Lampropeltis getula californiae (California king snake)
Origin: southwest America, northern Mexico
Length: 80 to 120cm
Age: 20 years
Smooth, shiny, uncooled scales. The head is hardly wider than the neck. Very variable in appearance. Usually seen with alternating bands of black or brown and white or light yellow, including the underside, where the light bands widen. Many unusual color stages have been bred, including albinos.
Experience: Novice snake keeper
Food: Live or dead prey. Main prey animals are mice and rats. But in the wild, they eat everything from snakes to lizards and rodents.
Feed adult: every 5 days
Feed young: Every 3 to 5 days
Water bowl: Yes
Change the water: 3 times a week
There is the choice of offering the prey alive or dead. It is advisable to offer dead food. This is more practical and prevents the food animal from injuring your snake. In addition, it is recommended to offer the food animal with a pair of tongs and to feed your snake outside the enclosure. This ensures that your hand is not associated with food and prevents your snake from grabbing your hand while feeding. If you do go for live food, you must supervise the feeding. The prey can also injure the snake. Feed the rat snake separately, because when two snakes catch the same prey they can injure each other and sometimes eat each other themselves. The ideal prey is about as wide as the widest part of the snake.
The water bowl in the enclosure does not have to be very large, but it must be large enough that the animal can lie in it. In the wild, the snake is common in arid regions.
A hygienic living environment is important to keep your Royal Snake healthy. To achieve this, the accommodation will have to be cleaned regularly. Cleaning once a week is enough. In addition, to prevent the build-up of bacteria, the entire accommodation must be cleaned and disinfected a few times a year.
To get your California Kingsnake used to contact with people, it is advisable to pick up and handle the animal from time to time, but how to handle a snake, make sure you support the animal at the beginning of the body and halfway to the ends of the body. Never squeeze your hose while handling as their vertebrae are fragile and can break easily. Also make sure your hands are washed and don't smell like food. Finally, do not handle your snake when it is molting and do not handle the animal when it has just eaten. The young snakes or snakes that have not been handled before can be defensive and can attack. The snake is not poisonous, but it is better to avoid bite marks. After multiple handling, the hose will get used to it and become less defensive.
Minimum stay for 1 couple: 80 x 40 x 40
Laying surface: 0.5 m2 and per hose
Day temperature: 24-30C
Night temperature: 20-22C
Hours of light: 12 hours
Humidity degree: 40% -60%
Ground cover: Newspapers, bark, sand or beech chips
they are mainly soil dwellers, so make sure they have enough space to lie down. For the rest, you can furnish the accommodation with branches and stones and a hideout cave or shelter.
Before the stay there are some extra things that need to be taken into account. Ventilation is required to keep the air fresh and it is advisable to keep it out of direct sunlight and as vibration-free as possible.
Hunting method: Strangulation snake.
Lifestyle: Dusk active
The California Kingsnake is a fairly easy going and friendly snake.
Points of attention
the snake can be defensive, especially in the enclosure. Pay attention to this when handling your hose to avoid unnecessary injury. Regular handling will eventually tame and calm the snake.
Costs and Purchase
Legislation: No documentation is required to keep California king snake.
One-off costs: This includes the costs for the accommodation, lighting, heating, water bowl and decoration. All together this can cost a few hundred euros to a few thousand euros. The final amount depends on the quality and size of the products.
Fixed costs: Fixed costs include the costs for the feed, which is several tens of euros per year.
Unexpected costs: Costs have been incurred when your snake happens to get sick or your equipment breaks down.