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Posted by markg on April 18, 2003 at 14:42:53:
In Reply to: Are some rosy locales more prone to biting than others? posted by Jeannie on April 17, 2003 at 11:34:50:
Yes.. no.. maybe. Most rosies are not biters, and Mexican rosies probably win the prize for being the most non-aggressive at feeding time. Still, there are those individual rosies that will mistake a hand for food. This usually happens when you are holding the rosy, and the snake starts investigating your hand as if it is very interested. Then, the snake grabs ahold and holds on tight. Running cool water from a faucet over the snake's head helps make the snake let go faster.
I think you should just get the rosy you like. If it happens to be the uncommon case that the snake bites, gentle handling and a little age will remedy the situation. A bite is not bad (surprises you more than anything) and your kids can learn to tell when the snake is acting like it will bite, and then put it away.
Back to your question- you will hear differing opinions. I have a few Cottonwood rosies (low desert form from California) and some Whitewaters that were biters. As these snakes got over 4 years old the biting incidences occured less and less and now are pretty much a thing of the past. That 2-3 year old range was when they were the worst. This doesn't mean all low desert Cal rosies are like this.. but mine were. I have a 2 year-old female Corn Springs (again, Calif rosy from the low desert) that, when you pull out the sweater box cage, will come up to the lip with her neck cocked ready to strike at a food item if you have one.
Please don't draw a conclusion that all 2-3 year-old rosies bite, or all low desert rosies are overzealous feeders. This is what seems to be the case at my house, with the strains of low desert rosies I have (the Cottonwood rosies are from the same source, so it may be this particular strain.) Most of my rosies never made any attempt to bite, and it is safe to say that there may be a few individuals of any rosy locale that can bite.