Species group: Garter and Ribbon Snakes
Scientific name: Thamnophis proximus proximus
Western Ribbon Snakes are native to North and Central America. They inhabit areas next to a body of water including marshes, ponds, rivers, and lakes. They forage among rocks, logs, burrows, bushes, and shrubs, quick to coast over the water when hunting or fleeing.
Appearance / health:
Ribbon Snakes look very similar in their slim, tapering bodies and longitudinal stripes. What differentiates the Western Ribbon Snake from the Eastern Ribbon Snake it that the Western specie has two (sometimes fused) white or yellow spots on the top of its black (sometimes brown) head. It measures about 2.5 feet long. The typical base body color is dark brown to black, with a bright green tint. The markings are three longitudinal stripes with the middle dorsal stripe being orange and the lateral ones cream or yellowish green. The belly is white (sometimes yellow or green). The scales are keeled. Compared to Garter Snakes, the Western Ribbon Snake has no black bars on the labial scales.
Behavior / temperament:
Among the Ribbon Snakes, the Western Ribbon Snake is the most popular in the pet trade. They are small, docile, and easy to care for. They are diurnal or active all day, and under proper care and conditions can live up to 10 years.
Like other Ribbon Snakes, Western 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.
Ribbon Snakes can be kept individually or in groups. They appreciate the opportunity to roam as well as hide. Fresh water should be provided daily and the enclosure cleaned and disinfected regularly.
Western Ribbon Snakes feed on small animals that also inhabit areas close to the water. These include frogs, toads, earthworms, salamanders, and fish.
Western Ribbon Snakes give birth to live young. They mate in the spring and deliver an average litter of 12 in late summer or early fall.
dorsal patterns, great beginner snakes
Western Ribbon Snake
This species is a very nice beginner snake. It stays small, at only a few feet in length, and its care requirements are very similar to that of a garter snake. As juveniles they eat feeder fish right out of the water, but overtime with some effort they can be switched over to pinky mice scented with fish, then over to pure pinky mice. This is good because snakes can get many parasites from consuming fish, especially feeder fish. Ribbon snakes are quite active, and have pretty dorsal patterns. But many people dislike them as pets, because most dislike to be handled and some even musk. One other interesting thing about this species is that they seem to do very well in colonies of two or three, but keepers must be aware if keeping ribbon snakes together because if two snakes begin to eat the same food item from different sides, one snake is bound to be injured. Other than the fact that they dont like to be handled, ribbon snakes make great beginner snakes
From JohnSpinella Nov 28 2010 2:17AM