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Exotic reptiles: Royal snake Lampropeltis getula

Exotic reptiles: Royal snake Lampropeltis getula


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Systematic classification and distribution

Class: Reptiles
Order: Squamati
Suborders: Snakes
Family: Colubridae
Genus: Lampropeltis
Species: L. getula Linnaeus, 1766

They are found on almost the entire territory of the United States, the southern regions of Ontario and Quebec, Central America and parts of South America.

Seven subspecies of Lampropeltis getula:
- Lampropeltis getula californiaeReal California snake
- Lampropeltis getula floridanaReal Florida snake
- Lampropeltis getula getulaReal snake of the east
- Lampropeltis getula holbrooki Mottled royal snake
- Lampropeltis getula nigerReal black snake
- Lampropeltis getula nigritusMexican black royal snake
- Lampropeltis getula splendidaReal snake of the Sonora desert

Morphology

They are medium-sized reptiles, measuring at least 210 cm (generally from 130 to 180 cm in adults and 25/30 cm in babies). Most of the species are smaller and average 1.50 m. They are relatively simple snakes to breed.
Some species such as the California royal snake (L. getula californiae) have been bred for years and various colors have been selected. They are snakes with a robust appetite that easily accept a wide variety of prey, including rodents.

California Royal Snake - Lampropeltis getula californiae (photo www.californiaherps.com)

Florida Royal Snake - Lampropeltis getula floridana (photo www.kingsnake.com)

Habitat and terrarium

Habitat: rain forests, deserts, cultivated fields, mountainous areas.

Terrarium: for babies it is recommended to use a terrarium of at least 35x25x25 cm well sealed with air intakes no larger than 3/4 mm positioned at the bottom in the hot area and at the top in the cold area, same thing in adult specimens, with a terrarium of at least 100x50x40 cm with larger air intakes but not too much to compromise the temperature and humidity in the terrarium.

Substrate: as a substrate it is advisable to use pieces of bark, potting soil or, for a more natural effect, potting soil with moss strands scattered here and there; absolutely no to sand and gravel, in addition to accidental ingestion, can cause serious damage to the respiratory tract of the animal.

Temperature and humidity

Temperature: being a cold-blooded animal, your Lampropeltis will have to receive heat from a source external to its body, just place a heating cable or mat with thermostat directly under the terrarium for 1/3 of its length, reaching 26/28 degrees in the hot zone and 24/25 in the cold zone without installing any unnecessary heating lamps. at night the temperature must be brought to 20/22 degrees in the cold zone and 24/25 ° C in the hot zone.

Humidity: in the terrarium, a humidity of 60/70% must be maintained to do this, just place the bowl of water in the hottest part of the terrarium so that its rate increases through evaporation. During the moulting period, it is advisable to spray the terrarium twice a day so as to increase the percentage of humidity.

Supply

Lampropeltis in nature eat mainly small rodents, eggs, nestlings and other reptiles. In captivity you will have to feed it only with mice (Mus musculus) since they fully satisfy their nutritional needs.

- Adult specimens: just feed it every 8/10 days with an adult mouse.
- Sub adults: just feed it every 7/8 days with a medium-sized mouse.
- Baby: just feed it every 4/5 days with a pinkie (mouse cub with 3/4 days of life)

Lack of appetite: it can happen to run into a lame child, there are many ways to convince him to eat:

- move the pinkie with tweezers around the snake's muzzle;
- pierce the skull of the pinkie making the brain matter come out (the smell will make the snake understand that it is a mouse);
- insert the pinkie's head into the snake's mouth and see if he continues the work;
- remain the pinkie in the terrarium for a whole day without going to disturb the snake;
- if none of these work, take it to an expert veterinarian for forced feeding.

Diseases

Before introducing a new guest into the house, it is advisable to have a vet analyzed by a vet with a parasitological examination, and occasionally check the snake's skin for mites, also check in the bowl of water. Mites present as small black dots visible to the naked eye. Strange attitude, loud breathing, sudden loss of appetite are certainly bad signs and must be reported as soon as possible to a competent veterinarian.

Coupling

Lampropeltis are among the most easily reproducible ophids in captivity.
Before any mating, check that the specimens are in excellent health, and that the female weighs at least 250 grams for two years of age, while the male is at least one year old.
After they mate, remove the male and repeat this once every three days for a few weeks, in order to be sure of fertilization. Once mating is complete, the female will normally feed for about 5/6 weeks after which she will begin to refuse meals. The change of pre-position phase will then begin. After moulting within 7/15 days, the female will lay.

curated by Nicola Fontanella


Video: This REPTILE FARM was UNREAL!! CRAZY (May 2022).


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