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Posted by Rich G.cascabel on January 04, 2003 at 12:34:07:
In Reply to: Re: Blacktail breeders?? posted by Blackwater on January 04, 2003 at 06:01:10:
:Wild collecting ethics aside, did you begin with captive bred animals yourself, or did you establish your breeding group from wild caught animals?
Although I have kept many molossus since I was a kid I currently have 2.2 animals. A pair of wild caught and a pair of their offspring. I caught my adult female in 1989 as a newborn. My male was caught in 1993 as an old adult by my cousin.
:The remainder of my questions will hinge on this point almost exclusively...
:If you began with captive bred founder animals, how old were yours when they produced babies for you? What is the average clutch size you have seen from your animals? Do they breed annually or bienially?
Age at which a female reaches sexual maturity in the wild is probably around 6 yrs. My female didn't produce her first litter until she was 10 yrs of age. For one thing I believe there is a bonding issue between male and female molossus and there is much to indicate that they may choose a mate for life (although in the wild males have been observed to make sudden impulsive journeys into far territories to mate with other females and then returning to his own. Females have also been known to breed with another male on occasion if hers is away). In general they are very solitary snakes. A male and females territory will over lap each others. The only time they are social is during breeding season (starting in July) After breeding the male and female will travel and hunt together. When hibernation time arrives they go their own ways and spend the winters alone in their respective sites. Although I started putting my pair together at the onset of the monsoon in July soon after the males capture, the female did not accept him at all for about two years. Then one summer I finally notice acceptence, the two were lying together and he had his head resting on her possessively. I'll continue in the post below. I have to break it up some as I type kinda slow and my computer will shut me off sometimes if I spend too long on one post.