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 Post subject: Does anybody keep/breed rear fanged snake species?
PostPosted: October 12th, 2017, 5:32 am 
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Joined: April 7th, 2012, 11:38 am
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Location: Pittsburgh, PA
If so, what do you keep/ breed? What would you recommend? I'm not a first time keeper and have had a Mangrove, two king snakes, and other reptiles in the past (10+ years)

I am looking into getting a Boiga nigriceps or Boiga cynodon, perhaps a pair of one or the other. But I'm not finding a ton of info for how they keep in captivity. I'm finding they both require vertical rather than wide enclosures, and a lot of humidity. I'm just looking for any feedback or alternate recommendations.

PS: I've wanted a Trimorphodon for years, but cannot find them for purchase.

Thanks!


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 Post subject: Re: Does anybody keep/breed rear fanged snake species?
PostPosted: October 12th, 2017, 7:21 am 
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I have only cared for dendrophilia, but the thing that sticks out in my mind is the 'vertical enclosure' for arboreal recommendations when it is suggested without fuller clarification..

A vertical enclosure needs to include lateral dimension i think even for more 'perchy' guys. It should allow the snake to thermoregulate and find station other than limiting it to go to the floor.

Many commercial cages are too narrow, stricturing the actual living space. Its a matter of glass costs to the maker, not husbandry optimums. They also strike the buyer eye as elegant and space saving, so they sell, but most animals do not thrive in them and there are as many give away empty tall verticals as a result.

If Jimi comes on here he can describe his keeping experience with arboreal vipers which would have relevant parallel, and for a pictorial creme de la creme set ups check out Markus here, a keeper and vivaria designer for Nockalm reptile zoo.


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 Post subject: Re: Does anybody keep/breed rear fanged snake species?
PostPosted: October 12th, 2017, 7:32 am 
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By the way welcome, Ive enjoyed your posts on the Forum and I love your username 8-)


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 Post subject: Re: Does anybody keep/breed rear fanged snake species?
PostPosted: October 12th, 2017, 7:57 am 
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Kelly Mc wrote:
By the way welcome, Ive enjoyed your posts on the Forum and I love your username 8-)



Thank you! Whatever set up I end up with is going to be custom - made, because I have somebody to do that for me, who will actually enjoy it. It will probably be a month or two before I make the reptile purchase, if at all.


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 Post subject: Re: Does anybody keep/breed rear fanged snake species?
PostPosted: October 12th, 2017, 8:56 am 
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Hey Melissa, check out Markus, there is alot of good stuff to see, like for example the way some are paneled on the inside for moisture protection.

And there are some usable commercial fare, all front opening.

The thing with the online blogs etc is that they state what is needed but dont go in detail with the actual container construct, or modifications you would desire.

Jimi goes in really useful constructive detail about how to make principles of air and moisture work, without sacrificing airflow for humidity needs in a closed system. If you take some time wander around this section, or explore the search.

Markus's environment images are outstanding and successful, and in many of the pics you can peep the structural aspects of the cage build itself.


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 Post subject: Re: Does anybody keep/breed rear fanged snake species?
PostPosted: October 12th, 2017, 11:47 am 
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Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Kelly Mc wrote:
Hey Melissa, check out Markus, there is alot of good stuff to see, like for example the way some are paneled on the inside for moisture protection.

And there are some usable commercial fare, all front opening.

The thing with the online blogs etc is that they state what is needed but dont go in detail with the actual container construct, or modifications you would desire.

Jimi goes in really useful constructive detail about how to make principles of air and moisture work, without sacrificing airflow for humidity needs in a closed system. If you take some time wander around this section, or explore the search.

Markus's environment images are outstanding and successful, and in many of the pics you can peep the structural aspects of the cage build itself.


Okay will do. Thanks again!


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 Post subject: Re: Does anybody keep/breed rear fanged snake species?
PostPosted: October 12th, 2017, 12:33 pm 

Joined: December 3rd, 2010, 12:06 pm
Posts: 1655
Hey there,

I don't and never have bred any rear-fangs. Heck, come to think of it I guess I've never just kept any either. Well, except for eastern and southern hoggies; I doubt that's what you have in mind.

