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Posted by Terry Cox on May 11, 2003 at 16:17:41:
In Reply to: You're right Kestrel, diones are neat . . .> posted by terryp on May 11, 2003 at 12:11:17:
That black phase dione is pretty cool looking, and the dione do have an amazing array of color, pattern, and natural history.
A lot depends on what location they come from. Dione's ratsnakes range from the Steppes north of the Caspian to the furthest reaches of the Korean Peninsula, on the island of Cheju, and also from sea level to high in the mountains, from near desert in Iran to as far north in Russia as any snake. They have the largest range of any ratsnake in the world.
When I first heard that they made excellent pets from the European breeders, I was a little sceptical. But I was anxious to work with the Eurasian ratsnakes. I found them to eat almost anything any other snake would eat. They can be active anywhere from only four or five months, up to almost nine months, in the wild. They can be very small, reaching a max of less than 3 ft., to medium sized of at least 44 inches. They can have clutches with as few as three eggs, or as many as sixteen. The incubation period can be as short as 13 days to over 30.
I have compared the diones to corn snakes through the years and have to say I'd put them with some of the top "pet" snakes in the world, along with corns, common kings, and Russian ratsnakes. In a way they compliment the others by being smaller, totally diurnal, and a snake with a definate "personality". Gotta love 'em..and I'm really happy we're starting to get more keepers interested in breeding these guys.
Keep it up Ter, Rick, Chad, and the rest :0)
:I was surprised the variations in diones. They very in color phases and shades throughout their ranges. I don't know if the Tenabrosia is considered a black dione or a melanistic population of diones. Some of the locales in diones seem to have light and dark color phases so to speak. I have some F1 South Koreans from Terry Cox that are a dark color, but the next year Terry changed one of the parents and he produced a nice light phase. I'm expecting a light phase shortly from Terry. I have 2 males from the original w/c Seoul, Korea pair of Terry's and I plan to breed one of them to this lighter female dione. There's alot of breeding fun you can do with diones. I got a trio of Rick Cunningham's diones in addition to a pair of the Tenabrosia. The trio consists of 2 light phase females and the male is darker with a couple other colors mixed in from his Russian (I think that's correct) locale stock. I can't wait (actually I can) see what they produce. If you keep an eye on these guys working with diones, they kick out different color shades and phases in additon to variances in patterns each year. It's alot of fun to work with diones. They're easy to care for and great eaters. None of mine have, but I've seen a couple posts of one going off feed once in a while. This is pretty rare from what I can see. If one is a picky eater or goes off feed, a colling period sem to activate their feeding again. I should throw in that I have a 2 year old pair of Chad Fuch;'s high yellow C. China diones that I will breed their first time next year. Of course, that's if my wife doesn't take them over to work with. She took the S.Koreans I got from Terry Cox. Now, she's eyed (she won't admit it yet, but she has) the diones Rick sent me. They all have personalities she says. She talks to them also. I haven't asked them yet what she says. LOL.
:::I just love these diones!!!