Non-Venomous

 

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Reticulated Python
Burmese Python
Rock Python
Ball Python
Water Python
Blood Python
Dumerils Boa
Green Tree Python
Anaconda
Boa Constrictor
Cuban Boa
Tree Boa
Red Tail Rat
Black Rat
Corn Snake
Milk Snake
Milk Snake
California King

 

  They come in all sizes but all one shape! From tiny worm-like animals to giant constrictors weighing in excess of 300 pounds, the snakes are some of the most highly variable vertebrates on our planet. Found on almost all of our continents, the snakes have adapted to a wide range of habitats.  Steamy jungles to bone dry deserts are home to these amazing predators.  Snakes can be found on every continent except Antarctica. 

Of the 2700 species of known snakes over 80% fall into the category known as non-venomous. 

While many of the snakes we encounter in our back yards are harmless still others posses a powerful venom intended to not only help them obtain prey but as we are now learning actually help them track down their prey after striking a rodent or other small mammal.

What actually makes a snake a snake?   They are obviously limbless (or in the case of some of the primitive boas and pythons, nearly without limbs) vertebrates that are closely related to other species of reptiles including lizards, crocodilians and turtles.

How are snakes and lizards different from each other?  Some of the lizards at RainForest look remarkably like snakes, the European Legless lizard is a classic example of an animal that very closely resembles snakes.  The primary differences are that the snakes can not close their eyes, there simply are no eyelids present on any snake.  Additionally the snakes do not have any external ear openings, most lizards have clearly visible ears. 

 

Few creatures have the hunting prowess of a hungry snake; mankind would be in very serious trouble without these successful predators. Rodents, the primary food item eaten by snakes worldwide, cause untold billions of dollars in damage to both crops as well as spreading diseases to both livestock and humans.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Click on the Thumbnail photos to be taken to a species. 

Reticulated Python
African Rock Python
Ball Python
Albino Burmese Python
Blood Python

Australian Water Python

Anaconda
Boa Constrictor
Dumerils Ground Boa

Amazon Tree Boa

Cuban Boa

Red-Tailed Rat Snake 
Milk Snake
California King Snake
Red Rat or Corn Snake
Black Rat Snake
False Water Cobra

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reticulated Python

Range: Tropical Asia

Habitat: Dense forests to open swamp land.  Can be found around human habitation were the snakes will prey on farm stock such as chickens and small goats.

Natural Diet: Mammals & birds.

Diet at RainForest: Varies by size of the snake.  Large pythons are fed pre-killed rabbits.

Size: Females up to 20 feet, 200 pounds--Males average 12-14 feet , 75-85 pounds.  Probably the longest of all living snakes, the reported record is 33' long.

Keeper Notes:  Regarded as the longest living snake alive today, the Reticulated python is capable of lengths over 25'.  Although the animal can be difficult to work with, a nasty disposition is common more often than not. The Reticulated is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful of all of the pythons.  Females will grow substantially larger than males.  There are several recognized sub-species of the Reticulated Python with the island, or insular, species being on average much smaller than the primary species.   Females will vigorously defend their clutch of eggs which on average take 70-80 days to hatch.

Status in Wild: Numbers are rapidly declining due to over collection for skin trade as well as loss of habitat.

High Resolution Pictures Available


African Rock Python

Range: Africa, south of the Sahara

Habitat: Savannahs, Grasslands and  human farming areas.

Natural Diet: Mammals & birds.

Diet at RainForest: Pre-killed rodents

Size: Females 16-18 feet, 120-150 Pounds--Males 12-14 feet 85-100 Pounds.

Keeper Notes: Africa's largest snake.  The African Rock Python has been recorded at up to 23' feet in length.  Noted for an aggressive disposition the African Rock Python will frequently defend its burrow with extreme vigor.  

Status in Wild: Declining due primarily to over collection for the skin trade as well as human consumption.  Farmers fear the African Rock Python as a predator capable of eating livestock, particularly goats.  The reality is that the Rock Python undoubtedly kills more rodents and actually benefits the farmers of Africa, but this message is slow to get to the individuals responsible for killing so many of these important predators. 

Loss of habitat is beginning to play a larger roll in the continuing decline in the wild populations of the African Rock Python. 


