Snakes and other Reptiles and Amphibians.

CraigC

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As requested by rascal, I'm starting this thread. I have been keeping snakes during parts of my life. Folks thought at first (my knowledge began in the mid 70's) that you simply kept snakes in an aquarium fitted with a lid to keep them in. That wasn't always successful. No thought was given to environmental requirements i.e. temperature, humidity and air circulation, let alone hiding places and in the case of arboreal species, perches, nor specific food. A lot of individuals didn't fare well and ended up dying during this learning curve. I fell in love the first time I saw an Amazon Basin Emerald Tree Boa back in the late 70's, but didn't start keeping the two sub-species until the late 90's.

Emeralds are nocturnal ambush hunters. Their front teeth, both upper and lower jaws are very long and recurved. When "hunting" they anchor themselves to a tree branch with several "S" coils hanging down. All of our emeralds, including neonates, yearlings and adults were switched to F/T (frozen thawed) food as soon as possible. Nothing larger than medium sized rats for our largest ones. The damage that can be done by live prey can be life threatening.
36788-albums310-picture8236.jpg


Deep heat sensing pits along the upper and lower jaws allow them to sense prey that comes within range. When an adult, prey is arboreal rodents. When they strike, the jaws open and engulf the prey and those front teeth act as meat hooks to secure the prey until the snake wraps coils around to slowly suffocate it. It takes a lot of energy to hunt and capture prey. If those front teeth don't do their job and the prey falls to the rain forest floor, all that expended energy is lost. As previously thought, birds are not part of the normal diet. They do not snag birds in flight. Beside how many birds, other than predators fly through the rain forest at night? Speaking or birds, the only known predator of an adult emerald is the Harpy eagle. Emeralds, like other boa species, are ovoviviparous and retain the eggs within the body until they hatch and thus bear living young. They have, in my mind, a python counter part of the Genus Morelia that fit the same niche as most tree boas, but lay eggs that require incubation. These were also know previously as chondropythons. They range from Indonesia in the Maluku Islands, east through New Guinea, including the Bismarck Archipelago and in Australia. I was also very interested in morelia, but being lazy, I didn't want to deal with eggs. :whistling: Emeralds have a surprise at birth.

36788-albums310-picture8239.jpg


Although I have seen some born with adult colors, that is not common. Most are born the above coloration. Around 8-9 months they begin the ontogenetic color change which can take up to a year to complete.

36788-albums310-picture8237.jpg


Both pictures are of the same neonate and are of Corallus caninus, northern or Gyanan shield subspecies. It wasn't until the mid 2000's that corallus was split into two subspeices, Corallus caninus and Corallus batesii (Amazon Basin). As you can see below there is a big difference scale pattern on the head between the two subspecies.

Amazon Basin
36788-albums310-picture8242.jpg


Northern
36788-albums310-picture8241.jpg
 

TastyReuben

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Those are beautiful pictures!

My wife is absolutely terrified of snakes, as in poop-her-pants terrified. They don't bother me one way or the other, and I'm like that with spiders (even the word gives me the creeps), and those don't bother her at all.

Where I grew up, we have a lot of black snakes. They get fairly large, six feet or so, kind of fat, and they're good to have around, because they keep the vermin down. Growing up, we had a sawmill, and it was housed in a long frame building with a roof, so it was open, mainly.

The birds would build nests up in the rafters, and the snakes would lie up there to eat the eggs (and the birds, I guess). We'd see them stretched out up there. They also liked to lie in the sawdust piles, because the sun would heat that up nice and warm.

My dad won't admit it, but he doesn't like snakes. I wouldn't say he's scared of them, but I think they just creep him out, and he was raised in a snake-handling church, and that probably something to do with it as well.

One day, we went out to saw, and as I was firing everything up, he happened to look up and see a black snake stretched out right over his head.

He picked up a stray piece of wood, threw it at the snake, and shouted, "Get on outta here, Blackie!"

