Thinking about a Rhino ratsnake?

Hey all!

So I only have a ball python at the moment, but I was seriously considering a rhino ratsnake recently. I have a more arboreal enclosure, and was just looking for a bit of advice since how to keep them is a little more sparse!

My biggest question is how do they handle, and are they a good display animal? I know they like to climb and need a water feature, but can I expect to see them out basking often? I also heard they’re quite spazzy and wild, as most other ratsnakes. However I’ve also heard a lot of people say they’re calm, so it’s a bit hard to judge. I’d be a bit more hesitant to get one if they’re constantly wild and trying to bite, I won’t lie.

Also, where would the best place to get one be? I really, really like the high blue individuals (I know there a full blues, but those are too rare and expensive) that look more teal, but I know I wouldn’t be able to know if I just bought a random baby. Is there anyone that specializes in these? Thanks for any answers!


There are a lot of people that work with these, a handful of names that come to mind (in no particular order):

Rob Stone
Owen McIntyre/Rogue Reptile
Justin Smith/The Herpetoculture Network
Terry Burwell

I would absolutely recommend to reaching out to any/all of them and getting first-hand info, they are all very approachable and happy to chat (just be respectful of their time)

But as a whirlwind from having spoken to all of them and listened to all of them on podcasts…

Biggest thing to be aware of is that these animals need to be kept at cooler temps. They should not have sustained temps over mid-80s max but do much better at low 80s to upper 70s. They also greatly benefit from a good cool down in winter (as in they have been observed actively out and hunting down to 40)

Any individual animal will have its own personality but as a whole they tend to be very calm once out of their cage and aware it is not food time. But they are very food oriented and may strike/bite if you just reach in without using a hook or something to break the response. I know at least three of the four I mentioned above have readily let children (their own or siblings) handle them once out of the cage. They also tend to bee very gregarious and happily bask out in the open, but again YMMV