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Latin name: Lampropeltis californiae
This individual is a young male who hatched November of 2020. He’s about 23” in length and eating frozen thawed fuzzy mice.
Lifestyle and habitat: California King snakes are native to the Western United States and Northern Mexico. They inhabit a wide variety of habitats including open fields, forests, scrubland and semi-desert areas.
Size and lifespan: California king snakes typically grow up to 4' and stay relatively light-bodied. Females will be longer and heavier than males. They can live up to 20 years in human care.
Quick care stats:
Temperatures: 85 degrees Fahrenheit in the basking area, 75 degrees Fahrenheit on the cool end.
Humidity: Wide range 20%-50%. light misting can be done 1x daily but is not required.
Tank size: 10-20 gallons for babies/juveniles, 40+ gallons for adults.
Tank type: Standard rectangle-allow for good floor space but some climbing structures as well. Make sure it has a secure sliding door/doors. Sit-atop screen lids for glass tanks are not recommended for these guys, snakes are escape artists!
Lighting and heating: Both a heat pad and a dimmable heat lamp are recommended for snakes living in glass tanks. Use only a dimmable heat bulb for a wood or melamine tank. Thermostats are also helpful. Full spectrum UVB lighting is not required for this species but is highly recommended for all reptiles for overall welfare.
Substrate and furniture: Soil or bark substrate 2"deep or deeper. Provide lots of hiding places and some low climbing areas. Provide a water dish that is large enough for the snake to curl up into for soaking.
Handling: California king snakes tolerate gentle handling well and can be handled several times per week. Just watch for signs of stress and try to limit sessions to 30-45 minutes.
When not to handle: After the snake has eaten, give them 2-3 days to digest their food before handling them again. When you first bring the snake home or move it to a new enclosure, wait at least 3 days before handling it to give it a chance to settle in to the new environment.
Feeding frequency: every 4-5 days for babies, 1x per week for juveniles and adults. Prey item should be as wide as the widest part of the snake's body.