I have helped care for captive Boiga irregularis. I imagine its congeners aren't too dissimilar. Babies are strict ectotherm feeders - geckos is what we used. I reckon they'd take frogs, happily. Anyway - there's that. Kind of a guaranteed PITA. Your best bet for prey volume & reliability would probably be a (gasp - ha ha ha) commercial provider of WC (FL) brown anoles - if they were acceptable to your captives. That, or just rear your own tadpoles into froglets. Grey treefrogs, or something like that. The irregularis weren't too bad to switch to pinks, once they hit a certain size. Seems like it was about 15-16" long. They are super skinny, and hatch pretty long, about a foot. They don't grow all that fast on geckos though.

AFAIK Kelly's right about them (Boiga in general) needing high humidity AND good ventilation. (On Guam we mostly kept them basically outside, under a roof but with pretty open sides.) And yes, I could give you some pointers on how to achieve that breezy humidity. Or, just Google European-style vivarium - and pay attention to the ventilation details. It's all about bottom to top, front to back, passive cross-ventilation. Also, I concur 100% on the value of commercial caging for arboreal squamates. Everything I've ever bought, I would up just giving away. In other words, it was worthless. The sole exception would be, the smaller vertical Exo's are good for well-started (good-feeding) subadults, from about a foot long in snakes to maybe 16-18". So, generally, yearlings. Just the phase, lasting a year or so, between tall deli cups (for delicate babies <1 yr old) and their (custom-made) adult enclosures. Those are pretty useful, and temp caging isn't worth the time needed to build good stuff. IMO. Just buy something that works, and have a place to store it for if & when you have no need, for a while.

Honestly if it was me, I'd probably go for the Trimorphs. I know you didn't see any on your recent trip to AZ, but they aren't that hard to come by. I mean, nobody can wake up and say "tonight I'm gonna go find me a Trimorph" - they really aren't "one" of those species - but give it a few nights cruising in a good spot at the right time of year, and you've got a fine chance of seeing one. I expect if you let it be known that you're looking for a couple, and you're willing to pay for shipping and might be willing to send back some started babies, you could find somebody in CA, AZ, or NV willing to pick up one or two for you on their next road cruises. Heck, we cruised two and flipped one on my last AZ trip (that was exceptional - normally on a little trip like that I'll see one, maybe two).

FWIW, most captive Trimorphs I've heard of wind up taking rodents alright. Sooner or later. A bonus is, you can have a winter break from feeding & cleaning, and the humidity management issue is vastly reduced. They appreciate some vertical dimension too. A bonus is, no frogs. Well, in PA maybe frogs are easy to come by. Out west here, we like a lizard eater, I tell you what. If a Trimorph won't take a mouse, it'll definitely take a lizard.

Oh, finally - most of the Boiga are gonna be WC imports. There's a strange phenom in imported snakes, in that the SE Asian stuff seems to be the most heavily parasitized or something, and definitely seems most likely to "roll". Die, that is. Compared to tropical African, or tropical American stuff. Just something I have observed - others may quibble or even flame me for saying this. So anyway, unless you can find well-started CB babies, or you trust someone who tells you "these are stable, long-term imports", I reckon you'd probably need to buy a lot more (half again? almost double?) than your eventual-target captive population of 3.3, 5.5, or whatever. If a little breeding program, vs just a pair of pets that might - or might not - throw you some eggs, is what you're shooting for.

Actually, one more thing. Many Boiga get pretty big. They have big heads, big teeth, and a long reach. They bite a lot and it's way more unpleasant than say, a big US rat snake's bite. More like an ATB, if you've been there done that. So, there's that too. Just sayin'...

cheers


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 Post subject: Re: Does anybody keep/breed rear fanged snake species?
PostPosted: October 12th, 2017, 1:36 pm 
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Joined: April 7th, 2012, 11:38 am
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Jimi wrote:
Hey there,

I don't and never have bred any rear-fangs. Heck, come to think of it I guess I've never just kept any either. Well, except for eastern and southern hoggies; I doubt that's what you have in mind.

