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Archive for the ‘Snakes’ Category

I´ve got eggs coocking!

Posted by Miqe on June 24, 2009

It has been well over 15 years since I tried to hatch snake-egg the last time, but I am going to give it a go this year again. Got eggs from one of the most beautiful Cloubrids in Europe, the Leopardsnake Zamenis situla. This species is known to have rather small numbers of eggs in their clutches, usually about 2-5 eggs/clutch. This female is really large, about 120 centimeters compared to the normal size around 100 centimeters, and the clutchsize for her 2 years in a row is 10 eggs! The incubationtime is somewhere between 60 – 80 days, depending on the temperature.

Some pictures:

Egg-sizes ranging from the largest: 45 x 25 mm´s to the smallest: 37 x 27 mm´s.

Egg-sizes ranging from the largest: 45 x 25 mm´s to the smallest: 37 x 27 mm´s.


Z. situla eggs.

Z. situla eggs.

The proud mom..

The proud mom..

I also got some eggs from Aegean four-lined snake, Elaphe quatuorlineata muenteri, witch is the smaller islandform. The inland form reaches about 180 centimeters, but this subspecies becomes only about 120 – 130 centimeters in length.
I didn´t expect any eggs from the pair I keep, as I thought that they needed another year of growing first. As they are quite shy, I don´t see them more then about 10 seconds a week, I was surprised to see that the female was really fat. I put in a box with Sphagnum-moss in their terrarium, and it took only about an hour for her to enter the box and start digging around.
Since it was quite late, I decided to leave her for the night, and lookid in the box when I got home from work the following afternoon. And what do you know.. 4 eggs in the moss.
Some pictures:
Eggsize ranging from the largest at 77 x 22 mm´s to the smallest at 60 x 25 mm´s.

Eggsize ranging from the largest at 77 x 22 mm´s to the smallest at 60 x 25 mm´s.

Elaphe quatuorlineata muenteri eggs.

Elaphe quatuorlineata muenteri eggs.

The female, photographed late 2008.

The female, photographed late 2008.

The incubator.

The incubator.




More info and updates on Terrarium Morbidum forum (nonvenomous snakes section).

Posted in European focus, Herpetology, My animals, Reptiles, Snakes | 5 Comments »

The awaitening…

Posted by Miqe on June 10, 2009

The viperbabys that I am waiting for..

But I really think that they are coming soon because the notorious feeder a.k.a the yellowish V. a. ammodytes refused food at yesterdays feeding. A good sign..
She still looks like she ate recently, and didn´t  take a dump since May..
I am going to enjoy to see what the small ones will look like, as the mom is yellowish / orangeish in colours and the male is the “Zokadelic”-male. I really, really hope that there is at least one female that looks “Zokadelic” too, so I can keep it for future breedings. Will probably keep a male or two too, if they are “Zokadelic”´s.

The gravid V. renardi female is hissing loudly and striking at me everytime I show my face now, but she did take a little mouse yesterday to my surprise.. She´s also very large now..
I have to keep at least 2.2 from these too, as the parents are very old, at least 10 years old, possible allmost 15.
As far as I know, nobody have had young ones from this species in Sweden before. Can I be the first??
Good that I have lots of small crickets at home now, to feed the small ones with.

I have been trying to take decent pictures of the both gravid females, but it´s really hard, as they don´t show themselves as much as they usually do. Will continue trying though..

This week, or next, they will all arrive I think… Looking in the terrariums every day, up to three times now..

The eggs from the Z. situla..

You might remember this story:

It will not happend again this year! The large female is clearly gravid, and shed her skin last week, so there should be eggs this week or in the beginning of next. I am just hoping that there is some lifes inside the eggs..

I have already prepared a hatchingmachine for the eggs, and trimmed it to keep the temperature at ~25,5 degrees C. Of course there will be some fluctuations in the temperature, but I am hoping that it will stay around 24,0 – 26,5 degrees C.
I am using a “Scherpner´s”-modell of hatcher ( wet-hatcher with a couple of wallbricks at the bottom with an eggbox ontop ) , and a immersion heater <– right word? for aquariums. The hatcher is in my garage, just to keep the risk of overheating the hatcher and the eggs at a minimum, as the garage don´t have windows and is a bit cooler then my little reptilehouse.