Albino Burmese Python

Range: Asia, Burma (Myanmar)

Habitat: Forested Regions. Is usually found near water. Human farming areas.

Natural Diet: Mammals & birds.

Diet at RainForest: Pre-killed rodents

Size: Females 16-18 feet, 120-150 Pounds--Males 12-14 feet 85-100 Pounds.

Keeper Notes: The Burmese python is recognized as one of the largest snake species alive today.   Adult females tend to be very heavy bodied and often exceed 15 feet in length.   The female can lay as many as 60 eggs; the eggs will usually take between 60-70 days to hatch.  Hatchling Burmese pythons can be up to 20" long at birth.   Frequently seen in the pet industry, the Burmese python can be one of the most docile of all snakes kept as pets.  The large size of adults Burmese pythons requires an experienced keeper.

The normal pattern of the Burmese python is shown here for comparison of the albino to the normal pattern snake.  RainForest does not currently display a normal pattern Burmese Python. 

Status in Wild: Declining primarily due to over collection for the skin trade as well as human consumption.   The Indian subspecies of the Burmese python is endangered.   Loss of habitat is now playing a very large roll in the loss of this species in the wild. 

High Resolution Pictures Available


Blood Python

Range: Asia

Habitat: Forested areas

Natural Diet: Small mammals & birds.

Diet at RainForest: Pre-killed rodents

Size: 4-6 feet , very heavy bodied snake

RainForest Facts: One of the most beautiful of all pythons, the Blood Python derives its name from the skin color, not necessarily from a bad temper!  A very heavy bodied animal, the Blood Python spends the vast majority of its time on the ground, hunting as an ambush predator.

Status in Wild: Stable in the majority of its range.

 


Australian Water Python

Range: Australia

Habitat: Always found near water and swamp environments

Natural Diet: Small mammals, birds, and fish

Diet at RainForest: Pre-killed rodents

Size: Females 7 feet, Males 5-6 feet

RainForest Facts: Not a brightly colored snake, the Water Python can be quite aggressive.  Large, heat sensing pits can be seen under the lower jaw bones of these snakes.  Females produce up to 20 eggs per clutch.

Status in Wild: Declining to primarily to over collection for the skin trade as well as human consumption.

 


Anaconda

Range: South America

Habitat: Always found near water and swamp environments

Natural Diet: Mammals, birds, fish, and small crocodilians.

Diet at RainForest: Pre-killed rodents

Size: Females 12-18 feet, Males 6-11 feet

RainForest Facts: The heaviest of all living snakes, the female Anaconda can reach lengths of 20 feet and weights of over 300 pounds.  Male Anacondas are considerably smaller than females. A large male may only be 8-10 feet in length and is a considerably thinner animal.  A highly aquatic snake, the Anaconda, is much more likely to be encountered in the wild in or near a body of freshwater.   The name Anaconda literally translates to "Water Boa"

The Anaconda is considered by many to be an aggressive animal in captivity.  Anacondas have a very large number of sharp, rear-facing teeth. 

A long lived animal in captivity, the Anaconda may live as long as thirty years.  In the wild predators of even large females undoubtedly shorten the average life span.  Large Black Caiman have been observed killing and eating females of up to 15 feet in length. 

Anacondas mate in an unusual fashion.  Several males are attracted to an ovulating female resulting in a "mating ball" that can often obscure the female from view.  The mating always takes place in water.  After a gestation of six months the females give birth to live babies in the late spring to early summer. Birth generally coincides with the wet season in the animals native range.  A large female is capable of producing up to 80 babies at a time; on average the female Anaconda will have 20-30 young.  Predators account for a high mortality among juvenile Anacondas, Tegu lizards, birds of prey, and crocodilians all consume young snakes. 

Female Anacondas can reproduce as early as 4 years of age. 

One recognized subspecies of Anaconda lives in the southern end of the Green Anacondas range; the Yellow Anaconda is a smaller and more brightly colored snake.

Status in Wild: Declining primarily due to over collection for the skin trade as well as loss of habitat.

 


Boa Constrictor

Range: Central and South America with many subspecies occurring on islands etc.