I have helped care for captive Boiga irregularis. I imagine its congeners aren't too dissimilar. Babies are strict ectotherm feeders - geckos is what we used. I reckon they'd take frogs, happily. Anyway - there's that. Kind of a guaranteed PITA. Your best bet for prey volume & reliability would probably be a (gasp - ha ha ha) commercial provider of WC (FL) brown anoles - if they were acceptable to your captives. That, or just rear your own tadpoles into froglets. Grey treefrogs, or something like that. The irregularis weren't too bad to switch to pinks, once they hit a certain size. Seems like it was about 15-16" long. They are super skinny, and hatch pretty long, about a foot. They don't grow all that fast on geckos though.

AFAIK Kelly's right about them (Boiga in general) needing high humidity AND good ventilation. (On Guam we mostly kept them basically outside, under a roof but with pretty open sides.) And yes, I could give you some pointers on how to achieve that breezy humidity. Or, just Google European-style vivarium - and pay attention to the ventilation details. It's all about bottom to top, front to back, passive cross-ventilation. Also, I concur 100% on the value of commercial caging for arboreal squamates. Everything I've ever bought, I would up just giving away. In other words, it was worthless. The sole exception would be, the smaller vertical Exo's are good for well-started (good-feeding) subadults, from about a foot long in snakes to maybe 16-18". So, generally, yearlings. Just the phase, lasting a year or so, between tall deli cups (for delicate babies <1 yr old) and their (custom-made) adult enclosures. Those are pretty useful, and temp caging isn't worth the time needed to build good stuff. IMO. Just buy something that works, and have a place to store it for if & when you have no need, for a while.

Honestly if it was me, I'd probably go for the Trimorphs. I know you didn't see any on your recent trip to AZ, but they aren't that hard to come by. I mean, nobody can wake up and say "tonight I'm gonna go find me a Trimorph" - they really aren't "one" of those species - but give it a few nights cruising in a good spot at the right time of year, and you've got a fine chance of seeing one. I expect if you let it be known that you're looking for a couple, and you're willing to pay for shipping and might be willing to send back some started babies, you could find somebody in CA, AZ, or NV willing to pick up one or two for you on their next road cruises. Heck, we cruised two and flipped one on my last AZ trip (that was exceptional - normally on a little trip like that I'll see one, maybe two).

FWIW, most captive Trimorphs I've heard of wind up taking rodents alright. Sooner or later. A bonus is, you can have a winter break from feeding & cleaning, and the humidity management issue is vastly reduced. They appreciate some vertical dimension too. A bonus is, no frogs. Well, in PA maybe frogs are easy to come by. Out west here, we like a lizard eater, I tell you what. If a Trimorph won't take a mouse, it'll definitely take a lizard.

Oh, finally - most of the Boiga are gonna be WC imports. There's a strange phenom in imported snakes, in that the SE Asian stuff seems to be the most heavily parasitized or something, and definitely seems most likely to "roll". Die, that is. Compared to tropical African, or tropical American stuff. Just something I have observed - others may quibble or even flame me for saying this. So anyway, unless you can find well-started CB babies, or you trust someone who tells you "these are stable, long-term imports", I reckon you'd probably need to buy a lot more (half again? almost double?) than your eventual-target captive population of 3.3, 5.5, or whatever. If a little breeding program, vs just a pair of pets that might - or might not - throw you some eggs, is what you're shooting for.

Actually, one more thing. Many Boiga get pretty big. They have big heads, big teeth, and a long reach. They bite a lot and it's way more unpleasant than say, a big US rat snake's bite. More like an ATB, if you've been there done that. So, there's that too. Just sayin'...

cheers




Thank you for all of the info. I'm probably not going to make a decision/purchase for a few more months but when I do I'm sure I'll come back here and post pics of the reptile and set up.

I did find a breeder adjacent to PA that has CBB Boiga, started on mice, so that definitely piqued my interest. However, I'm totally open to the Trimorphs, but not really sure how to go about soliciting anybody to send me one? Although I have thought about doing that for Rubber boas before, but I was discouraged because they basically just don't keep in captivity.