Would really be fun to hatch some eggs now, as I haven´t done it for years..

Posted in European focus, Herpetology, My animals, Reptiles, Snakes, Venomous herptiles | 5 Comments »

Rattlers, Peepers & Snappers.

Posted by Miqe on March 30, 2009

Rattlers, Peepers & Snappers is for anyone interested in the biology, natural history, or the 52 fascinating amphibians & reptiles in New England.

Vince Franke teamed up with Jim Andrews, of the VT Reptile and Amphibian Atlas, to create individual segments on all the species that breed in New England as well as reptile and amphibian field adventures hosted by a variety of New England experts. The DVD was designed and laid out for a variety of audiences and ages. We’ve received great feedback from professionals, teachers, naturalists and their kids!

  • 3 hours of programs
  • Frog calls of every species
  • Quizzes, facts sheets, resource pages and much more

The two educational programs incorporate a series of field trips with local experts from across New England as well as highlighting current research projects with University graduate students from the University of Maine, the University of Massachusetts, Berkshire Community College, and the University of Connecticut. Topics include the identification, natural history, and conservation of all the snakes, turtles, lizards, frogs, and salamanders of New England.

From Peregrine Productions

Posted in Amphibians, Fieldherping, Herpetology, Lizards, Reptiles, Snakes, Venomous herptiles | 1 Comment »

First herptile find for the season!

Posted by Miqe on March 19, 2009


I found my first ones of this season yeasterday.

When I go to work, I pass a little place where I have been thinking: “There might be an Adder there”. So, yesterday I walked there, it´s just 750 meters from work, to have a look.. Didn´t think that I was going to find anything, just wanted to check the place out..

After just a few minutes, I saw 2 V. berus basking, immediatley threwed myself on the ground with the camera..🙂 Took a few pictures, and walked a little more. Only after 25 meters or so, I found another one.

A good day, in deed!

A couple of the pictures I took..

Basking V. berus, Common adder.

Basking V. berus, Common adder.


Basking V. berus, Common adder.

Basking V. berus, Common adder.


Link to a thread in my forum, regarding spring-findings.

Posted in European focus, Fieldherping, Herpetology, Reptiles, Snake, Snakes, Venomous herptiles | 8 Comments »

Pictures on how snakeskin is collected for the trade. WARNING! GRAPHIC PICTURES!

Posted by Miqe on March 11, 2009


The following message is made of an well known herpetologist, I am in this post just quoting it. / Miqe

“I was sent the images by a concerned Sri Lankan herpetologist but I would imagine the images originate from Indonesia (Sumatra and/or Kalimantan, Borneo), possibly Malaysia, (Peninsula or Sarawak, Borneo, but less likely)
I have not examined them closely, and have no wish to do so, but an IUCN report for 1989 shows that Indonesia exported 556,000 retic python skins, and 71,000 blood and short-tail python skins.
Most of these snakes pass through specialised snake slaughter houses in Sumatra and Borneo. See O’Shea 2007 Pythons and Boas of the World New Holland pp.30-31.

The snakes are killed primarily for skins but also harvested for meat and gall bladders to supply the ethnic Chinese populations.
Despite possible claims, these are not captive bred for the market, who could economically raise a python to adult size and then slaughter it for its skin, meat and bile, and expect to improve on their investment.

Pythons are often skinned alive, the same for crocodiles, apparently the skin is easier to remove.

Also of interest would be:
Erdelen, W. 1998 Conservation, Trade and Sustainable Use of Lizards and Snakes in Indonesia. Mertensiella (supplement 9) : xxiii+144pp.
Groombridge, B. & R.Luxmoore 1991 Pythons in South-East Asia: A review of distribution, status and trade in three selected species. CITES, Cambridge, UK. 127pp.”

This slaughter is just for us humans to get this:


Posted in Herpetology, Lizards, Reptiles, Snakes | 31 Comments »

The idiot way..

Posted by Miqe on January 29, 2009

Ok..  Here´s what NOT to do..


