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Old 08-16-17, 02:43 PM   #1 (permalink)
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IN GENERAL AND UNBIASED BY LOOKS?!!.. Rat Snake questions.

In general, and not biased by the look of the snake... What Rat Snake or similar type colubrid is: The most interesting to watch in their enclosure? What species are boring to watch and don't I do much or hide away? Most placid? Most Defensive? I think the only question I can possibly answer by research is probably most placid as, Corns, Trans Pecos, and Russian seem to get mentioned a lot, but do elaborate if you know of others, but I'd like to know what are the most challenging defensive ones in order to avoid them, which are great to watch in their Viv? Which species is boring and hides most of the time?
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Old 08-16-17, 02:45 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: IN GENERAL AND UNBIASED BY LOOKS?!!.. Rat Snake questions.

Japanese rat snake - very active and if you can find a blue phase in particular - very beautiful. Great display snakes.
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Old 08-16-17, 04:09 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: IN GENERAL AND UNBIASED BY LOOKS?!!.. Rat Snake questions.

From what I've gathered Russian rats are probably the most active in general, disposition regarding defensive behavior is more a matter of the individual animal than species IME. My Japanese rats are great for handling, usually quite happy to come out of their tubs and calm when picked up. Neither one has ever struck or bitten me. Corns are simply the least expensive and widely available, like BP's and BCI's among pythons and boas. Hiding is also a matter of individual animals, some are more inclined to hang out in the open than others.

Milk snakes do tend to be more inclined to hide, king snakes are somewhere between milks and rats regarding hiding/activity level IME, though I don't spend much time watching them in general. My larger/older male bull snake is quite active, while the smaller female a year younger is more inclined to stay under cover than roam around the tank. I suspect she will outgrow that too.
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Old 08-16-17, 04:25 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: IN GENERAL AND UNBIASED BY LOOKS?!!.. Rat Snake questions.

Have kind of set my sights on trans Pecos rat snakes but although I can find plenty about care and ease of handling I've not found much about how they behave in the viv etc, always cool to see unique behaviours etc or the snake at least being visible a fair bit although they do need their privacy to feel secure, but that's why I ruled rosy and sand boas out. Couldnt keep a snake that I hardly saw at all. Subocs are cute and non threatening too and great to get my daughter to hold so she can realise snakes are not as they're often perceived to be, I hope to pass on my respect for them to her. Black and grey rat snakes sound interesting but I don't think I could start with a corn I want something a little different
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Old 08-16-17, 05:22 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: IN GENERAL AND UNBIASED BY LOOKS?!!.. Rat Snake questions.

Black rats are actually great pets, looking to get a leucistic female and a normal male whenever the seller gets around to it. I like subocs, but haven't seen any I loved at the shows yet. Black rats love to climb, no clue about the subocs on that matter, but semi-arboreal snakes are typically less inclined to spend as much time in the hide/s.
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Old 08-16-17, 06:21 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: IN GENERAL AND UNBIASED BY LOOKS?!!.. Rat Snake questions.

Yeah that makes sense as terrestrial snakes only have old rodent burrows etc and cracks in rocks to escape to from terrestrial predators whereas arboreals only have to worry about aerial predators and seem to be powerful enough to defend themselves to agree if attacked so will be out climbing and basking in high branches getting the best of the sun. I hear it's 50/50 temperament wise with blacks though not sure about Grey's but I like the look of them too. Subocs are cute with them bug eyes but are mainly nocturnal I've read and probably because in Texas the nights will be hot enough still... I need to look past temperament only here as long as they're easy to care for a fairly nippy hatchling should take with enough handling anyway and won't be big enough for its bite to put my daughter off handling when it's young. My local shop only has corns boas royals and hoggys so might take my daughter with me and ask if we can handle some and get her handling earlier ready for any snake I do get. A nice luecy of albino black would be awesome
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Old 08-16-17, 10:29 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: IN GENERAL AND UNBIASED BY LOOKS?!!.. Rat Snake questions.

