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Can You Pet a Banded Water Snake

  • Pet Care

Can You Pet a Banded Water Snake?

Water snakes are a varied species distributed throughout the world. One of the most commonly known water snakes is the banded water snake. In their own family of Colubridae, banded water snakes are found in the south-central United States and northern Mexico.

Like many reptiles, banded water snakes can make for a curious, low-maintenance and often calming pet. A wide variety of types and colors of water snakes can be found, from red and yellow types like the Texas Red-bellied water snake to darker colors like black, gray and brown.

Banded Water Snake as a pet

What are Banded Water Snakes?

Banded water snakes, natrix natrix, occur in the southern United States and Mexico. Named for their bold, wide bands and mottled pattern of color, banded water snakes easily distinguish themselves from their relatives. Entirely aquatic and semi-aquatic, banded water snakes live much of their lives in the water, traveling over land at night in search of food and to avoid predators.

Banded water snakes grow up to four feet in length and are a favorite of snake enthusiasts. Because of this, banded water snakes are certainly not endangered in the wild. This can be both a blessing and a curse, as while generally they are not endangered in the wild, they can become overpopulated, leading to problems with them in some areas.

Are Banded Water Snakes Good Pets?

Banded water snakes can make good pets, although they may not be the most social of reptiles. They are most comfortable in their own aquariums or ponds, rather than being handled often or often touched. They can become quite accustomed to human interaction, but they do best when allowed to remain in their own environment.

Banded water snakes, unlike other aquatic snakes, can usually be easily seen in their aquariums or ponds, making them an interesting pet for those interested in reptiles. As a general rule, one should not mix water snakes with other water animals, such as fish or amphibians, as they will most likely eat them.

What do Banded Water Snakes Eat?

Banded water snakes are a carnivorous species, eating primarily fish but also frogs, salamanders, and other amphibians. In captivity, they can be fed on a diet of frozen, thawed, and live fish. Pet water snakes should receive at least one feeding a week, but no more than two.

Caring for a Banded Water Snake

Caring for a banded water snake is relatively simple and involves providing an appropriate and comfortable environment. Water snakes require an aquarium or pond with a secure lid to prevent escape. The aquarium must be large enough to allow the water snake to move itself and large prey items. The water should be clean and stable (not too cold or too hot) and the substrate (rocks and sand) should be cleaned often. It is also important to keep the pH balance of the water stable.

Water snakes require hiding places in the water, such as rock crevices, underwater logs, and caves to feel safe. Cleaning of the water should be done as needed, as frequent water changes can stress a water snake.

Can You Pet a Banded Water Snake?

The short answer is yes, it is possible to pet a banded water snake. However, it is important to remember that water snakes are more comfortable in their own habitats than in the hands of humans. While it is safe to handle them with care, they should not be handled often and should be returned to their habitat after careful observation.

Given the right environment and care, a banded water snake can be a great reptile companion. As they are typically low-maintenance and interesting to watch, they can make a unique pet for those interested in reptiles.

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