Guess what the snake did? Well, let's just say Dad scared the crap, literally, out of that snake, and if you've ever seen a snake poop, it can be kind of like silly string shot from a can. I was looking at my dad throwing something at the snake, then a long stream of liquid was squirting all over him.

Once I figured out what it was, I couldn't stop laughing. :laugh:
 

Backbay

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As requested by rascal, I'm starting this thread. I have been keeping snakes during parts of my life. Folks thought at first (my knowledge began in the mid 70's) that you simply kept snakes in an aquarium fitted with a lid to keep them in. That wasn't always successful. No thought was given to environmental requirements i.e. temperature, humidity and air circulation, let alone hiding places and in the case of arboreal species, perches, nor specific food. A lot of individuals didn't fare well and ended up dying during this learning curve. I fell in love the first time I saw an Amazon Basin Emerald Tree Boa back in the late 70's, but didn't start keeping the two sub-species until the late 90's.

Emeralds are nocturnal ambush hunters. Their front teeth, both upper and lower jaws are very long and recurved. When "hunting" they anchor themselves to a tree branch with several "S" coils hanging down. All of our emeralds, including neonates, yearlings and adults were switched to F/T (frozen thawed) food as soon as possible. Nothing larger than medium sized rats for our largest ones. The damage that can be done by live prey can be life threatening.
View attachment 39077

Deep heat sensing pits along the upper and lower jaws allow them to sense prey that comes within range. When an adult, prey is arboreal rodents. When they strike, the jaws open and engulf the prey and those front teeth act as meat hooks to secure the prey until the snake wraps coils around to slowly suffocate it. It takes a lot of energy to hunt and capture prey. If those front teeth don't do their job and the prey falls to the rain forest floor, all that expended energy is lost. As previously thought, birds are not part of the normal diet. They do not snag birds in flight. Beside how many birds, other than predators fly through the rain forest at night? Speaking or birds, the only known predator of an adult emerald is the Harpy eagle. Emeralds, like other boa species, are ovoviviparous and retain the eggs within the body until they hatch and thus bear living young. They have, in my mind, a python counter part of the Genus Morelia that fit the same niche as most tree boas, but lay eggs that require incubation. These were also know previously as chondropythons. They range from Indonesia in the Maluku Islands, east through New Guinea, including the Bismarck Archipelago and in Australia. I was also very interested in morelia, but being lazy, I didn't want to deal with eggs. :whistling: Emeralds have a surprise at birth.

View attachment 39078

Although I have seen some born with adult colors, that is not common. Most are born the above coloration. Around 8-9 months they begin the ontogenetic color change which can take up to a year to complete.

View attachment 39079

Both pictures are of the same neonate and are of Corallus caninus, northern or Gyanan shield subspecies. It wasn't until the mid 2000's that corallus was split into two subspeices, Corallus caninus and Corallus batesii (Amazon Basin). As you can see below there is a big difference scale pattern on the head between the two subspecies.

Amazon Basin
View attachment 39080

Northern
View attachment 39081
Interesting post. I am one of those that fall into "afraid of snakes" even though several types were plentiful where I grew up. I do find the subject of keeping snakes interesting and have a few questions if you don't mind answering;

1. Do you still have snakes?
2. What happens when you travel - do you get a snake sitter ? Serious question.
3. Do you have to get a special permit / license to legally keep the snakes shown above which, by the way, are beautiful.
4. Did any of your snakes ever escape into other areas of your household?
 

Morning Glory

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As requested by rascal, I'm starting this thread. I have been keeping snakes during parts of my life. Folks thought at first (my knowledge began in the mid 70's) that you simply kept snakes in an aquarium fitted with a lid to keep them in. That wasn't always successful. No thought was given to environmental requirements i.e. temperature, humidity and air circulation, let alone hiding places and in the case of arboreal species, perches, nor specific food. A lot of individuals didn't fare well and ended up dying during this learning curve. I fell in love the first time I saw an Amazon Basin Emerald Tree Boa back in the late 70's, but didn't start keeping the two sub-species until the late 90's.

