Scarlet Kingsnake + Field herping

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Dakota
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Scarlet Kingsnake + Field herping

Postby Dakota » Tue Mar 29, 2016 12:27 pm

Though I do focus on the captive aspect of the hobby, my father and I do a lot of herping. We live in South Florida, it's herping paradise!

I live in Lee county. While we do have some really cool stuff here, such as Asian water monitors, we often go to rural Hendry county to road cruise. We go through a Slough usually.

But anyways, this last time turned up something a bit different. Found a Scarlet kingsnake! Apparently the road we herp is home to arguably the prettiest locality of Scarlet kingsnake — they are known for their high-blackness.

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I am so in love with him! I usually don't keep snakes we find, but I have decided to keep it — granted, we can get him to eat. Next on the list to find is the Eastern Mud snake.

We also found some water snakes, ribbon snakes, and a gater snake. It was a pretty good night.
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Re: I Found a Very Beautiful Snake this Weekend

Postby alichamp » Tue Mar 29, 2016 1:08 pm

Wow stunning snake!! And wow you are allowed to keep animals you find in the wild???! Soooo different here in Oz!

What's to stop people from pinching them all over the place? And selling them all off to make money at the risk of wild populations?
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Re: I Found a Very Beautiful Snake this Weekend

Postby Dakota » Tue Mar 29, 2016 1:26 pm

Yup, perfectly legal. Only animals you are not allowed to touch are the injurious animals (Burmese pythons, water monitors) and the protected animals (Gopher tortoises, Eastern Indigo). :D And people do often catch snakes to sell sadly. Underground Reptiles often buys off WC snakes locally to resell. Often you will see Mud snakes for sale from them, which is especially saddening. Mud snakes feed solely on amphibians such as Amphiuma and sirens, so almost always die in captivity. I can find these all locally or buy from bait shops, so I want to try keeping them. Of course if it doesn't feed, I would release before it is too weak to find a meal. Obviously QT from the others to keep from introducing foreign pathogens in any case I did have to release. Mud snakes are my favorite native snake.

Here is an image from Google of the western variety
webmudsnake2010crop.jpg
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Re: I Found a Very Beautiful Snake this Weekend

Postby splashy07 » Tue Mar 29, 2016 3:24 pm

Oh what a gorgeous snake! I have to admit I'd have kept him too. Never saw a scarlet like that! I love mud snakes too but never wanted to keep as I could not feed them amphibians. Frozen rodents are my limit as far as snake food goes!
Enjoy your herping adventures, I'm so jealous!
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Re: I Found a Very Beautiful Snake this Weekend

Postby alichamp » Tue Mar 29, 2016 5:21 pm

:bugeyes: :love:
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Re: I Found a Very Beautiful Snake this Weekend

Postby NickBrahz » Tue Mar 29, 2016 10:31 pm

So i mean no offense by this but isn't it kind of cruel to take a wild animal and then force it to live in captivity.
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Re: I Found a Very Beautiful Snake this Weekend

Postby Dakota » Tue Mar 29, 2016 11:44 pm

NickBrahz wrote:So i mean no offense by this but isn't it kind of cruel to take a wild animal and then force it to live in captivity.

No offense taken. I knew it was coming sooner or later. :wink: I guess it boils down to your definition to cruel.
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Re: I Found a Very Beautiful Snake this Weekend

Postby alichamp » Wed Mar 30, 2016 1:40 am

I must admit I initially found the thought a bit jarring myself. I'm not convinced that just because someone CAN catch and keep something that we should. Where to stop? And the option to re-release back to the wild if it doesn't work out doesn't sway me either. In fact, whenever people here have been busted taking animals out of the wild (always illegally) they are never returned because of concerns over health of the wild population they would be released with.

I'm more of the observe, marvel, photograph and leave persuasion. But I do wonder a little how much our own strict laws influence my thinking on this. I realise it is different in other places and perhaps it's not always automatically bad.
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Re: I Found a Very Beautiful Snake this Weekend

Postby Dakota » Wed Mar 30, 2016 1:52 am

I do believe that is so. I've noticed a lot of Australians are uneasy with the idea of taking animals from the wild. But a lot of Americans are, too. Myself included, to an extent.

But for the sake of purpose, this is not common practice for me. This is the first wild snake I plan to keep that I've actually caught myself.

I'm just hoping Pixar doesn't make a movie out of this, and have a Pelican show up to my window to plan an escape. :hehe:
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Re: I Found a Very Beautiful Snake this Weekend

Postby alichamp » Wed Mar 30, 2016 2:07 am

Haha you never know, Tim Minchin is making an Aussie animated movie so look out!! :lol:

And yes I know you are a sensible animal lover. Not directed at you specifically. Its more that anyone COULD without much restriction. They could fill their house. Sell them off. Put them back if they change their minds. It seems very blasé compared to here.

Uneasy is a very very good word for it.

