Species group: Garter and Ribbon Snakes
Scientific name: Thamnophis sauritus sauritus
Northeastern United States and Southeastern Canada.
Appearance / health:
Eastern Ribbon Snakes are very thin snakes that grow to about 3 feet in length. They have dark bodies with three yellow longitudinal stripes, the middle one running precisely along the vertebra. A couple of rows of black spots are seen between the vertebral and side stripes. The snake’s belly is greenish white with a brown ventrolateral stripe. The scales around the mouth are whitish or yellowish, as is the front border of the eye, which distinguishes the Eastern Ribbon Snake from the Common Garter Snake.
Behavior / temperament:
Like all ribbon snakes, the Eastern Ribbon Snake is a good stalker, climber, and swimmer. It is active in the daytime from spring to fall and hibernates in common dens in the winter. They rarely bite but they secrete a foul-smelling anal musk when startled, stressed, or threatened.
Eastern Ribbon Snakes prefer an average-sized woodland terrarium with plenty of places to hide, bask, and climb. A large bathing pan is ideal because Ribbon Snakes are water loving, enjoying a dip every now and then. Basking places should be dry, and substrate should be quick drying. Sand is not a recommended substrate because Ribbon Snakes hate having sand in their eyes and mouths. Day temp: 77-82F; night temp: 64-71F; basking temp: 86F; humidity: 50-60%; lighting: 12 hours, partly UV.
Eastern Ribbon Snakes can be kept individually or in groups. They appreciate the opportunity to roam as well as hide. Snakes that are brought in from the northern regions hibernate for 8-12 weeks at 46-50F, while those native to the southern region hibernate for 4 weeks at 64-70F.
Eastern Ribbon Snakes feed on earthworms, fish, snails, pinkie mice, insects, tadpoles, and small frogs. They feed on live fish served to them in a water bowl.
Mating occurs after hibernation, mostly in April and May. Average gestation period is 3 months. Offspring ranging from 6 to 30 in number are born live and left to fend for themselves without any parental care.
manageable size, good starter species, interesting display snake, easy care requirements
small fish, frog eaters, fast snakes, small crickets, Earthworms, high metabolisms
Eastern Ribbon Snake - Thamnophis sauritus sauritus
The Eastern Ribbon Snake (Thamnophis sauritus sauritus) are similar to Garter Snakes. They are both members of the Thamnophis genus. Ribbon snakes have longer more streamlined bodies and are able to cover open ground faster than Garter Snakes. Care conditions are virtually identical to those of Garter Snakes, but Ribbon Snakes rarely eat earthworms and prefer treefrogs and their amphibians and fish in their diet. Breeding is only likely in a group that is kept communally. They produce small litters of young with 4-5 young being born in early summer..
From RobWedderburn Jan 26 2016 6:59AM
Ethelbee hated me
I’ve loved every pet I’ve ever had… except my snake. I really wanted to love her, but she made it impossible. My mom had a green snake who was super affectionate and loved to be held and hang out with us while we watched TV. I asked for a snake of my own, but instead of a green snake, I decided I liked the stripes of the ribbon snake. We moved her into a terrarium in my room and I set up her heat rock, special desert background, and gave her a full bag of crickets. She completely ignored the crickets, refusing to eat them. Some of them escaped, and the rest died in her terrarium, probably baking themselves on her hot rock. I put a dish of water in the tank for her, and she spent most of her time simmering in it. Being nine years old, I thought she might be lonely, and swiped one of our goldfish from our tank and put it in her water dish to keep her company. She promptly ate her new roommate.
Having finally found something she would eat, we would go to the pet store every few days for a new supply of feeder goldfish. She would spend her days eating two or three fish each day, then glaring at me from the back of her tank. I tried to hold her, but she would squirm and writhe, and usually poop all over my arm. Having grown up with animals, I knew how to treat them gently and didn’t squeeze her or mistreat her, she simply hated being handled.
I tried one last time to hold her. Since pooping on me hadn’t worked, she decided to try biting me to get her point across. She clamped down on the tip of my finger and refused to let go. After several minutes, she finally released me and I put her back in her tank, resolving to ask my parents to help me find her a new home. When I returned to my room, I found her lying flat on her back, and quite dead. I have no idea what killed her, other than maybe her all-consuming hatred of me. I really wanted to love her, and to have her love me in return, but it just didn’t happen..
From mailevan May 15 2014 10:27PM