Hermann’s water snakes are rarely found outside of water; what little is known of their biology indicates that they are amphibian and fish specialists that have a more northerly distribution than the previous two species. I employ a modified bioactive substrate with minced cypress mulch as the primary reptile bedding. A substrate with strong absorption properties is recommended. *, The minimum purchase order quantity for the product is 1. I use basking lamps and ceramic heaters (like the Zoo Med Ceramic Bulb)—falsies will readily bask if provided a basking light, and they seem to seek out UVB light when it is available—and for enclosures where basking lamps cannot be provided I use RBI radiant heat panels that are connected to thermostats, and provide light via LEDs. A water bowl large enough for the snake to get in to should be used providing it does not raise the vivarium humidity too much. I also provide each snake with multiple small tree and grapewood branches, as well as small stumps I collect from the woods that I bake for an hour at 400 degrees Fahrenheit to kill any parasites. and the various species of Boiga all utilize this system, as well. Live plants are an option for neonate FWC enclosures, but given the large size of adults, most plants will be quickly pulverized by these large, active snakes.
Within these environs FWCs feed pretty much on anything they can overpower, though a preference for amphibians, fish and other small vertebrates has been documented. NEW enclosures for my Retic and False water cobra! That is the question when it comes to FWC breeding. As hatchlings, false water cobras should be fed weekly on defrosted pinky mice, as the snake grows the food size should be increased.
The western hognose (Heterodon nasicus), giant Madagascar hognose (Leioheterodon madagascariensis), mussurana (Clelia spp.) When they are small, FWCs bite more frequently. All my lighting is connected to reptile timers to maintain a 12-hour-on, 12-hour-off daily light schedule. In addition to a biological reaction, significant mechanical damage can also occur from an adult false water cobra’s bite due to the species’ enlarged posterior maxillary teeth.
I feed my adults small to medium-sized adult rats every Monday and Thursday. This is understandable, because in their wetland natural habitat they are food for pretty much every carnivorous mammal, bird and reptile they encounter. Females are heavier than males, which when in good health and not obese appear leaner than adult females. “Lavender” false water cobras lack yellows, browns and blacks, and appear gray, pink and light purple in color. - YouTube
Scenting pinky or fuzzy mice with goldfish or frogs should induce a feeding response in stubborn neonates.
Neonates can be housed in 10 to 15-gallon terrarium with a secure lid with accessories and/or front doors. Falsies are often underfed, which can lead to stunting. All of my falsies went through a stage as babies when they would either strike outright, or spread their iconic hoods and put on quite a little threat display. Falsies are notorious cannibals, and if you don’t watch your charges there is a good chance one of them may be eaten by the other. To that I add a small amount of sand and organic topsoil, as well as leaves to introduce beneficial bacteria and fungi to the substrate. Falsies are inquisitive snakes that are always aware of their surroundings.
False water cobras should be kept on a slightly moist substrate to increase the humidity inside the vivarium. Zac also is internationally known for his research on freshwater crayfish, which has resulted in more than 35 peer-reviewed articles as well as the description of 10 new species. Use appropriate reptile fixtures for lighting.
Other enclosures such as glass terrariums are far too efficient at releasing heat. The few attempts to keep this species under human care indicate that its specialized diet and need for an aquatic existence makes it a challenging charge to maintain. There is a bit of debate among FWC keepers as to why the snakes soak. Females will begin to swell, and when fully gravid look enormous! These are false water cobras—but they’re not actually cobras.”. For hides, I use XL reptile hides available online as well as cork bark flats and tubes.
False water cobras differ markedly in the way they deliver biological compounds into their prey compared to elapids, vipers and burrowing asps. The snake's vivarium should be at least 1200mm (48") in length and 450mm (18'') in height.
