heat rock, medium sized aquarium, uncommon pet, habitat aspen shavings
A very cool and uncommon pet
When I was growing up, my family had a wide variety of animals. Since we already had so many, it was not uncommon for student's in my mother's class or friends of mine and my brothers to give us the animals their parents wouldn't let them keep. Ratty was one of these acquisitions. We originally mistook him for a rat snake (they look somewhat similar) but later learned that he was in fact a Texas Glossy Snake (also known as a Faded Snake). He was a very interesting pet, and I don't think he was common breed to have in captivity.
Glossy snakes can grow to be about 3' long, but their bodies have a relatively small and uniform girth (not much bigger than a large garter snake). We kept ours in a medium sized aquarium, and he never outgrew it. He didn't need much in the way of habitat - aspen shavings, a bowl with hiding space underneath, and a heat rock were sufficient. Feeding was also simple and only necessary every few weeks. Glossy snakes have small heads though, so even when they reach full length they generally still eat only mice.
In terms of interaction, our glossy snake adjusted to handling quite quickly. I can't be sure, but I suspect he was wild-caught so a captive-bred Glossy should be even easier to handle. He was happy to be held by anyone, including children. He only became shy and aggressive when he became old (frankly, ancient) and started losing his sight.
From my own research, I don't think it was typical at all that our snake lived as long as he did (22+ years), but I suspect the breed, like most constrictors, is generally hardy. We never had any health issues with Ratty. In general, he was just a great pet to have..
From SJtehFox Feb 7 2014 4:23PM