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Liik/tõug Kingsnake ( Lampropeltis g. getulus )
Sünniaeg 01-12-2001
Omanik dzhinn
Vaadatud 3656 korda
Kingsnakes and milksnakes are some of the most beautiful snakes in the world and are very popular and easily kept in captivity. Moderately sized and usually quite docile, these snakes appeal to the beginner as well as to the experienced herpetoculturist. The scientific name for the genus of kingsnakes and milksnakes is Lampropeltis. Lampro is derived from the Greek word for "shiny" and peltis, Greek for "shields." The name is a very accurate descriptor of these snakes with their glossy, smooth, well-defined scales. Lampropeltis getula (kingsnakes), L. triangulum (milksnakes) and the other six species (comprising forty-five subspecies) can be found throughout most of the United States, the southern parts of Ontario and Quebec, down through Central America and parts of South America. kings can be found in arid deserts, swamplands, farmlands, grasslands, pine and deciduous forests, up to 8500 feet in the Rockies and to 10,000 in the Andes, and in riparian habitats. These constrictors, in the wild they consume a variety of prey, including other snakes, amphibians, lizards, rodents, birds, even rattlesnakes.

One of the most interesting thing about some of the kings and milks, and something which unfortunately works only too well, is their mimicry of the venomous coral snakes. As most people cannot tell the difference and many believe that all snakes are uniformly dangerous, wild kings and milks are often met with the business end of a shovel rather than the respect they deserve for their efforts in keeping the rodent populations in check. To set the record straight, Lampropeltis and coral snakes can easily be told apart by the order of the color of their bands. Both snakes have yellow, red and black bands. Kings and milks have black bands touching the red bands; in corals, the yellow touches the red bands. A simple rhyme makes it easy to remember the order: Red on yellow, kill a fellow. An alternative rhyme, yellow on red, you're dead" is a bit of an overstatement, as the vast majority of people who do get bitten by a coral snake just become very ill, recovering with no residual effects.

As Lampropeltis are easily bred in captivity, there is never a reason to purchase a wild one. In California and now, in Arizona, there are stringent laws concerning the wild collection and the sale of captive bred kingsnakes about which many pet stores are unfamiliar. Captive breeding has produced numerous color and pattern morphs, ranging from different types of albinos to striped and mottled markings. Some of the most striking, however, are the most natural - vivid bands of colors, or the simple black and brilliant yellows of the Florida and Sonoran kings.

Kings and milks are oviparous, laying fifteen or so eggs. Hatchlings emerge from the eggs anywhere from six to ten weeks after being laid, and range in size from eight to thirteen inches long. Adults range in size from three feet up to seven feet, depending upon the species. With proper care, kings will live 20 or more years.

-06.07.2002 Vesku-

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