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 Post subject: "reptile zoo Nockalm", an exhibiton in austria UPDATE 2017
PostPosted: November 1st, 2013, 1:46 pm 

Joined: August 20th, 2013, 11:39 am
Posts: 51
Location: Austria
Hi,
I want to show you the place where my intrest for reptiles (especially snakes) became a passion.
Reptilienzoo Nockalm is actually a quite small exhibition just by its size, but shows a huge amount of different, mostly venomous, snakes. Also there are some outside enclosures for austrian reptile species (and rattlesnakes during the summer).
I got the chance to work in this great stock for several months during the summers of the last 9 years. For me it was an oustanding experience and still is everytime I visit this place. I really learnd a lot just by watching the owener doing his job and after some time I was allowed to work with venomous species too.
I'm really thankful for this time. I really appreciated to learn from an experienced keeper and not only with captives, we've been out in the field some times as well.

I don't keep venomous snakes at home (it's forbidden in my hometown :( ) but beside the theoretical knowlegde it's good to be able to handle snakes for photographing or generally for herping...
I also enjoyed the time when I just walked through the exhibition watching all the snakes, seeing them during the feeding and cleaning, how they react in various situations, was/is really interesting and very helpful with wild snakes too.

But now I want to show you some pictures of the exhibition, the enclosures and it's inhabitants ;)
First, to give you an impression, the lovely cages...

the entrance with the outdoor enclosures in the background
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Crotalus oreganus enclosure outside
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Vipera berus enclosure outside
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Lacerta viridis outside
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inside, with Osteolaemus tetraspis in the big enclosure in the back...
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some enclosures inside...
Naja melanoleuca
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Naja annulata
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Crotalus atrox
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Crotalus horridus
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Vipera ammodytes
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and myself at a photoshooting with a Naja naja on the table infront of the mamba enclosures...
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and in the end (for today) some pictures of my favourite inhabitants ;)
as I'm a big cobra-fan, Naja samarensis
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Naja philippinensis
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Naja haje "legionis"
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Dendroaspis angusticeps
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Craspedocephalus/Trimeresurus trigonocephalus
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striped Crotalus durissus terrificus
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Daboia mauritanica
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juvenile Bitis rhinoceros
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As I was working there for some time I should be able to answer questions concerning the keeping (otherwise I can ask the owner for an answer ;) )
Enjoy

regards
Markus


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 Post subject: Re: "reptile zoo Nockalm", an exhibiton in austria
PostPosted: November 1st, 2013, 6:43 pm 
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Joined: October 18th, 2011, 12:03 pm
Posts: 3739
Location: San Francisco, California
Markus it is beautiful. A beautiful and incredible place. I have too many questions to sort out now - especially about the Dendroaspis but not only.

Thank you for sharing this place and the exquisite snakes and environments that truly stand as a re definition of captivity.

Kelly McDougall


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 Post subject: Re: "reptile zoo Nockalm", an exhibiton in austria
PostPosted: November 1st, 2013, 6:45 pm 
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Joined: June 8th, 2010, 2:19 am
Posts: 3173
Location: Kuching, Sarawak (Borneo)
Such beautiful enclosures....and photos!

(Have they removed the ivy from their shop sign since? :-))


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 Post subject: Re: "reptile zoo Nockalm", an exhibiton in austria
PostPosted: November 3rd, 2013, 3:15 am 

Joined: August 20th, 2013, 11:39 am
Posts: 51
Location: Austria
Thanks a lot!
I don't want to start an argument about keeping snakes in racks or "just" on newspaper with a water bowl and hiding place, but I really love to see such a big stock in such natural enclosures, also behind the scenes! Although it is hard to spot all snakes in a tank sometimes, it has a positive effect on the snakes, what I can say. Most of them are quite relaxed even if lots of people are visiting the exhibition, when it's too much for them and also during our work in the enclosures they move back in one of the hiding places...

Some more pics ;)
Naja haje enclousure (for 3 adults, with slip box on the right side)
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Naja sputatrix
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Montivipera xanthina
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Crotalus durissus terrificus
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Agkistrodon contortrix mokasen
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Protobothrops jerdonii bourreti
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Crotalus ruber
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Quote:
I have too many questions to sort out now - especially about the Dendroaspis but not only.


He's keeping 3 Dendroaspis species, angusticeps, viridis and polylepis. On the picture of the photoshooting I'm standing between the D. viridis cage on the left and the D. polylepis cage on the right...

Dendroaspis angusticeps
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Dendroaspis viridis
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Dendroaspis polylepis
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Enjoy :)

regards
Markus


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 Post subject: Re: "reptile zoo Nockalm", an exhibiton in austria
PostPosted: November 3rd, 2013, 3:23 am 
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Joined: June 8th, 2010, 2:19 am
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Location: Kuching, Sarawak (Borneo)
dang, that's BEAUTIFUL


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 Post subject: Re: "reptile zoo Nockalm", an exhibiton in austria
PostPosted: November 3rd, 2013, 1:53 pm 

Joined: August 20th, 2013, 11:39 am
Posts: 51
Location: Austria
And always some youngsters to photograph :P
Damn I love baby cobras :D :D :D

Image
juvenile visayan cobra von markusOulehla auf Flickr


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barred cobra von markusOulehla auf Flickr


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spectacled cobra von markusOulehla auf Flickr


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juvenile snouted cobra von markusOulehla auf Flickr


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baby forest cobra von markusOulehla auf Flickr


but never call them small, they don't like that...
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and sometimes you are really lucky
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uracoan rattler gives birth von markusOulehla auf Flickr


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juvenile uracoan rattler von markusOulehla auf Flickr


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baby rhinozeros viper von markusOulehla auf Flickr


and baby common adders in the outside enclosure :)
Image



Regards
Markus


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 Post subject: Re: "reptile zoo Nockalm", an exhibiton in austria
PostPosted: November 3rd, 2013, 6:07 pm 
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Joined: June 8th, 2010, 2:19 am
Posts: 3173
Location: Kuching, Sarawak (Borneo)
stunning


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 Post subject: Re: "reptile zoo Nockalm", an exhibiton in austria
PostPosted: November 5th, 2013, 6:38 am 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 4:26 am
Posts: 3420
Location: Illinois
This is an incredible post, absolutely stunning pictures.


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 Post subject: Re: "reptile zoo Nockalm", an exhibiton in austria
PostPosted: November 5th, 2013, 2:08 pm 

Joined: August 20th, 2013, 11:39 am
Posts: 51
Location: Austria
Thank you!
What I really enjoyed beside the work with the snakes, was talking to the visitors. Lot's of scared people showed at least a little bit of fascination after recognizing that there is not "a rattlesnake", but there's a whole genus with lots of different types and adaptations on their different habitats. So the enclosures are good for the animals and to explain/show how these species live and why they are colored like that...
Even if some species "look the same" for most visitors, the huge diversity is impressing and makes them think about snakes. Lot's of people started talking about their experience with snakes in their gardens, on hike trips, holidays or in their childhood...
It's nice to have the chance to reduce/destroy some prejudice against snakes, that's my intention with my pictures, to show the diversity of snakes and hab beautiful, elegant and fascinating they are.


