Home | Snakes (page 16)

Category Archives: Snakes

Feed Subscription

Contains articles and advice on a wide variety of snake species. Answers and addresses questions on species husbandry, captive status, breeding, news and conservation issues concerning snakes.

Recent Field Research – Unusual Snake and Frog Feeding Observations

Many interesting field research reports are published in professional journals such as Copeia, Herpetologica and Herpetological Review, and are not available on the internet.  From time to time I’ll provide summaries of some of the fascinating articles that I come across.  Today’s report, drawn from Autumn, 2010 publications, covers a favorite topic of mine – feeding records.  As theses reports show, snakes and frogs often do battle – and the results are hard to predict!

Fer-de-lance and Smoky Jungle Frogs: Venom vs. Poison

In Costa Rica, a Fer-de-lance partially swallowed and regurgitated a Smoky Jungle Frog.  The snake was rendered lethargic incapable of defending itself for at least 45 minutes (and would likely not repeat the experience!).  Smoky Jungle Frogs produce Leptotoxin, a powerful chemical that causes rapid death from cardiac arrest when administered to rats.  People have reported experiencing “tingling” sensations after handling Smoky Jungle Frogs. Read More »

The Natural History and Captive Care of the Trans-Pecos Ratsnake – Part 2

Yellow Rat SnakeThe Trans-Pecos Ratsnake, Bogertophis subocularis, stands apart form it’s many relatives in both appearance and habits.  Please see Part 1 of this article to learn more about the natural history of this most interesting desert-dweller.

General Care

Although less closely related to the “typical” ratsnakes (i.e. the Yellow Ratsnake, please see photo) than originally believed, the basic care of the Trans-Pecos closely follows that of other commonly kept species.  Please see the article below for general care; today I’ll focus on points specific to the Trans-Pecos Ratsnake. Read More »

The Natural History and Captive Care of the Trans-Pecos Rat Snake – Part 1

Trans Pecos Rat SnakeNorth America is home to a great diversity of ratsnakes, many of which have long been bred in captivity.  One of the more unique species to have become established in the trade is the Trans-Pecos Ratsnake, Bogertophis (formerly Elaphe) subocularis.  Despite wide availability, its life in the wild remains largely unstudied.  Today we’ll examine what is known of its natural history, and move on to care and breeding in Part 2.


The Trans-Pecos Ratsnake ranges in color from almost pure yellow to yellowish-olive or tan, and is one of the few snakes clad mainly in this color.  It is further distinguished by dark-brown to black “H” shaped blotches between 2 long dorsal stripes and by unusually large, bulging eyes (a likely adaptation to its nocturnal lifestyle).  Light or “blond” and dark phases occur naturally, and at least 18 color varieties have been produced in captivity.  Adult Trans-Pecos Ratsnakes measure 3 to 5½ feet in length. Read More »

Paradise and Ornate Flying Snakes – New Research and Notes on Captive Care

Flying snakeOf all the gliding animals, Flying Snakes (Genus Chrysopelia) appear to me to be the most unlikely…they just don’t seem suited to moving through the air.  Yet they do, and quite well – not matching the abilities of flying squirrels, but certainly right up there with gliding geckos and frogs.  A recent study shed some light on their unique abilities, and suggests that they may serve as models for small, agile flying vehicles. Read More »

Introducing the Boelen’s or Black Python

Boelen’s Python at Wilmington's SerpentariumThis article is one of a series in which I plan to provide a brief introduction to both popular and rarely-kept amphibians, reptiles and invertebrates.  Detailed care articles will follow…until then, I would enjoy receiving your questions and comments.  Today we’ll take a look at one of the world’s most stunning large constrictors, the Boelen’s or Black Python, Morelia boeleni. 

Recently, while thumbing through my well-used copy of Dick Bartlett’s wonderful book In Search of Reptiles and Amphibians (E J Brill, 1987), I came across his account of one of the first Boelen’s Pythons to be exhibited in the USA.  It put me in mind of my early experiences with these awe-inspiring snakes, and I decided to look into their current status.  I was happy to see that some great work has been done in both the field and captivity…a fantastic summary of this, along with many photos, is posted on the website of the Boelen’s Python Group. Read More »

Scroll To Top