Snake Breed Searching

Hello everyone! This is probably going to sound ridiculous, but I might as well come out with it, right?

So, I’ve been getting into reptiles and I have to say that snakes have found a very special place in my heart. I want one, I have the time, motivation, and determination to keep one and am fully aware of the commitment I’m making when I acknowledge their long-lived lifespans. There’s a slight…possibly major problem, though. All signs point to me getting a Ball Python, since they check off the most of my required boxes. But they aren’t exactly what I want. They’re tricky eaters, easily susceptible to stress, and not quite as active as I would like, among some other things. Of course, I’m willing to settle for a Ball Python as I’m very aware that it’s possible that the breed of snake I’m looking for very well may not even exist. My ‘requirement boxes’ are below:

  • Lays Eggs

  • Minimum Of 4 To 5 Feet In Length

  • Females Of The Species Don’t Get Longer Than 7 Feet

  • Moderately Heavy Bodied

  • Decent Eater

Morphs are nice, but usually, I can do without them. A friend of mine recommended Bullsnakes to me, and they’re on the top of my list to go see and check out in person. (In fact, they’re the only breed.) But breed suggestions from everyone else on this forum are very, very welcome!

I would recommend a black rat snake (or any of the Eastern rat snake variations, though most sources say black rats get the longest). The females will get at least 4 feet and often get closer to 6 feet. I have seen males in the wild get close to 8 feet. They eat everything, generally have less attitude than bull snakes especially once worked with, aren’t as heavy bodied but are still a decent size, and are extremely active and inquisitive. They are semi-arboreal as well so you can make a nice display tank for them. Here is a picture of my albino striped black rat snake;


She is 6’1".

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With all that in mind I would suggest carpet pythons.

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Could go the boa route and get a dwarf central american. Only thing they dont meet is laying eggs. They are live bearers so I dont know if that is a deal breaker for you.

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Curious why egg layer is on your list? Being a single pet it seems like an unusual requirement.

I would 2nd bull snakes and carpets.

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Rat snakes are a great choice for you. Everything @ashleyraeanne said…

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Personally with that checklist id go with a rat snake

If your looking for an egg layer with the rest of your requirements, as others have said carpets are a great option. Also wombas or Bismark ringed pythons could potentially fit your needs, from my research they are larger snakes that are not aggressive but very food motivated. If budget is an issue they are definitely more expensive as they are less common in the hobby.

BRP are not beginner snakes. The are very food driven, and if they are not socialized young and raised, they are very mean. They are in the same family as White Lipped Pythons.

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Why do you prefer an egg laying species? Bull snakes might fit some of your requirements

Thanks for all the responses, everyone!

First, I see the repeated question of, “Why does the snake have to be an egg layer?” and to that I have to say I’m not really comfortable talking about it in depth, but it has to do with a traumatic experience, and the want to avoid that experience and the memories of it when the time comes that I want to breed my future snake. I hope that explanation is satisfactory enough without having to dig up emotionally heavy stuff.

Next, I’ve knocked off Bismark Ringed Pythons but have kept Bullsnakes on my list and added Eastern/Black Rat Snakes—@ashleyraeanne your black rat snake is beautiful by the way, I’m guessing she’s a bit abnormal in a way due to her coloration?

I’m a bit confused about the Carpet Python recommendation, though. I assume you guys mean the existence of a type of locality Carpet Python, since the only Carpet Pythons I have seen are quite big in girth and length.

As far as carpet, Darwin, Papuan, and Jungle check all your boxes.

Oh wow, I have to say that the Darwin Carpet Python has definitely caught my eye, more so than any Bullsnakes or Ratsnake. I’ll put it on my list to go see in person for sure. Hopefully I’ll be able to look at an adult in person at an expo or something, although they mostly have Ball Pythons and Boas.

Woma pythons pretty much hit every one of your check marks. I love them. They have a huge prey drive and are very food motivated. If you place your hand in a tank with a hungry woma you will probably be bitten. That being said their heads are very small and the bite isn’t bad. It is also very easy to tap train them with a snake hook and will get out of food mode fairly easily. Once they are out of food mode they are great to handle. They are supper active in and out of their home.

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Dumril Boas hit most of the things your looking for, they are great eaters, they dont get as big as BCI or BCC do, plus they have great attitudes, (from what I have read) and they are not a too heavily bodied snake, they also have a long lifespan. :v

Add Short-tailed pythons to your list, particularly Sumatran. Good feeding response, amazing color/morphs/patterns, good length and nice heft for handling, and CBB are usually nicely handleable without being a wet noodle.
I second bull/gopher and ratsnakes, though I tend to prefer heavier-bodied snakes.
Add kingsnakes (personal favorites are California, Eastern, and Mexican Black).