It’s the same as with clothes.
Some people prefer bright colors.
Others prefer jet black.
Even if you prefer colors, you can’t deny that a completely black snake is stunning.
And luckily, black snake pets are not difficult to find.
There are some species that make excellent pets, even for beginners.
Keep reading for a list of 6 wonderful black pet snakes. Not all 6 are ideal for beginners, though. If you have never had a pet snake, the first two species listed below are probably best.
Table of Contents
- 1 Black Snake Pets
- 1.1 Black Rat Snake (Pantherophis Obsoletus)
- 1.2 Mexican Black Kingsnake (Lampropeltis Getula Nigrita)
- 1.3 Red-Bellied Blacksnake (Pseudechis porphyriacus)
- 1.4 Black African House Snake (Boaedon Fuliginosus)
- 1.5 Black Milk Snake (Lampropeltis Triangulum)
- 1.6 Black Pine Snake (Pituophis Melanoleucus Lodingi)
- 2 Black Snakes For Pets: Final Thoughts
Black Snake Pets
All of the black snakes below make for great pets. but, as mentioned, some are better for more experienced snake owners. We make sure to point that out in the description for each snake.
Black Rat Snake (Pantherophis Obsoletus)
Black rat snakes are known by various names , like pilot black snakes, western rat snakes, etc. They are one of the most popular pet snakes in the United States. Most adults reach a length of 3 to 5 feet.
Black rat snakes are non-venomous. They are also small in size, docile, and have less stringent housing and temperature needs than other pet snakes. This makes them easy to care for, even for beginners in snake keeping. They also have a long lifespan in captivity of nearly 15 to20 years.
Around people, black snakes are mostly non-aggressive. They won’t strike unless they feel threatened. Captive-bred black rat snakes are also used to being handled and stay calm when held. All these factors make them excellent pets.
For more, check our our comparison of the black rat snake and the black racer snake.
Mexican Black Kingsnake (Lampropeltis Getula Nigrita)
The Mexican black kingsnake is a beautiful snake and also one of the first kingsnake species bred solely to be a pet. Its modest size and docile temperament further contribute to its popularity as a pet. Most species grow to 3 feet, or about 90 cm. They have smooth, slender, black-colored bodies.
In captivity, Mexican black kingsnakes need a temperature range between 70° and 90° F. They do well on a diet of rodents. With proper care, they can live for 15 to 20 years.
MBKs – as they are popularly known – are mostly solitary creatures. In captivity, they will spend most of their time hiding. You must provide your pet with some activity to maintain its physical and mental health.
If threatened, a Mexican Black Kingsnake will shake its tail to mimic the rattlesnake’s rattle. Captive-bred MBKs are mostly docile and won’t strike at humans.
Red-Bellied Blacksnake (Pseudechis porphyriacus)
The red-bellied blacksnake is one of the most popular pet snakes in Australia. It does well on a diet of thawed, frozen rodents but even makes do with the occasional chicken and dog food!
Most species grow to between 4.9 and 8.2 feet (1.5 and 2.5 meters). They have beautiful black scales with bright red or creamy pink bellies.
Despite having a placid and manageable temperament, red-bellied blacksnakes are venomous and their bites can be very painful. This is why they are best as pets for experienced herpetologists. As such, it may be best to handle them minimally, as in only when you clean their cages.
With the right setup, red-bellied blacksnakes are fairly easy to care for. You need an enclosure that is at least 4 feet long, 2 feet wide, and 1.5 feet high.
It is important to keep the enclosure at around 28 degrees C or 80° degrees F (28° C), preferably with a thermostat so you can vary it according to the season. The enclosure will also need an appropriate substrate.
Red-bellied blacksnakes are very active and tend to require more food than other pet snakes. With proper husbandry, they can live for 12 to 15 years.
Black African House Snake (Boaedon Fuliginosus)
The black African house snake is a slender, black, or dark brown snake. It is harmless to humans and one of the most common snakes in the pet trade as a result. It also has a relaxed temperament and its housing and care needs are quite low-maintenance.
Adult African house snakes rarely bite humans, but the young ones tend to be jumpy, so be careful while opening the enclosure. Worry not: they quickly get over this phase.
Most species of black African house snakes grow to 2 to 4 ½ feet long. Females are longer than males. The average lifespan of a captive black African house snake is between 15 and 20 years.
While they do have some specific housing, temperature, and humidity requirements, you do not need a lot of experience in snake-keeping to maintain them.
Provide your snake with an enclosure that is about 2 feet by 1.5 feet by 1.5 feet. Add in a high-quality substrate and plenty of branches for your snake to climb on. Keep the enclosure between 90° F (the warm side) and 70° F (the cool side). Your pet will need a diet of thawed mice or rats.
Black Milk Snake (Lampropeltis Triangulum)
Black milk snakes grow up to 84 inches, or about 7 feet. They are beefy snakes that weigh around 3.5 pounds. Their large size makes them good pets for more experienced or advanced snake keepers.
They have beautiful black iridescent bodies (sometimes with a slight visibility of red stripes) that add to their beauty.
Black milk snakes are quite expensive, because breeders often create beautiful morphs to acquire that perfect jet-black color. Expect to pay between $400 and $600 for a black milk snake, although some breeders may charge even more.
Captive-bred black milk snakes are quite calm and tolerate handling well. However, it is best not to handle them too much. These large snakes also need large housing and you need to maintain a temperature range of mid-70° Fahrenheit with a basking light in the fall months.
Your black milk snake will do well on a diet of thawed rats. Be careful while feeding your pet. They love their food and tend to snap at it aggressively. Worry not. The nonvenomous bite won’t do you much harm.
Black Pine Snake (Pituophis Melanoleucus Lodingi)
Known as the poor man’s indigo snake, the black pine snake comes with a set of characteristics that make it both intriguing and manageable for snake enthusiasts.
The black pine snake exhibits a striking color palette, ranging from solid black to brown bands with touches of white on the chin and sides. This coloring makes it a visually appealing pet.
They are generally mild-mannered snakes. However, they tend to hiss when threatened and they also rattle their tails like rattlesnakes.
On average, the adult black pine snake reaches a length of 5 to 6 feet. It is essential to provide a spacious cage for your pet, measuring at least 3 feet in length, 2 feet in width, and 2 feet in height.
Given its active nature, add plenty of climbing areas, branches, rocks, and hideouts to the enclosure. Maintain a temperature range of 75° to 85° F during the day, with a slight drop of 5° to 15° F at night.
Adult black pine snakes require a diet consisting of small adult rats every 5 to 7 days. With proper care, captive black pine snakes can live for almost 15 to 20 years.
Black Snakes For Pets: Final Thoughts
The black snake pets discussed above each offer unique characteristics and temperaments that make them suitable for snake enthusiasts. But not all are ideal for beginners, so make sure you know what you are getting into with some of the more challenging snakes.
It is important to note the specific requirements for each species, as well as the potential challenges, such as the venomous nature of the Red-Bellied Blacksnake, and the need for careful handling and spacious housing for larger snakes like the Black Milk Snake and Black Pine Snake.
With proper care and attention to their individual needs, these black snake species can provide years of companionship and fascination for their owners. Before you jump in and get one, make sure you are able and willing to provide the care and attention they need.