So here are some more elapid pictures for you guys ;)
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Naja atra enclosure von markusOulehla auf Flickr

Naja atra, china locality
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Naja atra, taiwan locality
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Naja sumatrana von markusOulehla auf Flickr


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Naja sumatrana von markusOulehla auf Flickr


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banded water cobra von markusOulehla auf Flickr


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Naja sputatrix von markusOulehla auf Flickr


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Naja nivea von markusOulehla auf Flickr


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Naja nivea von markusOulehla auf Flickr



some of my favourits
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Naja samarensis von markusOulehla auf Flickr


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Naja samarensis von markusOulehla auf Flickr


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Naja philippinensis von markusOulehla auf Flickr


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red spitting cobra von markusOulehla auf Flickr


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Oxyuranus microlepidotus von markusOulehla auf Flickr





and a little preview of the next series of pics of crotalids :D

Image
batanes pitviper von markusOulehla auf Flickr



regards
Markus


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 Post subject: Re: "reptile zoo Nockalm", an exhibiton in austria
PostPosted: November 5th, 2013, 5:12 pm 
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Joined: June 10th, 2010, 3:28 pm
Posts: 2293
Just... WOW! :thumb:

This whole presentation is incredible! The baby cobras are especially cute... :)

Markus, with this single thread you've become one of the people here at FHF who I'd most like to meet in person someday. Please keep up the great work both there and here!

Gerry


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 Post subject: Re: "reptile zoo Nockalm", an exhibiton in austria
PostPosted: November 5th, 2013, 10:01 pm 
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Joined: October 18th, 2010, 7:55 pm
Posts: 632
Location: San Diego, CA
Markus - what an awesome set of photos!

Maybe a bit too close-up for my taste though. I seriously got tense scrolling down through the post, staring at the array of deadly serpents, all in living color, most looking rather mean.

The small cobras were OK I suppose, but I really prefer the friendly green Lacertas. Does the zoo have any other non-venomous European herps on display?

Cheers,

Jeff


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 Post subject: Re: "reptile zoo Nockalm", an exhibiton in austria
PostPosted: November 6th, 2013, 2:00 pm 

Joined: August 20th, 2013, 11:39 am
Posts: 51
Location: Austria
Thanks a lot!!!

Quote:
Please keep up the great work both there and here!


I "just" did this as a summer job, so it's not my profession... But as we are friends I help him out whenever I can, so I' visit him a few times every year...
As I take pictures for his facebook-/homepage I'll share them with you guys too. I'm really looking forward to my next visit, he told me that he's got some new cool little citters :D



Quote:
Maybe a bit too close-up for my taste though.



Most of the pictures were taken through the glass of course! I use a 40mm macro lense, so that would be too close I think :lol:
Some other were taken in a lightcube, quite simple actually...
Image
pitviper in a light tent von markusOulehla auf Flickr


Quote:
Does the zoo have any other non-venomous European herps on display?


Yes they show most of our endemic species too, some of them outside and some colubrids and vipers from southern europe inside...
Unfortunately I don't have many pictures from the outside enclosures...
Coronella austriaca austriaca
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Coronella austriaca von markusOulehla auf Flickr

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Coronella austriaca von markusOulehla auf Flickr

and one more of the green lizards
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Lacerta viridis von markusOulehla auf Flickr

inside
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Elaphe quatuorlineata von markusOulehla auf Flickr

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Zamenis situla von markusOulehla auf Flickr

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Zamenis longissimus von markusOulehla auf Flickr


and something very special!!!
A few months ago there was an article in the newspapers, that people found an uncommon snake in their garden (they always freak out about that, although we don't have any really dangerous snakes in our country...). Obviously it was an amelanistic individual, so the "snake-expert" they called indentified it as an "albino cornsnake" and it was brought to an animal shelter...
So in the end it came to the zoo and now have a look, is that a cornsnake? :lol:
Image


From what I know it is the 3rd find of an amelanistic aesculapian snake in europe :beer:
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amelanistic aesculapian snake von markusOulehla auf Flickr


He also has some "exotic", so non european, colubrids ;)
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mangrove snake von markusOulehla auf Flickr


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Lampropeltis zonata agalma von markusOulehla auf Flickr


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striped housesnake von markusOulehla auf Flickr



also non-venomous, Osteolaemus tetraspis :P
Image


regards
Markus


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 Post subject: Re: "reptile zoo Nockalm", an exhibiton in austria
PostPosted: November 6th, 2013, 7:17 pm 
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Joined: October 18th, 2010, 7:55 pm
Posts: 632
Location: San Diego, CA
Very cool additions - Thanks Markus!

I really like the Zamenis situla and the L.z. agalma.

The close-up shot of the mangrove snake is terrific as well - and it doesn't even make me sweat.


Overall, Nockalm Reptilienzoo seems like a spectacular place. I'd love to visit there next time I'm in Austria!

(I hope it's open during ski season)



Jeff


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 Post subject: Re: "reptile zoo Nockalm", an exhibiton in austria
PostPosted: November 7th, 2013, 10:44 am 
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Joined: November 6th, 2013, 6:38 pm
Posts: 52
Location: STL
Beautiful enclosures, and great looking animals. Thanks for sharing!


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 Post subject: Re: "reptile zoo Nockalm", an exhibiton in austria
PostPosted: November 7th, 2013, 11:48 am 

Joined: August 20th, 2013, 11:39 am
Posts: 51
Location: Austria
Just can recommand that :D
And yes it's open (almost) every day, I'm not sure aubout christmas...
03. 11. - 31. 03. - 10:00 - 16:00
01. 04. - 30. 06. - 10:00 - 17:00
01. 07. - 31. 08. - 09:00 - 18:00
01. 09. - 02. 11. - 10:00 - 17:00

And it's close to Bad Kleinkirchheim, a nice skiing area ;)
But I would recomand this place in spring or summer, that you can see the nice outdoor enclosures and vipers (lots of them are behind the scenes during the winter...) AND you can go herping for common adders or european horned vipers ;)

The Zamenis situla is really amazing, too bad that they are incredibly shy... In all those years I just got this picture...


But now, as I promised some crotalid pictures...

