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Colubrid Snake Care Sheet

Tree Snakes

COLUBRID SNAKE CARE SHEET

We are lucky enough in Victoria to be able to sell several species of snakes in pet shops. The following are known as colubrid and they are just as easy as pythons to look after!

Common Tree Snake (Dendrelaphis punctulata)

Common Tree snakes make excellent pets, they grow to about an average of 120cm but can grow to 200cm.  They are diurnal meaning they are active during the day.  They have a sleek slender body with long, very thin tail.  Distinctive ridge extends along outer edges of belly making shed skins easily identifiable.  Wide colour ranges from green, olive, brown & black to rare blue-grey on upper body.  Belly yellow or creamy, with bright yellow present on throat.  Some specimens with blue or grey belly but generally maintain the yellow coloration above the ventral ridges.  Skin between the scales when spread show as a light sky blue especially after consuming a meal larger than its body diameter or when defensive.

Eye appears large comparative to head.  They readily eat fish, healthy goldfish for larger individuals are ideal whilst smaller hatchling will eat small feeder fish like tetras.  They can be trained to eat from the water bowl or direct from tongs.  As they have a faster metabolism, it is best to feed them more frequently than pythons twice a week being ideal.  As they are diurnal a quality 5.0 UVB globe is recommended during the day light hours.  A thermal gradient of 24.c – 32.c in there enclosure with a slightly higher humidity.  As they are arboreal a slighter higher enclosure is recommended, 90cmx45cm x90cm is ample!

Slatey Grey Snake (Stegonotus cucullatus)

Another interesting Colubrid is the Slatey Grey snake, this feisty nocturnal snake is very hard to find in captivity we are lucky enough to source captive bred animals. The same requirements as the common tree snake is fine except they like to have a large water bowl to soak in and the enclosure does not need to be quite as high.  They get the name when they come into a shed they go an amazing slatey grey color! 130cm is a full sized animal.  They are quite small as hatchings so they feed on small feeder fish, but when large enough they will readily eat defrosted rodents.

Keelback  (Tropidonophis mairii)

Fresh water snakes, commonly called keelbacks are another interesting small colubrid species you can keep on a basic licence in Victoria.  They do well in a fish tank but a reptile enclosure that’s 90cmx45cmx45cm is ample.  They are a small species averaging 50cm in length.  With the same housing and feeding requirements as the Common Tree Snakes.Slatey grey snake

Overview

All in all the above species are very interesting reptiles to keep.  They are a lot more active when handled compared to Carpet Pythons so care will need to be taken as they are very fast and can escape quite easily.  Probably not the best for kids as they can sometimes be a little aggressive and flighty. If you have any more queries regarding these species please feel free to contact us.

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