What does the Florida Kingsnake look like?
Adults can vary in colouration from brown to yellow, their dorsal crossbands give them a chain-like patterning. This helps distinguish the three species of common kingsnakes indigenous to Florida as they are similar in appearance, the Florida kingsnake (Lampropeltis getula floridana) is easily distinguished by the number of crossbands on its back.
Where is the Florida Kingsnake from?
As the name indicates, it originates from Florida and is located within pinelands, marshes and prairies. The Florida Kingsnake is mainly terrestrial and active during the day, yet in the summer months individuals may be found moving at night. These snakes rarely venture far and tend to rest in the shade beneath logs and tall grass.
How are Florida Kingsnakes kept?
This snakes docile temperament and manageable size make it an excellent choice for experienced keepers and even novices. Florida Kingsnakes are like Milk snakes and must be housed separately (apart from breeding season) as they are cannibalistic. Kingsnakes will feed on just about anything. They will consume warm-blooded prey such as rodents and birds, as well as cold-blooded prey such as lizards and frogs (in addition to other snakes). In captivity a staple diet of defrost rodents is more than enough.
Florida Kingsnakes are well known escape artists and will need a secure enclosure with a tight-fitting lid. Monkfield Terrainium’s would be an ideal enclosure as they are available in a variety sizes and we also have starter kits ideal for babies too. For juveniles or bigger a minimum of a 3ft or 4ft vivarium or terrainium should be used as Florida Kingsnakes reach 4 to 5 feet in length.
Depending on which enclosure you go for, your heating and lighting will differ. Vivarium’s will have more height than a terrainium so the best way to heat the enclosure would be via the use of a heat light connected to a dimming or pulse thermostat, with a head guard around the bulb to protect the snake for burning itself.
When heating a terrainium its best to use an appropriate sized heat mat connected to a thermostat. Most terrarinium’s also have a glass slot on the bottom, for you to insert the heat mat in, so you don’t have to place it directly inside the enclosure. Though UVB is not classed as essential we do recommend it as your snake will benefit from the additional UVB output. Arcadia T5 Shade dwellers or Arcadia mini UVB kits would be ideal and fit inside either enclosure.
A digital thermometer or a temperature gun will allow you get an accurate reading to check the enclosure is warm enough for your snake. The ideal daytime temperature range for a Florida Kingsnake is between 78 and 90degrees Fahrenheit, with lower night time temperatures between 72 and 80F.
Being active snakes its important to provide them with plenty of enrichment such as cork, java or bamboo logs and branches for them climb over and under. Two hides one for the cool end of the enclosure and one for the warm end should also be provided. Various substrates are available depending on how you want the set up to look. Lignocel, Hemp bedding, Zoomed Forestfloor and Prorep Biolife Forest are all suitable and safe for use.
Always provide your snake with a water bowl large enough for it not only drink from but also soak in. This will help maintain humidity and help with shedding.
Do your research
Before you commit to buying any pet, please do your own independent research.