Snakes (and reptiles in general) are quickly growing in popularity as pets in American households. It’s not hard to see why. They are beautiful living dinosaurs that are as much living art as they are animals. Snakes also offer a unique type of pet-owning experience that provides both a sense of adventure and bragging rights. It also must be mentioned that for those coming from owning a dog or a cat, snakes can also be a lot easier (and cheaper) to care for. While there are many reasons to love snakes, there are a few that stand out above the rest. These are the five most popular snake pets in the U.S:
Ball pythons are the most commonly kept snake in the entire exotic pet industry and easily claim their number one spot on any snake popularity list. They embody all of the characteristics and qualities of a great beginner snake but offer the feel and look of a much more advanced creature. This combination of features plus the literally thousands of morphs (variations in color and pattern) ball pythons are available in is why they’re sought after by both beginners and experienced snake owners.
These colorful snakes are the best of the best when it comes to beginner snake species. Corn snakes are mild in both size and temperament. They can grow to a decent size (typically 3-4 feet long), but being slender-bodied snakes makes them very easy to pick up and maneuver as needed. Corn snakes are inherently calm, docile, and tame, making them a safe introduction to caring for ectotherms.
Sometimes referred to simply as ‘cal kings’ for short, this is a popular colubrid that’s beginner-friendly but still has some edge to them. You’ll need to have a bit of patience to reveal their best behavior, but it’s definitely worth it (not to mention they’re completely harmless). The biggest factor to their popularity is both their especially beautiful appearance and their sociability.
There are two families of boa constrictors: boa constrictor and boa constrictor imperator. When someone refers to this popular breed, they are likely referring to the true red tail boa. Even if you’re not into reptiles, you’ve definitely heard of this species. Famous for its method of subduing its prey (we’ll give you three guesses as to what it is), boa constrictors are frequently depicted in pop culture and movies.
We’ve got two words to say about this snake: small and cute. Western hognose snakes have a unique face shape which is where their name comes from. Their upturned snouts make them experts at rummaging through leaf litter, which is convenient because that’s what they like to do best. Another reason for their popularity is that they’re one of the smaller beginner-friendly snakes that rarely grow to be more than two feet long.
There are over 3,000 species of snakes in the world but there are only a few that hold the title of being most popular. Corn snakes, ball pythons, kingsnakes, boa constrictors, and hognose snakes are widely considered to be some of the best for reptile beginners which indubitably led to their rise to reptile fame. If you are a first-time snake owner, these popular species are a great place to start. You can find these snakes for sale online at specialty pet stores for a hassle-free snake-buying experience.