Habitat: Savannahs to dense tropical forest.  Extremely varied habitat by species and sub-species.

Natural Diet: Small mammals & birds.

Diet at RainForest: Pre-killed frozen rodents

Size: Record 18' Average size 6-8 feet.  Highly variable by subspecies, some insular species of Boa Constrictors reach only 3-4 feet in total length.  Widely associated with being a giant "man-killer" in movies and myth, these normally placid animals are some of the smallest of the giant snakes.  

Keeper Notes: One of the most frequently kept pet snakes, the common or Columbian Boa Constrictor, is generally a very docile animal.  Females give birth to a clutch of live babies.  A large female Boa Constrictor may have as many as 30-40 living young.   Experts disagree on the number of subspecies of Boa Constrictors, but it is widely accepted that there are up to 20 subspecies of this snake.  A long lived species, the Boa Constrictor can live well over 30 years in captivity. 

The claim of a Boa Constrictor in excess of 18' is widely questioned by experts. The use of the word "Boa" by native peoples of tropical South America often refers to the Anaconda, a close relative of the Boa Constrictor.  The word Anaconda literally translates to "water boa"  The current accepted and published world record Boa Constrictor was probably an Anaconda.  Boa Constrictors rarely exceed 10' even under the best of conditions in captivity.  

Status in Wild: Declining due to deforestation, over collection for the skin trade, as well as occasional consumption by humans.   The pet trade is no longer a major threat to this animal as Boa Constrictors breed readily in captivity, literally 10's of thousands are produced annually by both amateur and professional breeders to supply the demand from the pet trade. 

High Resolution Pictures Available

Captive Reproduction Information


Dumerils Ground Boa

Range: Madagascar

Habitat: Forested regions

Natural Diet: Small mammals & birds.

Diet at RainForest: Pre-killed rodents.

Size: 4-6 feet, females tend to be slightly larger than males.  A terrestrial animal, the Dumerils boa hunts primarily on the ground. The Dumerils boa gives birth to live babies, an average size litter is 4-6 large young. 

Rainforest Facts: Madagascar is home to several species of Boa's that are found no where else on earth.  The Ground Boa is a heavy bodied animal with a very low reproductive rate.  The large nature of the females and low quantity of babies results in very large young. 

Status in Wild: As with the majority of Madagascar's wildlife, all of the species of Boas on Madagascar are in ever increasing peril.  Loss of habitat is a major concern for this species.   


Amazon Tree Boa

Range: Amazon Basin

Habitat: Strictly arboreal in nature, found in dense forest.

Natural Diet: Small mammals & birds.

Diet at RainForest: Pre-killed rodents

Size: 4-6 feet, a very thinly built Boa, this animal rarely exceeds 5 feet.  

RainForest Facts: This boa spends the vast majority of its time living in the mid level canopy of the rain forest.  Hunting primarily at night, this nocturnal predator is an efficient hunter of both birds and small mammals.  Live babies are born each year to the female boa.  An average size litter is 5-8 young.  The babies are aggressive feeders

Status in Wild: Stable in majority of undisturbed forest, habitat loss is putting pressure on certain populations.


Cuban Boa

Range: Cuba

Habitat: Largest snake on the island of Cuba, has a tendency to be arboreal

Natural Diet: Small mammals, birds, and bats.  This snake has developed a strong ability to hunt bats as they exit the mouth of caves in the early evening hours.

Keeper Notes: The longest of all arboreal Boas, the Cuban Boa has extremely well developed heat sensing pits located on the lower jaw.  The Cuban Boa gives birth to live babies, typically a small litter, the average number born to a female boa is 4-6 young.  The babies are remarkably well developed and may be as much as 20" long at birth. Feisty little nippers, the babies soon settle down and allow the keepers to maintain their exhibit without too much fuss. Four babies were born at RainForest Adventures on 11/5/05. 

Diet at RainForest: Chicken and pre-killed rodents.

Size: Up to 12', not a very heavy bodied animal

Status in Wild: Extremely vulnerable, as with many insular species limited geographical range coupled with the normal pressures of deforestation place the animal in extreme risk.

