A Few Snake Pics

pitbulllady

Arachnoking
Old Timer
Joined
May 1, 2004
Messages
2,290
Decided to post a few pics of two of my snakes. The first-up is a three-foot female Black Rat that I found stretched out in the front yard a couple of days ago, being dive-bombed by screaming Bluejays and Mocking Birds. That's how I knew to go check out that part of the yard in the first place, because of the racket those birds were causing. Nine times out of ten, when they're really raising Cain like that, it's a snake that's causing it. She just lay there while I reached underneath her and picked her up, never once coiling to strike or musking. It turns out that she is very gravid, and the eggs can easily be seen and felt. She's not very large, so I guess this is her first clutch. She does have some healing nicks, probably rodent bites, especially around her face but is in otherwise good shape. Again, she's very docile. She did surprise me by eating a f/t small rat AND a mouse yesterday; most of my female snakes go off-feed weeks before egg-laying, and many snakes won't eat in a new environment for several days, anyway.





Next up, my old male Eastern Coachwhip. This guy is about eight feet long, and has fathered several nice clutches of babies for me. He is about the sweetest snake I've ever had. I take him to educational programs where he's handled by little kids, without ever having seen him try to bite. He'll sit on my lap and watch tv for hours if I let him. The only drawback to him is that he almost always has trouble shedding his skin and has to be helped. He usually manages to remove the head area skin, but stops and gives up once the shedding gets a bit past his neck. I spent about half an hour right before these pics were taken helping him out of the last shed, even having to pull both eye caps this time. He just takes it all in stride. Sometimes I wonder if he just doesn't expect me to do this for him, so he just doesn't put in any effort to shed by himself! He's got old scar tissue at the end of his snout where something had literally bitten off the end of his nose when he was captured, but that doesn't seem to be the cause of his shedding issues. None of my other Coachwhips have that problem.









I love the way these snakes' heads look, like black velvet.

pitbulllady
 

Heather

Arachnoknight
Old Timer
Joined
Jan 6, 2007
Messages
179
Your Rat looks very pretty... is she more shades of brown than black?
Are you going to set her up with a nest box or release her back in the wild?

I've never seen a coachwhip that black! Does his color continually lighten as it nears the end? Very, very pretty boy!
 

pitbulllady

Arachnoking
Old Timer
Joined
May 1, 2004
Messages
2,290
Your Rat looks very pretty... is she more shades of brown than black?
Are you going to set her up with a nest box or release her back in the wild?

I've never seen a coachwhip that black! Does his color continually lighten as it nears the end? Very, very pretty boy!
I am going to set her up for egg-laying(already have, actually, since the first egg is only about three inches above her cloaca now, so it won't be long). I don't know if I'll release her or keep her. Her temperament is good, and she eats good, so she's a good candidate for my public snake programs. I like for people to see the snakes that they're more likely to encounter in their own backyards, and a friendly, calm snake is a good "PR" snake. Most Ratsnakes, even captive-bred specimens like my albino male, tend to be "musky" when out in public around people, and that's worse than biting! As for this girl's coloration, she's more of what we call a "greenish" Rat, being a natural intergrade between a Black and a Yellow, but she's got more Black influence than yellow. She does have some brown on her, so I'm wondering if she's not carrying the "Rusty" gene, which is like the Ratsnake equivalent of a chocolate Lab or a red-nose Pit Bull. That's one of the interesting things about clutches of eggs off wc snakes-you sometimes get some interestingly nice surprises!

The Coachwhip is a typical Eastern; he starts out jet-black on his head and neck, then the black gradually fades to chocolate brown, which fades to tan, which is almost a bone-white by the time it gets down to his tail. You can see the different "color zones" in the pic with my hand holding him. Some specimens have more black than others, and I have seen all-black Easterns, as well as those with only a small amount of black on the head. They tend to get blacker as they age, so younger snakes often won't have that really rich, velvety black but will still have some faint traces of their juvenile pattern. It's so ridiculous that this species of snake is more feared than even Rattlers around here, and even seasoned herp enthusiasts tend to back off cautiously when I'm carrying one of these around at reptile shows. I'm glad to finally see Coachwhips being sold as pets at reptile shows, for decent prices; in the past, the only ones I saw at shows were being sold for like, five dollars, because it was generally believed that the only thing they were good for was King Cobra food.