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Crotalus viridis "nuntius" enclosure von markusOulehla auf Flickr


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Crotalus viridis "nuntius" von markusOulehla auf Flickr


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Crotalus enyo enyo enclosure von markusOulehla auf Flickr


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Crotalus mitchelli pyrrhus enclosure von markusOulehla auf Flickr


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speckled rattlesnake von markusOulehla auf Flickr


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Crotalus adamanteus von markusOulehla auf Flickr


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Crotalus atrox von markusOulehla auf Flickr


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amelanistic western diamondback von markusOulehla auf Flickr


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timber rattlesnake von markusOulehla auf Flickr


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timber rattlesnake shedding von markusOulehla auf Flickr


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canebrake rattlesnake von markusOulehla auf Flickr


Crotalus polystictus
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snake love von markusOulehla auf Flickr


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neotropical rattler von markusOulehla auf Flickr


Next time some of the other crotalids ;)

little preview...
Image
Agkistrodon c. pictigaster von markusOulehla auf Flickr



cheers
Markus


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 Post subject: Re: "reptile zoo Nockalm", an exhibiton in austria
PostPosted: November 10th, 2013, 8:51 am 

Joined: August 20th, 2013, 11:39 am
Posts: 51
Location: Austria
Some more crotalids, beside the genus Crotalus ;)

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southern copperhead von markusOulehla auf Flickr


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northern copperhead von markusOulehla auf Flickr


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Bothrops diporus von markusOulehla auf Flickr


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godmans pit viper von markusOulehla auf Flickr


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Protobothrops jerdonii bourreti von markusOulehla auf Flickr


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banded pitviper von markusOulehla auf Flickr


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large eyed bamboo pitviper von markusOulehla auf Flickr


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wetar island pitviper von markusOulehla auf Flickr


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Trimeresurus purpureomaculatus von markusOulehla auf Flickr


Enjoy!
Next time I'll show you some more vipers ;)
Image
Daboia palaestinae von markusOulehla auf Flickr



Regards
Markus


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 Post subject: Re: "reptile zoo Nockalm", an exhibiton in austria
PostPosted: November 20th, 2013, 5:24 am 

Joined: August 20th, 2013, 11:39 am
Posts: 51
Location: Austria
Some vipers of the stock :)

Image
rhinozeros viper von markusOulehla auf Flickr


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gaboon viper von markusOulehla auf Flickr


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desert horned viper von markusOulehla auf Flickr


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Daboia palaestinae von markusOulehla auf Flickr


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egyptian saw-scaled viper von markusOulehla auf Flickr


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milos viper von markusOulehla auf Flickr


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milos viper von markusOulehla auf Flickr


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alpine asp viper von markusOulehla auf Flickr


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Vipera latastei gaditana von markusOulehla auf Flickr


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transcaucasian viper von markusOulehla auf Flickr


Next time I'll show you some Vipera ammodytes ssp. from different localities, quite interesting I think ;)

Here's a preview, Vipera ammodytes ammodytes, Austria/Carinthia/Friesach - locality
Image
common long nosed viper von markusOulehla auf Flickr


regards
Markus


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 Post subject: Re: "reptile zoo Nockalm", an exhibiton in austria
PostPosted: November 20th, 2013, 12:21 pm 

Joined: December 3rd, 2010, 12:06 pm
Posts: 1570
Awesome, thanks Markus.

I'm looking forward to the locality ammodytes pics (and please indicate the gender if you know it). Do they have any Velebits at that zoo? I love the pale greys off limestone (there, Krk, etc), very like some of our Texas lepidus.

Is that montane aspis a Pyrenees or Alps animal?

I find my fellow North Americans' lack of love for the Euro-vipers strange. They're wonderful. I used to have a decent little collection of them...

Cheers,
Jimi


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 Post subject: Re: "reptile zoo Nockalm", an exhibiton in austria
PostPosted: November 20th, 2013, 1:41 pm 
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Posts: 379
Location: NorCal
Jimi wrote:
I find my fellow North Americans' lack of love for the Euro-vipers strange. They're wonderful. I used to have a decent little collection of them...


Not sure who you are referring to but I find them fascinating. :)

Great post and beautiful pictures, thanks for sharing.

I did want to comment that while I don't consider myself a zonata expert, your L. z. agalma doesn't look like the agalma I am used to seeing. I could be wrong, but it may be one of the other northern subspecies.


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 Post subject: Re: "reptile zoo Nockalm", an exhibiton in austria
PostPosted: November 21st, 2013, 9:32 am 

Joined: August 20th, 2013, 11:39 am
Posts: 51
Location: Austria
Although elapids are my favourites, I really like our european vipers too, especially Vipera ammodytes with all its variations, just amazing, in captivity AND in the field :D

Quote:
I did want to comment that while I don't consider myself a zonata expert, your L. z. agalma doesn't look like the agalma I am used to seeing. I could be wrong, but it may be one of the other northern subspecies.


I'm not 100% sure, he also keeps L. z. pulchra and parvirubra...
For me they all look quite the same :oops:

@ Jimi:
It's Vipera aspis atra, so the alpine asp viper ;)


I'll try my best with the gender ;)
And they don't have croatian ammodytes, but the grey colored ammodytes also occur on some spots in carinthia, so he's keeping these...
For me these light grey color-variations are the most beautiful, much nicer than the yellow and red ones from montenegro (skutari lake, etc.)...

So lets start with Vipera ammodytes ammodytes from carinthia/austria.
I allready shared a picture of a male from the area around Friesach, these are really dark, with (almost) black heads, formaly known as "Vipera ammodytes gregorwallneri"
Image
Vipera ammodytes ammodytes von markusOulehla auf Flickr

The females mostly are brown...
Image
Vipera ammodytes ammodytes von markusOulehla auf Flickr

and both together
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Vipera ammodytes ammodytes von markusOulehla auf Flickr


Then, in the area around Villach, there are light grey colored ammodytes, formaly "Vipera ammodytes illyrica"
This should be a male, but I'm not 100% sure, it's a bit harder to tell with these^^
Image
common long nosed viper von markusOulehla auf Flickr

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nose-horned viper von markusOulehla auf Flickr


If we go little bit south, he we find the formaly "Vipera ammodytes ruffoi" in northern italy
Here's a male
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Vipera ammodytes ammodytes von markusOulehla auf Flickr

Image
common long nosed viper von markusOulehla auf Flickr


Still staying with Vipera ammodytes ammodytes, know from southern slowenia, these two are real beasts :twisted:
male
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Vipera ammodytes ammodytes von markusOulehla auf Flickr

portrait of the female
Image
nose-horned viper von markusOulehla auf Flickr


juvenile Vipera ammodytes ammodytes from montenegro
Image
nose-horned viper von markusOulehla auf Flickr


also from montenegro, skutari lake - locality
that should be a male
Image
Vipera ammodytes ammodytes von markusOulehla auf Flickr

and an older picture of a female...
Image
Vipera ammodytes ammodytes von markusOulehla auf Flickr


and some Vipera ammodytes meridionalis...
I'm not sure what locality this one is...
Image
Vipera ammodytes meridionalis von markusOulehla auf Flickr


... this is one of three juvenile Vipera ammodytes ammodytes from greece, should be 1.2 but I'm not sure which one it was...
Image
nose-horned viper von markusOulehla auf Flickr



Enjoy :)

regards
Markus


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 Post subject: Re: "reptile zoo Nockalm", an exhibiton in austria
PostPosted: November 21st, 2013, 11:11 am 

Joined: December 3rd, 2010, 12:06 pm
Posts: 1570
Thanks Markus!