 


 

Red-Tailed Rat Snake 

Range: Asia

Habitat: Strictly arboreal, dense forests

Natural Diet: Small mammals & birds.

Diet at RainForest: Small pre-killed rodents.

Size: Females 20-25 Pounds--Males 25-40 Pounds.

Status in Wild: Vulnerable to habitat loss

 

 


 

Milk Snake

 

Range: Americas

Habitat: Widely varied by species

Natural Diet: Snakes, small rodents, and lizards.

Diet at RainForest: Small pre-killed rodents 

Size: 24-40"

RainForest Facts: An egg laying snake, the Milk snake typically lays 4-6 highly elliptical eggs in late spring to early summer (depending on location).  60-75 days is the normal incubation period for the eggs. The small babies feed primarily on small lizards and new born rodents.

Status in Wild: Numbers are stable in most parts of range. Loss of habitat represents one of the greatest risks to the species.  Feral cats take an unusually high number of these defenseless snakes.

 


California King Snake

Range: California, U.S.A

Habitat: Desert as well as lightly forested habitats

Natural Diet: Small mammals and snakes

Diet at RainForest: Small pre-killed rodents 

Size: 48-60"

RainForest Facts: The California King snake is a highly variable snake; color patterns include banding and stripping. Numerous, unusual, and aberrant color variations have been produced by pet keepers.  The female king snake deposits 6-12 leathery eggs in the late spring or early summer.  The normal incubation period for California King snake eggs is 60-75 days depending on temperature

Status in Wild: Declining numbers due to over collection, primarily for the pet trade, as well as habitat destruction.


Red Rat or Corn Snake

Range: South Eastern United States

Habitat: Highly variable habitat. Prefers living near source of fresh water. 

Natural Diet: Small mammals and birds

Diet at RainForest: Small pre-killed rodents 

Size: 48-60"

RainForest Facts: A medium sized constrictor, the Red rat or Corn snake, belongs to one of the largest snake families on earth, the colubrids.  Several rat snake  relatives live in the United States.

The Red rat, or Corn Snake is a frequently seen visitor to many rural farm settings. This highly adaptable snake is a voracious consumer of rodents often found in the rural farm setting.   An adept climber, the Corn snake, will climb vertically up tree trunks to gain access to the bird nests found there.  The color pattern of corn snakes is highly variable based on geographical location. 

Female Corn snakes lay up to 20 eggs per clutch, the average is 12.  60-75 days of incubation produces hatchlings capable of eating new born mice. 

One of the most frequently kept pet snakes, the corn snake, adapts quite well to life in captivity.  Literally tens of thousands are hatched annually in a kaleidoscope of colors.

Status in Wild: Declining numbers due to over collection, primarily for the pet trade, as well as habitat destruction.  Automobiles also account for a high rate of mortality as the corn snake crosses roads. 


Black Rat Snake

Range: Eastern, U.S.A

Habitat: Forested regions, often found around agricultural areas due to the presence of rodents. 

Natural Diet: Small mammals and birds

Diet at RainForest: Small pre-killed rodents 

Size: 48-60"

RainForest Facts: The black rat snake is a highly adaptable feeder; rodents comprise the majority of the diet, while birds are readily taken when available. A member of the large Rat snake family that includes Corn snakes, yellow rat snakes, and grey rat snakes.  Females deposit one clutch of eggs per year, generally in late spring to early summer.  Each clutch contains an average of 12 elongated eggs.   Incubation is generally 60-70 days.  Young rat snakes begin to feed almost immediately on young mice and small lizards.  

Status in Wild: Declining numbers primarily due to loss of suitable habitat. 


False Water Cobra

Range: Asia

Habitat: Fresh water areas such as ponds and swamps. 

Natural Diet: Small mammals, birds, and lizards.  Believed to occasionally eat fish.

Diet at RainForest: Small pre-killed rodents and chicks.

Size: 60-84"

RainForest Facts: Having the ability to spread a "hood", this non-venomous snake is often mistaken for a true cobra.  As the name implies, this animal is fond of aquatic habitats and is generally found near a permanent source of fresh water. 

Status in Wild: Declining numbers primarily due to loss of habitat.  The false water cobra is killed by uninformed individuals who believe the snake is venomous. 


 

 

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