What will you do with the babies if you incubate the eggs? They are arguably among the most dramatic and impressive colubrids when it comes to exhibiting a feeding response, and because of this it is best to feed false water cobras with tongs to avoid receiving an accidental bite while feeding. At present, this species appears to be a narrow endemic and is of conservation concern. As babies and juveniles, they display a unique sexual dimorphism in the coloration of the ventral surface of their tails. He is an associate professor of biology at West Liberty University, and coordinator of the University’s Zoo Science and Applied Conservation, which prepares students to work in zoos and aquariums or as conservation professionals. The false water cobra should be provided quite a large water bowl on the cool end of the enclosure. Males also can reach these lengths in extreme cases. A good rule to follow in purchasing an enclosure is to ensure the total length of the reptile terrariums at least equal to the total length of the snake. In my experience, though, most adult false water cobras are easily handled, though this should not be done without at least a hook, given the possibility of a bite is always there, as well as the chance you might react to said bite. This being said, however, FWCs do produce peptides and other biomolecules that can and have caused reactions in humans. Like most snakes, false water cobras should be probed as adults to ensure this is the case. When they were growing juveniles I had enclosure dividers in place that effectively reduced the length of each enclosure to 36 inches. This is a refrain I find myself saying whenever I am introducing people to my snakes for the first time. Under these conditions my animals thrive, and over the course of the day, each cruises the entire enclosure, warranting the large amount of space provided to them. The box should be large enough that she can fully turn-around inside it. The enclosure needs to be warm at one end, but have enough distance for the temperature to drop at the cool end. Falsie breeding is amorous and aggressive, with males chasing females until copulation ensues. False water cobras require a warm basking area but a near constant air temperature. I experienced this with one of my females. The head is usually patterned in solid colors, and always possesses an emblematic black eye stripe. The climate of their South American homes does experience some seasonality, which is why I drop the temperature of females roughly to room temperature for two months in the early fall prior to initiating breeding. All in all, it’s the snake’s engaging intelligence, impressive size and need for a large, display vivarium that, in my opinion, places the false water cobra among the most rewarding and engaging snakes a person can own. Adult FWC behaviors are somewhat different than that of juveniles and neonates, though.
I incubate eggs between 80 and 85 degrees, trying to keep my incubators at 83 degrees for the two to two-and-a-half-month incubation period. False water cobras require a wooden vivarium as their enclosure. These snakes are often underfed, and the result is stunting. Whenever I am interacting with them and they don’t want to be bothered, my snakes exhibit a behavior I have not experienced before with any other snake: they thump or tail whip using the rear third of their bodies! The reality, however, is that timber rattlesnake venom is far more dangerous than the Duvernoy’s secretions of the false water cobra. This is because wood is an excellent insulator of heat and so a wooden vivarium will make it easier to control the crucial temperatures required inside the habitat.
The false water cobra makes a unique and engaging pet. All of my false water cobras are maintained in Animal Plastics T-25 enclosures, which are 72 inches long, 30 inches deep and 18 inches tall. All good FWC enclosures provide both a hide (like the Zoo Med Habba Hut) and water source large enough for the snake to fit its entire body into, like a large ceramic water bowl. It has the same physical stature as H. gigas while being dominated by blacks and grays.
This is one of the author’s false water cobra setups. To light the enclosure we would use LED bulbs that do not radiate much heat or light. Secondly, the vivarium needs to have a sufficient length to allow for the creation of a temperature gradient. All of my false water cobras are maintained in Animal Plastics T-25 enclosures, which are 72 inches long, 30 inches deep and 18 inches tall. Mine tend to do so especially if their enclosure temperatures get too high; they will begin to soak, trying to thermoregulate their excess heat away. One of the most rewarding aspects of keeping false water cobras is interacting with these incredibly intelligent, responsive snakes.
* * We are the biggest producer of this species in the country (probably the world)! This venom delivery system is “pressurized,” and when used, venom freely flows from the venom gland through the venom ducts to the fangs and into the prey. Falsies are slow to hatch, so don’t be surprised if your neonates pip and then spend the next day or two inside their eggs before they emerge. The latter all possess fangs that are either fixed or movable in the front of their mouths with canals connected to venom ducts, which are connected to venom glands. The eggs should be incubated in an incubator at 84oF. As a diurnal snake (active during the day), they're an active and inquisitive species. If you keep a male and female together, they may breed. Once they have emerged, I transfer mine to individual plastic shoeboxes in a neonate rack (the only time my FWCs live in a tub).
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