African House Snakes: Everything You Need to Know

African house snakes are a popular choice for pet snakes due to their docile nature and easy care requirements. If you’re considering adding an African house snake to your home, there are a few things you need to know. In this article, we’ll cover everything from African house snake species and habitat, to diet and care. By the end, you’ll be an expert on all things African house snake!

 

African House Snake Species and Habitat

There are two main species of African house snakes – the common house snake (Ptyas periodical) and the southern house snake (Ptyas cucullata). The common house snake is the more widespread of the two, being found in countries throughout Africa, including Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda. The southern house snake, on the other hand, is found primarily in southern Africa – namely, South Africa, Botswana, and Namibia.

Both species of African house snake are small snakes, averaging between 30 and 50 cm in length. They are non-venomous snakes that are not considered to be dangerous to humans. The African house snake gets its name from the fact that it is often found in human habitations, such as houses and barns.

 

Diet and Feeding

The African house snake is a carnivorous snake, meaning that its diet consists primarily of meat. In the wild, the African house snake will eat a variety of small prey items, including rodents, lizards, and birds. In captivity, the African house snake can be fed a diet of frozen/thawed mice or rats. It is important to offer your snake a variety of different sizes of prey items, as this will help to ensure that it receives all the nutrients it needs.

The African house snake is a constrictor, meaning that it kills its prey by wrapping its body around it and squeezing it until it suffocates. It is important to offer your snake live prey items, as this will help to stimulate its natural hunting instincts. Live prey should be offered no more than once a week, as constricting and eating can be stressful for the snake.

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Caring for Your African House Snake

Caring for an African house snake is relatively easy, as they have fairly simple needs. In terms of housing, a 20-gallon tank is sufficient for a single adult snake. If you are keeping multiple snakes together, you will need a larger enclosure. It is important to provide your snake with hiding places, as they like to feel secure. Hiding places can be created using overturned flower pots, cardboard boxes, or commercial snake hides.

The enclosure should have a tight-fitting lid, as African house snakes are good climbers and may escape if given the opportunity. The enclosure should also be equipped with a heating element, as African house snakes require warm temperatures in order to thrive. A basking spot of 85-90 degrees Fahrenheit should be provided, with the rest of the enclosure being kept at 75-80 degrees Fahrenheit.

 

Health and Potential Problems

African house snakes are generally healthy snakes, but there are a few potential health problems that you should be aware of. One such problem is respiratory infections, which can be caused by humidity levels that are too low. Respiratory infections are characterized by symptoms such as wheezing, gaping mouth, and mucus around the nose and mouth. If your snake is displaying any of these symptoms, it is important to take it to the vet as soon as possible.

Another potential health problem that can affect African house snakes is obesity. This is usually caused by overfeeding, so it is important to be careful not to overfeed your snake. Obesity can lead to a variety of health problems, such as heart disease and diabetes. If you think your snake may be obese, it is important to take it to the vet for a check-up.

 

FAQs about African House Snakes

How big does an African house snake get?

African house snakes typically grow to be between 30 and 50 cm in length. However, some individuals may grow larger than this. African house snakes are not considered to be dangerous to humans, as they are non-venomous snakes.

Where do African house snakes live?

African house snakes are found in a variety of habitats throughout Africa. They are most commonly found in woodlands and savannas, but can also be found in rainforests and desert regions. African house snakes are semi-arboreal, meaning that they spend part of their time in trees and bushes.

What do African house snakes eat?

African house snakes typically feed on lizards, rodents, and small birds. In the wild, they will also eat amphibians and invertebrates. It is important to offer your snake a variety of different sizes of prey items, as this will help to ensure that it receives all the nutrients it needs. Live prey should be offered no more than once a week, as constricting and eating can be stressful for the snake.

How often do African house snakes eat?

African house snakes typically eat once every 5 to 7 days. However, babies and juvenile snakes may eat more frequently, up to 2 or 3 times per week. If you’re unsure whether your snake is getting enough food, consult with a reptile veterinarian or experienced snake keeper for guidance.

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