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Posted by Art MacAilin on May 11, 2003 at 17:31:29:
In Reply to: blood python or viper boa?? posted by evan on May 11, 2003 at 16:49:05:
However, I don't yet own either. So don't take this as first-hand experience.
Bloods (blacks, reds, and Borneos alike) reach sizes much larger than viper boas. Red bloods especially have the potential to reach a size many snake owners would deem virtually unhandleable (but these large bloods do seem to be in the minority).
While both vipers and bloods may have feeding issues, the viper's is more easily overcome. Vipers don't have the blood's tendency to go off feed due to small errors in husbandry. However, wild-caught viper's may be difficult feeders, as they'll most often prefer lizards to rodents (however, viper's are the easiest Candoia species to switch to rodents).
While red bloods are sometimes nippy into adulthood, black bloods are, by most, described as fairly laid-back snakes. Though more than a few vipers are handleable (and I would wager that their reputation is derived from the temperament of the many wild-caughts sold in the states), to quote Jerry Conway, "They can often be nasty snakes, which may bite repeatedly and viciously."
If price is an issue, you may be able to find a captive bred viper for cheaper than a captive bred red blood (I don't know the going price for Borneo's, but blacks are often around $175).
I'm a python fan myself. And I'd rather have a blood. But if you're a novice keeper with little experience with boids, go with the more hardy viper. They may still require a bit of delicate attention, but they're much more forgiving of error than bloods.
For more info on bloods, check out Pro Exotics. For the best info on vipers and all other Candoia species, see Jerry Conway's site.