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Latin Name: Lampropeltis Getula Nagrita
Sometimes known as the “MBK” or the “Black Desert King Snake.” In the wild they can be found in Southern Arizona, the Western Sonora Desert and in Northwestern Sinaloa, Mexico. They occupy a number of terrains from desert, vegetative and urban areas. They are excellent swimmers.
Easily distinguishable to other snakes by there shiny black color. Hatchlings and young specimens sometimes have white spot(s) under their chin that is referred to as soul spot. These and other white or yellow spots on the snake tend to fade, as the snake gets older. Their shiny black scales will sometimes carry hues of deep blue to them as they reflect light.
In the wild the Mexican Black King snake’s diet consists mainly of small rodents, lizards, birds, eggs, and the other snakes. They are opportunistic hunters and will prowl around the burrows of rodents and lizards looking for a meal. They are non-venomous and constrict their prey before eating. In captivity they will thrive on a diet of all-rodents (mice, rats, etc.). Some keepers will occasionally feed them slugs (infertile snake eggs).
Their husbandry isn’t much different from other types of colubrids. They prefer temps ranging from 75F on the cool side to 85F on the warm side, but anything in the range of 70-90F is tolerable. The preferred method for providing heat is by using an under the tank heater. The temps of these devises should be controlled by a thermostat and checked using a thermometer.
They require a water dish big enough for the snake to completely submerge their body in. The water should be changed daily. Fecal matter or urates need to be cleaned up to prevent bacterial infections.
I do not suggest using a UVA or UVB with an MBK. They don’t need the light to develop calcium, for heat or for digestion. The bright light emitted from these devices could potentially damage the eyes on an animal that cannot blink. As long as you have them in a room with a window, the light coming in through that window should be more than sufficient.