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Snake Diets - What do different types of snakes eat while in captvity?

You may or may not know this, but all snakes are carnivorous. As we have mentioned before, carnivorous simply describes animals that only eat meat. A snake’s diet is made up of birds, fish, small mammals, amphibians, and insects such as crickets and worms.

As with most animals and reptiles, habitat largely determines the diet of a snake. Here’s a brief summary of the different types of diets for a small variety of snakes:

Sea Snakes (Hydrophiinae)

Also known by their scientific name Hydrophiinae, sea snakes are commonly found in the warmer tropical waters of the Indian and Western Pacific Ocean. Because they live in the sea, they mostly eat smaller fish and eels.

Sea snakes do not make good pets and are tough to find in any aquariums or zoos. While held in captivity, they usually refuse to eat. Sea snakes also display nervous and anxious characteristics while held in captivity.  

Blind Snakes (Leptotyphlopidae)

Blind snakes, or Leptotyphlopidae, are a family of burrowing snakes that can be found in Africa, Asia, and North and South America. Due to their close proximity to termite mounds, they mostly eat termites, larvae, and ants. Unlike most snakes, the upper cranium is immobile and their upper jaw does not contain any teeth. There are more than 300 different types of species of blind snakes.

Like a lot of pet snakes, blind snakes can be fed frozen feeders while in captivity.

Corn Snakes (Pantheophis gutatta)

One of the most popular types of pet snakes, the corn snake has one of the most docile demeanors of any snake, is extremely easy to care for, and can be held in a relatively small enclosure. A member of the rat snake family, Corn Snakes can be found in overgrown fields, farms, abandoned buildings, and forest openings. They live in the southeastern United States all the way from New Jersey to the Florida Keys and as far west as Oklahoma.

While in captivity, corn snakes eat feeder mice. The feeder mice can either be pre-killed or stunned. Live rodents are avoided as they can expose the snake to pathogens and live prey-induced injuries.

California Kingsnake (Lampropeltis getula californiae)

California Kingsnakes are one of the most popular types of pet snakes in the world. They are considered kings because of their ability to kill and eat other snakes (venomous ones too), small rodents, birds, and lizards. At only 3 to 4 feet average size, this is pretty surprising. Kingsnakes should be handled very regularly or else they can become nippy and not well tempered. As their name suggests, they are found in the western United States primarily in California and in northern Mexico.

If you want to keep a California Kingsnake in captivity, they have a relatively simple diet. As babies (hatchlings), Kingsnakes should be fed pinky mice. As they grow larger they can progress all the way to adult mice.

If you’re an aspiring pet snake owner or already have your own pet snake, be sure to check us out for all of your frozen feeder rodent needs!




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