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Latin name: Madagascarophis colubrinus
This individual is a baby female who hatched June of 2021 and is about 18” in length. She’s currently eating live pinkie mice 1x every 5 days.
General info and temperament: Madagascar Cat Eyed Snakes are beautiful and small colubrids who are crepuscular/nocturnal and have a widely varied diet.
This is a low risk rear-fanged venomous species and should be handed/fed with some degree of caution. The reason these snakes are considered low risk is because of their docile temperaments, low venom potency and slow venom delivery.
Habitat and lifestyle: M. colubrinus is found everywhere across Madagascar except for the southern quarter of the island. Their preferred habitat is the rainforest floor though they are good climbers as well and will take to the trees to search for better stake-out areas to wait for prey.
Size and lifespan: Females can grow as long as 3 feet in length with males staying smaller, typically reaching 2.5 feet in length. They can live up to 15 years in captivity.
Quick care stats:
Temperatures: 90 degrees Fahrenheit in the basking area, 80 degrees Fahrenheit on the cool end.
Humidity: 70%-75% and up to 90% during shed cycles.
Mist 1x-2x daily or set up an automatic mister to accomplish the same thing.
Tank size: 10-20 gallons for babies/juveniles, 50+ gallons for adults.
Tank type: Standard rectangle-allow for good floor space but some climbing structures as well, particularly for younger individuals who like to climb. Make sure it has a secure sliding door/doors. Sit-atop screen lids for glass tanks are not recommended for these guys, they are escape artists!
Lighting: Both a heat pad and a dimmable heat lamp are recommended for snakes living in glass tanks. Use a dimmable heat bulb by itself with a bulb guard for a wood or melamine tank. Thermostats are also helpful. Full spectrum UVB lighting is not required for this species but is highly recommended for all reptiles for overall welfare.
Substrate and furniture: Soil or bark substrate 2"deep or deeper. Provide lots of hiding places and climbing areas. Provide a water dish that is large enough for the snake to curl up into for soaking
Handling: Madagascar Cat Eyed Snaked can be handled a few times per week with handling sessions being not much longer than 30 minutes. While this is already a pretty docile species, consistent handling will help them become even more comfortable with human interaction.
Because this is a rear fanged venomous species, we recommend removing this species gently from their enclosure with a snake hook if the individual is behaving defensive or fearfully.
When not to handle: After the snake has eaten, give them 2-3 days to digest their food before handling them again. When you first bring the snake home or move it to a new enclosure, wait at least 3 days before handling it to give it a chance to settle in to the new environment.
Diet: In the wild, this species eats frogs, small birds, lizards, small mammals and other snakes. In human care, these snakes can be maintained on a diet of appropriately sized mice however some keepers will offer feeder anoles/house geckos as part of the diet as well.
Feeding frequency: every 4-5 days for babies, 1x per week for juveniles and adults. Prey item should be as wide as the widest part of the snake's body.