The Best Black Snakes To Keep As Pets

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The sleek and dominating look of an all-black dog, a “spooky” black cat, a big, creepy black spider; all-black animals definitely stand out and make you take notice!

As predominantly a reptile keeper, the idea of keeping a badass looking black snake was definitely something I was looking to do! When I was around eighteen years old I finally got a Mexican black kingsnake; in my opinion the best and baddest looking black snake there was!

Black snakes are very popular in the reptile keeping hobby and it’s easy to see why! Like the aforementioned animals, black snakes are just cool!

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A black snake is the ‘yin’ to a white snake’s ‘yang’.

The Top 10 most popular and alluring black snakes in the reptile hobby are as follows;

  1. Mexican Black Kingsnake
  2. Black Rat Snake
  3. Southern Black Racer
  4. Super Black Pastel Ball Python
  5. Black Golden Child Reticulated Python
  6. Black African House Snake
  7. Eastern Indigo Snake
  8. Black-Headed Python
  9. Red-Bellied Black Snake
  10. Black Mamba

Some snakes are black because that is their natural coloration; other black snakes are morphs, color and pattern variations, of otherwise non-black species.

How Much Do Black Snakes Cost?

As we’ve learned some black snakes are naturally black, or wild coloration. These snakes tend to be less expensive than black snakes that are the result of years of selective breeding. 


For example a black rat snake or a Eastern indigo can be found between $50 to $100. A Mexican black kingsnake can be had for an average of $200.

Selective Breeding to Create Black Snakes

Some breeding projects (snakes selectively bred together to produce variations in color and pattern) can take decades to produce the desired look. 

Therefore, depending on the species and the difficulty in achieving the black morph coloration, these snakes can cost THOUSANDS! 

A super black pastel ball python or a black golden child reticulated python can easily set you back $1,500 to $3,000+ dollars! Sometimes the rarity of the species contributes to its high price; a $1,500 to $3,000 black-headed python is one example!

Mexican Black Kingsnake

Mexican Black Kingsnake

As I mentioned in the intro, I consider Mexican black kingsnakes to be the ‘best’ looking all black snakes that can be found on the planet! 

These kingsnakes are easily handled, readily accept meals and are a good sized snake that won’t outgrow their keeper while yet having an impressive size. …adults can reach 4 to 6 feet in length. 

If you are looking for a black snake, whether you’re a new reptile keeper or a seasoned pro, you CAN NOT GO WRONG with a Mexican black kingsnake!

Black Rat Snake

Black rat snake

Black rat snakes are black reptiles that have a white/cream colored chin and belly. Rat snakes are very popular and are often chosen as alternatives to corn snakes

Rat snakes tend to curl up in a defensive posture which can fool people into thinking that they are venomous or even mistake them for rattlesnakes in the wild.

Southern Black Racer

Southern Black Racer

Southern black racers in the wild are found in the Southern United States such as Mississippi, Louisiana, and Georgia. They are a medium sized snake that grows to lengths of 2 to 5 feet. 

Black racers are black in color while their bellies are usually light gray or white. Black racers can be somewhat difficult to handle because of their speed and propensity to musk when they feel scared or threatened.

Super Black Pastel Ball Python

Super Black Pastel Ball Python

Ball pythons are extremely popular and one of the main reasons for that is the seemingly endless variations in colors and patterns that are available! These color and pattern variations are known as morphs.

The super black pastel morph is a very dark gray to black ball python that can command thousands of dollars! 

With the ball python’s reputation for gentleness and ease of care, along with a dizzying array of colors (such as the super black pastel) it’s no wonder that these snakes are one of the most popular in the hobby!

Black Golden Child Reticulated Python

black golden child retic

Reticulated pythons are the world’s longest snakes and can reach lengths up to 30 feet!! They Are Huge! Retics are for experienced snake keepers only!

If a 20ft+ snake isn’t impressive enough for you, how about a 20ft+ BLACK python that can show iridescence on its scales!

These are truly gorgeous snakes!!

Black African House Snake

Black African house snakes make great pets! They are easy to take care of and stay a manageable size. 

Black African house snakes are easy to handle and can live up to 20 years in captivity!

Eastern Indigo Snake

Eastern indigo snake

The Eastern Indigo is the longest snake found in North America and it has been called by many the Safe-King Cobra! The Eastern indigo feeds on large venomous snakes such as the diamondback rattlesnake!

Eastern indigos are LARGE, thick snakes that are incredibly impressive, you will not forget an encounter with this huge, black snake! 

Their size and husbandry needs necessitate an experienced hobbyist with a large enclosure and a keeper that does not fear HUGE, oftentimes EXPLOSIVE snake bathroom habits!!
Yep, we went there. Eastern indigos are NOT for the squeamish!

Black-Headed Python

black headed python

I know what you’re going to say, “the black-headed python isn’t actually black.” You’re right but, they do have a really cool-looking deep black colored head along with some really pretty coloration and pattern. 

Black-headed pythons are a combination of orange to cream to reddish with striking patterns all along their bodies. Their heads however, look like these snakes were picked up and dipped into a bucket of jet black ink; truly striking!

HOT SNAKES – VENOMOUS

Red-Bellied Black Snake

Red bellied black snake

The red-bellied black snake is the first of two venomous snakes on this list. Even though it’s venomous, I added the red-bellied black snake for its beauty alone. These snakes come from the east coast of Australia.

These snakes have a glossy black upper body with crimson or bright red sides and belly. They are gorgeous! 

Black Mamba

Black Mamba

Like the red-bellied black snake from Australia, the black mamba, Africa’s longest venomous snake, is nothing to be played with. In fact, the black mamba is widely considered the world’s deadliest snake!!

Black Mambas can reach lengths of 14 feet and their bite, without antivenin (antivenom), is almost always fatal, usually within 15 to 20 minutes!