Bird Families

Red-backed Striped Woodpecker / Colaptes rivolii


The red-backed snake is one of the largest serpentine family, which includes more than half of the species of these reptiles - the already-like family. Some sources attribute it to the genus of climbing snakes. This scaly is successfully kept and reproduced in captivity. We will find out what kind of snake it is and whether it is dangerous to humans, as well as how to care for it in a terrarium.

  • Appearance and dimensions
  • Habitat, habitat
  • Lifestyle and nutrition
  • Reproduction
  • Is a bite dangerous for humans
  • How to care at home
    • Terrarium
    • Feeding
    • House cleaning

Appearance and dimensions

It is a snake of medium length and size. It can grow up to 77 cm, but more often it reaches only half a meter in length. The tail is much smaller than the body (3.5–6 times). Has smooth scales. The head is somewhat elongated, and it can be visually delimited from the body.

In its upper part, a pattern inherent in this species of snake is visible, consisting of two pairs of converging black stripes, the connection of which ends in an acute angle on the forehead. The same stripes from the other end of the head pass to the body.

The upper part of the body can be brownish-brownish or olive-brownish tones with four rows of dark spots that stretch along the back and close to the tail are interconnected in solid stripes. The lower abdominal part of the yellowish color has black rectangular spots, which are somewhat elongated along.

These noticeable dark rectangles alternate with lighter spots in a checkerboard pattern and are the "calling card" of this runner.

Habitat, habitat

This species lives on the territory of Russia (the Far Eastern part from Khabarovsk to South Primorye), in the northern parts of China and Korea.

Lifestyle and nutrition

This snake is found near various bodies of water, it feels great in the water, knows how to swim and dive perfectly. Due to the semi-aquatic lifestyle, it also has a corresponding prey - fish, frogs and other amphibians. It can also feed on small rodents. He preliminarily strangles the latter, taking them in a ring, and swallows water prey whole at once. The first time after birth, these snakes feed on worms, various insects and small vertebrates.

Prefers to hibernate in the cracks between stones. It has many natural enemies and is often eaten by badgers and raccoon dogs.


Approximately at the beginning of May, the red-back snakes mate, and in the second half of September, the female gives birth. A feature of this species is viviparity - cubs are born in a transparent shell already fully formed, quickly tear it apart and can immediately crawl.

At a time, an ovoviviparous female can give birth to 8–20 babies ranging in size from 18 to 20 cm.

Is a bite dangerous for humans

The red-backed snake is not a venomous snake. When defending, he flattens the body and makes throws, but for a person they are not dangerous. In captivity, he behaves peacefully and gets used to being in his hands well.

How to care at home

This snake can be kept and propagated in your home terrarium. Small size, peaceful nature and absence of danger to humans make this snake attractive for keeping.


One of the important conditions when keeping snakes is the presence of housing that is securely closed, preventing the inhabitant from going outside and visiting neighbors. For red-back runners, horizontal terrariums with ample space are excellent.

The volume of the dwelling is chosen depending on the size of the pet. The most reliable and convenient terrariums are with sliding glass.

To equip a dwelling, it is necessary to purchase the appropriate equipment and fixtures:

  • thermostats (thermal mat, thermal cord or heating lamp),
  • thermometer,
  • hydrometer,
  • UV lamp,
  • feeder,
  • drinker,
  • cleaning tongs and shovel, feeding tongs.

You also need soil and cover for the runner. For this purpose, use driftwood, twigs, inverted flower pots, or the appropriate decor from a pet store.

These snakes are very fond of water, so for a comfortable stay in their habitat, you need to install a large bathing suit or pond. Humidity is maintained using spraying or a generator with appropriate modes (fog, artificial rain). The recommended temperature regime is 24–28 ° С.

Coconut or wood chips are suitable as a soil. To increase the moisture in the soil, you can add earth or moss (sphagnum).

The runners are completely undemanding in terms of lighting. An ordinary incandescent lamp, a fluorescent lamp, is quite suitable. The lights are turned off at night. If you want to periodically observe your pet at night, you can install special lamps that give illumination similar to moonlight.

Lighting with UV lamps is mainly used for:

  • health problems
  • hard passing molt,
  • poor pet appetite.


The diet of red-back snakes consists of frogs and fish familiar to them, small rodents are also suitable. For feeding, the fish are launched into an extensive drinking bowl. The regularity of feeding is selected individually, but generally it ranges from twice every 7 days to once every 10 days. The hungry snake begins to actively move around its dwelling in search of food. In the first days after birth, the snakes feed on worms and insects.

The thickness of the "victim" for food is selected depending on the thickness of the runner and should not exceed it by more than 2-3 times. The snake can also swallow large enough food, but this will negatively affect its digestive system.

House cleaning

When caring for the red-back snake, it is necessary to keep clean and carry out regular cleaning of the house. As the pollution progresses, it is necessary to remove the waste products of the snake - excrement, food debris, and so on. Such waste products are removed with tweezers and a spatula.

During activities for cleaning the premises, all electrical appliances are turned off. You also need to take care of the equipment according to the instructions, monitor its serviceability.

The liquid in the drinker and the bath is changed every day. The soil is changed at least once every six months. When cleaning the glass of the terrarium, it is forbidden to use chemicals, it is better to use soda, usually they are simply washed with water with a sponge. General cleaning with disinfection is extremely rare - basically, this procedure is required when a snake is sick, according to the recommendations of a veterinarian.

So, the red-backed snake is a medium-sized non-venomous snake with an interesting checkerboard pattern on the abdomen. It can be kept at home in a vertical terrarium - you just need to make a bathing suit for this snake, since it leads a semi-aquatic life in the wild, and feed it with a fish.