The grass snake, a nonpoisonous snake that is not a threat to humans, hunts a number of foods for optimum growth. There are four species of the grass snake--green, bronze, gold and black--named for the colour of the snake's scales.
Grass snakes eat a significant amount of small rodents, such as rats and mice. In the wild, the snakes will catch the prey with their sharp front fangs before swallowing it whole. Pet grass snakes eat these rodents as well, but pet owners will have to purchase pre-killed rodents from a pet store before feeding them to the snake.
The grass snake will also eat a number of insects, including crickets and beetles. Pet owners can purchase crickets from the pet store to feed the snakes. The crickets should be kept at no lower than 23.9 degrees C and shouldn't be placed near flea collars so that they will still be safe for snake to eat. Snakes will often catch beetles as they travel through the grass in the wild. The snakes will also eat caterpillars and a variety of spiders.
A variety of worms, such as superworms and mealworms, can be fed to the grass snake. In order to make the worms most nutritious for the snake, it is best to feed superworms moisture-rich foods such as potatoes and celery before giving the worms to the snake. Mealworms should be placed in the refrigerator or in an area where the temperature is constantly between 7.22 and 10.0 degrees C. This will make the mealworms last longer and will retain the nutrients in the worms.
Fish and Eggs
Grass snakes that live near the shores of a lake or river will also catch and eat fish, but it's not necessary to feed the snake fish if it is being kept as a pet. If the grass snake happens to find a bird's nest with eggs, the snake will eat the eggs, but this does not have to be a regular part of the snake's diet. Grass snakes will only eat bird eggs; they do not eat the eggs of other snakes or any other reptile.
Grass snakes will often swallow insects or worms whole in a matter of seconds. However, when eating mammals or fish, the snake will always eat the head of the animal first. This prevents fur or scales from getting caught in the snake's throat. The grass snake also has the ability to unhinge its jaw when eating, which allows it to swallow food that is several times bigger than itself.