We all have natural fears based on survival. Snakes are one of the most feared reptiles we encounter regularly. I was no different initially, but I decided I was tired of being afraid of things that I obviously had a size advantage over. I guess it wasn’t a true fear, but if it wasn’t contained, I wasn’t fuckin with it. Anyways, I came across a particular type of snake that was just so cute to me and I wanted to learn more. Why did some snakes seem so appealing while others just radiated “not today or any other day”? I ended up learning a lot about snake types, visual and species differences, and most importantly behavioral differences. Needless to say, I learned about what I feared and now I don’t fear them anymore. That’s a blog for another day though. I just wanted to break the ice so there’s no misinterpretation on why I’m posting this now. I felt like it's a great time to try and share some of the knowledge I’ve learned to help lessen the blow for others. These are some of the snakes I would love to have, captive bred and raised of course.
- Ball Pythons
Ball pythons are one of the most common in the pet trade. Even though most notable snake memories are of a burmese python, that get way larger, these are the snakes that started all for me. The first time I saw that little puppy dog face, I was in love! To see a snake be timid and hide like an armadillo was fascinating to me. When they feel threatened, they literally curl up into a ball. Yes, anything with teeth can bite. Ball pythons tend to be a bit more passive than some other species. The fact that they aren’t too squirmy was something that appealed to me also. They just seem to have a very relaxed disposition about them. Not to mention that they are available in a variety of morphs (color patterns). They really are beautiful animals. I have a morph list that I adore, but nothing beats a normal in my book.
- Green Tree Python & Emerald Tree Boa
I grouped these together because they can seem identical. They’re both green, look mean, and are completely arboreal. While these snakes are known to be more nippy, they aren’t as socialized as other species. Many are wild caught, so they are true wild animals. Fortunately, there are breeders that care more about the well being of the animals than turning a profit. My curiosity piqued about these snakes because of their stunning green color and how statuesque they perch. If you never saw one, you could easily mistake either for a work of ark. As similar as these snakes are, they aren’t even related. The pythons have white spots or points, while the boas tend to have staggered lines or bars. Pythons have points, boas have bars. These are delicate species that should only be kept by advanced snake keepers due to their habitat demands. They are a rainforest species, and that can be difficult to duplicate and maintain. I’m not there yet, but a girl can definitely research, practice and dream.
- Rainbow Boas
This is another pair that are actually related. Some snakes have a natural iridescent sheen to their scales, hence the name Rainbow Boa. There are 2 types that I would love to raise, the Colombian and the Brazilian. The reasoning is down to pattern difference. The brazilian is a bit more vibrant than the Colombian, but the brown coloration on the Colombian is still a sight to marvel. These snakes are more active than Ball Pythons, but still not as squirrely as corn and king snakes. Again, these are a rainforest species so they require dedication to their setup to thrive. They aren’t as delicate as the Emerald Tree Boa or the Green Tree Python, but they still have demanding parameters. I still have some work to do before these become a reality, but I’m confident that I can get there with some time and effort.
There are plenty of other snakes that are common in the pet trade that I didn’t mention. Also, everything that I listed is non-venomous. The temperaments are based on overall observations, but each individual animal has its own characteristics. (Yes, even snakes) If anything you saw made you curious, I have websites listed with more info about each species. I also included a list of beginner snakes that includes a few that didn’t make my list.