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Rough Green Snake?

Discussion in 'Snakes - General' started by graduationxday, May 18, 2008.

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  1. graduationxday

    graduationxday Elite Member


    Is that what this snake is?
    I was told he was a vine snake at a reptile show, then on the receipt the man who sold him to me wrote rough green.
    The man who sold him said he eats crickets...
    Is that true?
    and I have more questions about his cage and stuff.
  2. Lyn

    Lyn Elite Member

    Hi there. That does appear to be a rough green snake and they do eat crickets.

    He is pretty. Let us know what your other questions are. Best wishes and welcome!
  3. graduationxday

    graduationxday Elite Member

    I'm getting off now. So I'm going to go ahead and post the questions I had about him in case someone who can answer them reads this.

    How much of what does he need to eat how often?

    How big of a tank does he need? I have him in a ten gallon now with coconut bark as substrate and alot of sticks and stuff for him to crawl on now, and a water bowl. Is that suitable? I can get pictures if you need some.

    How big will he get?

    Is it possible to sex him?
    I just say he's a he now because I don't want to call him an it lol.

    Temperature and humidity?

    Light, heat rock, what?

    Okay I think that's it.
    Sorry I have to get off.. I'll check it again tonight if I can.
    I also don't have school tomorrow so I'll be able to check it tomorrow if not tonight.
  4. graduationxday

    graduationxday Elite Member

    Aw thank you so much.
    I think he's gorgeous.
    His name is Sprite. lol

    How many crickets and how often?
    All my other questions are in the post above...
    You hadn't replied when I posted that.
  5. ryanpb

    ryanpb Elite Member

    Rough Green snakes (Opheodrys aestivus), are cool little things, they are not Green Vine Snakes(Ahaetulla nasuta) or (Oxybelis fulgidus), Those Green Vine snakes are venomous, though rather mildly so.
    These guys are a bit arboreal, and like space to climb around quite a bit, I would say the minimum possible tank you could house a rough green snake in is a 20 high, while they are small, topping off at about 28", they can be quite active, and will tend to climb around, they would love a 29 gallon tank.
    Temperature, I’m not positive on, but I’d say about 80F on the warm end 70F on the cool end, with moderate humidity, though ventilation is very important.
    I've heard they are not really a great beginner snake, they're easily stressed and although they rarely bite, they are still a bit of a look /don't touch snake.
    As for the diet, while yes, they are insectivores they do eat crickets, there diet should be a bit varied, crickets, earthworms, moths, grasshoppers, so on, should all be offered, varying the diet. As for how much and when to feed, that seems to be debated, but I would suggest feeding two, maybe three times a week, unlike many other snakes, they should not be offered prey items any bigger then there widest point. Fresh water, enough to soak their entire body, should always be available, but they will sometimes only drink water droplets from leaves and branches, so misting at least once a day is needed. As for the tank setup, think low-lying branches or bushes, 2/3 of the tank should be covered with branches, plants, and vines, and they also require a hide, I’d suggest one on each end of the tank.
    Sexing them should be left to someone with a lot of experience sexing snakes, as, though I have heard females will get bigger then males, I really don't think there is any other way of telling other then probing the snake.
    These are one of the snakes that we can occasionally get into the pet store I work at, when available, and I’m debating buying one, though I may wait until I can buy a Ahaetulla nasuta instead.
    Though that would have to wait until I live in a state without the same rules on venomous snakes.
  6. graduationxday

    graduationxday Elite Member

    Okay cool. My boyfriend has a tank thats maybe 20 or 30 gallons high that he doesn't currently have anything in. He said he'd give it to me. I'm giving him my 40 gallon that we had my mountain horned dragons in, so I won't feel bad for taking it. lol.

    I can do his diet. It would be okay to feed him earthworms and grasshoppers and such that I catch outside, right?

    With the heat, would I need a light or heat rock? I figure that since he's aboreal a light would be better, but I really have no idea.

    The guy I bought him from said he would be an easy snake. If I had known he wouldn't be that good of a beginner snake, I probably wouldn't have gotten him. I would like to keep him though; I've grown attatched in the day and a half I've had him. lol.

    So, with him being a bit of a look don't touch snake, would that mean I should never hold him? I figured I shouldn't hold him at all for the first week or so, until he gets used to his new life, but i thought that after that I could hold him every now and then and get him more docile and friendly.

    And about sexing him, I'll probably just leave that one alone. It's no big deal really. I'm not planning on breeding or getting another one any time soon, so I don't see why it would really matter.

    He is amazingly gorgeous though. Really neat to look at. One of my cats likes to sit on top of his tank though... I'm trying to break him of that habit. It seems to be working pretty good. lol
  7. ryanpb

    ryanpb Elite Member

    Cats have a tendency of doing that. To keep the stress down, I'd keep the cat out of the room the snake is in for a week or two. Once it's settled in, I just let my cats discover on their own that they can't get into the tanks, no matter how much they want too.