Emeralds are nocturnal ambush hunters. Their front teeth, both upper and lower jaws are very long and recurved. When "hunting" they anchor themselves to a tree branch with several "S" coils hanging down. All of our emeralds, including neonates, yearlings and adults were switched to F/T (frozen thawed) food as soon as possible. Nothing larger than medium sized rats for our largest ones. The damage that can be done by live prey can be life threatening.
View attachment 39077

Deep heat sensing pits along the upper and lower jaws allow them to sense prey that comes within range. When an adult, prey is arboreal rodents. When they strike, the jaws open and engulf the prey and those front teeth act as meat hooks to secure the prey until the snake wraps coils around to slowly suffocate it. It takes a lot of energy to hunt and capture prey. If those front teeth don't do their job and the prey falls to the rain forest floor, all that expended energy is lost. As previously thought, birds are not part of the normal diet. They do not snag birds in flight. Beside how many birds, other than predators fly through the rain forest at night? Speaking or birds, the only known predator of an adult emerald is the Harpy eagle. Emeralds, like other boa species, are ovoviviparous and retain the eggs within the body until they hatch and thus bear living young. They have, in my mind, a python counter part of the Genus Morelia that fit the same niche as most tree boas, but lay eggs that require incubation. These were also know previously as chondropythons. They range from Indonesia in the Maluku Islands, east through New Guinea, including the Bismarck Archipelago and in Australia. I was also very interested in morelia, but being lazy, I didn't want to deal with eggs. :whistling: Emeralds have a surprise at birth.

View attachment 39078

Although I have seen some born with adult colors, that is not common. Most are born the above coloration. Around 8-9 months they begin the ontogenetic color change which can take up to a year to complete.

View attachment 39079

Both pictures are of the same neonate and are of Corallus caninus, northern or Gyanan shield subspecies. It wasn't until the mid 2000's that corallus was split into two subspeices, Corallus caninus and Corallus batesii (Amazon Basin). As you can see below there is a big difference scale pattern on the head between the two subspecies.

Amazon Basin
View attachment 39080

Northern
View attachment 39081

They are stunningly beautiful. I really love snakes. My son is studying a degree in animal management and there is a reptile house (rescue centre) on the campus. He volunteers there. They have a lot of snakes - idiots buy them and don't take into account how large they can grow.
 

CraigC

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Interesting post. I am one of those that fall into "afraid of snakes" even though several types were plentiful where I grew up. I do find the subject of keeping snakes interesting and have a few questions if you don't mind answering;

1. Do you still have snakes?
We have one female northern.

2. What happens when you travel - do you get a snake sitter ? Serious question.
As long as they have fresh water, they can go for months with out food. We never went away for long periods of time and had someone keep up with water. You can do anything in the enclosure during the day. They usually just hide their heads while you work. After dark is another story.

3. Do you have to get a special permit / license to legally keep the snakes shown above which, by the way, are beautiful.
You do not have to have a permit to keep them. You have to have a permit to publicly display or sell them. To ship them domestically you need nothing, but to ship outside of the country you must obtain a CITES permit (CITES, Convention on the International Trade of Endangered Spieces).

4. Did any of your snakes ever escape into other areas of your household?
No. The only time we had escapies were when the females gave birth at night and the neonates got out. They didn't venture far though as they coiled up on the racks where the mothers enclosure were set up.

1. Do you still have snakes?
We have one female northern.

2. What happens when you travel - do you get a snake sitter ? Serious question.
As long as they have fresh water, they can go for months with out food. We never went away for long periods of time and had someone keep up with water. You can do anything in the enclosure during the day. They usually just hide their heads while you work. After dark is another story.

3. Do you have to get a special permit / license to legally keep the snakes shown above which, by the way, are beautiful.
You do not have to have a permit to keep them. You have to have a permit to publicly display or sell them. To ship them domestically you need nothing, but to ship outside of the country you must obtain a CITES permit (CITES, Convention on the International Trade of Endangered Spieces).

4. Did any of your snakes ever escape into other areas of your household?
No. The only time we had escapies were when the females gave birth at night and the neonates got out. They didn't venture far though as they coiled up on the racks where the mothers enclosure were set up.
 
