So while living in Georgia I would frequently visit Florida and I would see news stories about them finding gigantic retics roaming around and I want to ask all of you what is the largest a retic could possibly get? The record currently belongs to medusa and she is 25 feet, and I understand diet and genetics play a big role but let’s say that a retics habitat was perfect with a steady supply of large prey and no predators then how big could it get? 30 plus? Maybe more?
I used to live in Georgia as well! I always heard about Burmese’s in Florida though and the tegu. Never heard of retics in the wild there.
A burm is one thing. Retics I think would be much worse of a disaster for an eco system.
I believe the record found back in 1914, if I remember correctly was 33ft. That was a Sulawesi local retic. The thing with retics is they can grow their entire life. And they grow very fast when an unlimited food supply is offered.
In the wild I think it would be much easier to reach these gargantuan lengths, mostly due to the prey size they could take down.
In the captive environment I don’t think anything over 20ft would be reached without maximum effort.
Average size of captive retic females I’ve encountered are between 16-18ft, males around 9-14ft. But again those are being controlled properly with their food intake. If you used it as a garbage dump, I can’t say how big they would actually get. They are the longest species in the world, Anacondas being the heaviest.
Interesting point you made. I wonder if retic keepers fed their animals deer sized prey as adults then just imagine how big they could get. Biggest female I know of is Lucy which is owned by Brian barczyk and she is 21 or 22 feet long and over 200 pounds
I sure would hope not. Can you imagine thawing out a deer size prey item, unless they fed live, man that would be fun!
The keepers I know feed pigs to their big girls, sometimes 2 at a time. I myself don’t agree with that method. Retics should be long and muscular, the big girls like Lucy I think are overfed just a bit. If you see them in the wild they are rarely fat, but I always feed my snakes a prey item the size of their body and never been a fan of power feeding.
But to be fair when you’re one of the best breeders in the world( just my opinion) like Brian, you can afford to get your snakes to amazing sizes. And in the long run having more eggs does help your business, I just prefer my retics small.
But even mainlands can be kept small and still be healthy, huge misconceptions with snakes that are giants. Just because they can eat that much( retics metabolisms are insane) doesn’t mean they should. Again just my opinion.
There are not many retics in florida, retic eggs need an extra month in comparison to burmese, and the Florida climate will not permit them to hatch under normal circumstances.
almost 30 years ago, when I worked for a reptile dealer in NC, my boss would order from the controversial Tom Crutchfield in FL, one of the retics we got in, I named him Brutus, he was not a happy boy at all… he arrived with an upper respiratory infection, and It was my job to give him his antibiotic shots. I had to have two of my assistants hold him down, after we got him out of his cage, he was about 21 feet long, and I couldn’t even venture to guess his weight (took all three to lift and carry him), there were two of us girls (both strong country girls, and a big guy … and he was as persnickety as he was big… beautiful, but dangerous.
But to answer your question, no.
My hypothesis is that there has never been a 30+ foot retic, only claims of 30+ foot retics.
Guinness makes it a point to reach out to large snake keepers to verify the lengths of their world record snakes, but they nearly always turn them down.
We have stories of record snakes that were killed and disposed of before a credible source could measure them, or perhaps stretched out sheds, but I would take these stores with nothing more than a grain of salt.
In a world full of pretenders, Medusa of Kansas City is the true queen to the throne, as of today she is believed to be well over 25ft, and well over 400lbs.
She was measured nearly a decade ago at 25ft & 2inches.