I'd forgotten about "the ammodytes formerly known as gregorwallneri". Love that heavy black.


Gila - re: North Americans' lack of love for Euro-vipers-
Quote:
Not sure who you are referring to but I find them fascinating. :)

If you've ever seriously tried to get your hands on some, you'll know what I mean. There seems to be no demand here, so they command low prices here, so nobody cultures or imports them here. The European supply is good, lots of CBB available for low prices, but shipping is so costly you have to "volume it" to get the per-snake shipping cost down to something un-ridiculous. Sort of a catch-22 all around.

I've kept these taxa. Most I had to unload when I moved to a venomous-ban-state (major, major bummer):
aspis (aspis - Metz)
ammodytes
raddei
xanthina
albizona
nikolskii

All the dry-land ones were hardy & as straightforward as our easy rattlesnakes (except liking a Cold hibernation), but the nikolskii were touchy little buggers about heat, humidity, and fresh air. Eventually I lost them. I think they'd be best kept outside most of the year, in the right climate. The Ozarks or something like that, maybe the Appalachian foothills. The Pelias subgenus as a whole is reputedly just a PITA, although CBB berus - if they can be had - apparently are better (?)

Cheers,
Jimi


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 Post subject: Re: "reptile zoo Nockalm", an exhibiton in austria
PostPosted: November 23rd, 2013, 5:06 am 
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Location: STL
Jimi wrote:
Awesome, thanks Markus.


I find my fellow North Americans' lack of love for the Euro-vipers strange. They're wonderful. I used to have a decent little collection of them...

Cheers,
Jimi


I'm with ya man, im a big fan of the European genera. I work at a facility whos collection has an emphasis on Montivipera and Vipera, so I often forget these cool little vipers are often overlooked.


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 Post subject: Re: "reptile zoo Nockalm", an exhibiton in austria
PostPosted: November 23rd, 2013, 8:47 am 
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Location: Jyväskylä, Finland
Jimi wrote:
The Pelias subgenus as a whole is reputedly just a PITA, although CBB berus - if they can be had - apparently are better (?)


PITA?

CBB berus are manageable but delicate little beasts. The difficulty with them is that they require hot, cold, humid and dry conditions with great ventilation all at the same time. A great species to keep if you can find CB individuals. WC ones are absolute bastards to keep.

Also, whether one considers nikolskii a full species or a subspecies of berus is another matter.


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 Post subject: Re: "reptile zoo Nockalm", an exhibiton in austria
PostPosted: November 24th, 2013, 7:43 am 

Joined: August 20th, 2013, 11:39 am
Posts: 51
Location: Austria
Vipera berus berus is hard in captivity, that's for sure!
But it depends on how you're doing it...
In the zoo they are kept outside, during the whole year (with a hibernaculum of course). So you just need to feed them and cover some parts of the enclosure during heavy rain...
I don't think that adders from these montane areas would survive inside the house...

I'd try some cb adders from populations from lower areas, I've read some articles about these in captivity and it seems to be managable.
Another story I remember is, keeping them in a light shaft in the basement...
But I'm with you common adders are great, just need little more effort.

Vipera berus bosniensis is also better/easier to keep...


regards
Markus


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 Post subject: Re: "reptile zoo Nockalm", an exhibiton in austria
PostPosted: November 24th, 2013, 10:37 am 

Joined: December 3rd, 2010, 12:06 pm
Posts: 1570
Tuatarifer:
Quote:
I work at a facility whos collection has an emphasis on Montivipera and Vipera, so I often forget these cool little vipers are often overlooked.

St Louis Zoo? Nice, lucky you. Aren't you guys studbook keepers of wagneri and bornmuelleri? And do you guys work with latifi? I'd love to get to that zoo for a look, even just as a normal tourist. I didn't realize you all work with more than just a couple of Montivipera, as far as Euro-vipers go.

Martii:
Quote:
PITA?

your English seems awesome but some colloquial acronyms might still evade you - "pain in the ass" just in case the question mark was "what does this mean" not "what do you mean".

Quote:
...they require hot, cold, humid and dry conditions with great ventilation all at the same time

Yeah. That's exactly the kind of stuff I'm talkin' about. Puh-lease. Right up there with Azemiops and Atheris hispida for "forget about it". I lost my male within a month. He was pretty rough when I got him - dehydrated, with mites and a bit of a respiratory situation. The female, who was in much better shape, hung with me for most of a year. Sure were pretty little guys, with very neat daily routines (much like lepidus klauberi). There's just something about a jet-black snake, you know?

Quote:
Also, whether one considers nikolskii a full species or a subspecies of berus is another matter.

Yeah, I know. I don't monitor the Euro-viper taxonomic literature as closely as I did when keeping them (which ended about 5-6 yrs ago). But at the time I wondered why we didn't see more combined molecular/morphological approaches. The field seemed dominated by a couple of old-school pure-phenotype guys. Maybe I got the wrong impression, maybe things have changed.

Markus:
Quote:
Vipera berus bosniensis is also better/easier to keep

I've heard that. Also heard that's the hottest viper on the continent, with possible exception of ammodytes. Are they a medically-significant animal involved in many serious accidents, or just "lab-hot", a curiosity such as e.g. C. tigris or concolor in USA?

In my lifer kept-list I forgot to add latastei gaditana. Those are some cool little puffers too, quite pretty and conveniently, very easy to start on pink mice. I'm amazed there aren't more people here working with those.

Cheers,
Jimi


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 Post subject: Re: "reptile zoo Nockalm", an exhibiton in austria
PostPosted: November 25th, 2013, 1:22 pm 

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Jimi wrote:
I've heard that. Also heard that's the hottest viper on the continent, with possible exception of ammodytes. Are they a medically-significant animal involved in many serious accidents, or just "lab-hot", a curiosity such as e.g. C. tigris or concolor in USA?



