last changes: Sunday, January 06, 2008

Keeping and Breeding of the

Florida Pine Snake

    Pituophis melanoleucus mugitus

    Southern Pine Snake 

my patternless mugitus male, German c.b.

Keeping and behavior

The southern pine snakes are in the terrarium members of the calmer Pituophis and become normaly hand tame. Adult soutern pine snakes reach often 2m and need a greater terrarium with some stable hiding places and, if possible, a klimbing branch. For a never visited bathbowl I use a open plastic box 30 x 17 cm with aprox. 3 l water in there.

The preferd temperatures of the florida pine snake is aprox. 26-28°C.

In the habitat the snake is decribed as agressiv. It’s hissing loud if molested and then bites often. But there are nearly no wild caught soutern pines in our terraria and the captive bred animals are much calmer. Sometimes it bite, when it is new in it’s home. But they calm down in some days. No animal of the many adult and juvenil mugitus I handeld tried to bite.

The P. m. mugitus has a great appetite.


my amelanistic mugitus male, aprox. 6 month old The snakes take a lot of sorts of rodents and birds. It‘s normaly the same, wether the food is alive, fresch dead or thawned frost food. But sometimes there are animals wich took only life mice in the beginning. And the change to defrosted food took time. Some adults become food specialists - chicks and rats are often prefered food then.


You should offer them a 2month long hibernation periode at 5-15°C.

Propagation and breeding

After the hibernation the snakes eat some times and they get in mating mood. After the succsessful mating the eggs grow for 6-8 weeks in the body of the female. Some days after the pre egg laying shed it lay a cluch of 4-6 eggs (literatur). From the terrariums I know clutches of 3-8 eggs, too.

After a medium incubation period of about 63-67 days the snakes begin to hatch.

My patternless mugitus pair


Young snakes

After hatching the small southern pines have a lenght of 40 to 50 cm. The coloration is similar tho the parents, but the ground color is more washed. The young can look nearly as young melanoleucus, but in mugitus the saddles on the back are brown, not black. In amel. southerns the red saddlemarkings are very colorful and nice. Depending on the lenght of hatch the first food of my snakes might be defrosted some days old mice or nestyoung rats. Non feeders are the absolute exeption.

The further keeping is without problems, when you keep the animal stess poor. If there is a lot of food offered the growth rates are enormous. After a ½ to 1year the animals reach 1m. This quick growth normaly has no greater influence to the health and those animals will have, too, a long life and and healthy babys.

Maturity and lifespan

Depending on amount of food and the biological possibilitis of the animals the maturity begins in the 2nd or 3rd year.

In normal cases the snakes become aprox. 15 years ore a little more.

My snakes

In my terrariums live breeding groups of patternless, amel. and snow mugitus.

Biology in Habitat

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