Definitions

lampropeltis triangulum

Lampropeltis triangulum campbelli

The Pueblan milk snake (Lampropeltis triangulum campbelli) - also called Campbell's milk snake - is an egg laying species of non-venomous colubrid snake. It is one of the most commonly bred milk snakes in captivity, and it is for this reason that it is found in several color variations. It is a fairly docile species and will rarely bite. If handled, it will discharge a pungent smelling exudate from the cloaca as a warning.

Description

Bright colors and broad bands of red, black and white distinguishes this subspecies from all other milk snakes. Adult Pueblan milk snakes reach lengths of 28 to 36 inches (hatchlings average 9 inches in length), and can be found in southern Puebla, eastern Morelos and northern Oaxaca, Mexico.

Behavior

Like most milk snakes, Pueblan milk snakes are typically nocturnal, especially during the summer months when the heat of the day is often beyond their tolerance. They tend to be flighty, nervous, and typically defecate when initially handled, though they will rarely bite. They become more docile with regular handling.

Diet

Pueblan milksnakes will feed on just about anything they can overpower. They will consume warm-blooded prey such as mice, rats, and birds, as well as cold-blooded prey such as lizards, frogs, and other snakes, including venomous snakes. When this snake is a baby, you will feed it one pinkie mouse a week. Expand to two pinkies when one month old. when a year since birth has passed, give it four a week. when it is about two feet long, give it bigger mice.

In captivity

Pueblan milk snakes adapt well in captivity if kept between 80 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit, with a night time temperature drop of 5 to 10 degrees. Temperature control is important, as it maintains the animal's feeding response and digestion. Cages should be escape proof, and fresh water provided at all times. A hide box is necessary, since Pueblans are more comfortable in confined spaces. King snakes and milk snakes must be housed separately (except during the breeding season) because they are cannibalistic. Inexpensive enclosures such as plastic shoe or sweater boxes work well, if there are ventilation holes drilled in the sides. Aquariums or home-made enclosures also work well if you want to display the snake. A variety of substrates may be used (aspen shavings, corn-cob rodent bedding or newspaper) to keep the animals clean, warm and dry.

Reproduction in captivity

A brumation period of 3-4 months (very much like hibernation) from November through to early March will induce reproductive behaviour in this species of snake. Temperatures during brumation should be down to between 10-15 degrees C. When snakes brumate or hibernate in captivity, they should always be provided with fresh drinking water and should never be put into brumation or hibernation immediately after feeding. Specimens should be allowed to drink well and defaecate first. After brumation, the snakes are slowly warmed up to 25-30 degrees C and well fed. Females are triggered in this way to ovulate and produce a pheromone trail (using glands on her skin) which the males follow. Introducing the male to the confinement of the female will rapidly result in a mating (copulation) and successful ovulation in the female. 2-15 eggs are laid some 30 days later and incubated at 28 degrees C. The juveniles generally hatch 2 months (55-60 days) later. During incubation the adult snakes may engage in egg guarding (parental care in snakes).

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