Creature Feature: Honduran Milksnake

Honduran Milk Snake

Lampropeltis triangulum hondurensis

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Reptiles Alive Name: “Soy”

Hissstory: Soy was transferred to Reptiles Alive from another wildlife education organization in April 2008.

RA Diet: Frozen mice that are defrosted and warmed up before being served.  Mmm mmm good!

Natural Diet: Milk snakes will eat small mammals, eggs, and other reptiles – even other snakes!

Range: You can find Honduran milk snakes in Nicaragua, Northeastern Costa Rica, and the Caribbean slope of Honduras.

Habitat: Honduran milk snakes live on the forest floor of tropical rain forests.

Size: Honduran milk snakes are one of the largest species of milk snake in the world!  They can grow over 5 feet long.

Lifespan: Milk snakes typically live around 20 years.

Reproduction: Female milk snakes lay 3-24 eggs which hatch in around 10 weeks.

Conservation:
 Due to their beautiful colors, milk snakes are highly valued in the wild animal pet trade.  Even though these snakes are pretty, they don’t make good pets for most people.  Like all snakes, they will not play with you or want to cuddle.  Most pet reptiles end up unwanted, sick, or worse.
Cool Facts: Milk snakes use quick, jerky movements so that their bands flash, startling predators. Their bright colors signal danger and often confuse predators, making these snakes hard to follow. Other animals in the rain forest may use the same defense such as colorful parrots and highly venomous coral snakes, which milk snakes resemble.

Some people say the poem “Red touch yellow, kill a fellow.  Red touch black, venom lack” to help them remember if a snake is venomous or not.  The problem is,  there are SO MANY different species and subspecies of milk and coral snakes that the poem does not always work!  So at Reptiles Alive, we teach you this poem:

Red touch yellow, leave snakes alone.

Red touch black, leave snakes alone.

Creature Feature: Desert Kingsnake

Desert Kingsnake (aka California Kingsnake)

Lampropeltis getula californiae

Reptiles Alive Name: “Reno” and “Tahoe”

Hissstory: Reno was found slithering down a street in Annandale, VA – not his natural habitat!  He was either an escaped or abandoned pet, so we gave him a home.  Our albino desert kingsnake Tahoe was an unwanted pet that we adopted.

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Reno the Desert Kingsnake

RA Diet: We feed our kingsnakes delicious and nutritious frozen and defrosted mice.

Natural Diet: Kingsnakes eat snakes, lizards, birds, eggs and rodents.

Range: Desert kingsnakes are found in California, Nevada, Arizona, Utah and Oregon.

Habitat: Desert kingsnakes may be found in rocky outcrops and clumps of vegetation in chaparral or desert environments.

Size: Desert kingsnakes grow 24-60 inches long.

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Tahoe, the Albino Desert Kingsnake

Lifespan: Kingsnakes can live to be over 20 years old. 

Reproduction: Females lays 2-24 eggs which hatch in about 2 months.

Cool Facts: The kingsnake is the “king of snakes” because it will eat other snakes – even venomous rattlesnakes! Scientists believe kingsnakes have immunity to the venom of the rattlesnakes found in their own home range,  so the kingsnake can be bitten and envenomated with no ill effects.