A pet snake is not like any other pet. Even if these reptiles are far from being the animals that require the most maintenance, they still require precise breeding conditions to respect. One of the criteria to take into account is the size of your snake because it will have to be given a more or less important place in your home.
Therefore, snakes that keep a small size as adults are very interesting. But what size pet snake should you choose? In this article, we have made a ranking of the 7 best small snakes for pets.
7. Ball Python (Python Regius)
The Ball Python is a very popular species among terrariums. Its docile and calm behavior makes it an interesting animal to breed in captivity.
Moreover, this snake measures only 4ft (1.2m) on average when adult, which is still reasonable.
Its only disadvantage is that it requires a particularly quiet place without too much traffic because it tends to get stressed easily. The handling must also be done meticulously to avoid stressing the animal.
Apart from that, this reptile is a very good choice for a beginner. In addition, due to a considerable increase in its breeding in captivity, there are now a large number of colors and patterns available.
6. Children’s Python (Antaresia Childreni)
Still in the Pythonidae family, we find the Children’s Python. This snake is only 3ft (1m) long and requires very little maintenance. Due to its small size, you will need a 36″ x 24″ x 24″ (90cm x 60cm x 60cm) terrarium.
The temperament of this snake is quite calm and docile, which makes it very easy to handle. It is also very easy to feed, as it is content with small frozen rodents.
5. Sand Boa (Eryx Colubrinus)
The Sand Boa is a species of snake belonging to the Boidae family. This snake measures on average between 1.3ft and 2.3ft (45cm and 70cm). It is very appreciated for its nice color combinations: either orange and brown or yellow and brown.
For this reptile, you will need a 1.5ft (45cm) desert terrarium, which is very easy to place in a house. Again, this snake has a docile demeanor and is easy to care for. Be careful not to handle it too much though, as it doesn’t like it too much. Its food consists of small frozen rodents to be given once every 7 to 10 days.
4. Brown / African House Snake (Boadeon Fulginosus)
As its name suggests, the Brown House Snake is a species very accustomed to living in captivity. With an average size of 2ft (60cm), this snake is perfectly suited for small spaces. All you will need is a 32 “x16 “x16” (80cm x 40cm x 40cm) terrarium. As this reptile is native to Africa, the habitat design should be desert-like.
As for food, the African House Snake only needs one mouse every 7 to 10 days. With its calm temperament, it is also very good at handling.
This snake is generally recommended for people with limited space in their homes. Moreover, it is also appreciated for its atypical colors.
3. Common Garter Snake (Thamnophis Sirtalis)
The Common Garter Snake is a native species in North America. This snake measures an average of 1.8ft (55cm), an ideal size for living in captivity. You can make do with a 24″ (60cm) terrarium to ensure a comfortable living space. Most of these specimens have yellow stripe patterns on a brown, black or green background.
The particularity of this snake is that it is a water snake. That’s why you should absolutely provide it with a basin of water so that it can immerse itself. Its food is also made up of small fish that you can give it live or frozen.
2. King Snake (Lampropeltis)
Lampropeltis is a genus of snakes made up of 45 subspecies. More often referred to as King Snakes, these harmless reptiles are very small in size and are suitable for beginners. On average, they measure only 3.3ft (1m), although some of them reach 4.5ft (1.4m).
They are easily handled and bite very little. For these snakes, you will need to look for a 32 “x16 “x16” (80cm x 40cm 40cm) desert type terrarium.
Popular species include the California Kingsnake (Lampropeltis californiae) and the Milk Snake (Lampropeltis triangulum).
1. Western Hognose Snake (Heterodon Nasicus)
The Western Hognose Snake is the ideal species if you are looking for both a cute and atypical animal. This reptile measures only 1.5ft to 1.7ft (45cm to 50cm) for a male and 2.7ft (80cm) for a female. With this size, a terrarium between 16″ x12 “x12” (40cm x 30cm x 30cm) and 24 “x16 “x16” (60cm x 40cm x 40cm) will be ideal. If you don’t have a lot of space for your future pet snake, the Western Hognose Snake is perfect for you !
This snake has a small head that is the same size as the rest of its body. What makes this species so charming is its small raised scale on the tip of its head that looks like a beak.
This species is opisthodont, which means that each specimen has uncanulated fangs in the posterior part of their jaw. Even if its bite is deadly for some other animals, it is not dangerous for humans because its saliva mixes with its venom and makes the latter harmless. However, its bite can still cause swelling and pain in the affected area.
Advantages of Small Pet Snakes
Small Pet snakes offer many advantages in captivity and make them more accessible. Indeed, it can be complicated to allocate a living space for an 8ft (2.5m) long specimen like the Boa Constrictor. On the other hand, it will be much easier to find a place for a specimen measuring only 3ft (1m).
Secondly, small snakes require much less food intake. And less food means less money to spend on it. Smaller specimens usually only need one small mouse per meal, while larger species will need to feed on rabbits, which is much more expensive. This is especially important if you have a small budget.
Finally, another advantage of small snakes is handling. It will be easier for you to handle a small animal safely than a large specimen (2m) that weighs about 20 pounds, especially if you are a beginner. Therefore, a small snake is both more practical and safer for you.
Small pet snakes are therefore the perfect compromise for beginners or for the experienced.
There you have it, you now have all the information you need to start your adventure and buy your small pet snake. If you’re looking for more information on the life of these reptiles in captivity, we have several articles that might be helpful. For example, we have written an article in which we give all of our tips and tricks on snake feeding. We have also covered the subject of setting up a snake terrarium in which you will learn how to make your pet’s living space as pleasant as possible.
Finally, don’t hesitate to subscribe to our newsletter to receive our new articles exclusively. You can also give us your feedback on your adventure as a terrariophile in the comments. We will be happy to discuss with you !