I keep a trio ( 2.1 ) of Zamenis situla, Leopardsnake, and the female is quite big. They are housed together, fed together ( under survelliance, of course.. ) and after a meal I give the terrarium a good shower to minimize the scent from food and to “help” them get out of feedingmoode. The trio is working perfect!! So far, so good..

Z. situla female.

Z. situla female.

Now, I had hopes last year on getting some eggs and later on juveniles from them, but nothing happened. It the terrarium I have a humidity-box made of a 3 litres plasticbox..

3 litres Bra Plast-box.

3 litres Bra Plast-box.

This box have a hole cut in the lid, and is covered in a brown tape of the kind that one can use to seal a package with, just to create a dark place for shedding snakes to feel safe in. About 1 litre of damp Sphagnum sp. moss was added in it too.

I was looking in that box every now ant then, especially around the time that I thought she would to lay her eggs.. The placing of the box have been optimal for the snakes, but not for me as it was placed in the rear of the terrarium. But no eggs.. After a while I looked it the box more seldom, then I did in the beginning of the season..

Anyway.. Yesterday evening, when I was to clean the terrarium out, to re-decorate it for them for this season, I flipped the old content out, and guess what!! There they where.! The eggs… 10 good looking eggs, or at least what was left of 10 good eggs..

Lesson learned.. The hard way..

You can surley imagine all the “good” words I called myself.. I WILL place AND check that box much better this year…


Posted in European focus, Herpetology, My animals, Snakes | 5 Comments »

More Than 1000 New Species Discovered in Rivers, Jungles…and Restaurants of the Greater Mekong in Past Decade, WWF Reports

Posted by Miqe on December 16, 2008

Fish, Plants, Amphibians and Mammals — Including an “Extinct” Rock Rat — Are Under Threat from Dams, Roads and Development

