African House Snake (Boaedon Capensis)
Range: South African subcontinent
Life span: 12-15 yr
House snakes are sexually dimorphic, the females
grow significantly larger, to about 3 1/2 feet, the males only grow to around 2
Because they are such aggressive feeders, they
frequently end up with some of the cage substrate in their mouths. Susceptible to opportunistic infections to
their oral mucosa (i.e. mouthrot) particularly
after ingesting sharp pieces of cage substrate when eating. For this reason, I recommend you either keep
your snakes on a non-ingestible substrate, such as paper, or feed the snakes in
a separate container (with no substrate or paper).
African House Snakes should be housed separately for
two reasons: to prevent them from eating each other and to prevent them from
mating. This is not a joke they will
breed themselves to death.
Temperature Requirements the substrate should be
around 90 F. The temperature of the
substrate at the cool end of the cage should be around 70 F.
The African House Snake - Feeding
Snakes will eat anything!
Snakes should eat alone!
(This aggressive feeding response has its good and
bad sides. Yes, it is easy to get newly
acquired house snakes to eat, but they are so overzealous in their eating, that
the will frequently attack each other instead of the prey!
This is even true of "well adjusted"
captive raised adults. As soon as one of
the snakes finishes swallowing its food, it will begin swallowing the other
snakes food, even if the other snake is in the process of swallowing it! If you don't intervene, you end up with one
very fat snake instead of two! I have
even seen house snakes trying to swallow parts of the other snake that smelled
like a mouse, from where it had constricted a mouse.
So even if you keep them together at other times,
separate house snakes for feeding.
Baby house snakes can present a different
problem. I have seen and heard of
several incidences of baby house snakes that were not provided adequate food
eating their siblings.)
Snakes are thin snakes!
(Another of their python-like attributes is their
willingness to try to ingest enormous meals.
House Snakes are meant to be lithe, slender snakes. Trying to "correct" this by overfeeding
usually results in premature death of the snake.
I recommend feeding adult house snakes once every
week to ten days. At each feeding, I
give them one or two food items that are slightly larger in diameter than their
body. For breeding females, I will
sometimes double this food load to help them get their body mass back up to
normal between clutches. Males, on the
other hand, don't need much food.)