pitbulllady
 

AneesasMuse

Arachnoangel
Old Timer
Joined
Jul 31, 2006
Messages
838
Beautiful Coachwhip! His eyes are amazing! Good luck with the gravid Rat... I don't think I've ever seen one with her markings. She looks "striped" in the one pic.
 

pitbulllady

Arachnoking
Old Timer
Joined
May 1, 2004
Messages
2,290
Beautiful Coachwhip! His eyes are amazing! Good luck with the gravid Rat... I don't think I've ever seen one with her markings. She looks "striped" in the one pic.
She has both stripes and blotches-the stripes come from the Yellow Rat genes and the blotches from the Black, but since the Yellow's influence sorta "washes out" the background color on adults, most of the adult Rats we have still keep much of their juvenile pattern.

You gotta love Coachwhip eyes-they look like raptor eyes. These are among the few snakes that have binocular vision and are really dependent on eyesight for hunting.

pitbulllady
 

Tim Benzedrine

Prankster Possum
Old Timer
Joined
Apr 4, 2004
Messages
1,427
I've never seen a black rat with that sort of colouration before. Nice!

Those are definitely striking eyed that coachwhip has, no doubt about it. How have they earned the reputation you mentioned? Aggressive natures? I've never encountered them as they are not native to my area. Surely it isn''t due to the folklore around them? I'd expect that from non-hobbyists, but from experienced herpers?
 

zimbu

Arachnosquire
Old Timer
Joined
Nov 26, 2006
Messages
141
Oh wow, I love the coachwhip. The colouration is amazing, and the "too lazy to shed" issue reminds me of one of my leopard geckos geckos :p. Do you breed them regularily? Do they usually have anything approaching that temperment with regular handling, or is he just a friendly guy?
 

beetleman

Arachnoking
Old Timer
Joined
Jan 5, 2005
Messages
2,872
:clap: yeah i like that coachwhip,those eyes are unreal. awesome snake.
 

pitbulllady

Arachnoking
Old Timer
Joined
May 1, 2004
Messages
2,290
Oh wow, I love the coachwhip. The colouration is amazing, and the "too lazy to shed" issue reminds me of one of my leopard geckos geckos :p. Do you breed them regularily? Do they usually have anything approaching that temperment with regular handling, or is he just a friendly guy?
Most Coachwhips become puppy-dog tame with regular handling; in fact, I've never had one that I couldn't free-handle without being bitten. Westerns tend to tame down even faster than Easterns, IF they ever attempt to bite at all. I've gotten quite a few Westerns at reptile shows that were freshly wild-caught, that never made any effort to strike. Unlike Ratsnakes and Corns, which sorta remain "on the go" constantly while out of their cages or being held, Coachwhips will just sort of "chill" and remain motionless in your hands until your arms cramp up from holding them. Being so visually-oriented, they actually will watch tv, literally fixating on the moving characters. You can actually watch them tracking the motion of something across the screen. They probably aren't getting too much out of it, other than being fascinated by things that move, but it's kinda funny to watch.

pitbulllady
 

zimbu

Arachnosquire
Old Timer
Joined
Nov 26, 2006
Messages
141
Most Coachwhips become puppy-dog tame with regular handling; in fact, I've never had one that I couldn't free-handle without being bitten. Westerns tend to tame down even faster than Easterns, IF they ever attempt to bite at all. I've gotten quite a few Westerns at reptile shows that were freshly wild-caught, that never made any effort to strike. Unlike Ratsnakes and Corns, which sorta remain "on the go" constantly while out of their cages or being held, Coachwhips will just sort of "chill" and remain motionless in your hands until your arms cramp up from holding them. Being so visually-oriented, they actually will watch tv, literally fixating on the moving characters. You can actually watch them tracking the motion of something across the screen. They probably aren't getting too much out of it, other than being fascinated by things that move, but it's kinda funny to watch.

pitbulllady

Man I want a coachwhip now... I'll have to look for one at the next reptile show. I do like snakes that will just hang out occasioanlly, even if it is just to steal body heat :p.

And I know waht you mean about the TV watching thing, my friend keeps his leopard gecko next to his TV and she watches us play video games.

Thanks for the info!
 
Top