    A 40 gallon breeder for a 20 high or 29 gallon tank, sounds like your getting the bad end of the deal there, but if your happy with it, then great.

    DO NOT use a heat rock, these are horrible for any reptile, but especially horrible for snakes. I'd use a light, and possibly a human heat pad under the tank, keep it on the lowest setting, and watch the temps, the lights should be on a 12 hour on, 12 hour off cycle.
    Give him at Least a week to settle in. I'd suggest closer to two, before even thinking about picking him up. After its settled in, and before you even start trying to handle it, get it very used to you, spend time with a hand in the tank, it looks stupid, feels stupider, but you want them to lose any fear your hands represent. I've even heard of some people feeding these guys with small tongs to "win them over" After enough of that, the snake can be handled a bit, but let it come to you, if it loses its fear of your hands, to them it's just something else to climb on, but always, slow, fluid movements, nothing quick or jerky.

    I'd try not to feed grasshoppers, worms and moths you find right outside, you don't know what kind of pesticides are used. Both grasshoppers and earthworms can be ordered online, and bait shops will also sell earthworms, though I'm not sure if they would be any better then you pull out of the ground. I'd suggest breeding earthworms(very easy to do) to keep a supply around. Grasshoppers are harder to breed, and can be a bit more expensive to order, but if you know a remote enough location, away from all dwellings, factories, and waterways that would be downstream of anything like that, you should be safe harvesting them from outside.

    I would also suggest covering two-three sides of the tank with some kind of opaque covering, a background, or even dark colored paper. This will help the snake feel more secure.
    Really, what makes these less of a beginner snake, is that they can stress out easier then larger snakes, and that they require a diverse diet.
    They are sometimes sold as a easy snake, and even the tag from Petco reads, eats crickets, easy snake, however these snakes can actually live up to 15 years long, so someone buys it, puts it in a ten gallon tank with a water bowl, a hide and a few fake plants, feeds it crickets, maybe the occasional earthworm. If it happens to live 8 years long (about half there lifespan) they think they did okay, and label it an easy snake.

    Plus, if you bought it from a breeder, (no offense to anyone that breeds reptiles here) I'm sure he would tell you it's a relatively easy snake to care for.
  8. graduationxday

    graduationxday Elite Member

    Yeah, the guy I bought him from said he ate 50 crickets yesterday...
    That made me question how much the guy knows about the snake.
    But i really don't know anything about them so I figured I had no right to question.
    I don't know if 50 crickets is even a possibility for this snake though, not at once.
    He's so little...

    And the tank thing doesn't really bother me. Ben needs it more than me. He has a ball python in a too-small tank right now. My 40 gallon's bigger than what his snake's in now, and we're not using it, so I don't see why I shouldn't give it to him.

    Is it okay if he stays in the 10 gallon for maybe a week or so while I work on getting the new tank? Ben has stuff in it right now, just junk though. He can just move the stuff, but it's been outside so I'll need to clean it and all that fun stuff. And I'll have to set it up. Will the 10 gallon be bad to keep him in for any length of time?

    By the way, thanks for all your help. It's very very very much appreciated. :]]
  9. ryanpb

    ryanpb Elite Member

    You're welcome.
    The ten gallon tank will work for sometime. I would try getting him into his permanent tank within the next two weeks though. Once you move him you're going to want to go through the whole leaving him alone for another 1-2 weeks process again. It would be better to take a little bit more time and get the new tank all setup before you move him, rather than put him in a half finished tank, and bother him for the next two weeks adding new things.

    As for the snake eating crickets, this is a snake that is probably fed twice a week. If the crickets are small enough, and the snake large enough, the snake may be able to eat 50 at a time. With these guys I could understand feeding them 50 tiny crickets over 10-15 large crickets.

    Along with the information I have given you, I'd suggest researching about these guys yourself even more, online, and through any books you find. A public library can be a great resource, and around here at least, they will bring in books from other libraries in the county, your not just limited to what one library has.
    I usually like to get my own information about my reptiles, or reptiles I want, from a mix of online research, caresheets, books, feedback on forum boards, (though I'll admit, I pretty much only use this forum board) and also, something that is often overlooked, the niche these animals fill in their ecosystem, information about where they are from, and their behavior in the wild.

    My hands on experience with these guys is rather limited. They are hard to get into the pet store, and I haven't seen any in some time. Most of this is research, passed along knowledge, and what I could discern that there natural habitat would be. I believe this is all good research, and if I was to setup an enclosure for these guys, this is how I would go though with it.

