Captive breeding green snakes

I know the vast majority of rough/smooth greensnakes available are wild caught, but does anyone here ever try to breed them captive?

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I’d be interested in knowing this too.

I used to green rough green snakes. My adults were WC and their breeding requirements were similar to other North American colubrids. I can offer a few tips. Provide UVB, adjusting photo periods to match wild conditions based on time of year. Brumate from November to March, gradually decreasing the temperature to 50 degrees. I paired them 30 days after coming out of brumation. Also, I found that feeding waxworms helped the animals put on weight after brumation to prepare for the breeding season. Females may nest communally if housed together. I was successful in incubating the eggs at 85 degrees.


Very cool! Are they a reptile you’d say ‘needs’ uvb? I know there’s some debate that such-and-such animal doesn’t need it but does benefit from it and I’m curious where greensnakes sit in that.

(I’m not as educated reptile-wise as most on here but I know my science of vision and light so take what I say and add it to what others here say.)

Uvb is essential to any animal for it to grow 100% healthy, (I’m not saying people that don’t use it have unhealthy animals, just if they used it they would be healthier.) It is absorbed by the skin and help the process of cholesterol changing into a vitamin called d3. The wavelength of uvb is different to uva and can’t tan the skin like uva unless under extreme circumstances.
This is simple terms.

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Green Snakes definitely need UVB. Lack of UVB exposure is one of the main reasons why so many WC Green Snakes do not adjust to captivity and slowly die.


Me and my gf were just talking about these guys today. And not only interested in trying to breed but wondering also are they strict on the insect diet or can they be convinced to eat say the tiniest of mice pinks or even mice pieces? Seems if they could successfully it would make keeping good weight for breeding a snap.

Adult green snakes are large enough to take tiny rodents, but they won’t. Also, I imagine it is not good for an animal that is built to eat invertebrates to be kept on a rodent diet, which is way higher in fat. I don’t believe that a green snake kept that way would be healthy. A rodent diet is just way too different from their natural diet. I had no trouble maintaining a healthy weight on my animals with a diet of crickets and waxworms.


Thanks for the info it’s kinda exciting to think these guys have yet to get big in the community but maybe, just maybe, could. Though I’d assume their small size would make it unlikely. Most people I’d think want big and bold.

Tiny snakes are severely underrated, imo. I’m hoping that captive breeding of them becomes more common though, as there’s some evidence I’ve seen that they’re declining in the wild.

The problem is price. Buyers don’t want to pay what a captive bred animal is worth when they could just buy a cheap WC animal (that often will not survive). This is why I stopped breeding them. It just wasn’t worth all the work and money I put into the project only to have customers expect to pay $15 for an animal.

Hell I’d see a successfully healthy bred animal going for 75 easy. That’s crazy people would only pay 15 for a bred animal… Sometimes the market is such a disappointment.

I hear ya. Personally I’d be glad to pay fair market price for a healthy captive bred greensnake but I admit my curiosity is mostly a passion project and not necessarily for money. If I ever wanted to try raising them, I’d be fully prepared to sell them at quite a loss (its hard to make money on breeding in general but one can hope to break even sometimes)

I just think they’re neat!

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ive seen WC rough greens sold for $50 and sold well.

i bought a WC rough green snake, i paid $30 for him. i want to maybe eventually try breeding them, i absolutely love him. hes a great eater!


Pretty sure that any critter that feeds on invertebrates will need a source for Vitamin D. The bones in a mouse/lizard meal provides that. But if he’s eating worms, he’s gonna need the sunlight/UVB. Green snakes are gorgeous!