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CraigC

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They are stunningly beautiful. I really love snakes. My son is studying a degree in animal management and there is a reptile house (rescue centre) on the campus. He volunteers there. They have a lot of snakes - idiots buy them and don't take into account how large they can grow.

If they turned them in because they got too large to handle. I don't think they were idiots. In your case if they let them go in the environment, any exotics would perish during winter. Our Everglades python problems are a result of Hurricane Andrew.
 

medtran49

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I fell in love with rainbow boas at 1 of the shows we were vendors at. Their primary colors are red, yellow and orange, but their scales are iridescent and shade to greens, blues, purples depending on light, thus, their name. We got a very pretty 1 for me from a very nice man with a magnificent handlebar mustache.

At another show, our next door neighbor had poison dart frogs. Called our DD and told her about them. We ended up taking 3 home for her, a blue and black one, a neon green and black one, and a red and black one. They were interesting to keep as you had to keep 2 colonies of fruit flies going so they would always have food in case 1 colony died. They don't excrete the venom in captivity (thru their skin). It's something or a combo of somethings they consume in the wild that forms the venom.
 

medtran49

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The only time we had escapies were when the females gave birth at night and the neonates got out. They didn't venture far though as they coiled up on the racks where the mothers enclosure were set up.

Guess he forgot about the 1 coiled up in my tennis shoe. No, I didn't find it with my foot. I shook out my shoe and it fell out. That was our biggest escape. We didn't realize the ventilation hole was big enough for babies to get out. At least we found all of them and then made sure that never happened again.
 

CraigC

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Those are beautiful pictures!

My wife is absolutely terrified of snakes, as in poop-her-pants terrified. They don't bother me one way or the other, and I'm like that with spiders (even the word gives me the creeps), and those don't bother her at all.

Where I grew up, we have a lot of black snakes. They get fairly large, six feet or so, kind of fat, and they're good to have around, because they keep the vermin down. Growing up, we had a sawmill, and it was housed in a long frame building with a roof, so it was open, mainly.

The birds would build nests up in the rafters, and the snakes would lie up there to eat the eggs (and the birds, I guess). We'd see them stretched out up there. They also liked to lie in the sawdust piles, because the sun would heat that up nice and warm.

My dad won't admit it, but he doesn't like snakes. I wouldn't say he's scared of them, but I think they just creep him out, and he was raised in a snake-handling church, and that probably something to do with it as well.

One day, we went out to saw, and as I was firing everything up, he happened to look up and see a black snake stretched out right over his head.

He picked up a stray piece of wood, threw it at the snake, and shouted, "Get on outta here, Blackie!"

Guess what the snake did? Well, let's just say Dad scared the crap, literally, out of that snake, and if you've ever seen a snake poop, it can be kind of like silly string shot from a can. I was looking at my dad throwing something at the snake, then a long stream of liquid was squirting all over him.

Once I figured out what it was, I couldn't stop laughing. :laugh:

I was in the Florida Keys in the late 80's looking at some property on Little Torch Key. Traveling down a road off of the overseas highway, I noticed a large snake crossing the road just ahead. I could tell from the way the segmented tail tip was held off the ground and the actual size, that it was an Eastern Diamond Back rattlesnake. It was only half way across the road with a car approaching from ahead and behind. Not wanting this native snake to be run over, I stopped, got out of my truck and grabbed the spear shaft from my gun. It was a very cold day and the snake was sluggish because of it. I grabbed her by the tail and use the spear shaft to lift her off the ground. By now the cars had caught up, stopped and people were exiting them and snapping pictures. The folks were all Canadians and had never seen a rattlesnake in the wild. They got their thrill and the gravid female snake got hand carried across the road.
 

