I just read this thread, I see it has really racked up the posts.
Jeff, again, you are talking about cycling for breeding.
Yes, I would suggest people trying to breed boas and pythons fluctuate the temperatures and use some gradient and night time drops for most of the processes youíve mentioned (weíve never tried it any other way). That isnít really the topic of discussion though, is it.
Having said that, I do know a few people (In Canada) that successfully breed boas and pythons with no gradients, and I suspect they arenít the people Ken is thinking about either. Iíve certainly grown some boas and pythons very well with no gradient, just by keeping them nice and warm and humid.
I have also bred numerous colubrids without providing a gradient, and know many others who have done the same, repeatedly.
My gut feeling says that a gradient is likely better for the reptile for food digestion etc, but I have also seen enough colubrid rooms with no gradient for the individual enclosures Ė produce large numbers of babies, year after year. Those people must be too busy breeding and feeding babies to come to Internet forums, because none of the ones I am thinking of are on here.
But, Jeff, from what I have seen, you like to defend your beliefs greatly Ė which is good, you believe in them. But, you have to admit, that people have been breeding reptiles for 25 years, and so many do it differently than you or I do.
Look how much information has been found out about monitor breeding, light cycles and stuff like that. There are many methods that will produce babies Ė there is not only one way to do things, and an even better way could always be around the corner that we havenít thought about yet.
I also know a few people who no longer give gravid boas and pythons much of a gradient, or any under belly heat. That, in itself, is a neat idea to think about. Would you want your incubator to spike to 95 F for prolonged periods of time? What about a gravid snake (boa or ball) being able to sit on a heat pad that makes the surface temperature of their bellies go over 95 F.