Arizona Mountain King Snake (Lampropeltis pyromelana pyromelana) Care Sheet

 Arizona mountain king snakes are found throughout the higher elevations of Arizona.  These snakes are banded red, black, and white and are similar in appearance to the coral snake.  Another similar snake is the California mountain king snake.  The two snakes are easy to identify, Arizona mountain kings have a white snout, while California Mountain kings have a black snout.  Arizona mountain kings can be found above 3000 feet and typically inhabit rock piles.  They are a secretive snake and will do best if provided with some type of hiding place.  Adult females lay 2-7 eggs in a clutch and they hatch within 65 days when incubated at 82-83 degrees.  Baby Arizona mountain kings are known to be difficult eaters.  Babies usually have a preference for lizards and getting them to eat mice may take some time and effort.  If you are having these problems with your baby king snake let us know and we’ll do our best to help.  With proper care you can expect your king snake to live 10-20 years or more.


      Arizona mountain king snakes are a cool weather snake and should be kept from 75-82 degrees during the day. Nighttime temperatures can range from 65-70 degrees.  Red or dark colored heat lights are ideal for night use because they do not disturb the day and night cycle of snakes.  


      Arizona mountain 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.  


     Almost any type of bedding can be used for these 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.   


     Arizona mountain 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 hungry, can bite snakes and possibly injure or kill your snake.