Vipera berus is quite venomous, when we're just looking at the LD50, 6,45 sc/0,55 iv, little more than Vipera ammodytes and much more as Crotalus adamanteus for example...
But they don't have enough venom to harm an adult, healthy person. There are just few rare fatals years/decades ago, I remember a story of a boy in GB who died after a berus bite...
Vipera ammodytes- bites are much more dangerous!!!

regards


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 Post subject: Re: "reptile zoo Nockalm", an exhibiton in austria
PostPosted: August 1st, 2014, 11:49 am 

Joined: August 20th, 2013, 11:39 am
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Hello guys,
it's been a while, but as I returned from a visit at Peters zoo, it is time for a little update :D

lot's of you like the european vipers so lets start with some asp vipers
male
ImageVipera aspis zinnikeri by markusOulehla, on Flickr

juvenile male
ImageVipera aspis atra by markusOulehla, on Flickr


common adders in the outside enclosure
ImageVipera berus berus by markusOulehla, on Flickr


ImageMontivipera wagneri by markusOulehla, on Flickr


in addition to his subadult male, he got a pair of youngsters
ImageNaja annulata by markusOulehla, on Flickr

ImageNaja annulata by markusOulehla, on Flickr



Imagejuvenile Naja haje "legionis" by markusOulehla, on Flickr


and one last for today and a real highlight of my visit :beer:
Image
by markusOulehla, on Flickr

more pictures will follow the next days ;)

cheers


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 Post subject: Re: "reptile zoo Nockalm", an exhibiton in austria UPDATE 20
PostPosted: August 4th, 2014, 8:37 am 

Joined: June 17th, 2010, 4:51 am
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I'm not sure how I missed this the first time around, but these posts were spectacular! Superb photography and stunning exhibits. Thanks for putting it together.


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 Post subject: Re: "reptile zoo Nockalm", an exhibiton in austria UPDATE 20
PostPosted: August 4th, 2014, 11:14 am 

Joined: August 20th, 2013, 11:39 am
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Location: Austria
You're welcome :)

as I promised here is some more of the hatching of Parias mcgregori

ImageParias mcgregori hatching by markusOulehla, on Flickr


ImageParias mcgregori hatching by markusOulehla, on Flickr


ImageParias mcgregori hatchling by markusOulehla, on Flickr




ImageCrotalus pricei by markusOulehla, on Flickr


ImageCrotalus pricei by markusOulehla, on Flickr


ImageViridovipera gumprechti mother by markusOulehla, on Flickr



and one of the youngsters
Imagejuvenile Viridovipera gumprechti by markusOulehla, on Flickr


Imagejuvenile Viridovipera gumprechti by markusOulehla, on Flickr





cheers
Markus


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 Post subject: Re: "reptile zoo Nockalm", an exhibiton in austria UPDATE 20
PostPosted: August 6th, 2014, 1:20 pm 

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Quote:
as I promised here is some more of the hatching of Parias mcgregori

I thought that's what that was - it sure looked like eggshells in the foreground, and that evidence plus facial pits helped narrow the possibilities. I take it they let the mother brood her clutch? Any other morphs in that litter besides white? Wow the Philippines has a few cool pitvipers!

I liked the young male gumprechti too, and his mom (any idea if Thai, Viet, or Yunnan?). She looks like a real "hoss" (American colloquialism for "horse"). Thanks Markus for the update. That seems like a really nice little zoo.

cheers,
Jimi


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 Post subject: Re: "reptile zoo Nockalm", an exhibiton in austria UPDATE 20
PostPosted: May 27th, 2015, 1:38 pm 
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Bump bumpidy bump bump; This Place Rocks.

Besides the obvious splendor, Im diggin some of those sleek, articulated spot lamps


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 Post subject: Re: "reptile zoo Nockalm", an exhibiton in austria UPDATE 20
PostPosted: June 2nd, 2015, 5:07 pm 

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Thanks for the bump Kelly. This was a good thread.

Your comment made me go look at track lighting @ HD the other day. What I saw was unfortunately pretty expensive ($40/spot, plus about $20 per 3' track section) but worse still, big, ugly and clunky. On the good side, everything now comes in both halogen (the old stuff - yikes, hot!) and LED.

I was hoping for some slimmed-down spot housings, like you see in e.g. jewelry stores and museums. I haven't really looked yet online. This (in perhaps 6500K temp) is more what I was hoping to see at the store:
http://www.noralighting.com/Product.aspx?&pid=9684

cheers,
Jimi


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 Post subject: Re: "reptile zoo Nockalm", an exhibiton in austria UPDATE 20
PostPosted: June 3rd, 2015, 11:49 am 
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Yeah this was/is a favorite browse of wonderful stuff..

I like the light Jimi.. I have a line of lizard environments that those guys would work really well, fit nice and I like the ability to shift the "sun" patch

The ones used in the Nockalm enclosures have a real mindfulness in regards to being inside. That minimalist slendersmooth physic can make the difference between an actual burn and not one, in fleeting the contact duration potential, however freakish or unlikely, no rim or edges that would add extra seconds to that odd fall or crawl.

I always think of the worse thing that could possibly occur in situations Im putting together, which means designs take longer with more restrictions. Its a headache and can make projects less fun.

More and more I encounter materials, gear now made in China that increase the need for diligence (Worry) because of the sheer duress animal use electricals etc are put under. Compared to their more conventional useage. Wow even those products made for reptile use cant be trusted to complacency


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 Post subject: Re: "reptile zoo Nockalm", an exhibiton in austria UPDATE 20
PostPosted: July 7th, 2015, 9:46 pm 
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Very nice facility and the photos are stunning. I am happy to be part of the 1% that took a moment to say thank you for sharing your work.
:beer:


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 Post subject: Re: "reptile zoo Nockalm", an exhibiton in austria UPDATE 20
PostPosted: February 24th, 2017, 1:58 pm 

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Thank you again for all your nice comments :)

Way too long since I posted here some time for a little update!

The taipans are growing, and living together now in a big enclosure. They're feeding better now and at least one is always visible, sunbathing or searching around in the tank...
Image
Oxyuranus microlepidotus by Markus Oulehla, auf Flickr


Image
Oxyuranus microlepidotus by Markus Oulehla, auf Flickr


As the old Echis pyramidum retired and taken behind the scenes a young Echis carinatus sochurecki took her place in the exhibition.
check out this beauty!
Image
Echis carinatus sochureki by Markus Oulehla, auf Flickr

Image
Echis carinatus sochureki by Markus Oulehla, auf Flickr


and here one of my favorite rattlesnakes, maybe one more year and she's ready to breed :D
Image
Crotalus molossus by Markus Oulehla, auf Flickr


and another great pit viper, a nothern copperhead (Agkistrodon contortix mokasen, not sure about the new taxonomie here...)
Image
Agkistrodon contortrix mokasen by Markus Oulehla, auf Flickr


The last one for today, a quite strange specimen, lives really hidden, but after a little shower a loong head appears somewhere between the roots in the enclosure. The body follows and gets longer and longer but staying really thin... In the end you have a huge worm with a lanceshaped head^^ the chinese habu
Image
chinese habu by Markus Oulehla, auf Flickr



enjoy the pictures folks :)
regards
Markus


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 Post subject: Re: "reptile zoo Nockalm", an exhibiton in austria UPDATE 20
PostPosted: February 25th, 2017, 1:33 pm 

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Glad for the update, Markus! Thank you.