It can depend on personality of the individual. I have a pair of Baird's Rat Snakes the female is out and about regularly and the male is a shut in. Just something to think about when you think you are getting a supposed "active snake".
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Old 08-16-17, 11:01 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: IN GENERAL AND UNBIASED BY LOOKS?!!.. Rat Snake questions.

My little boy has an albino black rat. Great snake - does hide a fair amount (but then a lot of snakes do) but is great to handle now. He took a bit of work but that's not uncommon.

See here Albino Pantherophis obsoletus obsoletus - Marshall

Again I know of somewhere with albinos in if you need a source and a trans Pecos (blonde one - very nice snake).
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Old 08-16-17, 11:14 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: IN GENERAL AND UNBIASED BY LOOKS?!!.. Rat Snake questions.

I've never been a fan of the bug-eyed look myself, though with subocs at least it's natural, unlike the leucy Texas rats usually posted f/s. The breeder I'm expecting to get the black rats from said that the male leucy's do have bug eyes, but not the females. Apparently the abnormal bug eyed snakes can't strike normally. Not an issue for a captive animal, but I just don't like it. I have also read that not all the leucy Texas rats have that trait, so it should be possible to selectively breed it out.
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Old 08-16-17, 11:26 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: IN GENERAL AND UNBIASED BY LOOKS?!!.. Rat Snake questions.

Gray rat snakes can be quite snotty. If you don't want your daughter getting bitten those probably are not for you. Moellendorff's a.k.a. hundred flower rat snakes are beautiful but also known for being temperamental and are difficult to care for. Red-tailed green rat snakes tend to be quite aggressive as well. Texas rat snakes can be mean.

Trans-Pecos rat snakes are fairly active and they really are not afraid of humans or bothered by our presence. They are mostly nocturnal. I have seen mine out and about during the day though.

Russian rats are super active and are out and about all the time. They love to people-watch.

There are exceptions to the rule though, as all snakes are individuals. This has, however, been my experience. I have 4 fresh WC Trans-Pecos rat snakes who let me pick them up and hold them without any struggle or signs of distress. They simply chill out on my arms. They also approach me when I come into the snake room to see what I'm up to. The Russian rats are like stalkers and have to see everything I do. They also appear to plot strategies for getting onto my arm when I reach into their enclosures. It's really hard to keep them off me and I usually give in and handle them for a bit. One of my females was a nasty little wench as a hatchling but now she's as nice as the others. The others were super sweet even as babies.

Corn snakes really are great. They are easy to care for, generally quite gentle and come in a zillion different morphs so if you want something different you can pick one that stands out to you. They were my first snakes but even now that I've really branched out I still keep coming back to them. I have 14 of them now, including some really spectacular morphs such as Palmettos and Cayenne Fires.

You might ask Sylphie about Japanese rat snakes. I think she breeds them now.

ETA: toddnbecka, bug eyes are considered a severe fault in Texas rat snakes. Reputable breeders cull bug-eyed specimens. Less scrupulous breeders don't care. Some even charge more for them. They generally have poor vision and have trouble hitting their prey. This is not a problem in naturally bug-eyed snakes such as Trans-Pecos / subocs.
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Old 08-17-17, 03:13 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: IN GENERAL AND UNBIASED BY LOOKS?!!.. Rat Snake questions.

