at Fri Aug 12 21:38:28 2011 [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by McKenzieS ]
I can't verify or deny the legality of keeping N. rhombifer where you are; I'm fortunate enough to live in South Carolina where they are all legal, and I breed several species of Nerodia.
If you want to kill a Nerodia, keep it damp. You'll be guaranteed a snake with lethal "scale rot", a severe bacterial infection, in no time flat. Contrary to their common name and where they often are found in the wild, these snakes absolutely require a DRY, CLEAN substrate. I provide mine with a bowl just large enough to drink from, and they shed, eat and poop just fine. Another way to kill one is by feeding it fish in the Carp family, including goldfish and Shiners(sold as bait minnows)and "Rosy Reds"(Fathead Minnows) or catfish. All of those contain high levels of an enzyme called Thiaminase which prevens the snake's body from using Vitamin B, which is necessary for many vital functions, especially nervous system functions. You can find a list of which fish contain Thiaminase and which ones don't in the link I've included. Most Nerodia will readily eat fresh cut strips of fish from the supermarket or fish market off tongs, and most can easily be switched over to rodents by scenting f/t rodents with fish. Those that eat fish or amphibians tend to have much runnier, smellier and more frequent poop, so that means more clean-up. Their care is basically the same as a Garter Snake, just with more room requirement due to their size, and N. rhombifers can be big, bulky snakes, especially the females. I love my Water Snakes; they tame down really fast and become dog-tame, and most are extremely laid-back snakes except when it comes to feeding time, when they turn into mini Retics.
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