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Snakes/Banded sand snake question

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QUESTION: Hello. I have a question regarding banded sand snakes. I had a customer come into my pet shop with a wounded banded sand snake that had found itself into his house. The body is healing and it seems to be recovering. The snake is 8inches long. I took him home and put it in an extra terrarium i had. Its very docile and doesnt mind being handled, but it doesnt move very well. He has yet to eat any food because i read (in what little information i could find on them )the that they only eat soft bodied insects. My questions are if it is poisonous, and if its okay to keep as a pet. It has shown no signs of aggression and is very active at night. But since it is so small and injured i did not want to rerelease it to meet its death. It seems very young. And is unable to hunt since it doesnt move well. If you could get back yp me with any information on his species and my questions, it would be greatly appreciated! -kami

ANSWER: Kami,

Thanks for your question. This snake is not venomous. They do make great pets because they are so docile. They usually bury themselves in the sand by day and come out at night to be active and hunt and yes, their diet is strictly insects. They eat insect larvae as well so you may be able to try feeding it meal worms. They only get to be about 10 inches in length so yours is almost full grown.

So keep a sandy environment in its cage so it can bury itself and I'm sure being a pet shop owner you know the basics of reptile cage setup. Feed it insects and all should be well. Let me know if you have any other specific questions.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thank you! Also, is there any specific temperature i should keep her at? and how often should i feed her? She hasn't eaten since I've had her (which has only been a couple days.) She came to me friday. I've only taken her out of her terrarium (which is a 10gallon tank with 10lbs of sand) twice. i figured since she's used to the wild, that it might take her a bit to adjust. but i'm also concerned about how i should be feeding her. I have another snake (a Colombian red tail)  and i know she has to be fed out of her normal living area, do i need to do that with the banded sand snake as well?

Answer
Kami,

I would say no specific temperature. The snake is usually in a desert climate so just as long as the sun lamp is on during the entire day and there is sand for it to bury itself it as it normally does and shelter and all that then you should be good. No humidity or anything is necessary since it's used to a desert climate. I find tropical snakes are more sensitive to specific temperatures more than any other. Although it may not hurt to get a night time heating bulb, I'm sure you're familiar with those just to make sure there is some warmth at night as the desert would be.

With feeding you should definitely feed more often than a snake that eats rodents, since the rodents are a bigger food. With a bug eating snake I would feed it more often. Like with my boa, I fed it a mouse every couple of weeks or so, with your sand snake, I would say maybe every week feed it. And again, since this is a docile and totally harmless snake I would say you can feed it inside of it's tank. Any other snake I would say feed it separate but since this snake only eats bugs, it should be fine. I feed rodents outside of the cage because I don't want say my boa or python to associate my hand with food, with a non dangerous snake who eats bugs and doesn't have to be brutal to kill it's prey I would think cage feeding in this case would work fine.  

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Adena Canterbury

Expertise

I can answer questions about what kind of snake to buy and what to look for in terms of health. How to determine gender, what to feed, types of snakes and behaviors. I can answer questions regarding catching snakes, handling venomous, venomous knowledge questions. I cannot answer questions regarding breeding or hatching or health questions that should be answered by a vet, I have no medical knowledge on snakes other than simple health questions.

Experience

I grew up on a reptile farm in Florida where my dad bred, raised and sold many kinds of reptiles, mainly snakes and gained much knowledge from this. The experience sparked my own fascination for snakes, which I now own two of my own and constantly capture wild snakes to study for certain periods of time.

Education/Credentials
Grew up on a reptile farm. My brother and I plan to open a reptile store.

Past/Present Clients
Have taken snakes from friends to improve their health. Have caught wild snakes for the learning experience.

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