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Posted by chris_harper2 on March 09, 2003 at 16:56:40:
In Reply to: Green semi-arboreal rat? posted by SnowFoxx on March 09, 2003 at 15:43:47:
I've kept both Rough Greensnakes and Red-Tailed Green Ratsnakes.
I would not recommend either for a starter snake. Rough Greens can be a bit tricky at times. It seems like some individuals thrive and others just never acclimate well. Some seem to suffer from stress in captivity and as insect eaters they can fall victim to nutritional disorders.
There are the occasional captive born Rough Greensnakes and I'm sure these would be easier, but they are very uncommon. Most of them come from wild-caught females that are already gravid.
Captive born Red-Tailed Green Ratsnakes are easier to care for than wild-caught Rough Greensnakes from my experience. But I'm not sure I'd recommend them as a starter simply because they are pretty fast and can be aggressive. Both of these traits make them fairly hard to handle as adults. Also, my largest female is approaching seven feet long so I'm not sure that fits your criteria for a medium sized snake.
But it seems you've already decided that neither of these species is ideal for a first snake so I'm probably waisting bandwidth here.
Two species that come to mind are Elaphe frenata and Elaphe prasina. I don't recall what the common names are for those species. Both resemble Red-Tailed Green Ratsnakes and in fact will likely be placed in the same genus (Gonyosoma) in the near future. As such you can do Google.com searches for both Gonyosoma prasina and Elaphe prasina, for example.
I believe Elaphe frenata is slightly smaller than E. prasina, but both are quite a bit smaller than the Red-Tailed Green Ratsnake. Both are also supposed to be a lot calmer.
However, both are expensive as captive bred individuals. Over $600 in both cases, I think.
I'm trying to think of other snakes that fit your criteria but cannot at the moment. There are some rear-fanged species (mildly venomous) but I'm sure you don't want to start with those :-)
If the price range for E. frenata and E. prasina don't scare you away let me know and I'll look up some breeders for you. I've got them saved somewhere.