Size: Males 1-1.5ft, Females ~2ft
Lifespan: 10-15 years
Temperature: 74-76 degrees with no hot spot. Temperatures over 80 can be fatal.
Humidity: 70-80 %
Substrate: Cypress and sphagnum moss
Baby enclosure size: up to 12″ x 5″ x 8″ (5qt) – 16” x 11” x 7” (15qt) with a closed top (no screen)
Adult enclosure size: up to 24” x 16” x 7” (32qt) with a closed top (no screen)
Thai bamboo rat snakes (sometimes simply called “coxi”), are small, fossorial (burrowing) snakes from the elevated, mountainous region of northwest Thailand. Instantly recognizable by their vibrant red-orange color and jet black racing stripes, these animals thrive in bioactive enclosures. As they come from an elevated rainforest, they require access to water at all times, with high humidity and regular misting, and plentiful substrate for burrowing and places to hide. They are handleable and get used to human interaction easily, but their small size as juveniles and careful temperature and humidity requirements can make them challenging for novice keepers.
This guide is a brief overview of basic care and minimum husbandry requirements and is not intended as a comprehensive guide.
Coxis do not need a tremendous amount of space, but they do need substrate for burrowing and places to hide. The enclosure can be short, though they will sometimes climb on small logs or short outcrops if they aren’t too high. Their enclosure should always have a closed top, never screen. Provide foliage and cork bark, as well as a humid hide with damp sphagnum moss. This species is ideal for bioactive enclosures.
Cypress is an excellent substrate for these snakes. Provide plenty of sphagnum moss to hold humidity. Leaf litter, foliage, and cork bark for extra hiding are beneficial, as these snakes do not like to be exposed. They will frequently be more active when given ample places to retreat to.
HEATING AND LIGHTING
Lights are not necessary for these snakes as they are primarily fossorial and nocturnal. 74-76 degrees is the ideal temperature, so heating is not needed provided that the ambient temperature of the room is in the mid 70s. Their temperature should never go above 80 degrees.
High humidity is critical for these snakes. 70-80% humidity or more is best. Regular misting is important.
Provide these snakes with a non-porous water bowl and change it frequently. These snakes dehydrate quickly. Never let them run out of water.
These snakes can be skittish. Handling should be done slowly and gently. Gentle and regular interaction with them from a young age will lead to less elusive and easier to handle adults. Always handle young snakes over their enclosure as they are prone to darting away, and should not be held too tightly as they can be easy to injure.
Coxi are voracious eaters. Babies can eat every 3-5 days. Subadults and adults can eat weekly or bi-weekly if they are not taking food consistently. As they are high metabolism animals, frequent meals are superior to larger meals. Coxis have large babies for their size, so regular pinky mice will work well. Due to their small size, adults seldom if ever need anything larger than a large mouse.