ASIAN VINE SNAKES

Size: 5-6 feet
Enclosure: 24″ x 24″ x 36″ Tall
Temperament: Usually docile
Handleability: Handleable
Longevity: 10-12 years
Diet: Carnivore (Lizards)
Environment: Diurnal/Tropical/Arboreal
Difficulty: Advanced
Maintenance: Medium

Home:

In the wild, Asian Vine Snake spend most of their time in the trees; therefore, they require a very tall terrarium. Their enclosure should be full of real or artificial branches and greenery. The humidity needs to be kept between 60-80%. There are several ways to achieve this. We sell foggers, waterfalls and misting systems that can automatically raise the humidity. Or you can manually mist the terrarium at least three times a day. A Hydrometer should be used to monitor the humidity level. Fir bark, or coconut bark/shaving are ideal substrates. As with all reptiles, never use pine or cedar shaving as the can lead to severe respiratory problems.

Heat:

All reptiles, are “cold-blooded”. This does not mean that their blood is literally cold, only that they cannot produce their own heat like birds and mammals do. An external heat source must be provided. This heat source will provide a “thermo-gradient” (warm side fading to cool side) which will enable your reptile to “thermo-regulate” (control its own body temperature by moving to different spots in the terrarium as needed.)

The warm side of the terrarium should be kept at 85-90 degrees and should have plenty of branches for the snake to climb on to get closer to the light as needed. A digital thermometer will be needed to monitor the temperature of the warm side, and ideally a dimmable light fixture so you can adjust the heat output throughout the year. The heat light should be kept on for during the day, for 8-12 hours. The easiest way to achieve this is with a timer.

Unlike most snakes, this species also requires a UVA/UVB light to be on during daylight hours. These come in fluorescent tubes, fluorescent coil light, or in mercury vapor light bulbs. The two fluorescent types are less expensive, but do not provide sufficient heat, so they must be used in conjunction with a heat light. Mercury vapor bulbs on the other hand produce heat and UVA/UVB light. They are a little pricier but will be the only light bulb required.

Never use heat rocks. Heat rocks often have hot spots, and require the animal to be in direct contact with it, which can cause severe burns.

Remember: All Fluorescent UV bulbs must be replaced every 6 months to maintain effectiveness. Mercury vapor bulbs need to be replaced every 12. After this time, they will still produce visible light, but the special glass they are made out of eventually starts to block out the UV light.

Water:

Asian Vine Snakes should either be provided with a medium sized water dish with movement (small water pump or air pump) or a waterfall do drink from. The drinking water should be changed every couple of days with fresh room-temperature water. Tap water contains chlorine and must be dechlorinated with a reptile safe water conditioner. The dish and waterfall should be sterilized about once a week with Wipeout 3.

Food:

Unlike most pet snakes, this species eats mainly lizards. House Geckos and Anoles are the most affordable and the most readily available. A feeder lizard should be provided to your snake about once per week. These snakes are rear-fanged and will “chew” mild venom (more like a sedative) into the lizard after they catch it. The lizard is then promptly swallowed whole, often still alive. As with all snakes, they should not be handled for a couple of days after they eat because you will increase the chance of regurgitation.

Shedding:

All reptiles periodically shed their skin as they grow. When a snake is getting ready to shed, its skin and eyes will become milky. Snakes in this state should not be handled unless absolutely necessary because they cannot see very well, and therefore will be extra defensive, and more likely than normal to bite. After a few days, your snake will snag its skin on something rough, like a branch or other piece of wood, and slither out of it, leaving an intact layer of skin behind. After a snake sheds it can be handled as usual, and their leftover skin makes a nice souvenir.

 Maintenance:

Every morning the lighting should be turned on and then back off again in the evening. A timer can help achieve this with regularity. Feces should be removed every day. The enclosure should be misted three times a day to help increase humidity. Snakes should be offered food every 7-10 days. Water must be replaced every 2-3 days, and dish must be sterilized once per week. The substrate should be replaced every 6-8 weeks, and the entire enclosure should be sterilized with Wipeout 3 every time you change the substrate.

Other:

Unlike most colubrids (group of snakes containing Milks, Kings, Corns, Ribbons, Garters and others) Asian Vine Snakes are mildly venomous. If bitten, swelling and nausea can occur but will subside within a few days. In theory this bite could be fatal to somebody who is allergic to it. Many people recommend never holding this species with bare hands because of the venom, but they are typically quite docile and will rarely bite. We will hold ours with bare hands, but the choice is yours, and so, we cannot be considered liable if you were to get bitten.