Salt Marsh Snake Species Profile & Care Guide

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The salt marsh snake is an exotic species of snake native to the eastern coast of the United States. Due to the invasive nature of this species, it has become a pest in the Florida wetlands and other southern areas, which has led to their population declining rapidly in recent years. If you’re interested in keeping one of these snakes as a pet, read on to find out how! The salt marsh snake is an exotic species of snake native to the eastern coast of the United States.

What is the salt marsh snake?

The salt marsh snake is a species of semi-aquatic snake found in brackish marshes along the East Coast of the United States. They are non-venomous and typically grow to be about 2-3 feet long. These snakes are brown or grey in color with dark crossbands on their bodies. Salt marsh snakes are shy and reclusive, but can make good pets for experienced snake owners.

It’s important to understand that they need specialized care that not all reptile keepers are willing or able to provide. If you’re interested in taking on this responsibility then please consult our guide below.

Where does it live?

The salt marsh snake is found in brackish and saltwater marshes from North Carolina to Florida, and along the Gulf Coast. It is a semi-aquatic species that is often seen swimming in the water or basking on logs or vegetation. The salt marsh snake is most active at night, preying on fish, frogs, and small mammals.

What does it look like? (five sentences): The salt marsh snake is a medium-sized snake that can grow up to four feet in length. They are typically light brown with darker brown blotches down their back. They have yellow to orange bands across their head, neck, and body which may be jagged or broken into spots. Their belly is white with black crossbands towards the tail end of their body.

Salt Marsh Snake Care Guide

Physical characteristics

The salt marsh snake is a small to medium-sized snake that is typically brown or olive in color. They have a white or cream-colored belly, and their scales are keeled. These snakes can grow to be anywhere from 24 to 36 inches in length. They are found in coastal marshes, brackish waters, and mangrove swamps. Salt marsh snakes eat mainly fish, crustaceans, amphibians, and occasionally other reptiles. They are nocturnal animals so they spend most of the day hiding under logs or rocks.


The average lifespan of a salt marsh snake is around 10 years, although some have been known to live up to 20 years in captivity. In the wild, these snakes are subject to predation and environmental hazards, which can shorten their lifespan. If you’re considering adopting a salt marsh snake, be prepared for a long-term commitment! Salt marsh snakes require an environment that provides plenty of hiding places, humidity levels at 60% or higher, and low light levels. These habitat requirements are challenging to achieve with household pets like hamsters and gerbils, so plan on setting aside an entire room (or building) as your new pet’s home.


The diet of the salt marsh snake consists of small fish, shrimp, and crabs. They are opportunistic feeders and will also consume carrion. In the wild, their diet is supplemented with earthworms, slugs, and other invertebrates. In captivity, they should be offered a diet of small live fish, shrimp, and crabs. Earthworms, slugs, and other invertebrates can also be included in their diet.

A varied diet including vitamin supplements may help maintain good health. Vitamin supplements such as calcium and vitamins D3, B12, C, E, and beta-carotene are recommended for pregnant females. Salt marsh snakes should be housed individually in an appropriately sized enclosure that provides plenty of cover (such as piles of rocks or logs) and hiding places. Hatchlings should have at least 10 gallons of space while adults require at least 20 gallons per individual.

In larger enclosures, multiple individuals can share one habitat. Fresh water should always be available. As these snakes come from coastal habitats where ocean water mixes with fresh water, salt marsh snakes prefer more salty conditions than those found in many homes.

Breeding habits

The salt marsh snake is a viviparous species, meaning that they give birth to live young. Females will usually have between 2 and 12 young at a time, with an average litter size of 6. The gestation period for this species is around 3 months. Hatchlings are approximately 7 inches long and resemble adults in coloration. Hatchlings start feeding on prey immediately after hatching, but can still rely on their yolk sacs if necessary.

They are able to hunt small rodents like mice by themselves within days of being born. Salt marsh snakes reach sexual maturity at 1 year old and can live up to 25 years in captivity. They feed mainly on amphibians, fish, insects, and rodents such as rats or mice. In addition to hunting prey, salt marsh snakes will also sometimes eat food given to them by humans. Like many other snake species, salt marsh snakes coil themselves around their prey before striking; once caught, they constrict it until it suffocates.

Common Health Issues

Salt marsh snakes are generally healthy, but they are susceptible to a few common health issues. These include respiratory infections, parasites, and fungal infections. If your salt marsh snake shows any signs of illness, take it to the vet immediately. Respiratory infections are best treated with antibiotics, which can be prescribed by a veterinarian. Parasites can be treated with a dewormer, or if you have an ant problem in your home (or yard), get rid of them to help prevent infestation on your pet’s skin or fur.

Fungal infections can be treated with an anti-fungal cream that should also be prescribed by a veterinarian. Make sure to check your animal for wounds as well. While these wounds may look like something minor, they can quickly become infected and serious if not tended to properly. Check out our Salt Marsh Snake Species Profile & Care Guide for more information about this species’ habitat, diet, personality traits, natural predators, common illnesses, and how much room is needed for one.

General maintenance

The key to keeping your salt marsh snake healthy and happy is to provide a clean and spacious habitat with plenty of hiding places. The habitat should also be kept at a consistent temperature between 75 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Your snake will also need a regular supply of fresh water. Feeding your salt marsh snake live prey is the best way to ensure that it gets the nutrition it needs.

Finally, be sure to handle your snake regularly so that it becomes accustomed to human interaction. A great place to start if you’re looking for a salt marsh snake is pet stores. They usually have some in stock and are usually very knowledgeable about how to care for them properly.
If you can’t find any in stock then you can always look online. There are lots of different websites out there that specialize in selling snakes online.

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