Introducing to you our top 5 picks for intermediate snake. This isn’t to say that these top 5 snakes in today’s list aren’t snakes you can have as a beginner keeper. They’re merely just species that require a little bit more research in preparation in order to take care of properly
Plains Hognose Snake
Plains hognose snakes they are adorable snakes. They’re generally pretty docile and easy to handle. They also stay a relatively small size females only get to about 3 feet as adults and males stick closer to about 2 feet so males and females can comfortably live in a 20 gallon tank or equivalent size bin as adults. Additionally Plains hognose snakes are pretty available and actually increasingly available as more breeders are producing them. Another pro to Plains hognose snakes is that they’re virtually aren’t any taken from the wild. They are pretty much all bred in captivity nowadays. which means they’re hardyer than wild caught specimens because of this their price is in the middle of the road. For a normal hognose snake you can expect to pay around eighty to a hundred dollars but if you were to ask us five years ago. They’re probably only forty or fifty dollars. With the rising popularity of hognose snakes. Their prices have increased slightly. They’re still not terrible there are also many morphs available too. You can find color morphs like albinos pretty easily and you can find anaconda or conda phase hognose snakes. Which is a pattern morph and both of those are pretty basic morphs that are fairly readily available or easy to find. If you want something a little bit fancier. You can also get something like a lavender morph or a sable. Another pro to Plains hognose snakes is that rodents make a complete diet for them as long as they’re willing to eat rodents. Which brings me to the cons of hognose snakes. In the wild plains hognose snakes eat primarily toads and other amphibians. In captivity they’re inclined to refuse to eat rodents all together. Something in their mind is telling them that they just want to eat toads. There are plenty of ways around this it just takes a lot of patience and some creativity at times but you can often get plains hognose snakes to eat rodents eventually. They are notoriously picky eaters. If people get these as their first snake. Usually the first stake you get you want to baby you want to hold it a lot. You want to keep a close eye on it. You want it to eat and if they refuse food. Some people are inclined to try to feed them every day until they eat but hognoses are also a little bit high-strung. The more you baby them if they don’t want to eat. But it’s really just easy to leave a hognose snake to be your second snake and not your first the only. Other con to plains hognose snakes is that they are technically mildly venomous. They have enlarged rear teeth they’re not actually fangs they just have a groove along the side of the tooth. They have to chew in their toxic saliva into their prey although this specialized saliva will paralyze its prey or toads in the wild. It causes very little reactions to humans just causes like a bee sting type reaction so swelling and itchiness and maybe some localized pain but just like a bee sting everybody reacts differently. I mean it’s good to know that they are technically mildly venomous.
African Egg-Eating Snake
The next snake on the list is the African egg-eating snake. These guys are so cool. They have some amazing annotations. I mean for beginners their defense mechanism is to rub their scales together to mimic the sound scaled Viper and they have no teeth. They only eat eggs so they literally can’t bite you also being from a dry arid climate. They don’t have very high humidity requirements. They just don’t have any use for high humidity at any points during their life. They also stay a manageable size they get around 3 feet or so males stay considerably smaller at only around 18 inches to 2 feet max. You can imagine they only eat eggs. Full whole eggs are a complete diet for the egg or the African egg-eating snake. No mice are involved whatsoever. Which is why a lot of people fancy this species feeding them is just a matter of scattering appropriately-sized eggs in their enclosure. Then you,just remove the eggshells afterwards because the way they eat is. They swallow the egg whole they push it to the back of their throat where they have specialized projections. Bony projections that crack the egg and then they use their muscles to squeeze out all of the juices. They drink all of that and finally they spit up the crushed shell afterwards. However the fact that they only eat eggs is actually kind of their downfall. The reason why we don’t recommend them as beginner pets adults first off are primarily wild-caught animals and there’s a plenty of problems that you come across when getting a wild caught animal including parasites. Just general health issues. The only other drawback to african egg eating snakes is in the wild they don’t eat year-round because birds don’t nest year-round so it’s normal for them to go off food for upwards of six months or so in captivity. They often go through long periods of time where they refuse to eat any eggs whatsoever. Then they even lose,a bit of weight but that is completely normal but that can of course stress out a reptile keeper quite a bit.
