Lampropeltis mexicana

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Scientific name Lampropeltis mexicana
English name Mexican Kingsnake; San Luis Potosi Kingsnake
Distribution In the Sierra Madre Oriental, but also in all sorts of separated areas in San Luis Potos, Aguascalientes, Zacatecas, Guanajuato, Hidalgo and Estado de México.

Because there are several species in most of these areas, the necessary research still needs to be done to get a better understanding of the occurrence of this species.

Habitat This species occurs in a lot of different habitats. They live in the cooler, humid forests up to an altitude of about 2500 meters, but also in much lower lying areas with or without bushes.

The snakes that live in the higher habitats are fairly bound to parts where much slates can be found. Here they hide in rock crevices and under stones in places where sunlight falls in the morning.

In the lower parts of the habitat, the animals are mainly known as roadkill (ran over animals on roads) so that the specific habitat is somewhat vague.

ca. 6 months old

This beautiful species nowadays has no subspecies anymore.The former subspecies Lampropeltis mexicana thayeri is now a separate species (Lampropeltis leonis).

The once described subspecies Lampropeltis mexicana greeri is also a separate species (Lampropeltis greeri) now. Because of this, Lampropeltis mexicana mexicana is now Lampropeltis mexicana.

Adult specimen have a total length of 60 and 90 cm. However, in field observations on a small group of snakes in one specific area, the total length was almost always between 60 and 75 cm in adult animals.

As usual, the total length of specimen that are kept in terrariums is larger than in animals in the wild. Snakes with a length of around one meter are no exception in captivity. In the wild, no size difference was found between the two sexes, but in captivity, the largest specimens are almost always men.

At birth, the average length is between 20 and 25 cm.

ca. 6 months old

For the general appearance of this fairly variable type, I refer to the (clickable) photo at the top of this page.

In this species, the colours of the males (even in newborns) are often brighter than those of the female snakes. Whether this occurs in any location is not clear.

The colours of newborn snakes are usually somewhat dull, but they gradually become brighter in the course of the first two years of their lives. This phenomenon is not known from other Mexican species.

Little is known about the size of the distribution area of this species. This makes it difficult to determine to what extent these snakes are threatened in their survival.

In the lowland parts of the distribution area, much has been deforested in the past 100 years and in the area around the city of San Luis Potosi, there is little left of the original landscape. In the higher parts of the distribution area, the habitat seems reasonably intact.