Giant African Land Snails
Giant African land snails have dark brown shells with fawn and white markings; their bodies are brown and patterned with purple, white and fawn marks. Depending on the species, a land snail shell can measure between 10-20cm long, with the less commonly kept Achatina achatina being the largest land snail. Giant African land snails are nocturnal.
Things to know:
Snails should be picked up very gently by their shells – its best to pick them up when they are resting on the soil floor of their home rather than when they are stuck tightly to its glass.
•Exposure to chemicals
A healthy snail will have a clean unbroken shell and no unusual lumps, bumps and patches on its body.
Cleaning out, bedding and food:
•Giant African land snails will need a well-ventilated glass or sturdy plastic tank with a secure lid.
•Two land snails will need an enclosure measuring 60cm long x 45cm wide x 40cm high. More snails will need a larger tank.
•The enclosure should have 3-6cm layers of peat substitute on the floor that needs to be kept moist but not soaking.
•Avoid using soil from the garden as it may be to stony and include fertilizers or other chemicals.
•Snails should be kept at temperatures of 21-23’C
•A heat pad can be used under half of the tank unless the room they are kept in maintains the appropriate temperature in the tank.
•A water bowl should be placed in the enclosure for the snails to drink from and to help maintain humidity.
•The tank should also be misted lightly.
•Leafy greens including lettuce, cabbage, spinach, watercress, land cress, dandelions, and grass should all be on the land snail’s menu.
Corn Snakes and Common Rat Snakes
Corn snakes have been selectively bred in captivity, resulting in a wide range of different varieties, or morphs. Corn snakes grow to a length of 1-1.2m within 3-4 years in captivity, but can grow up to 1.8m. Rat snakes can grow to 2m, but rarely in captivity Rat snakes reach full size in 5years. These snakes commonly live for 12 years in captivity.
Things to know and consider:
Health issues to think about when taking on theses snakes;
•Burns from incorrect lighting and heating
•Inability to shed or slough skin
Cleaning, bedding and food:
•These snakes are solitary in the wild. The can be housed alone or, if each snake is provided with adequate space and access to refuges, small groups of similar sized snakes can be kept together.
•A pair of snakes would need a vivarium with a minimum length that is as long as the largest snake and measures 50cm wide and 50cm high, to provide the space needed to maintain the range of temperatures and access to the refuges.
•The vivarium will need a hide box, paper towel lining, rough stone, ventilation and will need to be escape proof.
•The vivarium will need a day temperature of 24-27’C reducing to 21’C at night. It will also need a basking spot at 30’C
•Both types of snake should be fed on mice and small rats the mice should be freshly killed or frozen and fully defrosted.
•They will need fresh water in a heavy bowl they can not tip over.