Any reproduction in the temperate Protobothrops? And, I have seen no Ovophis or Deinahkistrodon depicted - none there?

I'm curious how you guys are keeping the jerdonii. I assume a cold hibernation (<<10C). In going from warm season to cold season, does Nockalm slowly ratchet down the temps, or do you cease feeding for a few weeks to clean out digestive tracts and then rather quickly drop the temp? The former of course seems more "natural" but the latter is done more with temperate snakes as a rule, as a means of preventing respiratory infections and other lethal issues of hibernation. I'm just curious to hear about practices across the sea.

Thanks again for the update.

cheers


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 Post subject: Re: "reptile zoo Nockalm", an exhibiton in austria UPDATE 20
PostPosted: March 3rd, 2017, 6:01 am 

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Hi,
I think he got some Ovophis after my last vistit there, so if I'm right there will be some pictures when I manage to see him again ;)
Deinagkistrodon not yet, as subadult/adults would be better for the exhibition it's not easy to find the right specimen. But he's on it and I'm really looking forward, as I really like this specias too :D

The Protobothrops jerdonii bouretti do have a cooler period during the winter, but as they live in the exhibition, I think not cold enough to breed them. I'm not even 100%sure if it's 1.1, should be, but I never checked it (also I'm not sure about sexual dimorphism in this species like in Trimeresurus sp. for example....).
For now his breeding efforts belong more to the philippine pit vipers, mcgregori and flavomaculatus, behind the scenes...
The philippine pit vipers "hibernate" in their enclosures (so the whole room is pretty cold) between 10-15°C (what I remember), he keeps on spraying water and they eat and digest "without any problems" (from time to time they refuse their food or need a bit longer to take it, so better say with no more problems than any other time year^^)

As I know you like the pictures of the nice setups there here are some more pictures of the enclosures ;)

Image
Oxyuranus microlepidotus by Markus Oulehla, auf Flickr


Image
Crotalus lepidus klauberi by Markus Oulehla, auf Flickr


taiwan - N. atra female (another favorite)
Image
Naja atra by Markus Oulehla, auf Flickr


Osteolaemus tetraspis
Image
dwarf crocodile enclosure by Markus Oulehla, auf Flickr


Image
Crotalus durissus terrificus by Markus Oulehla, auf Flickr


Image
Trimeresurus macrops by Markus Oulehla, auf Flickr



cheers


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 Post subject: Re: "reptile zoo Nockalm", an exhibiton in austria UPDATE 20
PostPosted: March 4th, 2017, 9:47 am 

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Thanks again Markus. I would look forward to seeing and hearing more of these temperate far-eastern crotalines.

Quote:
also I'm not sure about sexual dimorphism in this species like in Trimeresurus sp. for example....


Me either. The main impressions of P. jerdonii I have formed in this regard are:

1) A slight size difference in favor of females (they're a little longer). It doesn't seem a very hefty taxon - not as pronouncedly slender as say P. mucrosquamatus but they don't seem prone to stoutness. Maybe a big old girl would chunk up? As many of us have discovered, often to some dismay, many Popeia, Viridovipera, Cryptelytrops, Tropidolaemus males are occasionally or persistently indifferent feeders - but I don't have first-hand knowledge of this in Protobothrops. Are the jerdonii at Nockaln strong feeders? I have heard this species tends to feed very well, in general. Both genders. Probably not helpful for gender discrimination.

2) A dazzling variability in color and pattern (size of dorsal blotches, darkness of background color, degree of yellow or green speckling, amount of red, etc, etc). No two individuals quite alike. Probably not helpful for gender discrimination.

So...you're probably best off just getting some shed skins and counting subcaudals. Or probing.

Quote:
The philippine pit vipers


Anything whatsoever you could share about these creatures (both taxa) would be most appreciatively gobbled up. I didn't realize they were cooled that much too. How's the experience raising juveniles? Frog hell? Ha ha ha...

cheers


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 Post subject: Re: "reptile zoo Nockalm", an exhibiton in austria UPDATE 20
PostPosted: March 6th, 2017, 12:18 pm 

Joined: August 20th, 2013, 11:39 am
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Location: Austria
You are very welcome, it's also interesting for me to read your impressions here!

So i checked through my old pictures of the Protobothrops, not much there (they aren't the best poser and with their big striking range it's also not easy to get them in a nice pose :lol: ) but I found some...


Image Image
Protobothrops jerdonii bourreti by Markus Oulehla, auf Flickr


and a picture I shared earlier here, ther darker one
Image
Protobothrops jerdonii bourreti by Markus Oulehla, auf Flickr




I have to admit that I've never been there during the winter, just in the herping season, so I just know a little bit from our conservations...
And I checked again the mcgregoris are "just" going down to minimum 14°C, but there are also reports that they can be bred without this cold period (not sure about another kind of stimulation in this case). Also I'm not sure about the incubation, it was told that the only way is to let the mother take care of her eggs, but I've seen pictures of hatching eggs in a box (looked like out of the incubator). So if the mother takes care of the eggs it seems not easy to keep the right climate in the enclosure (not sure if they'd go into a hidebox to lay their eggs). It took some time and some lost eggs until he was successful...
Generally I'd say that there are some species within Trimeresurus sensu lato which are no easy feeders, maybe because they are wildcaught or they have a certain diet in nature, and then especially the males... The mcgregoris in the zoo are no bad eaters, but from time to time it seems that they don't like mice/rats and they just grab and let go.... If that goes to long it could be helpful to check the roads for fresh killed frogs to pimp the mouse with a little frogsmell... Sometimes they just start again, greedy as hell...
here is an impression of the mcgregori enclosure (behind the scenes)
Image
Parias mcgregori enclosure by Markus Oulehla, auf Flickr

Image
Parias mcgregori mother by Markus Oulehla, auf Flickr

another picture of the mother with a hatchling
it was really interesting that the mother "checked" the eggs from time to time pushing them with her nose like she'd say come on, get out...
Image
Parias mcgregori hatching by Markus Oulehla, auf Flickr



Here another species that also occurs in high elevations in some areas (I wasn't aware of that and I guess there are more people not recognizing it as a somtimes montane species)
Image
Viridovipera gumprechti by Markus Oulehla, auf Flickr



cheers


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 Post subject: Re: "reptile zoo Nockalm", an exhibiton in austria UPDATE 20
PostPosted: March 6th, 2017, 6:48 pm 
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Fascinating work to read, covet, delight in - Viper keepers I think are the vanguards of snake keeping.

The environments are a thrill to take in, I love how so many illustrate the animals using the media - the strong, albeit beauteous strategies should inspire many, no matter what species they keep.

Thank you, it is not too much to say that the Nockalm post is the crowning jewel of FHF Herpetoculture Forum.


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 Post subject: Re: "reptile zoo Nockalm", an exhibiton in austria UPDATE 20
PostPosted: March 8th, 2017, 8:30 am 

Joined: December 3rd, 2010, 12:06 pm
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Quote:
The environments are a thrill to take in, I love how so many illustrate the animals using the media

Yeah, they are nice to look at. They kind of freak me out a little, in terms of "unplanned births" (how many Waldos and where are they?) and also just routine cleaning (where's poopie-Waldo?). I wonder if Nockaln utilizes "helpers" like the frog guys are into these days - isopods, springtails, etc.

Quote:
And I checked again the mcgregoris are "just" going down to minimum 14°C, but there are also reports that they can be bred without this cold period (not sure about another kind of stimulation in this case).

Probably a rain chamber would work fine; I had great success breeding equatorial arboreals with one, way back when. Not sure if that raining could be done in the display cages, or if the animals would need to be relocated into the chambers for a few weeks or months. What's under all that moss on the floor? Here's an interesting link to see info on Philippine climate & geography (big latitudinal range there, plus elevational):
http://panahon.tv/philippine-weather-and-climate/

Quote:
Also I'm not sure about the incubation, it was told that the only way is to let the mother take care of her eggs, but I've seen pictures of hatching eggs in a box (looked like out of the incubator). So if the mother takes care of the eggs it seems not easy to keep the right climate in the enclosure (not sure if they'd go into a hidebox to lay their eggs). It took some time and some lost eggs until he was successful...

Interesting. Oh, I expect they'd be happy with a nest-box, maybe even an elevated one like for parrots. I've never kept oviparous vipers, but I sure like the idea of maternal brooding. I'd be willing to risk losing a few clutches, I think. But personally, I seriously doubt it's "the only way". Anyway, seems like either a brief pronounced rainy period or maybe cool drier period should do to stimulate ovulation & copulation, then return to normal warmish & humid for maternal brooding.

Quote:
their big striking range

Indeed. I have seen some pushing probably 120cm total length.

Quote:
Here another species that also occurs in high elevations in some areas (I wasn't aware of that and I guess there are more people not recognizing it as a somtimes montane species)

Oh, absolutely. The whole V. stejnegeri complex does well with a pronounced cooling, I believe. There's a nice little array of what I call the humid-temperate far-eastern crotalines, including quite a few arboreals, that are grossly underappreciated IMO. At least in the states - I think they are more commonly kept in Europe.

cheers


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 Post subject: Re: "reptile zoo Nockalm", an exhibiton in austria UPDATE 20
PostPosted: March 8th, 2017, 12:13 pm 
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About the hygiene - its been interesting to note in my experiences with these types of environments that the animals defecate in certain locations with a pattern.

This has been a consistently observed behavior in environments that enable other patterns and I have also noted it with small monitors (ackies but timorensis were even neater)

It is possible to follow the tendency and favored spot - by consciously noting the area used. Sometimes these are not the most convenient to reach but if an enclosure can be accessed readily, its not too hard. Front opening enclosures that open fully really help, I have become as habituated to defecation sites by my charges to the point where I have been able to reach in without looking and get the clump and its collateral sub in a couple grabs.

I have noticed this for a while, there are factors to it that resound to behaviors and patterns that may have interesting implications.

All of my snakes that have deep sub for example, create labyrinths that have an opening near the water feature. Ones that I have boarded that were given deeper sub did the same.

There is a belief that an entire environment must be completely changed and yes complete changes in a closed system is part of the paradigm of cleanliness, but it can also be re stated in its original setting and principles. If a snake defecates on the band of cypress under the back shelf, put cypress in a band under the back shelf.


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 Post subject: Re: "reptile zoo Nockalm", an exhibiton in austria UPDATE 20
PostPosted: March 8th, 2017, 12:33 pm 
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Something else - because I do think these kinds of details tie into the theme of this kind of provisional keeping - and many things are inadvertently presented but many of the snakes that are allowed to create subterranean spaces in deep sub do not defecate in them.

Also the holes near the water feature has not carried with it an observation that they drink 'more', I dont know. But it may not matter. It may be some other value in their behavioral system at play in a smaller version of habitat realities.


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 Post subject: Re: "reptile zoo Nockalm", an exhibiton in austria UPDATE 20
PostPosted: March 8th, 2017, 3:59 pm 

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Quote:
Probably a rain chamber would work fine


I heard a report from a frog guy who built an air-pressure-chamber to simulate wheatherchanges with rising and reducing the air pressure instead of heavy "rainfall", which worked really good for some Phylomedusa and other species... So maybe that's another thing snake-people could try :lol:
It's so hard to tell why some snakes mate... Maybe some people are just lucky putting sensible snakes together and they lock up, others are trying and trying with a lazy couple and nothing goes on...
Same with cannibalism, I've seen snakes living together for many years and one day there's just one fat snake left... So maybe there are just tiny triggers for some behaviors...

Quote:
They kind of freak me out a little, in terms of "unplanned births"


All enclosures are built that no newborn snake would be able to escape. So sometimes the visitors are lucky and can watch a rattlesnake giving birth. In most (almost all) cases these babies are expected, as the owner checks his animales on a daily base. So if the mother is done we remove the adults and then step for step the decoration, with thick (juvenile-bite-proof) gloves of course!!!
Normaly we take the chance for a big cleaning as well...

Quote:
About the hygiene - its been interesting to note in my experiences with these types of environments that the animals defecate in certain locations with a pattern.


I can't second that, but I'm interessted in the species you observed this?
I experienced this as a very individual thing...
There are snakes that only poop into their waterbowl (most prefer the fresh cleaned waterbowl as many of you probaply know^^), others just if they are on their way, but never on their basking spot...
And then there are lot's of dirty bastards, pooping while crawling over the other inmates, lying in their feces and especially african spitters spread their feces around in their enclosure, all over the rocks, the moss, on the outside of their waterbowl up to the last gap between the rocks and the backwall and even on the frontglass!

Normal practise at the zoo is a daily morning check, looking for new impurities in the enclosures, empty waterbowls and if the snakes are looking good of coures...
Things are kept clean but not sterile, and as we are using decoartions from nature we find some bugs and sometimes a few ants in the enclosures, but never had any problems with them... (problems come from bad feedingrats and stuff like this...)
So there is a "quick cleaning", well never just quick with hots, but just a little bit to do, nothing to change with the decoration and most of the snakes can stay in their enclosures.
Another great advantage with this natural setups the snakes can cover and feel safe and you have some barriers in their strikingrange (which you should respect nevertheless).
So we use a vaccuum cleaner with a long pipe to get out the small dirt, feces and old skin, water/exchange the plants, clean and refill the waterbowl...