With more experience some day I've been wanting a blue beauty of the old world rat snakes, if you are including those, as one of my few not North American natives but I haven't seen one yet. Only what people have said. The beauty snakes are semi-arboreal but with some preferring more caves to trees and fairly active at varying periods throughout an entire 24hr cycle. Generally reported as more diurnal than nocturnal. Heat sensing and a bit quick to strike if not well handled but many say they can become docile with some extra work compared to the more laid back species. They do remain active, curious, and quick to go back on the defensive but I've found even with the typically thought of as docile corn snake the person can really determine whether the snake de-escalates or turns defensive to offensive. I have acquired 2 "aggressive" corn snakes and I really don't think it's genetic. Like the bull snakes they respond quite strongly to how you approach them and the younger one just calmed right down when I kept removing my hand from any position she felt threatened until you have to bump into her to get a response months later. The 4year old is more difficult and will break skin but I've only had him a couple months. He just moved from quarantine to a 75gallon bioactive where he annoyingly ambushes me from random hides but he's been giving it up faster every time I calmly go about what I'm doing.
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Old 08-17-17, 12:46 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: IN GENERAL AND UNBIASED BY LOOKS?!!.. Rat Snake questions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by akane View Post
With more experience some day I've been wanting a blue beauty of the old world rat snakes, if you are including those, as one of my few not North American natives but I haven't seen one yet. Only what people have said. The beauty snakes are semi-arboreal but with some preferring more caves to trees and fairly active at varying periods throughout an entire 24hr cycle. Generally reported as more diurnal than nocturnal. Heat sensing and a bit quick to strike if not well handled but many say they can become docile with some extra work compared to the more laid back species. They do remain active, curious, and quick to go back on the defensive but I've found even with the typically thought of as docile corn snake the person can really determine whether the snake de-escalates or turns defensive to offensive. I have acquired 2 "aggressive" corn snakes and I really don't think it's genetic. Like the bull snakes they respond quite strongly to how you approach them and the younger one just calmed right down when I kept removing my hand from any position she felt threatened until you have to bump into her to get a response months later. The 4year old is more difficult and will break skin but I've only had him a couple months. He just moved from quarantine to a 75gallon bioactive where he annoyingly ambushes me from random hides but he's been giving it up faster every time I calmly go about what I'm doing.
Pmsl at him ambushing you from different hides I'd be laughing at that I don't think my daughter would though lol, I'm gonna go down the pet shop and ask to handle some, and even ask if I can handle a defensive one too, just see how I am.handling, see how my daughter is handling a tamish one... I don't think k they have what I'm after but it's worth the experience as I've only ever handled an adult king and baby milk.
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Old 08-17-17, 12:47 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: IN GENERAL AND UNBIASED BY LOOKS?!!.. Rat Snake questions.

Although I'm not after a boa or python I'm gonna ask to handle them too, just experience for the future.
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Old 08-18-17, 10:47 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: IN GENERAL AND UNBIASED BY LOOKS?!!.. Rat Snake questions.

i have a Japanese rat and he is quite active and a good display snake. He makes great use of the vertical space in his cage and does lots of climbing. He is a bit of a busy snake to hold, pretty flighty and probably not a good beginner handling snake. Never tries to bite though.
I actually got him because he was in a tiny, bare cage at petco and going nuts with stress, and circling the cage over and over. How could I resist?
I have him in a 4ft x 2 ft x 2 ft cage with branches and shelves built in and he seems content. I pretty much just let him be.
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Old 08-21-17, 03:19 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: IN GENERAL AND UNBIASED BY LOOKS?!!.. Rat Snake questions.

From my experience, hognose snakes (I know, they are not ratsnakes, but I do love them and they are still colubrids) are fairly active, they will move a lot unless they were fed Russians of course are very active too, but they were mentioned already so I won't write the same things again. As for corn snakes they are similiar to ball pythons, sometimes they will move around, sometimes they will spend two weeks in the same position.

As for japanese ratsnakes for now we sold ours, they are really beautiful and if you are lucky then you'll have calm and inqusitive individuals like mentioned by toddnbecka and daisymaisy... but if you are unlucky (we were) you may end with little devils that are afraid of everything and hide all the time.

For me hognoses and russians are the best as they are farily easy and really active, and are two species that we want to breed and expand our groups... Maybe we'll try with japanese ratsnakes again too, but for now they are not as high on my "favourite list".

As for most aggresive ones, most gonyosoma species are really crazy, orthriophis too. I heard that rhino ratnsnakes and philodryas baroni are really cool to watch and own, but I don't have any personal experience with them.
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