Hello all. I’m considering getting a super dwarf retic, but I’m struggling to visualise how big they actually feel. The only large snakes I have experience with are my 5 and 6’ boas, and I know they’re much more heavy bodied. Could anyone who has experience with both tell me how big a 7, 8, 9’+ dwarf retic feels in comparison to a 6’ boa? Would I be totally out of my depth if I bought an adult at that size, or would they feel manageable? Even if you don’t have experience with both it would be good to hear how much they weigh at different lengths. Thanks!
Welcome to the forum! I am tagging @tommccarthy on this because I am sure he can answer your question!
I have never owned a dwarf retic. I love the full sized ones. I always say go BIG or go home.
Now, I will try and answer your question. From what I know about dwarf retics, they tend to be more aggressive than main land one’s. (most dwarf snakes are more aggressive by nature anyway)
So if you really want one, I would suggest you get a baby first. This way, both of you will get used to each other as it grows. By the time it’s 6 to 9 feet, you won’t be scared / nervous around it.
An adult 6 foot boa would be heavier than a 9 foot dwarf retic. But the boa would be easier to handle, in my opinion. Retics are very active and stay moving around a lot. They are always thinking of how to escape or going to the highest place in the room. Their feeding response is like an aggressive boa on steroids.
Thank you for the response. I’d love a mainland but I just don’t have the space, maybe one day!
I’m aware they don’t have great temperaments, on one hand getting a baby means I can take the time to tame it down early, but on the other the size is less predictable and I don’t want to end up with an animal I can’t house. Two of my boas had very aggressive feeding responses when I first got them (as adults) and would strike at me through the glass as I walked past, they’re a lot better now but I have enough experience with bitey snakes to feel confident tackling a dwarf retic. My largest boa still hates being handled, so I also have experience wrestling my desk lamp away from a frantic 17lb lump of muscle
I’m going to an expo in April and if there are any super dwarfs of any age I doubt I’ll be able to resist. I’ll be setting up a few quarantine enclosures anyway on the off chance I find an adult boa for my breeding projects, or any other species on my ever growing list of dream snakes
I know what you mean about wanting more boas. I am always looking for more. I think I own 25 boas now. I don’t count them anymore. It seems I keep any were from 20 to 30 snakes now a days. I do have 1 corn and 1 retic.
One day I hope I’ll have that many boas. I got my first in 2019 and immediately wanted more, but life and lockdown put my reptile plans on hold until this year. I moved house in march and went from 1 to 5 in less than 6 months! I’m not allowed to buy any more until the expo, so I’m buying vivariums in preparation instead
I’m sure everyone is tired of reading this but my dream snake is a Mainland retic. But at 67 and being a female, this will stay a dream.
I’m so excited for you though! I can’t wait to see what you find next April and I sure hope it is a retic of some kind! Or a boa or………
And if I’m still around, I want lots of pictures!!!
I’ll absolutely share pictures! I’m a man, but I’m guessing my parents p*ssed off some kind of deity so I’m stuck at 5’1 Nothing can stop me from keeping big snakes though
Don’t worry, my husband lost the height lottery too He’s 5’2 and I’m 5’8. and.the.stares. It’s amusing, to say the least!
Pictures of ANY of your past, present and newly purchased reptiles are a strict requirement here
Can’t wait to see!
Well I’ll tell ya, if you set your mind to it I think you can do most anything!
And what God didn’t give you in height, He blessed you in strength!
Look closely at the genetics of the parents as it relates to size. They aren’t all tiny. I’ve seen a pair of pure Kalatoas that were both pretty large. The male was close to 9’ and the female was 11’.
I’ve been looking at size of parents above all else, I know percentages mean very little after a few generations. Kalatoas are one of the larger localities aren’t they? If I went for a pure locality I would get a madu or kayuadi. I’ve also heard madus are the calmest of the dwarfs, though that’s not saying much
They are the complete opposite. They are generally considered to be the smallest (that are actually available). they usually will be about 6-8 feet for a female (pure) when adults but outliers do exist and can get bigger as they truly never stop growing. most over the 8-9 foot range are in the 15-20 year old range.
