Top 7 Snake Species Commonly Kept As Pets

Snakes, with their slithering grace and fascinating patterns, have intrigued humans for centuries. For many reptile enthusiasts, keeping a snake as a pet offers a unique glimpse into the world of these captivating creatures. However, with over 3,000 species of snakes in the world, choosing the right one can be daunting. Here, we’ll explore the top 7 snake species that are commonly kept as pets, highlighting their characteristics, care requirements, and why they make excellent companions for reptile lovers.

1. Ball Python (Python regius)

Characteristics: Ball Pythons are known for their docile nature, making them a favorite among beginner snake owners. Their modest size, usually around 3 to 5 feet in length, makes them manageable and easy to handle. They come in a variety of color morphs, ranging from striking yellows to deep browns and blacks.

Care Requirements: These snakes require a warm and humid environment, mimicking their natural habitat in sub-Saharan Africa. A properly sized terrarium with hiding spots and a temperature gradient is essential. Ball Pythons are nocturnal, so they thrive with a diet of appropriately sized rodents, such as mice and rats.

Why They’re Popular: Their calm demeanor and low maintenance needs make them an ideal choice for both beginners and experienced snake enthusiasts. Plus, their beautiful colors and patterns make them a joy to observe.

2. Corn Snake (Pantherophis guttatus)

Characteristics: Corn Snakes are one of the most popular pet snake species due to their attractive appearance and gentle disposition. They typically grow to 3 to 5 feet long and come in a wide array of colors and patterns, known as morphs.

Care Requirements: These snakes are relatively easy to care for, requiring a securely lidded tank with hiding spots, a water dish, and a heat source to create a temperature gradient. They primarily eat mice and rats, making them simple to feed.

Why They’re Popular: Corn Snakes are known for their docile nature, making them excellent for handling. Their striking colors and patterns, such as the classic “albino” or “amelanistic” morphs, add to their appeal.

3. California Kingsnake (Lampropeltis californiae)

Characteristics: California Kingsnakes are highly adaptable and come in various colors and patterns. They’re usually around 3 to 4 feet in length and have a reputation for being hardy and easy to care for.

Care Requirements: These snakes require a secure enclosure with a temperature gradient, hiding spots, and a water dish. They have hearty appetites and readily accept a diet of mice and rats.

Why They’re Popular: California Kingsnakes are known for their vibrant colors, such as the striking black and white banded “banded” morph. They’re also active during the day, providing owners with ample opportunity for observation.

4. Rosy Boa (Lichanura trivirgata)

Characteristics: Rosy Boas are a smaller species, usually growing between 2 to 4 feet long. They have a stout build and come in various color patterns, including the popular “coastal” and “desert” morphs.

Care Requirements: These snakes do well in a moderately warm and dry environment, mimicking their native habitats in the southwestern United States. They prefer smaller prey items, such as mice, and should be provided with a hide and water dish.

Why They’re Popular: Rosy Boas are known for their calm demeanor and manageable size, making them great for snake enthusiasts with limited space. Their striking colors and patterns, especially in the “albino” or “hypo” morphs, add to their appeal.

5. Garter Snake (Thamnophis sirtalis)

Characteristics: Garter Snakes are unique among pet snakes for their distinct stripes and active personalities. They’re typically smaller, ranging from 1 to 3 feet in length, and are known for their curiosity.

Care Requirements: These snakes thrive in a semi-aquatic setup with a water feature, such as a shallow pond or large water bowl. They have a varied diet, including fish, amphibians, and insects, making them interesting to feed.

Why They’re Popular: Garter Snakes are ideal for owners interested in observing natural behaviors, such as swimming and basking. Their striking color patterns, especially in the “red-sided” or “checkered” morphs, make them a delight to watch.

6. Kenyan Sand Boa (Gongylophis colubrinus)

Characteristics: Kenyan Sand Boas are unique in appearance, with a stout body and small head. They’re relatively small, usually around 2 to 3 feet long, and have a gentle disposition.

Care Requirements: These snakes require a sandy substrate for burrowing, as they spend much of their time underground in the wild. They prefer warmer temperatures and should be provided with a heat source and hiding spots. Their diet consists of appropriately sized rodents.

Why They’re Popular: Kenyan Sand Boas are prized for their unusual appearance and calm demeanor. Their small size and simple care needs make them an excellent choice for beginners and experienced snake owners alike.

7. Carpet Python (Morelia spilota)

Characteristics: Carpet Pythons are a bit larger than the previously mentioned species, often reaching lengths of 5 to 7 feet or more. They come in various colors and patterns, with some individuals displaying striking iridescence.

Care Requirements: These snakes require a spacious enclosure with climbing branches, as they are arboreal by nature. They also need a temperature gradient, humidity control, and a diet of appropriately sized rodents.

Why They’re Popular: Carpet Pythons are sought after for their beauty and intelligence. While they require more space and specialized care compared to smaller species, their impressive size and stunning appearance make them a rewarding pet for dedicated reptile enthusiasts.

In conclusion, snakes make fascinating and rewarding pets for those willing to provide the necessary care and attention. Whether you’re a beginner looking for a docile companion or an experienced owner seeking a more exotic species, the diverse world of pet snakes offers something for everyone. Remember to always research the specific needs of any snake species before bringing one home, ensuring a happy and healthy life for your scaly friend.

Similar Articles



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular