Speckled King Snake (L. getula holbrooki) Care Sheet

Speckled king snakes are found in Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas, Mississippi, Louisiana, and parts of Texas.  Speckled kings are found in open grasslands, forests, and are usually near water.  These king snakes mature within three years and reach 3-5 feet in length.  Adult female speckled kings will lay 1-2 clutches each year with 5-18 eggs per clutch.  The eggs are incubated at 82-84 degrees and will hatch in 36-50 days.  Speckled king snakes are secretive snakes and will do best if provided with some type of hiding place.  When nervous, these king snakes will rattle their tail. With time and careful handling this behavior will usually stop.  With proper care you can expect your king snake to live 10-20 years or more. 


Speckled king snakes need to be maintained between 84-90 degrees during the day.  Nighttime temperatures should range between 68-75 degrees.  If you keep your snake too cool it can regurgitate, so make sure the temperatures are maintained. 


King snakes can be housed comfortably in a 29-40 gallon terrarium as adults.  Ideally, the larger the snake, the more room you want to provide.  Never place a cage near a window where sunlight can directly shine on your cage.  Cages placed in direct sunlight can easily overheat and ultimately lead to the death of your snake.  Never house your king snake with other snakes, it may eat them.


Almost any type of bedding can be used for king snakes.  We recommend using carpet, bark, pine shavings, or aspen shavings.  A deep layer is recommended to allow your snake to hide if it chooses to do so.  


King snakes feed on pinkie and fuzzy mice as babies and juveniles.  As your snake grows it will soon move up to adult mice.  We recommend that you feed baby and juvenile king snakes one time per week.  Adult king snakes can be fed once every 7-10 days to maintain proper body weight.   Like most snakes, king snakes typically will not eat when they are preparing to shed.  After your snake has shed you can return to your normal feeding regiment.  If your snake doesn’t eat make sure you remove the rodent from the cage.  Rodents, when they are hungry, can bite snakes and can injure or kill them.