WASHINGTON, Dec 15, 2008 (BUSINESS WIRE) — A rat thought extinct for 11 million years and a hot-pink, cyanide-producing dragon millipede are among a thousand new species discovered in the Greater Mekong Region of Southeast Asia in the last decade, according to a new report launched by World Wildlife Fund (WWF).
First Contact in the Greater Mekong reports that 1068 species were discovered or newly identified by science between 1997 and 2007 – which averages two new species a week. This includes the world’s largest huntsman spider, with a foot-long leg span and the Annamite Striped Rabbit, one of several new mammal species found here. New mammal discoveries are a rarity in modern science.
While most species were discovered in the largely unexplored jungles and wetlands, some were first found in the most surprising places. The Laotian rock rat, for example, thought to be extinct 11 million years ago, was first encountered by scientists in a local food market, while the Siamese Peninsula pit viper was found slithering through the rafters of a restaurant in Khao Yai National Park in Thailand.
“This report cements the Greater Mekong’s reputation as a biological treasure trove — one of the world’s most important storehouses of rare and exotic species,” said Dekila Chungyalpa, Director of the WWF-US Greater Mekong Program. “Scientists keep peeling back the layers and uncovering more and more wildlife wonders.”
The findings, highlighted in this report, include 519 plants, 279 fish, 88 frogs, 88 spiders, 46 lizards, 22 snakes, 15 mammals, 4 birds, 4 turtles, 2 salamanders and a toad. The region comprises the six countries through which the Mekong River flows including Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam and the southern Chinese province of Yunnan. It is estimated thousands of new invertebrate species were also discovered during this period, further highlighting the region’s immense biodiversity.
“This region is like what I read about as a child in the stories of Charles Darwin,” said Dr Thomas Ziegler, Curator at the Cologne Zoo. “It is a great feeling being in an unexplored area and to document its biodiversity for the first time… both enigmatic and beautiful,” he said.
The report stresses that economic development and environmental protection must go hand-in-hand to provide for livelihoods and alleviate poverty, but also to ensure the survival of the Greater Mekong’s astonishing array of species and natural habitats.
“This poorly understood biodiversity is facing unprecedented pressure….for scientists, this means that almost every field survey yields new diversity, but documenting it is a race against time,” said Raoul Bain, Biodiversity Specialist from the American Museum of Natural History.
The report’s authors recommend a formal, cross-border agreement between the governments of the Greater Mekong to address the threats to biodiversity in the region.
The WWF network is working throughout the Greater Mekong region to promote this agreement and address the threats to biodiversity from its base in Vientiane, Laos. Stuart Chapman, who heads the WWF network’s Greater Mekong Programme, says that protecting habitat while partnering with governments, businesses and local communities to address threats from development and agriculture is essential. “Who knows what else is out there waiting to be discovered, but what is clear is that there is plenty more where this came from,” he said. “The scientific world is only just realizing what people here have known for centuries.”
Notes to the Editor
— Information related to this press release, including high resolution photographs, audio interviews, species footage, and First Contact in the Greater Mekong report, can be downloaded from
— WWF is collaborating with many research institutions in the region to discover new species. One WWF scientist, Dr. Chavalit Vidthayanon, discovered eight new fish species which are included in this report.
— WWF is working with governments and industry of the six Greater Mekong nations to conserve and sustainably manage 232,000 square miles of transboundary forest and freshwater habitats in this unique and rapidly changing land.
— The Greater Mekong countries, with the help of the Asian Development Bank, are increasingly cooperating to accelerate economic development. Economic activity and associated investments in infrastructure development are concentrated along three “economic corridors” that crisscross the region and have the potential to lift the region’s rural populations out of poverty but also to increase existing threats to natural resources. WWF believes that these natural resources are essential to the region’s long-term development and that the Greater Mekong nations can achieve economic development while ensuring the integrity of wildlife and habitats.
— Sixteen of WWF’s Global 200 ecoregions, critical landscapes of international biological importance, are found in the Greater Mekong. These landscapes are home to an estimated 20,000 plant species, 1,200 bird species, 800 species of reptiles and amphibians, and 430 mammal species, including Asian elephants, tigers and one of only two populations of the critically endangered Javan rhino in the world. In addition to rare Irrawaddy dolphins, the Mekong River basin is estimated to house at least 1,300 species of fish, including the Mekong giant catfish, one of the world’s largest freshwater fish. By length, the Mekong is the richest waterway for biodiversity on the planet, fostering more species per unit area than the Amazon. Many of the species occur nowhere else on Earth.
WWF is the world’s largest conservation organization, working in 100 countries for nearly half a century. With the support of almost 5 million members worldwide, WWF is dedicated to delivering science-based solutions to preserve the diversity and abundance of life on Earth, stop the degradation of the environment and combat climate change. Visit to learn more.
Video/Photos Available
SOURCE: World Wildlife Fund (WWF)
World Wildlife Fund (WWF)
Lee Poston, 202-299-6442

From Marketwatch

Posted in Amphibians, Fieldherping, Herpetology, Herps in the news, International articles and news., Lizards, Reptiles, Snakes, Venomous herptiles | Leave a Comment »

First European hatching for rhino rat snake

Posted by Miqe on November 13, 2008

Zoologists at London Zoo have succeeded in welcoming to the world a rare species of snake which had not

Rare rhino rat snake born in London

Rare rhino rat snake born in London

previously been bred in Europe.

The rare rhino rate snake, or Rhynchophis boulengeri, originates from the mountains of Vietnam and feeds on geckos, frogs and rodents.

Attempts to increase the captive population of the snake, which features a horn-like feature protruding from its head, met with success and have delighted the Zoo’s staff as a result.

Eight snakes were produced in the clutch. Three have now gone to different collections as part of an exchange program to increase the captive population in European zoos.

The babies are currently black but will turn green when they reach around one year of age. They will grow to around 1m in length.


Now, I don´t know why they had to bang the big drum over this “rare” hatch. The species have been bred in captivity for several years.

Some examples:

CaptiveBred Reptile Forums:

Terrarium Morbidum Forums:

Posted in Herpetology, Herps in the news, Reptiles, Snakes | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

Breeders Expo Europe (BEE) allowing venomous snakes on next fair.

Posted by Miqe on October 13, 2008

At last!! The Breeders Expo Europe (BEE) -show have worked out a system to have venomous snakes at the fair / show in march 15, 2009. This is really good news for the ones of us keeping and breeding venomous snakes, especially as the Terraristika in Hamm have closed the door for venomous snakes.

