Managed to get some pictures of two of the 2021 CBB Rhamphiophis rostratus during cleaning time. They’re fast!
I’m not sure what’s up with the first one’s white cheek mark, the mother of the clutch had some prominent lip markings but nothing like what’s going on with this snake. Overall the 2021s look more like a typical rostratus compared to the 2018s so maybe something’s up with the latter too.
They sure are cute. I love those black eye markings.
They are amazingly cute! They are really something.
Very interesting looking! Besides the obvious cool head, large eyes and snout. I really like the in between of the scales look so deep and separated, reminds me of a bairds rat snake a little
Very pretty!! There’s nothing about them that isn’t attractive. I’m unfamiliar with them as anything more than a picture in a book. What is their disposition like?
Oh they’re fun to keep, I love mine! They’re alert and curious, and watch me whenever I’m in the reptile room. The younger ones tend to be more flighty and nervous, but still very inquisitive. Some of my adults are calmer if I need to handle them, the others have a bit of an attitude lol (like tail whipping, one likes to smack me with her head sometimes). But it’s nice to be in the reptile room either doing chores or just hanging out in there and see a few periscoped heads watching what I’m doing. I don’t get that same experience with my other snakes other than the Malpolon.
I wear rose pruning gloves though when I do handle them - I used to freehandle but not anymore. They can have a very strong feeding response and it’s triggered heavily by fast movements, so I try to be careful. I haven’t been bitten, yet. At least mine haven’t tried to bite defensively though, they’re much more inclined to zooming off.
**I forgot to add on, but just remembered, these are fun to keep cohabbed if you have pairs that get along. I’ve had pairs of 1.1 and 0.2 bask or sleep together, and on a few occasions polish each other’s scales (though this could have been accidental since they were polishing at the same time). This is with them getting plenty of space so they can get away from each other if need be. You’ll know if pairs don’t get along because they will bodily shove and tail whip at each other if they come in contact. All in all, super rewarding species to keep.
I have never heard of scale polishing. I would love to see a little clip of it!
Rhamphiophis rubropunctatus self-rubbing
Not the same species, but here’s a video of a friend’s old R. rubropunctatus doing the scale polishing behavior. All psammophids exhibit this behavior, it’s pretty cool!
So interesting! Any idea why they do that?
So far the leading assumption is that psammophids do this as a form of chemical marking. It’s most likely for social and territorial purposes, so as to help the snake and its conspecifics identify who has been where and who it is who left them.
For me, this means seeing a lot of nasal gland smears all over my glass doors!
Thanks for all that info! They sound like a fun species to have around. I hadn’t heard of scale polishing either. Watching the video, it reminded me of a cat or a bird grooming. I was thinking to myself how adorable it was.
Then I read this. Less adorable, lol!
No worries! Always happy to talk about these snakes.
And you get used to it! I think of it as them feeling comfortable enough to mark their enclosures as their home, so I feel like I did something right by them.
I love that interpretation. That’s excellent!