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Woodhouse Lane, Botley, Southampton SO30 2EZ
Tel. 01489 789300
In association with South Coast Constrictors
Phyllomedusa bicolor
Phyllomedusa bicolor

Care Sheet

Gray Banded King Snake (Lampropeltis alterna)


Common names: Gray Banded King Snake

Size: 90-120cm is average

Age: Up to 20 years.

Difficulty: Low, they make great pets due to small size and relatively easy husbandry.

Temperature: 75-82°F.

Humidity: Low. Water needs to be changed everyday.

Housing: 90x45x45 (3ft) is perfectly adequate for an adult Gray Banded King Snake. Small plastic enclosures such as breeder boxes and small faunariums are suitable for hatchling and juvenile King.

Heating: Dependent on what enclosures you are heating. Plastic enclosures can be heated using heat mats, whereas wooden vivariums or similar housing should be space heated using bulbs, ceramic heaters or heat plates.

The three most important things to remember when heating any enclosure are:

  • Ensure the animal cannot burn itself with the correct fitting of the heat source and protecting it with a guard.
  • Choose the appropriate wattage for the size enclosure. This can help further reduce the risk burns and overheating (it can also help save energy!)
  • Always using an appropriate thermostat. (Refer to Thermostat Guide)

Substrate: Aspen is a widely used medium for keeping King Snakes on. However orchid bark and wood chip can also be used. Unprinted newspaper is perfect as hygienic flooring, although it does need to be changed quite regularly.

Diet: Defrosted mice.

Natural Distribution: Texas and adjacent areas of Mexico.

Things to note: King snakes are so called because they have been known to eat other snakes.