Greater Green Snake

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Is the Greater Green Snake right for you?

Species group:

Other common names: South China Green Snake

Scientific name: Cyclophiops major

The basics:
This attractive snake is not often kept, but is very interesting and in need of attention from breeders. As a greater variety of feeder insects become available, the Greater Green Snake may find its way into more private and public collections.

The Greater Green Snake is found in southern China, Taiwan, northern Vietnam and Laos.

The Greater Green Snake frequents overgrown farm borders, brushy swamps, and wet forests.

Appearance / health:
Slender in build, the Greater Green Snake reaches 75-120 cm (30-48 in) in length. It is a uniform bright green in color, with black speckling appearing on some individuals.

Greater Green Snakes fare poorly in bare, dry terrariums and may be subject to stress-induced ailments if handled frequently.

Behavior / temperament:
Although most keepers report that they are somewhat shy and rarely bite, Greater Green Snakes should, like all snakes, be handled carefully.

Greater Green Snakes are partially arboreal, and best housed in large, vertically-oriented terrariums or custom-built cages. The enclosure should be provided with numerous branches and tangles of real or artificial vines; hanging live or artificial plants should be positioned over branches to act as sheltering sites. Like many arboreal snakes, they will drink from water sprayed onto the body coils; some will also accept water from a bowl. As these snakes favor humid surroundings, cypress mulch or similar materials should be employed as a substrate. Dry sections should also be available, as constant dampness will encourage fungal skin disorders. Ambient temperature: 78- 82 F; basking temperature: 85 F.

Caterpillars, beetle grubs, worms, and other soft-bodied invertebrates comprise most of the natural diet. Pets do well on a base diet of earthworms, waxworms, silkworms, hornworms, and butterworms; beetle grubs and “non-hairy” caterpillars should also be offered when available. In common with most insectivorous species, Greater Green Snakes do best when fed 3-4xs weekly. A calcium/Vitamin D3 supplement should be provided twice weekly.

Captive breeding is rare. Wild females produce 2-16 eggs.

Written by Frank Indiviglio

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