There are over 3,000 different species of snakes in the world. Choosing just one can seem a daunting task. The selection process can be especially challenging for beginner snake owners or those who have never owned a reptile before. A good beginner pet snake should be low maintenance, small to medium sized, and have a calm temperament. These fantastic qualities (and more!) can be found in these top 3 best beginner snakes: the ball python, the corn snake, and the California kingsnake. All three of these snakes are incredibly popular and you can find these snakes for sale anywhere reptiles are sold.
The Best Temperament: Ball Python
The ball python is the most popular type of snake sold as a pet. A major part of this species’ charm is because it makes for such a wonderful beginner snake. These moderately-sized snakes don’t get very large, maxing out around 4 or 5 feet. Why is this beneficial? Their small stature makes these animals much easier for their owners to physically handle and helps minimize costs when it comes to buying a tank. Speaking of handling, ball pythons are much more social than your average snake and take to handling quite well. For the curious new snake owner who wants a hands-on experience with their reptile pet, the non-aggressive ball python is a great choice. Ball pythons can also boast that they’re the snake species with the most morphs or color/pattern variations to choose from.
Most Affordable Snake: Corn Snakes
Small, sleek, and friendly. Corn snakes are the smallest of our recommended best beginner snakes. They rarely exceed 4 feet in length and can comfortably be housed in 10-gallon tanks. Another reason corn snakes are such a hit with beginners is because of how unfussy they are about their housing arrangements. Whereas some other snakes require specific humidity levels or dramatic differences in day and nighttime temperatures, the corn snake is as easy going as it gets. Native to North America, corn snakes can be found in a wide variety of habitats and are highly adaptable to whatever environment they’re in. The corn snake is the clear choice for beginner snake owners on a budget.
Most Visually Appealing: California Kingsnake
When you think of a snake, you probably picture something like the affectionately nicknamed “Cali King”. These snakes are part of the constrictor family. While that might sound intimidating, these snakes are quite gentle and do well with interactions with its owner. Keep in mind that they don’t play well with other snakes, however. While it’s generally considered to be a bad idea to put multiple snakes in one enclosure, it’s something to be avoided at all costs with a kingsnake.
One of the main reasons why pet owners choose the kingsnake is because of its stunning appearance. Kingsnakes have striking colorations and patterns that are sure to impress. Although it cannot boast having nearly as many morphs as the ball python, even the basic kingsnake morphs are beautiful.