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Ribbon Snake

Thamnophis spp

Home > Snakes > Care Sheets

Ribbon snakes are not much thicker than a pencil, but can grow to many feet long. They are very active, and move very quickly. They are master escape artists, requiring a fully sealed enclosure.
Natural Location: United States
Average Lifespan: Up to 15 years
Estimated Size: 3' to 4'

Feeding & Water

Ribbon Snakes normally eat tadpoles, small fish, frogs, crickets, worms and other insects. Ribbon Snakes eat more often than most snakes, requiring food 2 or 3 times each week. You must provide a large enough bowl of water for the snake to bathe in. They will also drink from the bowl. Make sure to change the water daily.


Temperature, Lighting & Humidity

You must provide a deep heat gradient for the Ribbon Snake. The hot end of the enclosure should be kept at 85 degrees F, and the cool end at 65 degrees F. At night the temperatures should be dropped to be 70 degrees F at the warm end, and 58 - 60 degrees F for the cool end. Provide a 8 - 12 hours light period, using full-spectrum UV lighting. You should also use a ground heater to warm the bottom.



Ribbon Snakes need a large enclosure to move and climb around. The smallest you should go is 20 gallons. You have to provide a lot of foliage and other hiding places for the snake. Also use peat moss, potting soil or bark chips, a deep layer of it.

The habitat should be cleaned thoroughly once weekly. Bleach is acceptable to use for this cleaning however ensure that the habitat is entirely free of the bleach smell before putting your snake back in.


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