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Posted by michael56 on April 28, 2003 at 11:55:37:
In Reply to: Earthworms ? posted by Mizar 21 on April 28, 2003 at 05:51:11:
Absolutely, it has been reported that water snakes eat earthworms however there is a catch. Worms might be a staple for newborn nerodia and dietary shift takes place as the snake matures/grows larger and such small food items no longer play a role as a food source.
Secondly, snakes can "imprint" on a single food item and refuse all others. This more likely in captivity since we may cause this to happen due to availability to us! A young nerodia in the wild might eat earthworms, tadpoles and fish fry. We take the snake home and give it goldfish for a month. Then we offer it a small trout. It won't eat (at least for a while), then it accepts the new food. Now offer any or all of it's natural foods and it (like a child tasting sugar) refuses to take anything but fish! Perhaps live goldfish over thawed trout!
But it would be a good thing to continue to OFFER it a variety, just in case ... remember, food items may be selected seasonally, by opportunity, by maturity, even by taste. Scent the worms with fish and - who knows?