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Starter Snakes

o Corn Snakes. Perfect for the inexperienced. They come in many colors and are fairly easy to care for. They don't grow to be very big, are incredibly mild mannered snakes and get along great with almost everyone. Keep them in a 20-gallon structure, even as adults, with temperatures in the 70s and 80s. They can live alone or with another corn snake.

o Kingsnakes (captive bred only) are also good for first-timers. They only take a few weeks to warm up to their new owners. As soon as they become comfortable with you, they have no problem being handled and are quite calm and fun to be with. Kingsnakes like to eat. In fact, they'll eat just about any creature you put in front of them, so house Kingsnakes in individual structures. Keep them in a 20-30 gallon structure at temperatures ranging from the 70s to the 80s.

o Ball pythons. The adults can be quite large, but are also quite fun. There are many cheap ball pythons on the market that were caught wild or hatched from wild eggs. These ball pythons can be dangerous for the inexperienced snake owner. Some experts recommend only buying ball pythons that are captive bred. You want to see the ball python in action before you agree to buy it. Ask to see it eat. Make sure it's tame.

Snakes for only the experienced handlers

o Red-Tailed Boa Constrictors. These snakes have strict living requirements which need to be adhered to. House them in enclosures that have specific temperatures, certain levels of humidity at all times, and have certain feeding requirements. Boas are large, growing as long as 12 feet and weighing more than 50 pounds. When handling them you should have at least two people to help. You'll want to do extensive research about these snakes before deciding to buy one.

o Burmese Pythons. These snakes are similar to boas in their extensive needs and care requirements. But they grow substantially larger than boas, reaching a whopping 20 feet and often weighing more than 200 pounds. You certainly need to be careful when handling these snakes. They have been involved with many human deaths in recent years.

o Anacondas and venomous snakes. Avoid these snakes at all cost. They are dangerous, not only to their owners, but the entire community if they escape. These snakes can be enormous and often have bad attitudes. They do not make good pets at all.