I’m starting to look into getting another species of snake. So far, I have sand boas, hognoses, and geckos. I’m looking for a small species of snake (colubrid-like, but I don’t care if it’s actually a colubrid or not). I don’t want anything that would need larger than a 2’ enclosure as an adult. Something handleable and active would be nice, but it’s not a requirement. I would breed them, but being easy to breed isn’t necessary. I want something unique, but not super expensive ($800/animal for something I like is going to be the upper limit). The things I came up with were mexican black kingsnakes, cali kings, gray-banded kings, and african house snakes. I feel like there’s not really a demand for MBKs if I were to breed them, and they don’t seem as enjoyable as the other 3 to keep. I see cali kings all the time at shows, so I’m leaning towards getting gray-banded kings and african house snakes.
If anyone has any ideas of any small, unique snakes that fit the requirements or recommendations/advice on gray-banded kings or house snakes it would help.
If I get gray-banded kingsnakes to breed, is it worth spending more to get 2 of the same locality or should I not worry about it (I would likely be selling mainly to the local market, and a little bit online)?
I know it’s not on your list, but might I suggest garter snakes? They do require a little work to get handleable, but they do get there! They’re livebearers, which gets rid of having to incubate. They also thrive when housed together (and should always be kept in at least a pair). There are some pretty neat morphs & combos, localities, species, etc. Oh, and I’ve seen more demand for them recently, at least in my area.
Thanks for the advice everyone! These were the exact responses I was hoping to get. These are all pretty cool ideas, so these are all going on the wishlist. @lumpy I love those! I looked into them a while ago, but forgot about them. Those are a top contender, they look absolutely stunning, and are unique and inexpensive. @noodlehaus I’ve never really had an interest in garters, but I just pulled them up on MM and some of the morphs are pretty cool looking, I do think a colony of garters would be fun to have, so I’m going to be doing more research into this. @patriotballs I just looked these guys up and they are super cool looking, I don’t know anything about them, but I’m looking into them. @scaledcanvas File snakes are pretty neat, those are worth putting some effort into researching. Rosy’s seem like a fun species to keep. The others you mentioned aren’t super appealing to me for some reason (even though they’re cool snakes). But, thanks for the input, it gives me more to look into.
I second your thoughts for gray-banded kings as well as @scaledcanvas suggestion of rosy boas. I enjoy the ones I have of both. If going for either, I would recommend sticking with localities and/or morphs.
Another one to consider that I’ve really taken a liking to since I started keeping them are Nuevo León kingsnakes (aka variable kingsnakes). My trio is curious and interactive, never giving me the attitude that the occasional Cali king or MBK individual has been known to.
The next snake species I want to acquire myself that sounds like it could fit much of your criteria too is a Baird’s rat snake.
I made a table of all the species I’m considering, and gray-banded kings, rosy’s, and bamboo rat snakes are at the top of the list (in that order). @spottedbull@scissortailscales what’s your experience with gray-banded kings? Are they calm and easy to handle, or fast and hard to handle? How active are yours and when are they active, do you see them out often or are they usually hidden?
We have had our adult male, King Louis, for about 4 years. He is a dream to handle! He is often out and about in his enclosure. We got him at 3 yo and have used him for many years in our animal classes. He eats really well and everyone just loves him. Can’t say enough about how well he handles. My wife wouldn’t take a million dollars for him. We also have an younger female that is a bit more of a free spirit but she isn’t handled quite as frequently. But still, is just a super snake to get out and handle and let her explore. Neither of them have ever snipped or bitten or hissed or huffed or anything. They are just really great snakes. I always tell people that are interested in getting their first snake to look at a grey-banded first.
Mine have been rather quick and not necessarily the easiest to handle as babies, but as they have gained size, they’ve also gained confidence and become much more easy and enjoyable to handle. The flighty baby stage doesn’t last too long in my experience though.
They’re also out and about at multiple times throughout the day either just hanging out in plain sight in their enclosure or more actively “exploring” their enclosure. Unless they’re in shed, almost without fail I can count on seeing them out and about from their hides daily.
These are seeming to be a really good species for me. I love how they look, and I think I would really enjoy keeping and breeding them. I should be able to keep them in the same rack as my sand boas and hognoses and the babies in my hatchling rack, which would make things way easier. It looks like brumation is necessary to breed them, but that won’t be a problem since I have an unused wine cooler that I can use, and I’m planning on brumating my hognoses in. It’s still going to take a while to come up with the money for these (I spent a lot on a male hognose, and I want to buy a few other, unrelated things first), which should give me time to learn more about these and get things set up.
Rubbers are great. That said, they have some pretty specific requirements that need to me met or they will not thrive. Most important is that they absolutely need to be brumated. No ifs. No ands. No buts. You also cannot push them to breeding size, expect at least four years but more realistically six before you get a breeder female. Males are very prone to going off feed for long periods. And starting babies can be extremely difficult. And they definitely need more than a 60cm cage
I say these things not to steer you away from them, I just see too many people get into rubbers with very little knowledge of the species and then the animals suffer for it
I would agree with this with two caveats:
As above, these need bigger than a 60cm cage. I would go a minimum of 120cm
ALWAYS buy an animal that is well established on rodents. These have, hands down, been one of the most difficult species to transition over for me and I can understand why a lot of people give up. Once they are established on mice they become garbage disposals and you can feed a diverse diet, but before that they are so hard-wired to lizards that it is crazy
If you are willing to lose a litre of blood, I whole-heartedly recommend kukri snakes