The third snake on our list is the Woma Python. They stay a like a perfect size as adults. They get about five feet long which is totally manageable. Yet still big enough to have like a you know a decent-sized snake as a pet as an adult. They can live comfortably in like a 75 gallon tank or a similar sized bin. They don’t have any special humidity requirements and they are very Hardy. They are a little bit harder to find but I think they are the most readily available snake species from Australia that we have in the United States. Because they are still a rather uncommon snake kept in the United States. They can be kind of expensive you can expect to pay around 250 to 300 dollars in the States. I know that in Australia they are much cheaper from what I understand just because there’s a lot more of them available in Australia but that just goes to show that it depends on where you live. That’ll influence how much a snake is of course. In the States around 250 to 300 dollars is what you can expect since Australia does not allow the exportation of any of their native animals. All of the woma pythons in the United States are captive bred by law. The initial ones that were brought into the States were all on the black market because they were taken illegally from Australia. Since they could never trace who first did it. They started breeding in the United States. They kind of just gave up on that chase and now we can own them. Another great thing about is that they are pretty docile and they are fantastic eaters. They have great feeding responses but because of that they sometimes get a little overexcited for food and so they can be a little bit toothy. I guess when it comes to feeding time so you really just have to watch their behavior until they realize that if you want to handle them it’s not feeding time it’s handling time because they may treat you with an initial feeding response when you try to take them out. This gives them a bad reputation and people say that they are a nippy species of snake. As long as you socialize them from a young age. They can be very docile and very handleable as adults. They’re not as bad as people think they are. They can come in various shades with their striping, beautiful dark colorations or striations in its scales. I’ve noticed with having Woma pythons is that they they have a slight odor to them. Not a bad odor they just have a unique smell to them. I’ve never noticed it in any other species that we keep but it’s I can’t even describe. It’s just they have an interesting odor they also have orange bellies. Overall woma pythons are amazing snakes. I put them in the intermediate list though because they can be a little bit food aggressive but you can work them out of that of course and they’re a little bit harder to find and therefore they’re a little more expensive
Coming in at number four on our list is the Boa Constrictor. They are amazing gentle giants. They are big animals they aren’t your 20-foot Python though. They stay at around 7 to 8 feet and they are pretty docile animals too. Almost all captive bred boa constrictors are pretty docile not say all of them are but the majority of them are handleable even the ones that people say aren’t very friendly are often just misunderstood you just have to read their body language properly and handle them properly. You just have to watch their body language and handle them properly and they’ll be friendly back to you. They are also amazing eaters boa constrictors love to eat food because of that they are prone to becoming overweight so you do have to watch what they eat but feeding them is pretty easy to just appropriately-sized rodents. They’re very slow-moving animals and I think they’re kind of dumb but I think that’s what makes them so friendly honestly they come in a huge variety of morphs too you can get just plain old albino boa constrictor. You can get sun glows which are beautiful I personally just really like the wild type though. Another pro common boa constrictors and red-tail Boas is that they are pretty easy to find they’re pretty readily available. Red-tail boas are a little bit harder to find than the common boa constrictor. Because of how many there are out there in the market they are terribly priced they’re pretty cheap. They get so big they do need a lot of room and a large habitat. That they can fully out stretch in preferably along one long wall but you can also give them an enclosure that allows them to out stretch along two adjacent walls. They are semi arboreal or tree dwelling. They spend a lot of time on the forest floor but they will climb around on branches too so if you give them a large enclosure that’s not only wide but also tall they will utilize that vertical space and they make a really good show animal or display. The only other downside I can think of with boa constrictors other than their big size and therefore they need a lot of space and therefore extra money to properly house them of course is that they are nocturnal so like ball pythons they can be kind of like pet rocks where they’re very sedentary. They don’t actively pursue their prey like many diurnal species do instead they just kind of sit and wait for the food to come to them. They might not be as entertaining of a pet snake as say a garter snake would be that’s not to say that they never move though we have noticed that when they are hungry they will become much more active especially at night. Since they’re nocturnal so you will see them moving around from time to time especially when they’re ready for a meal you know. They are considered aggressive sometimes just because they’re strike speed when it comes to eating their prey is so fast it kind of startles you. They’re just very fast moving animals only when it comes to eating though so overall boa constrictors are really good animals. We just have them on the intermediate list instead of beginner’s list because of how big they get and therefore how big of an enclosure.
Our fifth and final snake on the intermediate snakes list. Is the Burmese python. I have found a recent passion for Burmese pythons. Burmese pythons have a lot of similar pros and cons to boa constrictors honestly they are docile. I think they’re kind of dumb like Boas are but I think that’s part of what makes them so friendly and they come in some beautiful color morphs. Of course you can expect to pay more for the colorful of Burmese pythons than for just the normal wild-type ones and since they aren’t super available out there like compared to ball pythons or like corn snakes. They do cost a little bit more money than those snakes. You can expect to pay probably around 150 or so for normal wild types. However depending on where you live. You might not be allowed to keep these legally in Florida where the Burmese pythons are invasive and taking over the Everglades. There are some restrictions on owning Burmese pythons. At one point they weren’t a lot. You weren’t allowed to keep them at all and I think currently you can’t own a Burmese python unless it’s micro-chipped. I might be wrong since it keeps changing. Make sure to check with your local laws even your city laws to see if you can own these. They grow to about 14 to 18 feet long on average some getting over 20 feet long. Another similar pro that Burmese pythons have with boa constrictors is that rodents, make a complete diet for them and they’ll eat the same type of animals. Such as large rats or guinea pigs or even rabbits as long as they’re the right size. They again only eat about every three to four weeks as adults but since they get so large. Just like a boa constrictor. If you want a Burmese python make sure that you have a big enough enclosure for one along with the funds required to buy all the proper equipment. Everything is just a larger scale when it comes to larger species of snakes and therefore it costs a little bit more money so really just their large size or space requirements and the various laws that can prohibit owning of these that are really their only downsides.