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Coachwhip

Discussion in 'Not So Spineless Wonders' started by Brian S, May 22, 2006.

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    I went for a little walk today and found a Coachwhip. It at first tried to bite me but I took my hat off and threw over its head and caught it. Surprisingly it became very calm and docile after I held it for a few minutes.
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    When I first picked it up
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    Looks like it will eat my dogs in this pic LOL
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    Check out the beautiful belly scales
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    It made some nice poses for me. I thought about keeping it but turned it loose
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    Another pic of the face
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    Wanting to explore
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  2. Ms. Peaches

    Ms. Peaches Arachnoknight

    Great shots. As always I am jelous of true nature pics.
     
  3. pitbulllady

    pitbulllady Arachnoking Old Timer

    Coachwhips and Masticophis in general are my favorite snakes. I breed both Easterns and Westerns, and I'm trying to get my hands on some red-phase Westerns. They are, as you found out, snakes which become extremely docile and calm with just a little handling, contrary to their reputation, which is really not deserved. When I do snake talks at schools or for other children's groups, like Cub Scouts, I always take a Coachwhip, since I trust them more than my Corns not to bite someone's kid. They are great pet snakes, and show more intelligence than most Colubrids, comparable with the Elapids.

    Around these parts there is a common and very persistent wive's tale that these one of these snakes will deliberately chase down a person, cow, or any other animal, and beat them to death with its tail, then stick its tail up the nostrils to see if the hapless victim is still breathing, and if breath IS detected, beat 'em some more! Many, many people believe this, even nowadays. I have also heard it claimed that Coachwhips will make a whistling sound to lure people closer, or to lure adults out of a house so it can go in and kill the children! People who actually see a real Coachwhip for the first time are often flabbergasted that the myth does not hold up to reality, LOL!

    pitbulllady
     
  4. wow i find it hard to believe those myths are considered true by people (not saying your lieing) just that they are so ridiculous they made me laugh. Lure adults out of the house to kill the children lol.
     
  5. pitbulllady

    pitbulllady Arachnoking Old Timer

    Yes, they are totally ridiculous, and it IS hard to believe that in this day and age people are still so gullible, but when you consider that many people who have seen the movie, Anaconda really DO believe that Anacondas get that big, can move that fast(on LAND, no less), deliberately stalk and purue people over land, can think and plan things, form mated pairs, seek revenge on people, etc., etc., it is just a case in point. People are often so ignorant and scared of snakes, they are willing to believe anything, as long as it's bad, and it's difficult to convince them otherwise. I live in a rural area, where until recently, any education at all was not available to many people. Those people passed erronous beliefs down by word of mouth, and of course, what kid is going to believe his grandma would lie to him about something? If grandma tells you a Coachwhip snake will chase you down and beat you to death with its tail, you'll believe it, while if some educated stranger tries to tell you otherwise, it's THAT person's statement you are going to be skeptical of. I know people who are more afraid of a Coachwhip, even though they've never seen a real one, than they are of a Rattlesnake, due to that wive's tale. We had a similar thread on the "Tarantula Discussions" forum awhile back, after someone posted that he'd overheard a father telling his young son that the tarantulas in Texas were so deadly that you'd only have a few minutes to live if one bit you, and of course, they would ALWAYS try to go after a person and bite 'em! When the poster tried to correct this "information", the guy got mad, told him that he was from Texas and personally KNEW several people who'd died of tarantula bites in that state alone, how DARE this person try to contradict him in front of his kid, yada yada yada. Which one do you think the kid is going to believe?

    pitbulllady
     
  6. Ms. Peaches

    Ms. Peaches Arachnoknight

    These myths are really believed by people. Its pretty surprising what things people make up and pass down as tradition.

    Here is an article where it mentions one of the myths:
    http://www.adventureware.com/coachwhp.htm
     
  7. pitbulllady

    pitbulllady Arachnoking Old Timer

    On a related note, it's not just the ignorant and uneducated hicks who believe myths about Coachwhips. Lots of serious herpers do, too! Most believe that Coachwhips are vicious and untamable, and too nervous to keep in captivity, or that they won't eat anything but lizards. I often see these snakes recommended as "trainer" species for someone considering getting into fast and deadly Elapids, like Mambas and Taipans, to get a person used to a nasty-tempered snake that is lightning-quick and always trying to bite, and for me, that's almost as laughable as the one about them whipping people with their tails! I have had dozens, both Eastern and Western, WC and CB, and I have YET to see one that would not become puppy-dog, floppy beanbag-snake tame with some gentle handling, usually quicker than a typical Cornsnake will. I would hardly recommend THAT for someone wanting to move up to a Black Mamba! I've walked around at reptile shows with a large Masticophis around my shoulders, and had seasoned herpers shrink back in fear, LOL!

    pitbulllady
     
  8. I am starting to regret that I didnt keep it lol. Hey if you ever have any young from yours let me know. I was really impressed with this snake. It is the 1st time I have ever been able to catch one as they are usually alot faster than me lol
     
  9. pitbulllady

    pitbulllady Arachnoking Old Timer

    I know that two of my Easterns have "hooked up", and I suspect that my lone Western is probably gravid, too, due to her weight and girth increase, but she's still eating like a pig, and most female snakes(in my experience, anyway)stop eating once they begin to "show". Babies can be a bit difficult, like baby Gray-banded Kings. They also look NOTHING like the adults, and I've found that it usually takes about two years before the color and pattern change is really noticeable, though I've seen some yearlings that were really "pushed"(or "powerfed")that already had the adult two-tone pattern. I can put you in touch with someone who has young adults and a yearling for sale already, though.

    Hopefully, it's only a matter of time before these snakes "catch on", and we start to see different morphs like hypomelanistic, albino and leucistic Coachwhips, though if you've ever seen a red-phase Western, it's hard to top that for jaw-dropping color!

    pitbulllady
     
  10. I just looked up pictures of a red-phase one, really is a beautiful as you said.
     
  11. ErikH

    ErikH Arachnoangel

    Beautiful find. I don't believe I have ever even seen photos ofone, except in reptile guides.
     
  12. Such degree of stupidity makes my head hurt.

    Other than that, excellent pics, excellent meeting out in the bush!
     
  13. Tim Benzedrine

    Tim Benzedrine Prankster Possum Arachnosupporter

    Well, at least those Coachwhip snakes don't take their tales in their mouths and roll down hills to attack hapless victims! Darned hoop snakes are a menace to society!

    Some time ago, I heard a myth that was totally new to me. A fellow on another board told of snakes that somehow annointed rocks with their venon and then used their tails to fling the rocks at people. I think he claimed that these rock-throwing snakes lived in the mountains of Greece. Has anybody else heard that myth before?

    I quickly and politely announced that this had to be a myth and that snakes simply do not do this. The weird part about it was that another person who posted at the board who is a friend in real life sent me an e-mail proclaiming rather haughtily "Just because you like snakes, doesn't mean you know everything about them!" The incident created a little friction between her and I for a short while. I did not think that I came across as snobby about pointing out the inaccuracy of the tale, I think she was just irritated that I dismissed the idea out of hand. But while I'm no snake expert, I think I have gotten pretty good at discerning myth from fact. The guy who posted it in the first place did not seem to be offended at all.
    Having said all of this, I await for someone to post pictures of the Smooth Scaled Greek Rock-Flinging snake taking down it's prey with a well-aimed poisoned rock. :p
     
  14. Well next time do research, they exist its just Italy not Greece and they are brown :D

    In all seriousness it amazes me what people will believe.