Anyways, this is a good starting point so thanks! I'll be back when I have more questions etc.


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 Post subject: Re: Does anybody keep/breed rear fanged snake species?
PostPosted: October 13th, 2017, 4:03 am 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 8:23 am
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Location: Unicoi, TN
Jimi
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Oh, finally - most of the Boiga are gonna be WC imports. There's a strange phenom in imported snakes, in that the SE Asian stuff seems to be the most heavily parasitized or something, and definitely seems most likely to "roll". Die, that is. Compared to tropical African, or tropical American stuff. Just something I have observed - others may quibble or even flame me for saying this.
I have to second this.

In the '70s and '80s, there were many, first hand stories of south Asian, WC animals not only dying quickly, but spreading some pathogens to other animals in collections.
Personally, 4 out of 5 WC, Asian ratsnakes I purchased died within 3 months.

While on business trips to some Asian countries in the '80s, I visited some of these distributers. The conditions that the animals were kept in were the worst and challenged the US importers in the '60s for top spot for filth and disease.


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 Post subject: Re: Does anybody keep/breed rear fanged snake species?
PostPosted: October 13th, 2017, 5:33 am 
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I agree Bill, and the lizards too, so many beautiful tree lizards . animals from the asian forests are always morbidly dehydrated and that exacerbates their condition.


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 Post subject: Re: Does anybody keep/breed rear fanged snake species?
PostPosted: October 13th, 2017, 9:14 am 
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Joined: October 18th, 2010, 7:55 pm
Posts: 645
Location: San Diego, CA
Hi Melissa,

I have a couple of lyre snakes from coastal San Diego County. I'm not positive, but I think one's a male and the other's a female. I plan to breed them in the future - probably in 2019. I want the smaller one (female?) to grow larger before she mates.
They eat feeder mice and are very easy to care for. I just keep them at room temperature, with 2-3" of EcoEarth coco fibers for substrate, a water dish, and a rocky hide.

If you really want a lyre snake, I can probably help you get a wild caught one. I find a good number of them every year, although most of them are seen in protected habitat. Also, If my smaller one turns out to be a male, I might be willing to give it away.

Kind Regards,

Jeff


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 Post subject: Re: Does anybody keep/breed rear fanged snake species?
PostPosted: October 13th, 2017, 9:28 am 
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Joined: April 7th, 2012, 11:38 am
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Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Thanks SurfinHerp, I just pm'd you.

SurfinHerp wrote:
Hi Melissa,

I have a couple of lyre snakes from coastal San Diego County. I'm not positive, but I think one's a male and the other's a female. I plan to breed them in the future - probably in 2019. I want the smaller one (female?) to grow larger before she mates.
They eat feeder mice and are very easy to care for. I just keep them at room temperature, with 2-3" of EcoEarth coco fibers for substrate, a water dish, and a rocky hide.

If you really want a lyre snake, I can probably help you get a wild caught one. I find a good number of them every year, although most of them are seen in protected habitat. Also, If my smaller one turns out to be a male, I might be willing to give it away.

Kind Regards,

Jeff


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 Post subject: Re: Does anybody keep/breed rear fanged snake species?
PostPosted: October 15th, 2017, 4:38 pm 
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Hey there Melissa, if you ever want to share experiences about Mangroves Im down. PM or on forum I love that stuff.

I actually didnt get enough of them, and almost kept a gorgeous juvenile from a group I 'babysat' ie got started from a man named Ron who was kind of a broker, who picked up the herps from ca zoological supply and other suppliers and brought them to retail all over the bay area. This was in Hayward in 90's at an exotics place called B St Pets. (Victor Ju)

The last one I cared for was in SF at my last job, an adult, knew it was iffy restriction wise - again a Ron Roper acquisition but I really wanted it for a display animal, couldnt really help myself. I thought if I didnt put a tag and did my Not For Sale thing I could have myself a nice Mangrove at work.

He was in ok shape, one easy eyecap, and tubed him fluids right out of the sack. He ate a live ---- ------- over night a few days later and I named him Zen.

