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Kidadl Team

AUGUST 06, 2021

Blacktail Cribo: 15 Facts You Won't Believe!

Mind blowing blacktail cribo facts for reptile lovers.

The blacktail cribo also commonly known as Drymarchon melanurus belongs to the species of indigo snakes of the Colubridae family. These snakes are harmless and are found worldwide except Antarctica and are native to Central America with their distribution in Southeastern United States, Central America, and South America, Texas. As the name indicate they have a black color tail. They are about 72-96 in (182.8-243.8 cm), which is up to 8 ft (2.4 m) in length. As they age and reach adult, their tail tends to glow and light up. As they are wild their diet contains other snakes, fish, rodents, eggs, frogs, lizards, and even birds.

They have a varied diet in case of captivity which includes frozen and thawed rodents, these snakes have a fast metabolism and therefore they eat a lot. You should keep in mind while feeding that these snakes can mistake your hand for food and can bite you. Tongs should be used to feed them. These Drymarchon melanurus snakes usually have a good temperament and should be kept in a large ventilated cage to prevent them from escaping. The process of captive-bred is maintained in zoos and botanic gardens where this species of snakes are found. Some snake keepers raise them as pets too, but it is very rare.

For more relatable content, check out these anaconda snake facts and cobra facts for kids.

Blacktail Cribo Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a blacktail cribo?

The cribo (middle American indigo snake) is a species of snake.

What class of animal does a blacktail cribo belong to?

This indigo snake belongs to the class Reptilia of phylum Chordata.

How many blacktail cribos are there in the world?

The blacktail cribo care sheet does not provide the specific number that how many of them are there in the world.

Where does a blacktail cribo live?

They can be found in tropical lowland and upland forests, and dry upland forests sea level to about 6000 ft (1828.8 m) in elevation.

What is a blacktail cribo's habitat?

This indigo snake range from Mexico to Northern Venezuela, Columbia, and even Peru. In range, the blacktail cribo for sale is not available. Natural habitats also include brushy areas, open woodlands, thorn scrub, and swamps. This snake can tolerate a bit of disturbance and may colonize farms and as they intake frequent meals they actively prey on fish, rodents, frogs, and other small snakes and swallow them. These active diurnal snake moves things around if kept in a cage. Therefore, they require big space and accurate temperature.

Who do blacktail cribos live with?

The cribo (Drymarchon melanurus) usually live alone as they are very large in size and sometimes their good personality changes to an extremely aggressive one especially when preying for food on fish, rodents, frogs, and many more.  

How long does a cribo live?

The life span of these snakes is unknown but they survive in excess of at least 20 years. They require extremely hot temperatures for their survival.

How do they reproduce?

When the indigo snake reaches maturity, it can breed. In some cases, it is seen that the males start refusing food and rub their noses in search of females and as the pair meets, the breeding process starts soon. The male becomes quite aggressive during the process and after copulation, the pair should be separated. If the mating is successful, a trend of laziness is seen in the female cribos and at this stage, the hot spot should be set to a normal temperature. Drymarchon breeders use a variety of substrates to help the eggs maintain the right hydration levels. This reptile egg should not be moved and should be kept in an area with less humidity. In terms of temperatures, keepers agree to keep the reptile eggs in a cooler temperature. As soon as the eggs hatch the baby reptile should be kept in a separate cage or any box by the keepers, preventing snakes from consuming their siblings. The breeding of captive snake or wild-caught snakes are rising but its really important to keep a check on the male snake as it can bite the female snake because of the aggressive nature during the courtship.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of this snake is Least Concern.

Blacktail Cribo Fun Facts

What do blacktail cribos look like?

The color of this snake changes gradually from a golden brown at the head to black at the tail. On the body, the head covers some black lines and patterning on scales and has powerful jaws. These snakes may grow up to 10 ft (3 m) if they are kept in large cages with proper heat in them. The young find an enclosure or a place to hide within the enclosure of the cage. The blacktail cribo would keep the adult and the young together. Their jaws are sharp but do not open as wide as compared to other snakes. These snakes can grow 5-6 ft (1.5-1.8 m) in length.

The blacktail cribo has golden with black lines on its body.

How cute are they?

The adult is not cute but the baby axanthic blacktail cribo is very cute in looks, their small body structure makes the cribo personality more adorable.

How do they communicate?

These cribos are somewhat aggressive in nature, they show anger when they are hungry and move here and there. The male sometimes refuses food during the breeding process and sometimes the female also refuses food after the breeding process.

How big is a blacktail cribo?

According to the care sheet, this snake is around 72-96 in (182.8-243.8 cm), which is up to 8 ft (3 m) long in length. It is nearly five times larger than a red-bellied black snake. They are large enough to keep in a cage, and they are the world's largest blacktail cribo among the Colubridae family, also known as the 'lord of the forest'.

How does a blacktail cribo move?

These snakes are known to have good speed on the ground as well as being good swimmers and are extremely good climbers.

How much does a blacktail cribo weigh?

The cribo Drymarchon melanurus weighs around 7-9.9 lb (3.2-4.5 kg).

What are the male and female names of the species?

No specific name has been given to describe the male and female.

What would you call a baby blacktail cribo?

The baby of a blacktail cribo is simply called a baby Drymarchon.

What do they eat?

They feed on a wide variety of meals, including mammals, birds, and just about any amphibian or reptile as they are very active while feeding on their prey, they do not use their powerful jaws to crush the prey but directly slam them against the enclosure of the cage wall. These snakes can have a varied diet of small animals like mice, rodents, chicks, quail, and other birds species. The metabolism is very fast so they need their meals at any hour of the day.

Are they poisonous?

These species of snake are non-venomous but people should still take care while feeding them as they may bite the feeder by mistake.

Would they make a good pet?

It is very uncommon to pet snakes as many people find them quite scary, and their diet is carnivorous. But, some have domesticated them as pets. The blacktail cribo personality makes this snake far easier to acquire as a pet than other snake species. The blacktail cribo snake personality is generally different from other typical snakes but at times it becomes very difficult to control them, especially when they are hungry as it is their natural instinct. They become aggressive and a chance of biting their keepers may occur. This is why feeding them timely is important for its keepers. You must feed them small or medium-sized meals twice a week. Also, sanitize and clean the enclosure regularly so that it does not become a hot spot for things that can potentially threaten the life of your snake, and maintain the humidity to about 75-80 degrees F (23.9-26.7 degrees C). Some keepers provide a substrate that holds the moisture for their survival. Eucalyptus bark, cypress mulch, and other similar materials can be used as substrate.

Did you know...

Some of these animals suffer from health problems like respiratory infections because they are kept enclosed in either very cold, in extreme heat, or humidity. The blacktail cribo terrarium enclosure must be a large area as they are very active.

You can also find blacktail cribo snakes for sale in some parts of the world.

How does a blacktail cribo adapt to its environment?

Drymarchon are generally active, diurnal reptiles who have a certain internal temperature which helps them survive in extreme temperatures especially in case of hot or heat conditions. They have the ability to adapt to their environment and makes them comfortable to stay in any type of region. However, they prefer regions with shrubs and forests.

How did blacktail cribos get their name?

The black tail that they possess is where they got their name from.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other reptiles from our black racer facts and scarlet snake facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable snake coloring pages.

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