Top 7 Snakes for Beginners

What are the best snakes for beginners? What types of snakes to choose for beginners? When you start with snakes, you may be faced with a great dilemma: which snake to choose to start with? The difficulty lies in the immensity of the choice in terms of species adapted for a beginner.

Each snake has its own character, some will more easily accept manipulation than others, some will live rather during the day while there are also nocturnal snakes, etc.. These are all criteria to be taken into account to know how to choose your snake.

To make it easier for you in your choice for your first snake, here is our top 7 of the best snakes for beginners. Of course, you should always start with a snake that suits your knowledge. So this is the list of snakes suitable for beginners and hobbyists.

RankingSnake suitable for beginners


1 Wheat Snake
2 Lampropeltis getulus
3 Lampropeltis triangulum
4 Royal Python
5 Children’s Python
6 Morelia bredli
7 Boa constrictor

Wheat Snake

The wheat snake (Pantherophis guttatus) is the reference in terms of snakes easy to maintain for a beginner. It is the most recommended snake when adopting a pet snake for the first time. In terms of the snake’s character, size and needs, the wheat snake is a species perfectly adapted to beginners.

This orange reptile requires minimal maintenance and is very inexpensive. In fact, once all the equipment has been purchased (terrarium, layout, thermostat, heating mat, etc.), the only expense will be for the substrate and food. And at this level, you should know that a bag of substrate can be kept for a long time since it needs to be completely renewed only once every 4 to 6 months.

Read more: What Animals Can Keep Snakes Away?

Wheat Snake

As far as food is concerned, the wheat snake is fed a mouse once a week while still a juvenile and then every 15 days once adult. Finally, only its water bowl must be checked daily as well as the floor of its terrarium to remove excrement.

The wheat snake requires little knowledge about the conditions of keeping it in captivity. However, it is still necessary to be well informed on the subject. These basics to have are completely accessible to any beginner in the field. For example, you can ask for advice in your pet shop and buy books explaining how to take good care of your first wheat snake.

Lampropeltis getulus

Lampropeltis getulus, or king snake, is a reptile living in the eastern United States. There are seven subspecies of this snake, of which Lampropeltis getulus californiae is the most popular. The king snake is very easy to keep in captivity and is recommended for beginners for this reason.

In the wild, the snake Lampropeltis getulus is the sworn enemy of the dangerous rattlesnake. Indeed, the king snake feeds mainly on other snakes, even the most venomous ones. However, it is harmless to humans. This makes it an easy snake to handle and poses little danger to a beginner.

Crédit photo : © Dave Feliz sur Flickr

The king snake is calm by nature, it can be handled well but can be uncooperative if it does not want to be handled. It can be fed fresh dead rodents, either freshly killed or thawed, once a week for an adult specimen. It is also not very imposing since a terrarium of 80 cm by 40 cm is sufficient to maintain it.

The only point not to be neglected is the temperature parameters that must be respected to ensure its good health. It must be between 27 and 32°C depending on the areas of the terrarium during the day and 24°C at night.

Lampropeltis triangulum

The lampropeltis triangulum, more commonly known as the false or spotted snake, is a colourful snake whose maintenance conditions are close to those of the king snake. While it feeds mainly on other snakes, its diet can be adapted when it is in captivity with other small mammalian prey.

It remains an easy-to-maintain snake, mainly nocturnal, although it is sometimes seen active during the day. It is therefore ideal for people working during the day since they will not risk seeing their snake inactive at night.

Royal Python

Very well known to terrarists, and with good reason, the royal python (Python regius) is renowned for its docile and calm character. It is a nocturnal snake that does not appreciate agitation because of its shy nature which makes it easily stressed. A calm environment is a good place to raise a Royal Python. Even if it is not the most original snake as it is so popular, it remains very suitable for beginners as long as they know the basics of reptile maintenance.

Moreover, over the years the Royal Python has undergone many mutations. The first mutations of colour and skin are often very impressive for beginners but easy to manage. Today, there are many species with different and varied colours.

Read more: The Most Dangerous Snakes in The World

Children’s Python

The Children’s Python (Antaresia childreni) is a small snake, about 1m, very affordable both in cost and maintenance. This reptile is not venomous, it is quite calm and can be handled without much difficulty. The juveniles are a bit shy, which implies that they may have the reflex to bite if they feel in danger but although painful, their bites are harmless.

They do not require a large terrarium, which can be a plus if there is a lack of space. Like all snakes in captivity, it is important to respect the temperature and humidity parameters for its health.

Morelia bredli

The Morelia bredli is a member of the python family, it is a splendid brown snake of choice for a beginner. This massive snake can reach up to 3m in captivity, which requires having enough space to devote to it so that it does not feel compressed in a small terrarium. Moreover, it needs a habitat as long as it is tall to be able to evolve since it is arboreal. Although it is massive, the morelia bredli is a snake of a very calm nature once adult and lives at night and especially at dusk.

Boa constrictor

Another very popular snake, the Boa constrictor. It may seem intimidating because of its imposing size, but the boa is a docile and manipulable snake that can be easily handled by even the most novice. Like the python, the boa has undergone many mutations, so that today there are many subspecies and a wide variety of colours.

This list, although not exhaustive, will help you in your choice to begin. However, there is no better snake because these reptiles are very different and each one has its own criteria of choice. One species will suit you better than another! You should therefore make sure you find out which snake is suitable for your lifestyle.

If you own or have owned a snake, do not hesitate to share your experience on our forum dedicated to snakes or by leaving a comment to share your experience in terrariophily and thus help other beginners in their quest for the ideal snake.