Sunbeam Snakes Are Little Scaly Rainbows

For most people, snakes probably inspire an Indiana Jones-like terror more so than any other feeling. But there’s one kind of snake with whom you probably wouldn’t mind being caught in a pit. One snake that can even dazzle you like Ruby Rhod or Robin Williams in The Birdcage. And that snake is the aptly named sunbeam snake.

It’s a little scaly rainbow and you’re watching it right now, aren’t you? Already mesmerized.

My Sunbeam Snake🌈🌈 from gifs

This particular video of a sunbeam snake, or Xenopeltis unicolor, was posted to Reddit by user Sanzinia. According to Sanzinia’s comments in the accompanying thread, he’s aiming to breed sunbeam snakes and already has five of them. That may pose a challenge however, as sunbeam snakes are well known for having breeding trouble in captivity. (They’re noted as not doing well with shipping or handling, apparently making them the antique vases of snakes.)

It’s unfortunate that sunbeam snakes have such trouble in captivity, as they seem to be one type of snake that’s most suited for human company and a little Netflix and heat lamp. They’re not venomous, they’re quite cute, and their scales have that stunning iridescent shimmer that looks like a rainbow in the right light. Seriously, it’s Hypnotoad-level mesmerization.

Image: Fox

Out in the wild, the little slithery sunbeams are much like your classic introvert. I.e. they are fossorial, meaning they spend most of their time underground, and they only come up to feed when night falls.  Specific handling instructions from the wiki explain that they “they should be left alone.” Which seems both bizarre and perfectly fitting for a harmless snake that shimmers so brilliantly in the limelight.

What do you think about these sunbeam snakes? Would you let these stunning serpents wind their way all over you, or are you good with just “tasting the rainbow” with your eyes? Let us know in the comments below!

Images: Wikimedia / Bochr

Enjoy more scientific oddites!

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