Lystrophis pulcher care

Morphological characteristics of Lystrophis pulcher

Lystrophis pulcher is commonly known as the tri-color hognose or false coral snake. Lystrophis pulcher is probably the most common tri-color hognose in captivity, although many are referred to as Lystrophis semicinctus. Far less common in captivity, but also often mislabeled, is Lystrophis matogrossensis.

Trying to identify which species you have may be difficult as there is little information available on this. Buying from a reputable breeder may be the only option you have to get some form of certainty.

The Lystrophis species of snakes can be found on the continent of South America in the countries (or parts of) Argentina, Paraguay, Bolivia, Uruguay and Brazil. Lystrophis pulcher seeks habitats much wetter than the habitat preferred by Lystrophis semicinctus. Below the results in a map of Bolivia showing the range of both species. As you can see Lystrophis semicinctus is found mostly to the west and in the Andean dry valleys where as Lystrophis pulcher prefers the eastern and wetter regions. In captivity care for most Lystrophis species can be done following the guidelines of this care sheet.

The common name “Tri-color hognose” says it all. In appearance these snakes have 3 colors and have the typical “hognose” head. Because of the coloring of red, yellow (white) and black they look somewhat like a coral snake resulting in the second common name of “false coral snake”. Their looks may be bold, but in fact the snake itself is quite harmless. In general these snakes are very mild tempered and much more docile than the Heterodon species of hognose. In total length these snakes rarely grow larger than 50cm. They are a heavy bodied snake which can make their heads look tiny and odd compared to the size of the body.

Daytime low                                            22ºC
Daytime high                                           28ºC
Nighttime low                                           16ºC
Nighttime high                                          22ºC
Feeds on                                                 rodents
Feeding sequence baby                       every 5-7 days
Feeding sequence adult                         every 7-10 days
Reproduction                                           egg laying
Maximum adult size                                50 cm
Minimum housing avg. Adult                 70x40x40 cm