Rough Green Snake Caresheet
Caring for your Rough Green Snake
Rough Green Snakes are a small, slender and delicate snake from North America.
The care of Rough Green Snakes is quite different from the care of any other commonly kept snake. They are insectivores, which means they will thrive on a varied diet of appropriately sized insects like crickets and locusts, unlike most other snakes kept as pets which feed on defrosted rodents. Most insects have a negative Ca:P ratio and very little Vitamin D3 so it is important that all livefood is supplemented with a good quality supplement such as Nutrobal.
Rough Green Snakes are an arboreal species and so it is important to provide a vivarium with plenty of height as they will spend most of their time near the top of the vivarium. Being an arboreal reptile, and also day active, they require specialist lighting that emits UVB like Exo Terra's Repti Glo range. This is essential as it will ensure that they can synthesise adequate quantities of Vitamin D3.
2" - 3" (Tall) Vivarium or larger
Shallow, Heavy Dish
Calcium D3 and multivitamin supplements (Nutrobal)
Heat Mat, Thermostat
UVB LIGHTING REQUIRED
One adult requires at least a 2" - 3" (Tall) Vivarium. Rough Green Snakes are very slender and so it is very important that the vivarium is secure! If using a standard wooden vivarium, then it is even possible for them to squeeze through the gap between the glass so this must be blocked to prevent exit. Exo Terra's all glass vivariums are more secure as long as you make sure the holes made for the cables are blocked.
Provide several branches and hiding places throughout the cage so your Rough Green Snake will feel secure. The vivairum should be sprayed daily so that the humidity is maintained between 60% and 75%. Water must always be available in a heavy shallow dish and changed daily. The temperature during the day should be maintained between 80F on the hot spot and 70F ambient air temperature. Usually these temperatures are easily produced using a heat mat. Locate the tank out of direct sunlight to avoid overheating. You will need a substrate that holds humidity well. Orchid Bark is a popular substrate for Rough Green Snakes, though there are others available that are also suitable including Komodo's Tropical Terrain.
Unlike most snakes kept as pets, Rough Green Snake should thrive on a diet of insects, mainly crickets or locusts (of appropriate size). You will need to dust the crickets with a mineral supplement to make sure your Rough Green Snake gets all the nutrition they need. We recommend Nutrobal as it contains both Calcium and D3 which aids in the use of the calcium supplement. Because of this diet it is necessary to provide UV lighting which should be positioned near the top of the vivarium.
Check the vivarium daily and remove faeces and dead food immediately. Wash out the water and food dishes daily. Place the Rough Green Snake in an escape proof container while cleaning the vivarium. The vivarium should be washed monthly in hot water and the substrate changed. Use a Reptile Safe disinfectant to sterilise the tank such as BEA Reptile Disinfectant. Rinse well with hot water and dry thoroughly.
Although Rough Green are generally docile, and rarely ever bite, they are fast and wiggly when handled and this in combination with their delicate physique means that they are a snake not ideally suited to regular handling sessions.
Do not handle your Rough Green Snake in the first week of bringing it home. The move tends to be stressful for it so leave it alone in the first week and then try feeding it the following week. If it feeds normally in the first week, leave it alone for another couple of days to allow it to digest its meal and then you can begin to handle it.
Try to avoid handling your Rough Green Snake in an area it can easily escape if you lose control over it. Snakes are notorious escape artists and will disappear down the most impossible places if given the opportunity!