Even though this reptile can have a bad rap if it resides in your garden, snakes are nonetheless quite common indoor pets. But how long do snakes live on average, both in the wild and in captivity, and what is their typical life cycle?
In this post, we’ll talk about what life is like for various snake species and how it relates to how long they live. We’ll also talk about the intriguing snake life cycle because it deserves its own discussion. Let’s get going!
How Long Do Snakes Live In Captivity?
A pet snake kept in captivity typically lives between five and thirty years.
The lifetime of a snake varies widely depending on the species. In general, you should plan to care for a pet snake over the next 20 years if you choose to acquire one.
You should always assume that a snake will live to be 20 years old, even if this is not usually the case. These animals live extraordinarily long lives.
Because many new pet owners get a snake when they are young and are unsure of what to do with it as they enter the next stage of their lives, we advise establishing a 20-year plan.
Before making the decision to purchase a snake as a pet, one should take into account a few additional factors in addition to the snake’s lifespan.
How long do Snakes live in the wild?
Snakes may often survive in the wild for 2 to 8 years. When compared to how much snakes in captivity contribute, it is substantially lower. Their shorter life expectancy is mostly due to the presence of predators in the environment. Snakes can be preyed upon by a variety of predators, including birds, wild cats, raccoons, and other carnivores, depending on their size.
They run the risk of entering cities in addition to natural dangers. They frequently creep up onto the roads and get inside of human structures. Unfortunately, most people dislike snakes. Additionally, viruses and fungi are among the health concerns that snakes in the wild are susceptible to. Let’s not forget that harmful parasites can harm the health of snakes in the wild.
Oldest Snake In The World
As far as we are aware, the oldest snake we have ever encountered was 42 years old, which is close to the world record. “Gerry” was the name of a 42-year-old albino ball python who was maintained and not handled by a charming lady owner.
The ball python is the world’s longest-living species of snake, and with the right care, many of them have lived to be between 25 and 30 years old in captivity—a pretty long period to own a snake.
Although it is believed that several variables, including a snake’s eating schedule, genetics, and even stress, can decrease a snake’s life, not all snakes will survive to this close to 4-decade lifespan.
What Impacts a Snake’s Longevity?
It is hard to give an exact average lifetime for snakes since several distinct elements influence a snake’s longevity.
These elements influence how long a snake will live, whether it is a pet or inhabits a natural environment:
Stressors: Stress literally kills. Stressed snakes are more prone to illness and are likely to pass away sooner. One example of this is when they nearly get eaten.
Health – Just like with any animal, longevity depends on excellent health. Snakes with a weakened immune system or frequent illnesses won’t live as long.
Each species of snake has a unique lifetime, depending on the kind. Reticulated and ball pythons, for example, often live a lot longer than corn and kingsnakes.
Every sort of snake has to eat relatively frequently in order to survive. The lifespans of snakes may be impacted if they lack the means to eat often.
Quality of Natural Habitat/Enclosure – A snake will live a lot longer if its surroundings are ideal in terms of temperature, humidity, substrate, and other factors.
What does it take to keep a snake healthy?
Basic snake care calls for a precise feeding schedule, a strictly monitored habitat, and enough stimulation. Although docile varieties like the corn snake will become connected to you and love your company, you should also make sure that she has plenty to do within her home.
No matter what breed, give your pet lots of things to crawl under, snake under, and wrap around. She may appear cute, but all snakes are predators and seek for prey. Since live prey might hurt your pet if you don’t carefully supervise feeding, some owners decide to stick with prekilled rodents.
However, letting her catch her food may be both a favored meal and entertainment for your creature if you can do it securely.
How Long Do Different Species of Snakes Live?
As previously stated, a snake’s lifespan is strongly influenced by its species. Here, we’ll provide a broad summary of various common pet snake species’ life spans.
This is essential knowledge, especially if you hope to someday have a pet snake. A pet snake’s lifespan can range from 5 years on average to more than 30 years.
We’ll work our way up in age from the smallest to the longest.
Ringneck snakes generally have a lifespan of 5 to 6 years in captivity and a similar lifespan in the wild. Anomalies can occasionally live for up to 20 years, although this is uncommon.
Due to their diminutive size, these little snakes frequently become prey. Additionally, Ringneck snakes only have two means of defense:
playing dead and smelling bad at the same time.
Though not the best method, it can occasionally be effective in keeping oneself safe.
Despite the fact that many people maintain these tiny guys as pets, it is preferable to opt for a different kind of pet snake. After all, no one desires a pet that smells bad.
How Long Do Ball Pythons Live?
One of the most common snake species kept as pets in the United States is the ball python. They are also among the snake species with the longest lifespans worldwide. Ball pythons, which are native to sub-Saharan Africa, like tropical temperatures and may flourish in captivity with the right care.
A captive ball python may survive for 20 to 30 years if properly cared for. The male ball python that resided at the Philadelphia Zoo holds the record for the longest lifespan of any snake kept in captivity.
One of the friendliest pet snakes in the world is the rubber boa. They are indigenous to the American Pacific Northwest.
The Rubber Boa doesn’t immediately go into defense mode when confronted, unlike the majority of natural snakes. Whether in captivity or not, they are highly gregarious and enjoy being touched by people.
Their friendliness is also the Achilleas heel of the Rubber boa.
They are frequently chased and killed because they are so amiable. Aside from hiding, they don’t have many effective defense strategies.
As a result, this species has an average lifespan of about 15 years in captivity but much shorter in the wild (5-10 years).
How Long Do Corn Snakes Live?
