Nobody can deny the aesthetic power of a black snake, so it totally makes sense that you would want to obtain one as a pet. I wholeheartedly support your goals, and for that reason, I have compiled a list of the best black snakes to keep as a pet. 

So, which popular snake breeds are black? Almost any breed of snake can be black, depending on the snake’s morph; however, here are some of the most popular snakes that are naturally black:

  • Super Black Pastel Ball Python
  • Black Golden Child Reticulated Python (Coolest snake ever?)
  • Black Rat Snake
  • Mexican Black King Snakes
  • Black Mamba (But not as a pet!)
  • Australian Red Bellied Black Snake
  • Black Racer Snake

Are these good pets? Which morphs should you get in order to get the best quality black color possible? All that and more below!

Black Snake Morphs

A morph is just another way to refer to a snake that belongs in the same species as another but looks different. If the species was ice cream, then two morphs would be mint chocolate chip and rocky road. Almost all snake species can have a black morph.

Morphs can either be created through artificial means or just by the natural selection of genes. There are lots of snake breeders whose only job is to come up with new morphs to sell. Morphs can be created for their color, patter, or behavior.

Natural selection and microevolution also lead to different morphs. If one section of the species lives in a place with a lot of foliage, the greener snakes would end up being prominent.

If a different section lives in a place with a lot of dirt and rocks, the browner snakes would be more prominent. Even though the snakes are part of the same species, their different geographical locations would lead to them having different colors and patterns.

For a more in-depth exploration of just how morphs are artificially bred, visit this website.

Super Black Pastel Ball Pythons

Super black pastel ball pythons are solid black ball pythons with no pattern at all. Regular black pastel ball pythons have a golden pattern overlaid on top of the black body color.

As a pet, ball pythons are the most sought after snakes in the world, which makes them quite easy to find and buy. They are known for their gentle temperament and their reluctance to bite.

This makes them very good pets to keep if you have kids in the house. They are rather shy and have a tendency to ball up when approached (hence the name).

Ball pythons grow up to four feet on average, with the females typically being bigger than the males. They live for 30 years or more in captivity.

Ball pythons are native to Africa, so they thrive in warm, tropical, humid climates. Because of this, you’re going to need to get a cage for them that will be able to retain humidity and heat easily.

This is most easily accomplished with a 30-gallon plastic reptile enclosure.

The enclosure should have an ambient temperature of 78 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit and a basking temperature of 88 to 96 degrees Fahrenheit. You can use under cage heating pads or basking lights.

There is no additional lighting required for ball pythons. Just make sure they get 12 hours of light and 12 hours without. Try and provide them with natural light. 

Provide your snake with multiple hide boxes (just big enough for your snake to fit entirely under) and a dish of water that they can submerge themselves in. 

The substrate can be as simple as newspapers. That is the easiest to clean and the cheapest to replace. Ball pythons are not burrowing snakes, so you don’t have to have a deep layer substrate.

Make sure to keep your snake’s enclosure clean and their water full and clean as well. Replace the substrate at least once a week and spot clean every day. Replace water every day.

Feed your ball python once ever seven to ten days. A pre-killed, thawed mouse is best. Be sure the mouse is not bigger than the widest part of the snake’s head.

The black racer snake in South Florida

Black Corn Snake

Most corn snakes don’t go entirely black. However, a black corn snake is black and gray and I’ve seen some morphs that are nearly all black with just a patch of white. It has a subtle pattern. Overall, if you want a black snake, you can’t go wrong with a black corn snake.

Corn snakes are docile and small, so they are great pets for kids to have. Because they are popular breeds to keep as a pet snake, you’ll be able to find them just about anywhere.

Corn snakes are thin, about four feet long, and live up to 20 years. You need a 20-gallon tank to house a corn snake, but if you can get a bigger one, that would be better. You can’t go wrong with the extra space. Make sure that the enclosure is secure, because snakes are really good escape artists.

Add some climbing branches and a long, skinny hide, like a PVC pipe. Set the hide so that one end is on the cool side of the cage and one side is on the warm side of the cage. Always have a water dish that your snake can lay in without overflowing it.

The basking end of the cage should be about 85 degrees Fahrenheit, and the cool side can be around house temperature, or about the low 70’s. Provide natural light for them, as that helps with their natural sleep cycle. No additional lighting is required.

Corn snakes like to burrow, so provide a lot of loose substrate like aspen shavings. Avoid oily or treated woods. You can use newspaper, but it wouldn’t make the snake as happy.

If you use particle bedding like shavings, it might be a good idea to move your snake to a different location when you feed it so it doesn’t accidentally ingest the bedding.

Feed your corn snake every seven to ten days with a pre-killed, thawed mouse that is no bigger than the width their head. Adult corn snakes can also occasionally eat lizards.

Keep your cage clean and make sure the water is always fresh.

Pacific Gopher Snake

Once again, there is no pure black morph of a gopher snake. However, the Pacific gopher snake had black and brown spots.

Gopher snakes are notoriously curious and active during the day. They are docile and allow themselves to be handled easily. They are so common that they can be found even in your own backyard.

However, I wouldn’t recommend keeping a snake that you catch because they can carry a lot of parasites.

Gopher snakes are heavy and thick and grow to an average length of four feet. They live up to 15 years.

Gopher snakes are more active than the average snake, so they require some more space. A 30 or 40-gallon tank should suffice. Gopher snakes like to burrow more than they like to climb, so you don’t need to include any branches.

However, for substrate, you should provide a thick layer of loose, particle bedding, like aspen shavings. This will let gopher snakes burrow to their heart’s content.

Gopher snakes like it pretty dry. Their temperatures should range from the high 70’s on the cooler side of the enclosure to the mid 90’s in the basking side of the enclosure. They don’t require anything more than natural lighting. 

Provide a few hide boxes and a dish of fresh water big enough for your snake to lay in. Always make sure the water is clean. This could mean that you end up changing out the water more than once a day.

All snakes have the unfortunate habit of pooping in their water. I have no idea why.

Gopher snakes are pretty famous for their appetite. They will overeat if given the chance. So only offer food once a week. A pre-killed, thawed mouse that is the appropriate size is the best option.

Mexican Black King Snake

Lucky for you, the Mexican black king snake is completely black! You’ve got your wish!

Just like the previous snakes, king snakes are docile, easy to handle and grow to an average length of four feet. They have an average lifespan of around 20 years.

Despite being docile, keep in mind that king snakes are still wild and are perhaps more likely to bite you than the other snakes in the list (although still not likely to bite you overall)

King snakes require a little less space than the others and can live comfortably in a 20-gallon enclosure. Once again, make sure the enclosure is secure.

King snakes get their name because they like to eat other snakes, so never give them a roommate.

King snakes like to climb, so provide some branches as well as the typical hide boxes. They do better on dry substrates like newspaper. Avoid loose bedding like aspen shavings.

For the cool side of the enclosure, a temperature of the mid 70’s is great, and a temperature of around 85 degrees is great for the warmer side of the enclosure. Provide natural light.

Again, make sure they always have clean water in a dish big enough for them to soak in. Clean your cage as often as possible and change out the water daily.

Feed your king snake once or twice a week. A pre-killed, thawed, appropriately-sized mouse is the best option.

Related Questions

Where are most pet black snakes located? Black pet snakes originate from various parts of the world including North America, South America, and Australia. There is no central region that only contains black snakes. 

What breeds of snake are black? The most popular black snake is the black mamba, a highly poisonous snake that lives in South Africa. Other black snakes are results of morphs.