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Posted by pulatus on March 19, 2003 at 23:17:56:
In Reply to: Russian (Amur) Rats (schrenckii) posted by Art MacAilin on March 19, 2003 at 12:42:52:
I've kept this species. I think they are one of the most under-rated snakes around. The best thing about them is their calm curiosity about their world. The never rub but calmly explore their enclosure in a seemingly intelligent way. It makes them much more enjoyable captives than most species that are either aggresive or lethargic or secretive or try to escape endlessly. They have the best personality of any snake I've kept (hundreds).
The captive born babies I bought took a little patience to get them started on pinks. They eventually ate very well. I always feed items smaller than what they could actually handle. Its less stressful and easier for the snakes to digest several smaller prey items. The biggest "problem" is keeping them too warm, quiet a pleasant change compared to most snakes. Although you should provide them with a warm spot, they'll need a generally cool environment. Room temps are good, any warm spot should be limited. I eventually took the hide boxes out of their cages because they came to ignore it. They're a confident snake, which adds to their appeal. I gave them branches to climb around on and would put some leaves in their enclosure from time to time, which they very carefully explore - in general exhibiting intelligent behaviour.
I wouldn't keep this species in a sterile enviroment. I think they are most interesting when they have an interesting environment to interact with. Both of mine grew to 4.5 foot adults over the years. As they grow, every other band slowly dissappears and the remaining bands turn yellow. The ground color turns very deep brown to black. Their labials turn yellow. They are very pretty snakes and very strong constrictors.
I have to add that one of the pair suddenlt started to loose weight last fall and died a month later. There was no outward sign of illness and I didn't have a necropsy done. Its mate, which shared the same cage, is fat and happy still. I don't know what hit the other one.
I hibernated them as adults in a refrigerator at 45F for 3 months. They did not exhibit any breeding behavior, possibly because they needed to be separated for a time after emergence. Keep them in a humid environment if you hibernate them and keep fresh water available.
:I've not found much information about these guys and they don't seem to be terribly popular. Marcel's posted about his a couple times, but I've yet to see any details in regards to optimal temps, breeding, and what not. Could anyone who keeps them offer some advice? I'm hoping to get some this year.
:One specific question I have is this:
:Would it be advisable to keep a pair or tio housed together year round to facilitate breeding? I understand that they're very laid back but...