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Hey Everyone,

So I'm deciding between two snakes to have as a pet/display for my house. They're both diurnal and usually seen very active around the cage as far as I've been told. I'm deciding either between a snake from the pithiophis genus (gopher, bull, pine) or a Vietnamese blue beauty snake (Orthriophis taeniurus callicyanous). The reason is first and foremost, colubrids, besides your average corn or kingsnake, are very underrated. Both these snakes look very impressive once fully grown, and that is one of the deciding factors for me as well.

Before anyone makes any assumptions, I want you to know that I have a background in snakes which comes comes from over a year and a half of herpetology knowledge and specifically knowledge of snakes. Although, I've never kept a snake at my home for pleasure. I have kept many for long winter seasons at my office where I researched. I also have experience in handling and field collecting snakes from both indochina and thailand, as well the snakes found in the United States. I wanted my first snake to be somewhat of a challenge as well as a rewarding experience. I feel as if I'm capable and comfortable in keeping these snakes. The only thing I'm on the fence about is the temps and humidity of the blue beauty. Please feel free to let me know which choice you'd prefer. Or let me know if I'm just out of my mind starting with these two choices.
 

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I have never kept a blue beauty, so am a little biased. :whistling2:

As you know from your previous experience, all snakes are individuals, so you can never get a 100% accurate picture of what every animal will be like, so here's a basic generalisation. :whistling2:
Pits are very easy to keep, certainly no harder than any other N. American colubrid, such as the good old corn or kings.
They had a poor reputation in the bad old days and were not recommended as a first snake. This is no doubt due to a plethora of wild caught adults finding their way into front rooms. The captive bred snakes I've come across tend not to be in the least bit psychotic. Some are a bit "spirited", but then so are kings! My bull has never bitten, nor did my pine, but my gopher does occasionally make a feeding error. :blush: They are usually fairly calm and relatively confident animals.
As you say, diurnal and active, benefiting from a large viv. Most (as always, not all) seem to take to handling very well especially if kept from young, and mine have always roamed around the house each day.
They may actually be a little tame if you are looking for a challenge, as I would recommend them to all but the most naive of beginners!

Having said that, the very rare (in the UK hobby) Pituophis l. lineaticollis may fit your bill. I have been lucky enough to see a couple in the flesh. Stunning looking animals, and by all accounts, they are not pussy cats! If I had been 20 years younger I may possibly have sold a kidney for a chance of one. :2thumb:
 

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Pituophis. Mainly because for a Beginner any species of Beauty snake is a bad idea just due to the pure aggression alot of Specimens display. I own a pair of Orthriophis taeniurus taeniurus as soon as that vivarium door is open you have them in you're face. Where as Pituophis sp. are more hiss and bite. And a lot slower compared to Orthriophis sp.
 

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I used to have a bull snake - great looking, impressive animal, and one of the easiest snakes I have ever owned.

I have no experience of Beauty snakes but based on everything I've read, they are less straight forward. May make for a better display animal if that's what you're after because i think they're more likely to make use of any height in the viv.
 
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