10 Exotic Snake Species to Keep at Home

Snake Species to Keep. There are more than 2,800 different species of snakes in the world and that number is still growing as new species are being discovered. Not all snakes can be kept, only certain types can, especially those belonging to the Boidae, Pythonidae, and Colubridae families. The snakes are widely sold in reptile shops or online stores.

Now for those of you who want to keep snakes, here are some of the most popular exotic and relatively tame snake species in the world.

1. Red-tail Boa

A kind of boa constrictor, the red-tail is very often traded as a pet. They can grow to about 3 meters. They are not recommended for people who don’t want to commit to caring for a snake that eats rats or rabbits and can live up to 30 years. They are known to have a red tail tip.

2. Kenyan Sand Boa

Growing to over half a meter, they are unique burrowing snakes. They are docile snakes that usually bury their entire bodies under the sand while keeping their tiny heads up to grab any passing prey. They are beautifully colored with yellow and brown patterns.

3. Ball Python

You could say the ball python is the most popular pet snake. They are very calm and docile. They are only about 1-1.5 meters long, but can live for decades. They are so named because of their behavior that will curl up tightly when they feel threatened. This snake does not require much heating or lighting and can be the first large snake pet.

4. Burmese Python

Also known as the bodo python, this is a large snake that is also often kept by people. Growing between 4.5 to 6 meters (and even more), the Burmese Python is usually quite docile but slightly more active than your little Ball Python. Feeding these huge snakes takes guts as you have to feed them dead rats or other large prey animals. Because of their hefty weight and extreme length as adults, bodo pythons should only be kept by experienced adults.

5. Green Tree Python

These arboreal snakes can add a bit of charm to a regular snake cage. The Green Tree Python, aka the green python, likes to curl up elegantly or hang from a small tree branch. Bright green (sometimes yellow) in color as adults, these snakes can reach a maximum length of about 2 meters and are often mistaken for the Emerald Tree Boa.

6. Blood Python

Known to be somewhat temperamental, these snakes called blood pythons are stocky snakes with beautiful skin patterns. They have a short tail and can grow to a maximum of about 2.5 meters. They are so named because of the brick-red patches commonly found in their skin patterns.

7. King Snake

Closely related to the Milk Snake, the King Snake can grow to a length of about 1.8-2 meters, making them a smaller pet snake. They are named “King Snakes” because they will readily prey on other snakes, which is why they must be kept alone. The King Snake is native to North and South America and breeds regularly in captivity so finding this snake is not difficult.

8. Milk Snake

As a species of King Snake, the Milk Snake is most often sold in color patterns. The Coral Snake aka the venomous coral snake (known as Batesian mimicry) is a Snake Species to Keep. The Western saying, “Red on yellow will kill a fellow, but red on black is a friend of Jack” actually refers to the coral snake and milk snake color line. Coral snakes have a red stripe next to a yellow stripe, while milk snakes have a red stripe next to a black stripe.

9. Black Rat Snake

The Black Rat Snake is one of the most innocent looking snakes, but that ‘lack’ is covered by its athletic ability. They are able to swim and climb trees because they are active snakes. They will constrict their bodies to resemble rattlesnakes and even vibrate the tips of their tails when startled or frightened. Black Rat Snakes will entangle their prey before eating them and they are found throughout North America.

10. Corn Snake

As a species of Rat Snake, Corn Snake or corn snake is a snake for beginners that is popular because of its small size but has a variety of beautiful color patterns. This snake usually measures about 1.5 meters and is very good at escaping like most other snakes. They are not known as biting snakes and they are quite docile.