Eastern Ribbon Snake

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(11 Reviews)

Peter Paplanus

Is the Eastern Ribbon Snake right for you?

Species group:

Scientific name: Thamnophis sauritus sauritus

The basics:
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


tempermental snakes


small fish, frog eaters, fast snakes, small crickets, Earthworms, high metabolisms

Eastern Ribbon Snake Behavior Tip

Eastern Ribbon Snake

From mailevan May 15 2014 10:27PM


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