The saftey system is quite easy. Safe (taped) boxes inside a large displaybox or similar, witch ensure that every animal is in a separate box which can’t be opened and that these boxes are displayed in a display system that does not allow access from the visitors’ side so no visitor can put up a box, shake it, steal or or else. This means a double advantage for the vendor and the animals.

BEE is currently working on a perfect, light-weight and practical display box in collaboration with a leading manufacturer. The displays will be made out of light-weight thermostabile plastic and have an acrylic top lid to be opened only by the vendor. You can see the material at Dimension will be 80x60x20+ cm, so you can put two on common tables, transport your animals within etc. They will fit ideally for BraPlast boxes.

Another way could be to use a larger terrarium sliding doors facing to the vendor so nobody will be forced to buy such a display box. Actually, any display system that provides a double lock will do the trick…

More information on the official website:

See you all on the next BEE-fair!!!

Posted in Herpetology, International articles and news., Reptiles, Snakes, Venomous herptiles | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

Unusual Snake Surfaces in Southeast Missouri

Posted by Miqe on September 4, 2008

The scarlet snake looks very much like the more common red milk snake but has been found in only a handful of places in the Show-Me State.

A rare snake has surfaced in southeastern Missouri, giving Show-Me State herpetologists confirmation that the species still exists here.

Natural History Biologist Bob Gillespie reported the discovery of a northern scarlet snake (Cemophora coccinea copei) July 31. Prior to the most recent discovery, only five scarlet snakes had been documented in Missouri. State Herpetologist Jeff Briggler said the find resulted partly from luck and partly from scientific curiosity.

“Bob Gillespie and Brandon Blechle put out a few drift fences to see what herps they could find,” said Briggler. “It was a lucky catch.”

A drift fence is a low barrier that directs crawling animals toward a trap.

Briggler said Missouri and Arkansas mark the western extent of the scarlet snake’s distribution. They are fairly abundant along the East Coast. Nowhere are scarlet snakes seen as routinely as other species.

“They seem to be easier to find back east,” said Briggler, “but around here they have always been rare for a couple of reasons.”

One of those reasons, said Briggler, is that scarlet snakes are fossorial, which means they are adapted for digging and spend most of their lives underground, rarely emerging on the surface.

“We have had five official records of this species before this one, four in the Lake of the Ozarks-Fort Leonard Wood area and one south of Branson,” he said. “One of them was found under a rock on a glade. The others were found dead on roads. The last sighting was in 1978.”

“We think this species probably is more abundant than it would seem. One of them showing up in southeast Missouri is very interesting, because based on our records they are found more in the Ozarks. But when you think about it, out east they are found in sand flatwoods, so maybe they are more abundant in sandy areas here and people have never looked for them. Maybe you just have to trap them to come across them a little more often.”

Although the find is interesting, Briggler said he does not think the new discovery will change the way the species is classified. It might lead to more intensive study, however.

“It’s good to know it is still here and part of the biodiversity of the state,” Briggler said. “It probably won’t change the conservation status of the species, but this new discovery could focus more attention on it, so biologist start looking for it more.”

Briggler said the scarlet snake would be easy for amateur herpetologists to confuse with the red milk snake (Lampropeltis triangulatum). Although the two species’ overall appearance is similar, two fairly obvious characteristics distinguish the two.

The scarlet snake’s snout is pointed and red all the way to the tip, and its belly is unmarked. The red milk snake’s nose is more blunt, and it is not red at the tip. Furthermore, the more common species’ belly has dark blotches.

“With the discovery of a scarlet snake in southeast Missouri a lot of people might think they have found one when they really have a milk snake,” said Briggler. “We certainly don’t want people catching and keeping scarlet snakes, so in order to verify a sighting we need good photos of the tip of the snake’s nose and of its entire belly. Without those, it would be almost impossible to be sure it was a scarlet snake.”

Female scarlet snakes usually lay only three to eight eggs. What is known of the species food habits indicate it is especially fond of other reptiles’ eggs. It also eats frogs, salamanders, insects, slugs and earthworms.

From Kansas City infoZine News

Posted in Herpetology, Herps in the news, International articles and news., Reptiles, Snakes | 10 Comments »