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Scarlet Kingsnake? Pueblan Milksnake?

Discussion in 'Colubrids *General*' started by zaroba, May 29, 2008.

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  1. zaroba

    zaroba Elite Member

    I was in the post office today, and there was a poster of a snake and it called it a scarlet kingsnake. i'm looking at it thinking to myself "isn't that a pueblan milksnake?". I get home and look up both species on google. I find many pictures of both snakes, and the snakes look nearly the same. To me, besides the starting color being red instead of black in the kingsnake, they look like they are the same snake, and with color variances being abundant (snakes aren't all identical scale for scale), i really don't see how one can be called a scarlet king snake and the other a pueblan milksnake when they both have black, white, black, red banding and the same body shape and size.

    So...how do you tell them apart to know for a fact that you have one or the other and not just have a snake with odd coloring?

    For example:
    This one is called a Prublan Milksnake:
    [​IMG]

    this one is called a scarlet kingsnake:
    [​IMG]
     
  2. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    They are two completely different species.
    The scarlet kingsnake is smaller than the milksnake rarely reaching two feet long. The snout will be red and the rings on the body are typically more yellow as they are a coral snake mimic.
    The old rhyme "Red to black venom lack, red to yellow kill a fellow" was taught to children to differentiate them from the venomous coral snakes
    There are a number of tricolor kings and it can get confusing.
    For instance this is my Ruthvens Kingsnake
    [​IMG]
     
  3. schlegelbagel

    schlegelbagel Frog Lover Premium Member

    I was going to say, look at the faces, the coloring is totally different.
     
  4. venus

    venus Founding Member

    The scarletts face is awesome, love the red nose.
     
  5. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    And you don't see many of them offered. They are a gorgeous snake and many a collector's dream, but the hatchlings are so tiny (5-6 inches!) they are difficult to deal with.
     
  6. zaroba

    zaroba Elite Member

    "There are a number of tricolor kings and it can get confusing."
    its got me plenty confused :p

    so theres no visible differences between them besides adult length and color of the head? seems weird to me that they'd be classified as completely different species instead of the same type (ie, red faced pueblan) just because of the head color. but oh well.

    what if you happen to have a pueblan hatch with a red head? i'm sure its possible.
    after all, besides black heads, some pueblan's have white heads (or does that make it a different species like the red head does?).
     
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