Dear All,
We have just adopted a western fox snake as the original owner could no longer manage the vivarium after a house move.
The snake is 47" long and looks in good health, if a little skinny compared with other fox snakes I have seen both in life and in pictures. He has eaten a pre killed adult mouse every 7 days since adoption and certainly seems hungry when offered food - he pounces on it and eats it very quickly.
The question I have is what is the optimum temperature gradient for this snakes vivarium.
I have read 65 to 75 degrees F for the cold end and 75 to 82 Degrees F for the hot end (for rat snakes from northern climes) or 88 - 95 Degrees F for warmth loving species.
Is he a "warmth loving species"?? (I'm in the UK and have no idea about the temperature range where he comes from).
The vivarium heating system was just a 100 Watt spot lamp which when measured was raising the temperature of the cage floor directly under the lamp from a low of 68 Degrees F upto a high of 98 Degrees F. This lamp was left on for approx. 12 hours a day and when switched off the viv could drop as low as 62 Degrees F. This seems to me to be too big a swing of temperature?
Any help gratefully received

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Fox Snake=A0=A0
Fox snakes range from 36-54 inches in length when mature. The dorsal surface varies in color from a yellowish color to light brown, with dark blotches ranging in color from chocolate to black. The head also vary in color from brown to a distinctly reddish color. Fox snakes have a yellow colored belly.=A0
The eastern fox snake (Elaphe gloydi vulpina) can be differentiated from the western fox snake (Elaphe vulpina) by the number of blotches present on the dorsal surface.
Eastern fox snakes have fewer blotches (average 34) than do western fox snakes (average 41).=A0
Fox snake feeds on small mammals, frogs, birds, and occasionally bird eggs. They are constrictors, which means they kill by wrapping their bodies around the chest of their prey and squeezing until the prey eventually dies. Fox snakes lay anywhere from 7 to 29 eggs in June or July, which hatch in late summer.
One of the defense mechanisms of the fox snake is to vibrate its tail as a warning to potential predators. This creates a sound similar to that of a rattlesnake by the rustling of the leaves beneath the snake. For this reason many people mistake the fox snake for a rattlesnake.

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