Reptiles

Milksnake, Andean

RANGE
Restricted to the Eastern Codillera of the Andes mountains in North West Columbia, generally at elevations of about 5000 to 9000 feet. Some references have this species between 220 to 2700 meters in elevation.

HABITAT
Mountainous regions of the Andes.

SIZE
Adult Length: Average from 38 – 70 inches
Hatchlings: 8 – 10 inches

LIFE EXPECTANCY
Unknown

REPRODUCTION

  • Known to be prolific breeders, they may produce 2 – 3 clutches in a year. Have been known to produce as many as four clutches in captivity.
  • Actually adapted to cooler conditions due to the high elevations in which this species can be found, thus prefers temperatures in the low 70’s for breeding conditions.
  • Eggs take about 59 – 68 days to hatch. Hatchlings are large, vigorous and tend to have good appetites.

DIET
Mainly feed on rodents.

BEHAVIOR

  • In the wild adults seem to be relatively docile and are easily followed, whereas juveniles are very flightly.
  • Generally prefer temperatures a little lower than most milksnakes, probably an adaptation for the high elevations from which they come. Temperatures in the range of 65 – 75 degrees are easily tolerated.
  • Are known to be easily bred in captivity, and is considered one of the “calmer” snakes.

POINTS OF INTEREST

  • Is a relatively new species in terms of captive breeding, the first success at captive breeding of this species was in 1987 at the Dallas Zoo.
  • Are not considered “fussy” feeders. Both adults and juveniles had good appetites.
  • The Andean Milksnake is a large species, both in length and body thickness, relative to other milksnakes. It is tri-colored with black-tipped snakes. Pale bands can be white, yellow or pale yellow-orange. There are usually 30 – 36 red rings on the body and tail.
  • Snout is white with black flecks, and most of the scales on the head have some white to them.
  • The scales on the body are domed, giving the species a beaded feel to the touch.

STATUS
Common

REFERENCES

  1. http://www.kingsnake.com/king/triangulum/andesiana.html
  2. http://www.pitt.edu/~mcs2/herp/Lt_andesiana.html