Small Snake Species List

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Mojo's Mom

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Okay, so I was talking to my family and they all agreed it would be okay to get a snake as long as it was a smaller one. Nothing like an Anaconda (well, that's obvious;)) but realistically nothing like a
Columbian Boa or anything that gets over you know, like eight feet.

So that really narrows down my choices. I asked about maybe getting a Brazilian Rainbow Boa (they are GORGEOUS x10) but that was too big, and they are usually 5-8 feet.

That leaves me thinking, if I want a snake, it better be a tiny one. So I googled snake species that stay under five feet. It came up with the Kenyan Sand Boa, which it said it got to be about a foot and a half, is this true?

Then as I was thinking about the Sand Boa, I remembered I saw one in a pet store along with another snake called a Rosy Boa, so I googled that and it said that it usually stays around 3 feet. It was kinda funny because it said "...the record size for the Rosy Boa is 48 inches, but behemoths like this only come around rarely..." (I love how they use the word behemoth!) Anyways, is this true too?

So, now I come to my conclusion, are there any other small (or microscopic) species that would be good for a beginner and wouldn't be hard to care for, is easily avaible (well, by easy I mean if I went to a reptile show, would I see one?) and comes in several different morphs so I can have a lot to choose from? And also, are the two species I mentioned above really on the "small snake species list"? And any info on them is highly appreciated!

I figured we could create a "small snake species list" so that everyone who wants a snake but is kind of not wanting one of the "behemoths" can maybe have one.

Thanks!
 

lisa127

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corn snake
ball python
spotted or childrens python
western hognose snake
sand boa
rosy boa
many kingsnakes and milksnakes
 

Cowboy_Ken

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Rubber boa
Ring necks
(Sand boas are very low impact snakes that spend most if their time buried in the substrate if set up properly.)
Me, I'd go with the more colorful, display type snakes of the milk family.
 

Len B

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What ever you decide on, factor in what you are going to feed it. I say this because some snakes that eat mice can not eat a full grown adult mouse, The Mexican Milk Snake is a good example of one that can't eat a large mouse,I know, I had one for 18 years. Just make sure you can have easy access to whatever food you need. Have fun with your new snake.
 

StudentoftheReptile

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There's a lot of small snakes out there, but many are actually not well-adapted for the average keeper. I specifically did not mention rubber boas because they are almost exclusive lizard-eaters and are a pain to convert to a rodent diet. Ringnecks are similar. Crowned snakes eat centipedes. Where/how are you going to find centipedes on a regular basis to feed a crowned snake? [rhetorical question]

A Dekay's brown snake is not a bad choice if you can locate one. They are small, similar to garter snakes, and eat earthworms. Put them in a tank full of clean dirt with some decorations, and they're probably one of the easiest snakes in the world to care for. Not very aggressive, although small ones can be squirmy.
 

tortadise

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I have always had a huge liking to the Solomon Island ground boas. Males are very small and females are twice the size of the males. Females stay around 2-3' have beautiful markings and disposition to them. You can always go with colubrids too(kings, milks, rats, and corns)
 

Cowboy_Ken

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StudentoftheReptile said:
There's a lot of small snakes out there, but many are actually not well-adapted for the average keeper. I specifically did not mention rubber boas because they are almost exclusive lizard-eaters and are a pain to convert to a rodent diet. Ringnecks are similar. Crowned snakes eat centipedes. Where/how are you going to find centipedes on a regular basis to feed a crowned snake? [rhetorical question]

A Dekay's brown snake is not a bad choice if you can locate one. They are small, similar to garter snakes, and eat earthworms. Put them in a tank full of clean dirt with some decorations, and they're probably one of the easiest snakes in the world to care for. Not very aggressive, although small ones can be squirmy.

Concerning rubber boas, they feed easiest on deer mice pups. At least in captivity. I'm not so sure you could own one though do to restrictions on offering for sale, trade or otherwise is illegal. They are not for the novice keeper. They're abundant here in Oregon if one looks where they are.
 

jtrux

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You mentioned Rainbow boas and that they might be too long but keep in mind that they are not a large snake, relatively small bodied. I had a Columbian Rainbow boa years back and it was a really nice snake and i'd recommend it.
 

StudentoftheReptile

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Also keep in mind, that males of most species are relatively smaller than females. For example, the aforementioned rainbow boas; males rarely get past 3 ft, when females will get to the 5 ft marker.
 

Floof

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Rosy boas and Sand boas are both great snakes. My Rosy boas have both been very active snakes, where Sand boas are infamous for burrowing under the aspen and never coming out. However, they do both stay small and come in a nice variety of morphs/localities.

The Antaresia pythons are fantastic snakes that stay small--the smallest of the pythons. Children's and Spotted pythons are the easiest species in this genus to find, and, IIRC, the least expensive as well. They don't have any morphs, though, at least not that I am aware of.

Hognose snakes are awesome little guys. They do have morphs, though the morphs can be expensive. I haven't kept one but have heard quite a lot about their great personalities. One turn off might be that, technically speaking, they are very mildly rear-fanged venomous. It is harmless to humans unless you develop an allergy. Besides that, they are not known for biting in the first place.

Like Student, one of those that came to mind when you said "tiny" was African House Snake. These are touted to be very docile, and they most certainly do stay very small! IIRC, there's a few different subspecies to pick from, and one or two of them have an Albino variant available.

Corn snakes aren't "tiny" by any means, but they are fantastic snakes and do not get large--usually seeming to average around 4 feet and 1 to 1.5 lbs in weight (very slender snakes). They do not need to eat anything larger than an adult mouse, ever. I have always fed my past and present adults a single adult mouse every 2 weeks.

King snakes, Milk snakes, Gopher snakes, and North American Rat snakes are all good ones to look into, as well. Not all of these have morphs to speak of, but these four groups present a very wide variety of options. I have a San Diego gopher snake and have found him to be an absolute joy to interact with. Mine is a wild-type, but there is an Albino variant of SD gopher that is stunning.

Garters and Ribbons were mentioned. These are also great snakes, but definitely different from your usual options. They have unusual diets for captives: Garter snakes can be taught to recognize mice as food, but their natural diet also includes earthworms, slugs, fish. Ribbon snakes, from all that I have read and been told by those who keep them, are more difficult on the rodent front and respond best to fish prey. Both tend to be somewhat diurnal and active, which makes them great for display. Garter snakes can be surprisingly social and interactive pets compared to most other snakes. When it comes to variety, there is a nice number of species/subspecies in the Thamnophis (Garter/ribbon) genus to pick from, and a couple subspecies of Garter Snake also have quite a few morphs to pick from.


Hope you don't mind--I kind of wrote a novel, lol! Hopefully this helps your decision, rather than making it harder. :p
 

MikeCow1

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Green snakes are an option. Very slender usually 2-3 feet long. My mother had one for years and just fed it crickets and other insects
 
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