What do Lake Chapala Garter Snake’s look like?
Lake Chapala Garter snakes are the most heavy bodied and largest species of Garter Snake’s with adult females reaching lengths of four feet long. Male garter snakes are generally a foot or two smaller. Lake Chapala’s are also one of the most beautiful Garter’s in terms of colouration too. Their dorsal colouration is dark brown with a blueish grey stripe running along the flanks of their body, all the way to the tail, alongside a yellowish orange stripe too. The scales also have an iridescent sheen to them, which only adds to their beauty.
Where do Lake Chapala Garter Snakes come from?
In the wild you will only find Lake Chapala Garter Snakes In Largo Chapala, Mexico. They can mainly be found swimming and hunting near lakes, hence their name. Lake Chapala Garters are excellent swimmers, which comes in handy when they’re big loves of eating fish as well as small rodents.
How do I keep a Lake Chapala Garter Snake?
Keeping a Lake Chapala Garter snake can be done really easy. You can keep one on its own or even keep two together as they are quite social. When housing more than one be sure to have them sexed prior if you don’t want babies, as a male and female will breed.
A 3ft or 4ft glass terrarium or wooden vivarium can be used to house them in. If you do choose keep a Lake Chapala in a wooden vivarium we do recommend using a reptile safe sealant to prevent the wood from ‘blowing’ as you will need to provide the snake/s with a large water bowl.
If you are wanting the enclosure on display in your home or if you just want to re-create the most natural environment you may want to consider a bio active planted terrarium with a water area. However if you just want to keep the enclosure simple, yet pleasing on the eye you can use a variety of natural substrates for the enclosure floor, such as Zoomed Forestfloor, Prorep Biolife forest or even Moss peat mixed with Orchid bark. These types of substrate are more natural for Lake Chapala’s and also help with humidity levels.
When heating the enclosure you can use either a heat mat connected to a thermostat or overhead heating such as heat light connected to a dimming thermostat. If the lights are on the inside of the enclosure It is important to have a heat guard around the bulb/s to prevent the snake burning itself.
Be sure to provide a hot spot around 86-95F (30-35C) with cool area around 70F-75F(21C-23C) Night time temperature can drop as low as 54-60F(13-16C). A digital thermometer will give you an accurate temperature reading.
UVB is not essential for all snakes, however we have found it to be highly beneficial to their health. Something small like an Arcadia Mini UVB kit or Arcadia T5 Shadedweller would be perfect.
For decoration and enrichment for your snake, cork bark and branches as well as, Zoomed wooden hides and Komodo Canopy plants would give them the chance to climb as well as hide underneath them.
A large water bowl should be provide and be big enough so that the snake/s are able to soak inside them. The water bowl will be the main source of humidity for your Garter snake as the substrate can be kept relatively dry. To monitor humidity levels, a Hydrometer can be placed within the enclosure.
Feeding Lake Chapala’s can be done with ease as they have superb appetites. Depending on the size of the snake you can offer defrost rodents, eatherworms, trout and other pre killed fish. We do recommend a varied diet to prevent any heath issues such as calcium or vitamin deficiencies.
Overall the Lake Chapala Garter Snake would make a great pet for those both with and even without much experience. They can be handled and although they are skittish when young its rare they try to bite. As they get older and get more used to handling they do become rather tame.
Do your research
Before you commit to buying any pet, please do your own independent research.