Eastern Worm Snake

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Is the Eastern Worm Snake right for you?

Species group:

Scientific name: Carphophis amoenus amoenus

The basics:
The Eastern Worm Snake vies with 1-2 other species for the title of North America's smallest serpent. This diminutive creature is found from southeastern Massachusetts to Alabama and central Georgia. A subspecies, the Midwestern Worm Snake, ranges to Missouri, Arkansas and Louisiana. The Western Worm Snake (C. vermis) inhabits the area from Nebraska south to Texas. The Eastern Worm Snake is at home in fields, forests, farms, meadows and the undisturbed portions of suburban and even urban parks. It shelters below ground, within thick leaf litter, or beneath stones and decaying logs, and rarely appears on the surface.

Appearance / health:
The slender, graceful Eastern Worm Snake averages a mere 9-12 inches in length, with a record of 13.5 inches. Its glossy scales are un-patterned, and clad in various shades of brown or tan, with a pinkish tinge to the underbelly. The pointed head assists in burrowing.

Behavior / temperament:
Shy and always on guard (they are on the menus of a great many predators!) these little snakes can rarely even be induced to bite. They are stressed by handling, and are best considered as pets to observe only.

A single Eastern Worm Snake will do fine in a 10 gallon aquarium; a 20 gallon will support 3-4 adults. A small aquarium inverted within a larger aquarium will help to confine burrowing to areas along the glass, where they can be more easily observed. Unlike most snakes, this species does not fare well on newspapers, aspen shavings or similar substrates. The Worm Snake terrarium should instead be furnished with a thick layer of dead leaves and coco-husk. Most will shelter below the substrate, but strips of bark and a cave stocked with moist sphagnum moss should also be provided. Moist and dry areas of substrate should be available. The tank’s screen lid should be secured by cage clips. Due to their small size, Eastern Worm Snakes are ideal inhabitants of naturalistic terrariums provisioned with live plants. Ambient temperature: 72-78 F; Basking temperature: 82 F

If droppings are removed regularly, there is usually little need to break down and clean the entire terrarium, especially if live plants are established. The tank should be misted daily, and the moss within their cave should be kept slightly moist.

The natural diet includes earthworms, beetle grubs, cut worms and other “non-hairy” caterpillars, slugs and other soft-bodied invertebrates. Pets do fine on a base diet of earthworms, slugs, waxworms and butterworms. A shallow water bowl should be available.

At less than one inch in length, Eastern Worm Snake eggs are among the reptile world’s smallest – they really must be seen to be believed! Typical clutches contain 4-8 eggs, which hatch in 7-8 weeks when incubated in moist vermiculite at 80 F. Slender and measuring only 3 to 4 inches in length, hatchlings are even more easily mistaken for earthworms than are the adults! A short cooling off period and reduced light cycle may encourage breeding, but little is known of their exact requirements.

Helpful Eastern Worm Snake Review

Eastern Worm Snake

From Nolaerus Feb 26 2014 11:35AM


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