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It's That Time Again!

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I look forward to seeing little heads poking out of eggs every summer. While caring for a large number of hatchlings can get overwhelming at times, I never tire of watching them hatch. With every breeding we gain further insight as to the capacity for variation within a given locale, and with every new breeding there is the possibility of producing something we have never before seen. 

It has been an unusual and less productive breeding year for us. Some of our reliable breeders took the year off, while some gravid females apparently reabsorbed their eggs. Still, we've been fortunate enough to produce a few quality clutches.

The first egg from our first locality clutch of season began pipping last night. These represent our first successful breeding of Citrus County, FL locality kingsnakes, and only the second breeding of this locality that I know of. We have only seen a handful of kingsnakes from this county, and it will be interesting to see how much they vary from their parents, and whether any come out resembling snakes found in nearby Hernando and Levy Counties. 

Speaking of Levy County, we have a clutch that was laid within 24 hours of this Citrus County clutch, and are expecting them to hatch at any time. This is our first F1 to F1 breeding for that locality, and we expect interesting results. In addition, these are the largest kingsnake eggs I've ever seen, coming out larger than a bull snake egg. Hopefully this means bullsnake sized hatchlings. One can hope!


New Project: Citrus County, FL

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In March 2010, I collected an adult female kingsnake from under a board in Citrus County, FL. I'd kept her in hopes of finding a mate from the same locality and breeding them. In the spring of 2011 I revisited Citrus County a couple times to search for a male. Despite my hopes, my female has remained celibate, getting fat on a steady diet of large mice.

In most of the southern US, one can expect springtime herping to yield good numbers of kingsnakes. The problem with collecting kingsnakes in FL is that, outside the canefields, they are no longer abundant nor generally distributed. With most of the Florida locales listed on this site, I have put quite a lot of field time into collecting even just the first pair of snakes. Now that I no longer live in Florida full time, putting together new locality lines from the state presents quite a chaIlenge.

In late August of this year, like every year, I was in Florida for the National Reptile Breeders Expo. The week after the show was spent visiting friends and family in my hometown of Clearwater, FL. For some reason, I'd been feeling I had a good chance of cruising a kingsnake on this trip.

Not that I had ever found a Florida locale kingsnake in August, or even found one at night, but I'd never really tried, either. I have, however, found several hatchling and subadult kings crossing at night in North Carolina, typically about a half hour to an hour after hot time. It is probably overthinking the matter to think Florida's kingsnakes really behave much differently.

The typical mid-summer in FL involves a half hour of rain every afternoon. Thanks to Hurricane Irene sucking all the moisture (that's the technical term) out of Florida on her way up the Atlantic Coast, Friday, August 26 was perhaps the only rainless day of the entire trip. I'd been waiting for this sort of day, so I took the opportunity to drive up to Citrus County for shot at cruising a king. I arrived a little early for cruising and scoped out some of my cover sets. The mosquitoes, biting flies, and no-see-ums made me regret ever leaving the car.

I saw no DORs on my first pass down the network, which usually indicates there hasn't been much activity. As the light of day faded, which would typically indicate the start of hot time, nothing but a few invertebrates were seen crossing the road. Nights like this do not inspire any confidence, and often result in a total shut out. Occasionally though, you can get what I call a slow burn, a night without a concentrated movement where 1-3 snakes are seen per hour well into the night. The main road was getting a fair amount of Friday night traffic, and I did notice a water snake had been hit that evening. At about that point I felt like the night was just destined to produce nothing.

Around 8:45 I pulled off on to a side road and immediately spotted a banded snake crawling quickly across the road between two patches of Brazilian pepper. There was little doubt as to what this was. It ended up being either a large hatchling, or small yearling kingsnake. The pattern was a typical Florida/Eastern intergrade pattern that I wouldn't be surprised to see in either my Levy or Pinellas County lines. Before bagging it, I sexed the snake out to be a male. I continued cruising for another another hour or so, but no other snakes were seen. I'd already found the only snake I cared to find in that area, so I called it night.

This snake has since proven to be a great feeder, and I should have no problem getting him ready for the 2013 breeding season!

Wild Caught Hatchling Male Citrus County, FL Intergrade Kingsnake

Last Updated on Sunday, 05 August 2012 04:40

First clutch of F2 Gulf Hammock Kings

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My holdback group of 2009 Gulf Hammock kings grew up quick, and one of the females gave me a good clutch of 8 big eggs, all which hatched into big babies. I really like seeing the pattern variations in this line.

All have shed, and those that I've offered thawed pinks have taken them right from my fingers on the first go!

Breeding Project Page

I only have a few left from this clutch, but I do have a clutch from my original WC pair due to hatch in the next 10 days,

$100 per pair

$50 for lone males


First clutch of F1 Brooksi!

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It took a few years of hunting but on July 10th this year I finally hatched out a clutch of F1 brooksi from wild-caught adults! These originate from nice adults collected in the extreme southern tip of mainland Florida in Miami-Dade County. A lot of them came out just as nice as those from selectively bred captive lines! I will definitely be keeping back at least a couple from this clutch for future breedings. 

Every snake from this clutch has shed and fed already. The sex ratio ended up being 1.6, so I will have to wait until one of my other 2 clutches hatches before I can offer pairs.

Breeding Project Page





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The site is up!

Just testing out the video capabilities here.

This is a video of a bull snake I found crossing the road in Indiana.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 29 June 2011 21:28