Mexican Black Kingsnake: Care Tips & Facts

Are you considering getting a pet snake but don’t know where to start? Look no further than the Mexican Black Kingsnake. These striking snakes are not only beautiful with their shiny black scales and iridescent blue highlights, but they are also hardy and easy to care for, making them the perfect choice for beginners.

Originating from the Sonoran Desert, north-western Sinaloa, Mexico, and Arizona, Mexican Black Kingsnakes are nonvenomous and have a simple diet, making them low-maintenance pets. However, as with any pet, they do require specific care and a proper enclosure setup to thrive.

In this article, we’ll cover all the essential care tips and facts you need to know about Mexican Black Kingsnakes, from their husbandry and enclosure needs to their feeding and health care. By the end of this article, you’ll be equipped with the knowledge to provide the best possible care for your new pet snake.

Key Takeaways

  • Mexican Black Kingsnakes are nonvenomous, black and deep brown with blue iridescence, and are good beginner snakes that tolerate handling well.
  • They require a specific cage setup, cannot be cohabitated, and thrive on frozen thawed mice.
  • Tank temperature should be maintained at ambient 75°F at night, with a hot side of the enclosure at 88-90°F over the basking surface.
  • They require natural decor, basking and hiding areas, glass or ventilated plastic enclosures, and sand and soil substrate mix works best.

Overview and Description

If you’re interested in learning about Mexican Black Kingsnakes, they’re nonvenomous snakes that are black and deep brown with blue iridescence. They’re part of the Eastern Chain Kingsnake family and can be found in the Sonoran Desert, north-western Sinaloa, Mexico, and Arizona.

Mexican Black Kingsnakes have a simple diet and can tolerate handling well, making them a good beginner snake. They’re also known to eat venomous snakes due to their natural resistance to many venoms. Mexican Black Kingsnakes are active during the day and can climb and swim.

They require a specific cage setup and cannot be cohabitated. Adults reach 4ft in length after 3 years of growth and can eat prey much larger than themselves. They thrive on frozen thawed mice and can live up to 25 years in captivity with proper husbandry and diet.

Mexican Black Kingsnakes lay 6-12 eggs in the summer, and females do not care for young. Overall, these snakes have interesting breeding behavior and are a great addition to any reptile lover’s collection.

Husbandry and Enclosure

To properly house your Mexican Black Kingsnake, set up a specific cage with natural décor, basking and hiding areas, and a glass or ventilated plastic enclosure. Use a substrate mix of sand and soil, avoiding pine and cedar shavings.

Provide a temperature gradient with an ambient temperature of 75°F at night and a hot side of the enclosure at 88-90°F over the basking surface. Here are some natural décor options that you can use to create a comfortable and stimulating environment for your snake:

  • Rocks and driftwood for climbing and hiding
  • Artificial plants or live plants for visual appeal and added humidity
  • Cork bark or coconut hide boxes for hiding and security
  • Naturalistic backgrounds or murals for visual stimulation
  • Water dish or shallow pool for soaking and swimming

Temperature regulation techniques are important for the health and well-being of your snake. Use a heat lamp or under-tank heating pad to create a basking spot on one side of the enclosure.

A thermometer and thermostat can help you monitor and regulate the temperature. Maintain moderate humidity levels of 40-60%; too much moisture can lead to mold and bacteria growth.

With the right husbandry and enclosure setup, your Mexican Black Kingsnake can thrive and live up to 25 years in captivity.

Feeding and Health Care

When feeding your Mexican Black Kingsnake, it’s important to offer frozen thawed mice that are appropriate in size. Overfeeding can lead to obesity and health issues in your snake. As a general rule, prey size should be no larger than the width of your snake’s body.

It’s recommended to feed your snake once a week, although frequency can vary depending on the age and activity level of your snake.

In addition to a proper feeding schedule, it’s important to monitor your snake’s weight and provide necessary supplements. Regular vet visits are also recommended, as some common health issues in Mexican Black Kingsnakes include respiratory infections and parasites.

If your snake is bitten by a venomous snake, seek immediate veterinary care. First aid for snake bites includes keeping the snake calm and immobilized, and seeking professional medical attention as soon as possible.

By following these feeding and health care tips, you can ensure that your Mexican Black Kingsnake lives a long and healthy life.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Mexican Black Kingsnakes good for first-time snake owners?

For first-time snake owners, Mexican Black Kingsnakes have pros and cons. They have a simple diet and tolerate handling well, but require specific cage setup and can be flighty when young. Personality traits include being active during the day and climbing.

Do Mexican Black Kingsnakes require UV lighting?

Mexican Black Kingsnakes do not require UV lighting as they are not dependent on it for survival. However, UV lighting benefits their overall health and well-being. Lighting alternatives include natural sunlight and full-spectrum LED or fluorescent lights.

How often should I handle my Mexican Black Kingsnake?

You should handle your Mexican Black Kingsnake 2-3 times a week for short periods of time to prevent stress. Use slow movements and support their entire body. Avoid handling during shedding or after feeding to prevent regurgitation.

Can Mexican Black Kingsnakes be housed with other reptiles or animals?

While Mexican Black Kingsnakes are social creatures, they cannot be cohabitated with other reptiles or animals due to compatibility concerns. Housing options should include a specific cage setup with natural décor and hiding areas.

How often should I feed my Mexican Black Kingsnake?

Feed your Mexican Black Kingsnake once every 7-10 days with prey that is no larger than 1.5 times the width of their body. Overfeeding can lead to health problems.


Congratulations! You now have all the essential care tips and facts you need to know about Mexican Black Kingsnakes. With their striking black color and iridescent blue scales, these hardy and beginner-friendly snakes make for great pets. They have a simple diet and tolerate handling well, making them ideal for those new to snake ownership.

However, they do require specific care and a proper enclosure setup to thrive. In order to ensure the health and happiness of your Mexican Black Kingsnake, it’s crucial to provide them with a suitable enclosure, a nutritious diet, and regular health check-ups. Remember to maintain proper temperatures and humidity levels, offer hiding spots and climbing opportunities, and provide fresh water at all times.

With the right care and attention, your Mexican Black Kingsnake can live a long and healthy life, bringing beauty and joy to your home. So go ahead, embark on this exciting journey of snake ownership and enjoy the fascinating world of these magnificent creatures!

Alain Grant

I'm Alain, a passionate reptile enthusiast and the creator Reptilebehavior.com. A blog sharing my 15 years of hands-on experience in caring for reptiles, my goal is to provide valuable insights, practical tips, and reliable information to fellow reptile lovers. Contact me at alain@reptilebehavior.com for assistance.

Recommended Articles

Seraphinite AcceleratorOptimized by Seraphinite Accelerator
Turns on site high speed to be attractive for people and search engines.