A couple weeks later a lady and a little kid - really little, like 5 or 6 were upstairs and I hear him chirp "Mommy thats a Mangrove Snake - Its rear fanged." (Steve Irwin!)

Within the week a morbidly obese animal control officer arrived and made me put him in a long sack he brought, with I think i recall "decision pending" on how the shop would be penalized for "having a Viper" on the premises and I had to write up a thing on Mangrove Snakes classification. They wouldnt let us have him back, dropped it and I was told he went to a Parrot Zoo somewhere in southern ca.

I miss all that stuff. Even the mishaps.

I am glad you came on this section and hope you come more often and post any and all of your experiences.


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 Post subject: Re: Does anybody keep/breed rear fanged snake species?
PostPosted: October 16th, 2017, 5:38 am 
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Kelly Mc wrote:
Hey there Melissa, if you ever want to share experiences about Mangroves Im down. PM or on forum I love that stuff.

I actually didnt get enough of them, and almost kept a gorgeous juvenile from a group I 'babysat' ie got started from a man named Ron who was kind of a broker, who picked up the herps from ca zoological supply and other suppliers and brought them to retail all over the bay area. This was in Hayward in 90's at an exotics place called B St Pets. (Victor Ju)

The last one I cared for was in SF at my last job, an adult, knew it was iffy restriction wise - again a Ron Roper acquisition but I really wanted it for a display animal, couldnt really help myself. I thought if I didnt put a tag and did my Not For Sale thing I could have myself a nice Mangrove at work.

He was in ok shape, one easy eyecap, and tubed him fluids right out of the sack. He ate a live ---- ------- over night a few days later and I named him Zen.

A couple weeks later a lady and a little kid - really little, like 5 or 6 were upstairs and I hear him chirp "Mommy thats a Mangrove Snake - Its rear fanged." (Steve Irwin!)

Within the week a morbidly obese animal control officer arrived and made me put him in a long sack he brought, with I think i recall "decision pending" on how the shop would be penalized for "having a Viper" on the premises and I had to write up a thing on Mangrove Snakes classification. They wouldnt let us have him back, dropped it and I was told he went to a Parrot Zoo somewhere in southern ca.

I miss all that stuff. Even the mishaps.

I am glad you came on this section and hope you come more often and post any and all of your experiences.


Thanks for the heads up. Mangroves are fascinating, and seem to be one of the more common Boiga people keep, with success. On a completely unrelated note, I've had a white lined gecko for about 10 months (male) and just bought a female Saturday. So I'm going to see if they'll breed. If so, I'll come back and share that adventure, lol. Thanks


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 Post subject: Re: Does anybody keep/breed rear fanged snake species?
PostPosted: October 16th, 2017, 5:11 pm 
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Absolutely.

And about the officer, had I had the chance to for a do over in posting, I would have left the brief description out, I meant no real critique of his proportions but I guess I am still a little surprised at such a big guy being a type of cop i guess.


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 Post subject: Re: Does anybody keep/breed rear fanged snake species?
PostPosted: October 27th, 2017, 10:39 pm 

Joined: June 7th, 2010, 7:30 pm
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Location: St Louis, MO / Hartford, CT
I do keep numerous imports but it is usually more work and less certain of the end result than captive bred snakes. I have not noticed any difference being whether they are rear fanged or not other than obviously there is more urgency in removing the snake when a bite occurs. Regardless of origin though my big concern would be bringing something in with a viral infection or other disease which we are still a long way away from being able to easily test for or understand. Quarantine is really quite badly practiced from what I can tell and I am quite concerned about each and every new arrival.


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 Post subject: : Does anybody keep/breed rear fanged snake species?
PostPosted: October 30th, 2017, 1:59 pm 
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I highly recommend keeping Leptophis a ahaetulla. I had a pair for over 3 years and I found them to be very rewarding captives. I have not kept many other species of snakes, maybe 5 or 6 but these were by far the most interesting. I kept a journal so if you or anyone else decides to work with them I would gladly forward my notes.


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