An Interesting Snake Lost/Found Story

On the night of April 25, 1998 I went to my work shop in the garage to get some fuzzies to feed to my sand boas. I noticed, in a box of deer mice, a snake. It was an attractive 25" male San Luis Potosi kingsnake (Lampropeltis m. mexicana.) It had a midbody lump indicating the demise of a deer mouse. It is an attractive snake, and it now resides in my collection.

No one else in the area is keeping mex mex and all of my mex mex are accounted for.

In 1996 I had a clutch of San Luis Potosi kingsnake eggs laid. One by one they went bad, and one by one I picked them from the incubation box and disposed of them. After a few weeks I was down from ten eggs to two. The final two eggs had turned various colors and had begun to sink in. I left them in the incubation box and left the box on a cabinet shelf in the kitchen. I then forgot about them. In January or February I noticed the box and decided to dump out the remaining bad eggs and vermiculite. I was dismayed to find that one of the eggs had hatched and that the neonate had somehow escaped from the plastic shoe box. Since the last time I had looked at the eggs was in August, I have no idea when it hatched or how long it had been gone.

With a sigh I emptied the contents of the box into the trash. I then forgot the occasion until last night.

I can only assume that the snake found in the mouse box was the one which hatched from a bad egg, escaped from the incubation box, got out of the closet, got out of the house and survived for about twenty months by foraging on my property. The color is consistent with offspring from the pair which produced the eggs, and the head markings are ones which are dominant with my strain of mex mex. At any rate, it is a welcome addition to my collection.

John O. Hollister
April, 1998