    There really is the potential to setup an awesome enclosure, live plants, branches, vines, the works, Something these guys will really enjoy.
  10. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    No. Insects from outside may be contaminated with pesticides or other chemical agents.

    Do not use hot rocks. They malfunction and can burn the animal. An undertank heater or a light or CHE would be preferable. And if you put it on a thermostat, when it gets warm in the room the thermostat will shut off the heater.
  11. graduationxday

    graduationxday Elite Member

    So how many little crickets should I feed him?

    And no heat rocks. Light instead.
    No outside bugs.
    Got it. :]

    And yeah, I've been planning on doing some online research on my own.
    I haven't had much time lately, I've only been on this website in the past couple of days.
    I probably will have time today though. :)
  12. graduationxday

    graduationxday Elite Member

    Oh, I forgot to ask.
    What plants would you recommend?
    I'm going to do research on that right now, but if you have anything specific you think would be good, let me know. :]
  13. ryanpb

    ryanpb Elite Member

    You're looking for low maintenance plants, that thrive with moderate humidity.
    You might be able to get a few pothos in there. You could also try some ivy plants, they're pretty easy. Maybe even some ferns near the bottom, just keep them out of direct harsh light. You can get some of these from home depot, or a plant supply store, but could also check Live Plants: Black Jungle Terrarium Supply .
    As for how many crickets you feed him, that's tough, it's hard to give you a number, because it comes down to the snake's size.
    My suggestion for feeding, is take a clear deli cup, like what a reptile would come in from a breeder, cut a hole, twice as wide as the snake in the lid, and place the deli cup, with the food items in it inside the tank when your feeding. The first time, I'd put the cup in with plenty of crickets, watch it for about 10 minutes, and find out how many the snake eats. After that, just feed that many 2x a week, using the deli cup.
    Here's a link to a book for sale on Rough green snakes, I'm not sure how great it is, but I came across it while searching for a certain book on boas.
    Rough Green Snakes Care Book
  14. graduationxday

    graduationxday Elite Member

    Wow. I just had a whole bunch typed out, then clicked "temporarily allow popups" so I could use spell check...
    It deleted the whole thing.

    Oh well. Anyway, what I had said was:

    I've been looking at plants, and I think I want to get a moss to grow ontop of the substrate [[whatever substrate I'd need to grow moss on...]].

    I also have been looking for a particular looking vine, but I'm not sure if one exists.
    Here's a description of what I think would be good for Sprite [[my little snakey's name lol]]:

    A vine that doesn't need things to twist and grow around, with leaves, but not very many, where the actual vine part itself isn't smaller than 1/2 inch or bigger that 3/4 inch.
    Is there such a plant?

    If not, then I'll get a vine with few leaves that has a thin viney part, and get it to grow around sticks and other climbs I'll have in his terrarium. :]

    Should I post this in the plant forums incase anyone there knows?
  15. ryanpb

    ryanpb Elite Member

    As far as I know, Most if not all vines, need something else to attach to, if they just free float like that, they're another plant. You could always buy dead vines that you can twine around yourself.
    Moss would be nice, but can get a bit harder to keep clean, other than that I can't see why not to use it for these guys, though it could make the humidity too high. If you do use it make sure there is good air circulation. It'll usually grow on a EcoEarth and organic potting soil mix.

    You could try asking in the plant forums for more suggestion too.
  16. fire2225ems

    fire2225ems Subscribed User Premium Member

    You could also make your own vine. Get some thick rope and cover it with silicone. If you want a more natural look, add some EcoEarth to the silicone before it sets.
  17. BlackJack

    BlackJack Subscribed User Premium Member

    I had 2 smooth green snakes when I was a teenager. I'm not sure how different they are from rough green snakes. Mine were very docile and surprisingly mellow for small snakes. I handled them regularly and enjoyed having them. They also ate crickets which I bought at the pet store and fed once a week.
    Good luck with yours -- he's a cutie.
  18. ryanpb

    ryanpb Elite Member

    Smooth Green Snakes are more terrestrial, whereas rough green snakes are more arboreal. There are also differences in size, behavior, and even their food in the wild.
    And as far as I know, you can't have smooth green snakes as pets anymore, I'm pretty sure they are listed as threatened.
  19. BlackJack

    BlackJack Subscribed User Premium Member

    Thanks for the information Ryan. I bought my green snakes from a pet store in California 27 years ago; so things have obviously changed a lot since then.
  20. graduationxday

    graduationxday Elite Member

    Thank you. :]
    I adore him.

    I may just make my own vine, or get more dead ones.
    I got some from outside. Most weren't actually dead, but I figured that would be better than dead things because they would have more bugs than live ones.
    I have those in his cage now.
    They're not tall enough for his new enclosure though, so yeah.
    I think I'll take this to the plant forum when I get more time
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