King snake

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King snake in captivity

The king snake is a common name for snakes of genus Lampropeltis (also including milk snakes) found in North America, specifically the eastern United States. They subsist on a diet of rodents, birds, and other snakes. Specifically, king snakes are immune to rattlesnake and copperhead venom, which allows them to feed on these species. King snakes are considered beneficial animals due to their pest controlling diet.[1] The coloration of king snakes is usually black, red and white, which imitates the colors of venomous coral snakes. This makes potential predators avoid king snakes.

In captivity

King snakes are one of the most common species of snake to be kept as pets. They are physically resilient and thus straightforward to care for. They also have a mild, easy temperament, once used to human contact and, once adapted, take well to handling. However, as hatchlings they can be shy and nervous, and need careful handling.[2] Like most snakes, they need plenty of places to hide in order to feel secure, and can be agoraphobic if their enclosure too large or open.

References

  1. http://www.everwonder.com/david/snakes/kingsnake.html
  2. http://www.reptileexpert.co.uk/KeepingKingSnakesPets.html
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