Rare pet snakes
Snake enthusiasts are faced with an embarrassment of riches these days…with so many interesting and formerly rare species being bred, choosing a pet can be very difficult. Today I’d like to spotlight several species that are hardy enough for beginners yet so interesting that they are also favored by specialists and zoos – the Garter, Rat and King Snakes and the Rosy Boa and Ball Python. Please see the articles linked below or write in for detailed husbandry information.
Rosy Boa, Lichanura trivirgata
Common and Red-Tailed Boa Constrictors are among the world’s most popular snakes, but their large size makes them impractical in many collections. The beautiful Rosy Boa, which tops out at a bit over 3 feet long, is a far better choice for most folks.
Many people do not realize that 2 boas are found in the USA, the Rosy and the Rubber Boa (more on this interesting little fellow in the future). Ranging from southern California and southwestern Arizona through Sonora, Mexico, the Rosy Boa is something of a “big snake in a small package”, and provides a great introduction to constrictor-keeping.
Calm in demeanor, it is a good choice for those who want a handle able snake. A wide variety of captive-bred color strains are available, and those wishing to breed snakes will be pleasantly surprised at how cooperative the Rosy Boa can be. They are live bearers, so breeders are spared the trouble of incubating eggs, and the 3-6 young typically produced are large enough to accept pink mice.
Garter Snakes, Thamnophis spp.
Over 30 species of these attractive, interesting snakes may be found in North America. Garter Snakes are ideal for those who enjoy setting up planted, naturalistic terrariums, where they will readily display all of their normal behaviors and even breed. Their young are born alive, and are easy to rear.
Unlike many snakes, Garters are quite active and have high metabolisms – ideal for those who enjoy feeding their charges. They do well on small fishes and earthworms – a bonus for people who prefer not to use rodents as food.