And then there is the big cleaning, the frequency depends on the number of animals and their digestion (cobras more often than a gabun for example).
That means we remove the animals, get out all of the decoration, put the rocks an branches in the bathtub and scrub it all over... Renew the substrate and the pieces of grass and moss and put the setup back together.
When ever we disturbe the animals we try to put as many reasons together as possible, so often we combinate cleaning with venom extraction and/or feeding.

one of my favorite enclosures for the big cleaning... hard work to get all the stuff clean, but rebuilding it afterwards is such a great fun :D
Image
Macrovipera schweizeri enclosure by Markus Oulehla, auf Flickr


the outside enclosures are easier, but hell if you can't grab the pregnant female and have to dig up the hibernaculum :lol:
Image
Natrix tessellata in outdoor enclosure by Markus Oulehla, auf Flickr



and the most important thing with natural setups, find the animals before you open the enclosure, or they'll find you
Image
Bitis arietans hiding by Markus Oulehla, auf Flickr


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 Post subject: Re: "reptile zoo Nockalm", an exhibiton in austria UPDATE 20
PostPosted: March 8th, 2017, 5:07 pm 
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Hi Markus, I have noticed that it occurs in unhandled 'display' colubrids (ie not pets) I have kept and that it had more to do with the enclosure than the taxa, and the exceptions have been snakes like thamnophis and large boas and pythons.

In the enclosures that I note this in, the animals were single or in pairs. I noticed that paired snakes usually had separate spots. I knew the stool was from separate animals because of occasional staggering of feeding schedule and from watching them incidentally in the act of defecating. Black Rat Snake pair. Corn Snake Pair.
When I bred snakes sometimes I didnt house lampropeltis together.

Rodent fur boluses, grey, musky lint like when pulled apart - are sometimes defecated separately and seem more indiscriminate.

The snakes were in fairly spacious long term environments with day cycled uva - uvb light and lots of cover and dens. It was not important that they be seen, but they came out fairly frequently.

Compromise in zoological exhibits is necessary to create a valid display so security factors or other (perhaps re routed?) responses could be different. Im not saying anything is "better" just so interesting.

I think snakes defecate in the water as an instinct to avoid leaving traceable scent to a predator. I dont think it matters that they may not do this in the wild - I think it is a potentially plastic re routing of a response to stressors in a closed system, ie: working with whats available and easiest to assess. Water.

As far as necessary display compromises are concerned - whoever is setting those Nockalm vivaria shelter areas, choosing them, placing them, to provide security yet good animal visibility - its the best done I have ever seen.

I would love to talk to you more here or via PM. I would love to know more about the animals you keep.


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 Post subject: Re: "reptile zoo Nockalm", an exhibiton in austria UPDATE 20
PostPosted: March 9th, 2017, 11:25 am 

Joined: August 20th, 2013, 11:39 am
Posts: 51
Location: Austria
Surely interesting observations, hard to check in a stock with 300+ animals, but I'll have an eye on it in my small private collection ;)

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I would love to know more about the animals you keep.


I have to say that these are not my animals and my zoo! I started as an internship during my summerholydays in school 11 years ago, as I wanted to learn to work with various kinds of snakes...
As I don't live nearby the zoo work as a barista for now, but I try to visit this place at often as possible to help him out and have a look for ammodytes (they don't occur in my area either...)

here are both of us preparing a chinese cobra for venom extraction
Image


Quote:
It was not important that they be seen, but they came out fairly frequently.


Quote:
Compromise in zoological exhibits is necessary to create a valid display so security factors or other (perhaps re routed?) responses could be different.



Sure you have to do it right for both sides, the animals and the visitors, but with specialising on snakes and providing around 120 enclosures, visitors can deal with a few "empty" cages.
If you just have less reptile enclosures (like regular zoos) you have to make sure that the fewer snakes are seen, what doesn't mean that they are kept in bad way!!!
It's all about selecting the right species, the chances are good to see a diamondback or a mamba in its enclosure, a krait or a coral snake won't be a good choice, same with stressful animals, a bushmaster won't be happy in the exhibition I guess...
Security is also factor, I often heard negativ comments about this risky decorations where you can't see all animals, and about not wearing protective gear (whole-body-siuts or what ever they think of :lol: ) while working with the venomous snakes. Normaly only before/after the opening hours, just in emergency cases we close off the room to prevent cannibalism or what ever is going on!!!
I admit it's not the safest thing to not see all animals in the enclosure, but also if I see them, I wouldn't put my arm in there...
Also I'd say it has a positiv effect on their behavoir, as I said if they can cover, they don't flee into their hiding spot, some are watching you, looking highly interested in what you are doing (especially elapids). Snakes in quarantine or the youngsters in boxes behind the secenes are much more pissed if you check them, as they don't have too many options to hide...
Of course there are also some individual characters, that want to chase you out of their cage or just don't want to move in the back and fight for their basking spot. Crotalus durissus is very special here, almost lost the hook the first time one of them pushed back after I poked it a bit to move her^^


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whoever is setting those Nockalm vivaria - its the best done I have ever seen.


Well thank you a lot, most of them are built up by the owner and some were made by me :D
But the hardest thing is to get the right material...
about 200kg of stones in here, all carried and placed by hand, but check it out, isn't that beautiful :beer:

Image
Crotalus oreganus outdoor enclosure by Markus Oulehla, auf Flickr

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Crotalus oreganus by Markus Oulehla, auf Flickr

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Naja nivea enclosure by Markus Oulehla, auf Flickr

and here is one I made for a pair of forest cobras, one of my favorite naja species
Image
Naja melanoleuca enclosure by Markus Oulehla, auf Flickr


cheers


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 Post subject: Re: "reptile zoo Nockalm", an exhibiton in austria UPDATE 20
PostPosted: March 10th, 2017, 7:29 pm 
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Joined: October 18th, 2011, 12:03 pm
Posts: 3739
Location: San Francisco, California
NICE!


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 Post subject: Re: "reptile zoo Nockalm", an exhibiton in austria UPDATE 20
PostPosted: March 18th, 2017, 9:15 am 

Joined: August 20th, 2013, 11:39 am
Posts: 51
Location: Austria
Thank you...

here are some more impressions...

first another picture of the old melanoleuca enclosure i made
Image
Naja melanoleuca by Markus Oulehla, auf Flickr

and one more of the male in their new enclosure (i shared a picture in the first post here)
Image
Naja melanoleuca by Markus Oulehla, auf Flickr


here are some examples of another great advantage of natural setups, you really see why these snakes have a certain coloration...
with rocks from their original habitat :D
Image
Vipera ammodytes ammodytes by Markus Oulehla, auf Flickr


one more... (not original african leafs but the visitors get the point :lol: )
Image
Bitis rhinoceros by Markus Oulehla, auf Flickr


regards
Markus


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