Lystrophis pulcher care

Lystrophis pulcher reproduction

These snakes are readily being bred in captivity the last few years. Opinions on if brumation (a winter period of cooling) is required vary. In the wild Lystrophis pulcher experience winter drops in temperature for several months of the year. In captivity successful breeding has also been achieved without a brumation period. If you have no intention on breeding your Lystrophis pulcher then a brumation period should not be necessary. If you have plans on breeding these snakes you may want to test both options or go for the most natural option, which would be a period of brumation.

If you decide on offering a winter cool down, feed Lystrophis pulcher heavily a month before you plan to cool. After the snakes bowels are empty (about 3 weeks after the last feed) temperatures can be dropped to the desired brumation temperature within a time span of a few days. Dropping temperatures over a longer period of time may result in respiratory issues. If you do not wait for the bowels to be empty, it may result in a dead snake Lystrophis pulcher. If left with undigested food in their body, it will rot during the brumation period causing death.

The suggested temperature for brumation of Lystrophis pulcherspecies is about 11 to 13°C and for a period of 8 to 10 weeks. Brumating at lower or higher temperatures may result in serious illness so make sure you meet the required temperatures. In this time the snake will remain active so provide water as usual. Do not offer any food during this time. If for some reason you think your snake is ill, return heating to normal and consult a veterinary if required.


After brumation Lystrophis pulcher you can return the snake to it's regular set up and temperatures. After about a week you can start offering food items again. Once you are sure the animals have come out of their brumation and are doing well you can introduce females to the males for breeding. Putting the females into the males enclosure makes it easier for the male to find her and entice breeding.

If breeding is successful your female will become gravid. You will notice her getting big and a change in behavior is to be expected. She will shed her skin before laying the eggs. If you suspect your female Lystrophis pulcheris gravid you can provide her with an egg laying box. The most used is a simple plastic containers with a hole cut in the lid to enable the snake to get in or out. Fill the box about halfway with moist moss or a vermiculite/water mix (1:1 ratio by weight is most commonly used).

A typical clutch is can vary from 6 to 12 eggs in size. If your female is healthy she may produce one or more additional clutches in the same year. These clutches are usually smaller in size and she may produce them even without being re-introduced to the male.

Once laid the eggs can be placed in an incubator. The temperature should be set at 28 degrees and humidity should be near a 100%. Depending on your incubator set up this can be reached in many ways. The most common is a vermiculite or perlite mixture with water added. When set up correctly, eggs should hatch between 60 and 80 days, if temperatures are a bit on the high side they may hatch as soon as 52 days.

At Naicus Enigma we mix 3 cups of vermiculite with one cup of perlite. To reach a good humidity level we add one cup of water to the formally mentioned mix (of course, using the same size cup is necessary to get the ratio right). When you maintain the right humidity ratio in your substrate, no additional moisture needs to be added during the incubation period. When putting the eggs into the egg chamber, dig them in about a third of the way down to set them firmly into the substrate. The eggs may not touch the side or top of the egg chamber as that will obstruct the growth. The egg chamber needs to be sealed to retain the humidity level given by the substrate. Only leave a small air hole so that fresh air is available.