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Posted by Chance on March 13, 2003 at 22:22:33:
In Reply to: Are False water cobras rear-fanged? more.... posted by ThaVille on March 13, 2003 at 13:43:41:
:If anyone has any info on their care/ temperaments, please help me out. Also, how big do they get usually? Thanks for any info!
BGF gave you a great answer in regards to the venom aspect of this species. I maintain 1.1 adults (of which 0.1 is possibly gravid right now), so I thought I might be able to give you a little insight at least into the captive care of FWCs.
FWCs can have great temperaments as subadults/adults. Babies, like most snake babies, can be bitey, but they can also be gems. However, even the most "tame" adults can have the craziest feeding responces of any snake you've ever seen. I once had my male literally come flying up out of the enclosure, mouth snapping all over the place, because I was about to put his rat in there (with the hemostats, of course). This same male was also released (purposefully) into my sealed snake room when an unfortunate rodent escaped and ran behind a row of cages on a stand. Not wanting to take everything apart to try and catch this mouse, I simply took out the male fwc, pointed him in the right direction, and he did the rest. 10 seconds later, he was eagerly chewing on/half constricting/swallowing (yes, all at the same time) the mouse. Never feed adult FWCs alive and competent rodents! The snakes will begin trying to swallow almost immediately upon grabbing the prey, so serious injury could result. You shouldn't have any problems getting older animals to take f/t or freshly killed rats.
They can be housed together, but separate at feeding time, of course. I've seen them contentedly coiled with each other though, so I know they will tolerate each other's presence almost to the point of making me think they enjoy the company. I currently have my pair separated to keep an eye on the possibly gravid female, and the male seems to be always searching his cage now, so who knows.
FWCs are BIG and IMPRESSIVE colubrids. Both mine are over 5' right now, and about 2" thick. They have the potential to grow over 7' long and a bit more in diameter. They will need large, roomy enclosures, as they are an active species both during the daylight and at night. This is why they can make such great display animals. A hide is helpful, but doesn't seem to be incredibly important as with other snakes. Hides are probably much more important for juveniles than adults.
Their temperaments are usually good. Only at feeding time do mine become snappy. However, you may notice something, if you end up with a large adult, that's kind of odd with this species. They are very much a terrestrial snake. When lifted off the ground for any prolonged amount of time, they will often squirm a good deal and sometimes press their heads against your arm or hand. This can be a little unnerving at times, especially seeing the jaw power on this snake, but so far this has never resulted in a bite to me.
Take a look at my website below to see a couple pictures of my female. I encourage you to acquire this species if you're capable of providing for its care. Speaking from experience, they've been a joy to own. Good luck!