Think Pink

pitbulllady

Arachnoking
Old Timer
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May 1, 2004
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2,290
I finally found a pair of pink-phase Western Coachwhips(Masticophis flagellum testaceus) yesterday at the SC Exotic Animal Show in Columbia, South Carolina. I've had normal tan Westerns and Eastern Coachwhips for several years, but no luck in finding any of the pink or red ones until now. They aren't as bright pink as some I've seen, but they still stand out pretty well. The male is about five feet long, and is less brightly-colored than the female, and has a deep scar in the center of his head that shows up dark. The female is about six feet, and more colorful than the male, with a slight stumpy tail. Most, if not all, adult wc Western Coachwhips exhibit some degree of scarring, from predators and quite often, from PLANTS, since cacti can really do a number on a snake(or a person).

This is the female:


Here's the male:


There were several normal tan-phased Westerns and some nice Easterns at this show, as well as these pink ones. I also bought a seven-foot Eastern male, but he's in deep shed at this time, so I'll have to wait until he changes clothes before I post a pic of him, lol! It's ashame that Masticophis has been so overlooked as a pet Colubrid genus, due to an undeserved reputation for being vicious and difficult to keep. They are by far my favorite genus of reptile to keep, and I would love to see more folks breeding these in captivity instead of simply thinking that the only thing they're good for is food for captive cobras.

pitbulllady
 

AneesasMuse

Arachnoangel
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Jul 31, 2006
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838
WOW! They are awesome looking snakes!! I only remember the tan ones.. and the silly stories my Dad used to tell me about getting chased and whipped by them as a kid... :rolleyes:

Are you going to try breeding these? They are just gorgeous!
 

Ewok

Arachnoangel
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Sep 23, 2005
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856
Cool snakes, the second pic almost looks like a drawing or painting, the way thier scale pattern is.



@AneesasMuse - its funny what parents tell thier kids.{D
 

pitbulllady

Arachnoking
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May 1, 2004
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2,290
They do have really neat scales, which are very smooth and soft, but due to the scale pattern resembling a braided leather buggy whip, the myth was born that these snakes will chase a person down, wrap around them, and beat the person to death with their tails, then stick the tail up the victim's nose to see if the victim is still breathing, and beat them some more if they are! Y'all would be surprised at how persistant that myth, probably originated as a means of scaring children into staying close to the home and staying out of mischief, actually is; I still encounter people who SWEAR that they know someome who was related to someone who married somebody else who had a friend whose cousin got beaten to death by a 20-foot-long Coachwhip! I think that the persistance and widespread nature of this myth is a major factor in this genus still being largely overlooked by herpetoculturists today.

I'm certainly hoping to breed this pair, since I've had good success with breeding the normal tan Westerns and Easterns for the past five years or so. So few people are working with this species, that no one knows the genetics behind the pink or red color phase, but I have to assume it's recessive to tan. This female could already be gravid, since she was recently collected, and the breeding season in west TX is pretty much past, I would think. The male is not showing any interest in her, which is odd for a male Coachwhip; I've had Easterns "hook up" literally inside the snake bag on the way home from the field! I'm giving all my other snake pairs this year off from breeding, since most of my females bred two years in a row, and I don't want to wear them out. Coachwhips lay HUGE eggs in proportion to their size, and often lay large clutches, and it takes the females longer than most female snakes to recuperate from egg laying. If this pink female produces a clutch, that will be my only clutch this year.

pitbulllady
 

LeilaNami

Arachnoking
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Jun 8, 2006
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2,164
I always used to catch babies when I lived in Arkansas. Beautiful snakes and I love them.
 

AneesasMuse

Arachnoangel
Old Timer
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Jul 31, 2006
Messages
838
The stories just crack me up... I can tell you volumes of stories and superstitions that I heard as a kid growing up in GA, from my parents to my great-grandparents... really hilarious stuff! Fortunately, I am a "see for myself" kind of kid... err, adult. Yeah, I have double digit aged kids so I guess it's safe to say "adult" now. {D

I would be interested in updates from time to time on this pair's progress, if you wouldn't mind too much.... maybe even a baby, if some come from this season.
 
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