Regardless, a beautiful snake and I wish you well with it!! Thought of a name yet?
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Re: I Found a Very Beautiful Snake this Weekend

Postby Dakota » Wed Mar 30, 2016 2:12 am

No worries, I knew you were being general. Just wanted to make sure people didn't think I was a poacher or likewise. I don't mind the discussion at all. :)

I have named him Quin, from his Harlequin color pattern.
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Re: I Found a Very Beautiful Snake this Weekend

Postby alichamp » Wed Mar 30, 2016 2:20 am

Nice!
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Re: I Found a Very Beautiful Snake this Weekend

Postby splashy07 » Wed Mar 30, 2016 4:03 pm

I think of it this way, if no one had ever taken an animal from the wild and made it a captive this hobby would not exist.
Our pet's ancestors were all wild at one time. The term 'captive bred' did not even exist when I started keeping reptiles.
The only reason I do not keep anything from the wild is my fear of bringing in disease, and of course the availability of captive bred animals today. But then again, some of the things I like are not bred in captivity because of their low monetary value and are imports anyway. Back to square one, they're taken from the wild.
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Re: I Found a Very Beautiful Snake this Weekend

Postby Dakota » Wed Mar 30, 2016 9:02 pm

Not a snake, but it's a good example. :)

The parents to this snail were WC from Miami, Florida. I bought them in hopes to breed. Ideally, I could just go over to Miami and catch them all day long, but I chose just to buy few. My friend that collected them only collected a few to preserve their population in the wild, though they are non-native. This and two others were the first captive bred and born babies in the United States, produced by me. My hopes is to use this small group (along with a few other to diversify the genes) to establish this species within the US. Cruel? Again, it depends on your definition — but, I don't think so.

But all the time you here of people collecting snails in Australia tossing them in with their Bluetongues. Snails are killed without second thought by most people. Some may argue that snails cannot reason, which for the most part, they can't — but do you think a wild animal would "miss" having to fend for itself? I don't think so, personally. The only thing worrying (granted the animal acclimated well, and is feeding) is the ecological standpoint. I doubt very much me collecting this snake posed much ecological disruption, when it was very likely to be ran over. Most of the snakes we found were dead. That is what I consider to be cruel if they were ran over deliberately.
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Re: I Found a Very Beautiful Snake this Weekend

Postby alichamp » Wed Mar 30, 2016 9:57 pm

splashy07 wrote:I think of it this way, if no one had ever taken an animal from the wild and made it a captive this hobby would not exist.

Absolutely!! I acknowledge this 100%. I am aware that the pool of Australian BTS in the US is one example of this. Sometime back, some brave soul either illegally or legally (sorry, I don't know which) managed to have some imported/exported into the US and from there have been some dedicated people breeding and trying to keep a group of them and increase their numbers in the hobby. I admire those people, some of whom are on this forum, who are so dedicated and committed to doing it. It must be very hard to do without being able to get new bloodlines easily.

In fact, I would even support the legal planned export/import of some more into the US for this purpose.

We could also say that if no one had ever taken (illegally) any animals from the wild and made it captive we would have some very limited and boring zoos. They went around paying big money to get the rare exotic animals illegally so they could have the reputation and bring the business. They tried to distance themselves when things went pear shaped and rebadged to conservation and preservation. But we can now go and see them. They contribute to conservation. But never mind that at the time they got animals they had no idea how to care for them and many died in their care. Again, at least some could learn from this.

But we also know more now about native animal populations and I think being more protective and restrictive is a good thing.

Dakota wrote:My hopes is to use this small group (along with a few other to diversify the genes) to establish this species within the US. Cruel?

No. But I highly doubt that people decide to keep wild animals captive with the view to add to conservation of the species. They just want one.

You do bring up an interesting philosophical point. Which animals are deemed "worthy" of being protective and treated differently? I will however clarify that the snails that Australians collect for BTS food and kill from the garden are common, not those in declining numbers. But they are considered "pests", i.e., pesky to man and our pretty gardens. But this is difficult territory and I fear we will end up arguing about vegetarianism and the futility of some sort of relative hierarchy of animal worth. :wink: Naturally, humans are always at the top, as in most worthy, because we are perfect. :roll: :kw: .
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Re: I Found a Very Beautiful Snake this Weekend

Postby splashy07 » Thu Mar 31, 2016 4:33 pm

Nice one, Dakota. I personally like snails, and couldn't possibly think of feeding a live one to my Bluetongues regardless of how much they like them, no more than I could feed them a green anole if that were their favorite. That's one of the perks of keeping them, no live feeders necessary.
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Re: I Found a Very Beautiful Snake this Weekend

Postby Dakota » Sun Apr 03, 2016 1:25 am

Went back this weekend. Found a few different things.

First, a Three-striped mud turtle. When I seen it, I just thought it was a beetle running across the road. Jumped out and it turned out to be a small turtle. These things are very small!
herping4.jpg


Second was a small adult Florida cottonmouth. Hot! But can be treated with Crofab if bitten.
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And we also seen a bunch of Peninsula Ribbon snakes. About 6 of them! Only one alive. :( Also found a dead Southern Black racer and Florida Banded water snake. Seen a mysterious live snake, but went into the water before I could get to it to ID.

And finally, this is my regular. Him and his two girlfriends hang out under the light outside every night. I guess he forgot about the width of the head rule! He is eating an Australian cockroach. House gecko.
herping1.jpg
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Re: Scarlet Kingsnake + Field herping

Postby Dakota » Tue May 24, 2016 6:27 am

Thought I'd give an update on the Scarlet kingsnake. He is eating. :D Through some trial and error, I found he only eats Brown anoles, an invasive lizard commonly found throughout Florida. I'm trying to wean him onto mice, but no luck yet. He shed, too; his shed looks like the Ouroboros. I may post a picture later. :)
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