The United States is home to wild corn snakes. Both in captivity and in temperate areas, they flourish. They do not, however, survive as long as ball pythons.
A corn snake kept as a pet can survive for 15 to 20 years. This mostly relies on how well you care for your snake, like with all snakes.
One of the simpler snake species to care for is the corn snake. They often feed well and don’t require high temperatures or a lot of humidity. In actuality, one issue with corn snakes is their propensity for overeating. This may result in:
difficulty with regurgitation. Corn snakes have been known to vomit food when they overeat. Rarely, this might result in death from stomach acid inhalation.
Obesity. Corns don’t get the chance to exercise as much when maintained in tiny aquariums. The lifespan of an obese snake is likely to be shorter.
One of the most common snakes kept as pets is the hognos, and for good cause.
Hognose snakes are normally highly sociable, don’t become too big, and are simple to take care of.
They are also really welcoming! When people are around, this species frequently “comes out and says hello” in its terrarium.
Hognoses are known to survive for a long period, unlike the preceding two slithery gentlemen.
Don’t be fooled by their size or sweetness. A snake’s size alone does not indicate how long it will survive.
A Hognose snake will typically live for 12 to 18 years.
How Long Do California Kingsnakes Live?
The western states are home to many California kingsnakes. Because they prey on other snakes, notably rattlesnakes, kingsnakes are renowned for their food. They may survive on a diet of rodents when kept in captivity.
Lifespan of a California Kingsnake in Captivity. In captivity, California kingsnakes can survive for 15 to 20 years. They need similar maintenance in terms of humidity and temperature. They consume the same rodent-based food as well. Risks to health include:
California kingsnakes can get scale rot if humidity levels are too high since they prefer a somewhat dryer climate (above 60 percent ).
Given that California kingsnakes are frequently seen in yards, some individuals decide to “adopt” them out of the wild. Getting wild-caught California kingsnakes to consume frozen-thawed rats might be challenging. This may result in an inability to eat and early death.
California kingsnakes often do better in the wild than corn snakes. They live for 10–12 years on average. They run the risk of being eaten by American wildlife (birds of prey, wild cats and canids, etc.).
Cals’ prey may cause harm or even death to them. The risk is considerable since they consume other snakes, even deadly species like rattlesnakes.
People from California who reside in the country’s colder regions, such as Oregon, are also at risk of dying from the winter’s low temperatures. To save body heat, they brumate (hibernate), however they are not always successful.
The most popular snakes kept as pets worldwide may be corn snakes. Similar to the Hognose snake, this species is quite sociable and simple to care for as a pet.
The friendliness and sociality of corn snakes are also well recognized. They typically have a lifespan of 5 to 8 years in the wild.
In contrast, this species may survive up to 25 years or more in captivity and frequently reaches the age of 20.
How Long Do Boa Constrictors Live?
Some of the most well-known snakes are boa constrictors, which are indigenous to South American nations like Brazil. Although they may reach lengths of up to 13 feet and are most content in tropical rainforests, they have gained popularity as pets among seasoned snake keepers.
Boa constrictors thrive greatly in captivity. The oldest known boa constrictor perished in 1977 at the age of 40. (again, at the Philadelphia Zoo). This is an extreme example, though. Most pet boas may live for 20 to 30 years with proper care.
Boa constrictors require a little more attention than other snakes do. Your boa constrictor’s lifetime might be affected by a number of things, including:
Heat and humidity. It might be challenging for snake keepers to replicate the boa’s native habitat. It can be dangerous to let the humidity to fall below 60% or the temperature to fall below 75°F. It can cause anorexia, regurgitation, and respiratory infections.
Included Body Illness (IBD). The Boidae family of snakes are susceptible to this widespread illness. It is deadly and causes neurological issues, such as loss of motor function. The Veterinary Journal reports that although not all confined boa constrictors will go on to get the illness, more than 40% of them do possess the virus.
In the wild, boa constrictors have a lifespan of 15 to 20 years. They seldom mature to the same age as they would in captivity. This is due to the numerous threats that these snakes face in the South American jungles.
What problems might shorten my pet’s life?
Snakes are sensitive to some illnesses, especially if they aren’t getting the right nourishment, which makes them more prone to them. Watch out for stomach enlargement, appetite loss, bloating, diarrhea, and bloating. The diagnosis of parasites in companion reptiles is likely to require a veterinarian.
If you have any of these specific symptoms, see the snake doctor right away for a thorough examination. Some other conditions, such skin infections, may exhibit more obvious symptoms. Keep a watchful check on your reptile companion and seek professional advice as soon as you see anything amiss.
Because pet snakes may have incredibly long lives and have extremely specific needs, keeping one as a pet demands a significant amount of dedication.
Keep in mind that even the most docile of these animals consumes only flesh and does it in a messy manner. It’s nothing like feeding pellets to a dog, even if you know they’re made of flesh, so don’t get this pet if you’re grossed out by that. However, if you decide that she is the ideal fit for your family, she will stand by your side for a very long time.
What Snake Has the Shortest Lifespan?
Other than a Ringneck snake, a Redbelly snake appears to be the most often kept pet snake with the shortest lifetime.
Redbellies are one of the most often encountered species in the US and Canada, and they are frequently captured and briefly kept as pets.
These are typically unavailable at your neighborhood pet stores. This is primarily due to the fact that they don’t make particularly good pets and have a rather restricted range of morphs, patterns, colors, etc.
See? They have a crimson belly and are often brownish in color. They are known by this name.
They don’t get much bigger than 16 inches, roughly. Finally, Redbellies only have a 3–4 year lifespan in captivity.