Some snakes are like living eye-candy; bright orange corn snakes (Pantherophis guttata), gem-like emerald tree boas (Corallus caninus) and tricolored milksnakes (Lampropeltis triangulum sp.) are all prized for their beautiful colors. There are snakes of virtually every color available, including bright yellow and gold. Exercise care in choosing any snake for a pet, as some snakes are better suited for captivity than others. Unfortunately, some of the most commonly kept yellow snakes are albino Burmese pythons (Python molurus bivittatus), which grow too large for most keepers and make poor pets.
Albino Ball Python
There are a variety of albino snakes available in the marketplace, but few combine jaw-dropping yellow coloration with characteristics that make for a good captive. Albino ball pythons (Python regius) are clad in varying amounts of bright yellow and stark white, and the contrast is very visually appealing to many keepers. Captive bred ball pythons make excellent captives, and are easy to maintain. Ball pythons are small by python standards, attaining four or five feet in length, which increases their appeal.
Yellow Rat Snake
Yellow rat snakes (Pantherophis obselota quadrivittata) are semi-arboreal snakes of the southeastern United States. These snakes, which can range from green to bright yellow to orange, are generally marked with four longitudinal stripes. As juveniles, yellow rat snakes are grey or brown, turning yellow as they mature. Yellow rat snakes are hardy, easily maintained snakes that attain about six feet in length. Provided that one acquires a captive bred specimen, they present no significant maintenance challenges.
Green Tree Pythons
"Green" tree pythons (Morelia viridis) go through a complex ontogenetic (age related) color change. When green tree pythons hatch, they are either bright yellow, bold red or muddy brown in color. As they mature, they usually become predominately green snakes. Sometimes, often through selective breeding efforts, the snakes retain their yellow color into adulthood. Additionally, green tree pythons show considerable variation over their natural range. Some locations, such as the islands of Biak and Kofiau produce a high percentage of yellow adults. Green tree pythons can be good captives, but require some skill and experience for success.
Moluccan pythons (Morelia clastolepis) grow up to 12 feet in length, but lack the bulk of many other species that attain this length. Moluccan pythons have an orange to yellow ground color, and though covered with fine black net-like markings, the overall impression is of a yellow snake. Though not the best species for a beginner, they can make rewarding captives for those with a bit of experience. Captive bred individuals are often more tractable than their wild-caught counterparts.
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