TastyReuben

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I was in the Florida Keys in the late 80's looking at some property on Little Torch Key. Traveling down a road off of the overseas highway, I noticed a large snake crossing the road just ahead. I could tell from the way the segmented tail tip was held off the ground and the actual size, that it was an Eastern Diamond Back rattlesnake. It was only half way across the road with a car approaching from ahead and behind. Not wanting this native snake to be run over, I stopped, got out of my truck and grabbed the spear shaft from my gun. It was a very cold day and the snake was sluggish because of it. I grabbed her by the tail and use the spear shaft to lift her off the ground. By now the cars had caught up, stopped and people were exiting them and snapping pictures. The folks were all Canadians and had never seen a rattlesnake in the wild. They got their thrill and the gravid female snake got hand carried across the road.
Excellent! I've done that with turtles before, using a scoop shovel on a couple of occasions (snapping turtles).
 

medtran49

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Oh, he's done the turtle thing quite a few times. One time, he had stopped and carried it to safety, then went on his way. A LEO on the other side of the divided highway saw him out of the car and messing with something at side of road, turned around, caught up to him and stopped him, asking what he was doing. He told him and was sent on his way, but he said the LEO backed up to where he had been parked, got out of his car and started looking in the brush. Guess he found the turtle as that was the last Craig saw of the LEO.

One time we were going to a potluck and I had a big pot of baked beans, among other things, laying in the back of my hatchback (back seats were down). A huge iguana ran onto the road right in front of my car. Slammed on the brakes. Iggy lived. Baked beans didn't and boy was that a mess to clean up.

Iggys get really, really big here. We're talking mini dinos here, 5-6 feet tip to tip.
 

Backbay

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1. Do you still have snakes?
We have one female northern.

2. What happens when you travel - do you get a snake sitter ? Serious question.
As long as they have fresh water, they can go for months with out food. We never went away for long periods of time and had someone keep up with water. You can do anything in the enclosure during the day. They usually just hide their heads while you work. After dark is another story.

3. Do you have to get a special permit / license to legally keep the snakes shown above which, by the way, are beautiful.
You do not have to have a permit to keep them. You have to have a permit to publicly display or sell them. To ship them domestically you need nothing, but to ship outside of the country you must obtain a CITES permit (CITES, Convention on the International Trade of Endangered Spieces).

4. Did any of your snakes ever escape into other areas of your household?
No. The only time we had escapies were when the females gave birth at night and the neonates got out. They didn't venture far though as they coiled up on the racks where the mothers enclosure were set up.
Thanks for answering much appreciated. When you've done your diving did you ever encounter snakes?
 

rascal

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Thanks CraigC you told me more than I ever learnt in 63 years, as I've said we are snake free, so I'm ok with non venomous, but wary of poisonous ones. I've had pythons around my neck in photo touristy places, Brisbane and bangkok. They never bothered me. Wife would not get a pic,lol.
I've bred German shepherds and racehorses, but I would never think of breeding snakes? I guess if there's a buck in it, I would try,lol.
Sea snakes scare me, after watching that movie in the Amazon???

Russ
 

Mountain Cat

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I'm not scared of snakes, but I do have a healthy respect for the poisonous ones. My first serious boyfriend kept snakes in aquaria - and one of them was a copperhead.

Later on, I knew (still know) a woman who kept snakes, turtles and a small crocodile - she had a license for much of her herpetology interests. Her favorite was a 5 foot or so long Boa she named (if I recall correctly) Princess. When Princess died she was heartbroken.

She ended up donating the rest of the reptilian population to a sanctuary when she adopted a son who was and still is severely ADD as she worried about him and the turtles.

My mother was extremely petrified of snakes - my brother collected a small garter snake when he was quite young and we were on vacation in Nova Scotia, and she allowed him to keep it in a box outdoors. One day it escaped and Mom breathed a sigh of relief -- which ended when it turned out the snake had found it's way into the cabin we were renting. It made its way up the stonework of the fireplace there, and remained unnoticed until the chilly night my folks decided to light the fireplace. I guess the warmth was too much for it, so it dropped down to the hearth - and scared the daylights out of Mom. Mom screamed for my brother to wake up and take the thing outside! (He returned it to the box.)

The next day, Dad had to drive it at least three miles away to release it into the wilds.
 
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