked species of king snake originating from the Mexican plateaus in Tamaulipas, Mexico. As with most snakes, hatchlings of this species can be a little skittish and defensive, but they tame down easily enough when the time is spent with them, making them not a bad option for beginner snake keepers.

All of the Nuevo leon king snakes for sale at Swell Reptiles were captive bred in the UK, so you can rest assured 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 vivarium does a Nuevo leon king snake need?

Nuevo leon king snakes are very inquisitive and active, so should be provided with plenty of space to roam and fill with enrichment. We recommend a minimum enclosure size of 120 x 60 x 60cm (4 x 2 x 2ft) for this species, which makes the VivExotic Repti-Home Bearded Dragon Vivarium Large a great option. Wooden vivariums such as this usually work best due to holding in the heat better, but PVC and glass enclosures are also suitable.

What temperature do Nuevo leon king snakes need?

Nuevo leon king snakes are ectothermic, so cannot control their own internal body temperature and rely on external heat sources to do this. Therefore, their captive enclosures should have a temperature gradient that runs from warm in one end to cool in the other.

The ideal basking temperature for this species is 30-32°C (86-89°F), with a cool end temperature between 22-25°C (71-77°F). The best way to achieve this in the larger set-ups required by this species is by using an overhead heating system such as a basking lamp and dimming thermostat, or a ceramic heater and pulse thermostat.

Do Nuevo leon king snakes need UV?

Nuevo leon king snakes can benefit significantly from being provided with a low-level UVB, giving them a UVI between 2-3. This is most easily achieved using an Arcadia ShadeDweller MaxT5 placed 25-40cm (10-15”) above the basking zone, or an Arcadia ProT5 Kit - Forest 6% placed 40-45cm (15-18”) above the basking zone.

How do I decorate a Nuevo leon king snake’s vivarium?

Your Nuevo leon king snake will need at least two hiding areas, one at either end of the thermogradient to allow them to feel secure whether they need to warm up, or cool down. These can be created using hiding caves or pieces of natural decor like cork bark, and foliage from real or artificial plants.

Being an inquisitive snake, Nuevo leon king snakes will also benefit from enrichment around their enclosure, in the form of branches, platforms, tunnels and other decor pieces. You should also provide a water dish for hydration, ideally large enough for your snake to soak in if they choose which helps during the shed cycle.

What do Nuevo leon king snakes eat?

Nuevo leon king snakes are carnivores, and would naturally feed on a varied diet including other snakes, reptiles and small mammals. In captivity they should be fed on a diet of reptile frozen food, with mice being the best option as a staple. Rats and chicks can also be offered when your snake is large enough, but they should be fed infrequently.

How do I buy a Nuevo leon king snake?

If you would like to purchase one of our UK captive bred Nuevo leon king snakes, please come into our superstore and see us.

To ensure all of our animals go to great homes, we will ask you a few short questions and ask to see some images of your set-up, which should be completely ready for the snake to go into. We reserve the right to refuse adoption to anyone we feel is unprepared to adopt.

Common names Nuevo leon king snake, Variable king snake, Thayers king snake
Scientific name Lampropeltis mexicana thayeri
Country Mexico
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°C (71°F) (cool end)
UVI 2-3
Ideal humidity 40-50%
Diet Carnivorous
Average lifespan 15-20 years
Personality Docile, youngsters can be defensive or skittish
Ease of handling Easy
Cohabitable No
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