I would also like to add that most of the attitude issues you hear about are from breeding age males. Females are much calmer and I know a lot of people have very tame females. Get a young individual (preferably female) and just work with it like you would any other snake. It may be more difficult than a boa or a corn snake to tame down but isn’t hard as long as you are consistent. Hook and tap train it so it knows when it is being fed and you will have an amazing snake
I recall hearing females regularly get to 10-12, no idea where I heard that though. I’ll look more into it, thanks
it isn’t super uncommon but it is most likely either mislabeled as pure or is 10+ years old.
The pair I’m referring to had full lineage. No doubt they were pure. I transported them for a friend who has been breeding rare species of reptiles for 35 years. They weren’t as heavy bodied as mainlands but still as large in the middle as a large boa and several feet longer:
We have no clue how many genes actually control size, it could 3-5-7 or more. They may also have different modes of inheritance. In order for you to end up with a small animal you need most or all of those genes to be ‘switched on’. It’s still entirely possible for an 8’ female to produce offspring that will hit 10-12’. It all depends on how those genes land.
It’s not wise to dip into any retic species and assume you’re going to get the one that’s the size of a large carpet python. There is also something I’ve noticed happens in the SD community is people unintentionally under feeding them because they expect a 6-7’ snake. Age is another factor I don’t see anyone considering. Super Dwarf stuff only blew up in the last several years. No one is showing you photos of 10+ year olds on a regular basis. Like any other reptile, they never stop growing.
When it comes to % based dwarfs, I would just assume I’m going to have a mainland sized animals because I’ve seen a lot 14-16’ 50% dwarfs.
Super Dwarfs if anything will be more active than a mainland (which are very active despite their size) and still require a healthy amount of space. I would suggest at least a 6’ x 6’ x 2’ viv but a 6’x6’x3’ would be better.
You mentioned underfeeding, but I also wonder if that pair may have been powerfed. I don’t know how big an issue powerfeeding is in the retic community, but its a massive problem with boas. I’ve seen people complaining that their dwarf boa from small parents got to 6-7’, then you find out they’ve been feeding it a rabbit every week.
The problem with hybrids is first generation you have no idea which parent they’ll get closer to, and then if you pair two 50% animals you could get offspring thats close to 100% mainland or dwarf. Thats the biggest reason why I want to get an adult or at least subadult. I’d rather take a few bites than risk ending up with an animal I have to rehome or keep in a too small vivarium.
sorry, I wasn’t referring to the pair you mentioned. I was just saying that it takes time for them to get to that size. I was talking about the people who say something is a pure dwarf but is just a 50% dwarf so they get more money.
They were not power fed. I called him and asked the age. They were 7 years old. Fed primarily on juvenile chickens and quail to keep them from getting fat on rats.
Even a 7-8’ SD is going to utilize a ton of vertical and horizontal space. I wouldn’t go less than 4’ in height and 6’ in width for an adult enclosure. My 11’ mainland male climbs all the time. One of my buddies has his mainlands in 12’ x 8’ x 4’ cages with ledges that are about 5 feet off the ground, and large logs/branches. His 16 foot lavender female uses that stuff as a jungle gym on a daily basis. If he gave them more space, they would use it. They’re way more active than you’d think. Obese retics will sit on the floor in a 6’ x 2’ x 2‘ all day. If you keep them lean And healthy, they’re going to be all over the place.
The Super Dwarf craze is still quite young in the hobby so we really don’t have the data on them that we do on species that have been stable in the hobby for 30-40 years.
I have a 6lx3dx4h viv planned so I don’t want to go any larger than 7-8’. I’ll be able to upgrade in a few years or so when I move but I don’t want to bank on that in case something goes wrong. If I can find a 6’ adult male I expect he’ll be fine in that for a good while. Unfortunately I’ve seen far too many obese 12-16’ retics for sale “with full setup”, meaning a 6-8’ viv with nothing but a tub of water inside.