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Old 09-20-17, 10:47 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Baron's racer questions

I've had my milk snake for about a year now, and I'm trying to decide on my next (second) snake. I'm probably going to fall in love with even more species over the next month, but for now I think it's between a baron's racer or a carpet python. I have a few questions since baron's racers are a lot harder to come by info on.

1. How are they handling-wise? Do they like to explore, or are they more sedantary? Will they willingly come out of the cage on their own?

2. Do they tend to watch their owners through the glass?

3. Do they have a nippy baby stage like carpet pythons?

4. For those of you who own both baron's racers and carpet pythons, which do you enjoy more and why?

5. Are there any good breeders who have/will have baron's racers available this winter?

6. What's the general asking price?

7. Do they do better with misting or a humid hide? If the former, what humidity do they do best at?

Last edited by Sevvy; 09-20-17 at 11:00 PM..
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Old 09-20-17, 11:44 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Baron's racer questions

I don't have direct answers for you, per se, but I recently had a chance to pick up a breeding pair...but I turned them down once I got a chance to do some research on their behavior, husbandry, and venom strength.

The snakes looked great, but they are rather arboreal and I don't have the correct enclosure(s), and their venom is a bit more toxic than that of either my Hognose or my False Water Cobra, so I left w/o them.

I know of nobody on-site with them, but if you take a look at the comments in my previous thread, maybe they might help.
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Old 09-21-17, 12:29 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Baron's racer questions

That's definitely worth thinking about. I like that they're hardy, arboreal and fairly tame (and green), but I was planning to free-handle and I didn't realize the venom was quite that bad. I have zero allergies so I'm not worried about complications, but being out of commission for the better part of a day or longer would be awfully inconvenient.

It's too bad though, since apart from being skinny-bodied and too venomous they seem like everything I want in a snake.
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Old 09-21-17, 02:42 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Baron's racer questions

They're also quite active snakes, and need a larger enclosure (relative to their size) than a carpet python.
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Old 09-21-17, 08:20 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Baron's racer questions

All things considered I'd say go for the carpet but I'll admit I'm a bit biased.
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Old 09-21-17, 10:11 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Baron's racer questions

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Originally Posted by Sevvy View Post
That's definitely worth thinking about. I like that they're hardy, arboreal and fairly tame (and green), but I was planning to free-handle and I didn't realize the venom was quite that bad. I have zero allergies so I'm not worried about complications, but being out of commission for the better part of a day or longer would be awfully inconvenient.

It's too bad though, since apart from being skinny-bodied and too venomous they seem like everything I want in a snake.
Prasina are green but not venemous if I'm not mistaken.
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Old 09-21-17, 10:36 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Baron's racer questions

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Originally Posted by jjhill001 View Post
Prasina are green but not venemous if I'm not mistaken.
Also not commonly found.

I would recommend the carpet python as a second snake.
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Old 09-21-17, 12:49 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Baron's racer questions

I canít help you with any information about Carpet pythons, but I keep Philodryas baroni. Barons racer is an active, curious and alert snake.

1. How are they handling-wise? Do they like to explore, or are they more sedantary? Will they willingly come out of the cage on their own?

They do like to explore, they are curious and if they expect food they will come to the door and might become really agitated and worked up. The normal maintenance is usually no problem, but I would not advice to handle them without any need to do so. As most arboreal snakes they have a tendency to bite first, ask questions later.

2. Do they tend to watch their owners through the glass?

Yes

3. Do they have a nippy baby stage like carpet pythons?

No, they stay nippy most likely their whole life.

4. For those of you who own both baron's racers and carpet pythons, which do you enjoy more and why?

As I said, they are active and there is a lot to see of them, at least during daytime.

5. Are there any good breeders who have/will have baron's racers available this winter?

Canít help you here

6. What's the general asking price?

Here in Germany you might get a CB 2017 for ca. 80 Ė 100 Euro (ca 100 Ė 120 USD)

7. Do they do better with misting or a humid hide? If the former, what humidity do they do best at?

I spray water on a daily basis, combined with some plants this creates a humidity of ca. 75 %, which will decrease to ca. 60% until next morning. I also offer a humid hide, but my snakes donít use it.

In general terms, this snake is easy to keep, if you provide it with a tall, spacious enclosure with enough branches, some plants and hiding places. They eat defrosted mice without any issues.

The venom doesnít seem to be dangerous for humans, I read some descriptions of bites where only local symptoms like swelling and local pain occurred. However, the venom contains postsynaptic neurotoxins and probably Haemorrhagins as well, so a full bite from a really agitated large snake (or probably a snake in a feeding frenzy) might cause some severe envenoming, a potential lethal envenoming is unlikely but cannot be excluded.

--> WCH Clinical Toxinology Resources


As far as I know there is no evidence of a lethal bite so far. There is a report about a lethal bite from Philodryas olfersii, According to WEINSTEIN et all " 'Venomous' Bites From Non-Venomous Snakes" this report is to be considered as anecdotal, the bite victims were two children in Brasilia, one of them died. However, the circumstances of the bite were only recorded 4 years later, the snake was never seen by anybody else and it was called a "Cobra verde", a common name which is used for several snakes in the region, especially for some pit vipers like Bothrops bilineata. So it might have been Philodryas olfersii, but there is no hard evidence for this and it might have been a front-fanged snake as well.

Since this would be your second snake I would strongly recommend a carpet python. Barons racer can move (and bite) really fast, they are agile and can reach up to 6 ft (190 cm) in length, which results in a lot of reach for their bite. Since the bite of them is most likely not lethal, but certainly unpleasant and painful I recommend something different for you.

If you are interested in an arboreal green snake your best bet might be a rhino rat snake (Gonyosoma boulengeri), they donít get as big as a red tailed green rat snake (Gonyosoma oxycephalum) and are easier to keep then Gonyosoma prasinum or Gonyosoma frenatum.




Philodryas baroni




Gonyosoma oxycephalum


Gonyosoma boulengeri



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Old 09-21-17, 03:30 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Baron's racer questions

Beautiful Gonyosoma Oxycephalum Roman! They're on my ever expanding want list lol
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Old 09-22-17, 03:40 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Baron's racer questions

I agree. Those snakes are beautiful!

It's looking like a carpet python is definitely the better fit for me. Unfortunately I don't have an afforable source of lizards so Asian vine snakes are out. Rhino rats, meanwhile, are amazing and they're definitely on my wishlist, but I can't afford one right now. Someday!!
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Old 09-22-17, 07:10 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Baron's racer questions

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Originally Posted by Aaron_S View Post
Also not commonly found.

I would recommend the carpet python as a second snake.
I see them on faunaclassifieds enough that just a bit of patience and having a few hundred bucks ready would get you some. They sell out quick though so you have to be ready.
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Old 09-22-17, 07:14 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Baron's racer questions

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The venom doesnít seem to be dangerous for humans, I read some descriptions of bites where only local symptoms like swelling and local pain occurred. However, the venom contains postsynaptic neurotoxins and probably Haemorrhagins as well, so a full bite from a really agitated large snake (or probably a snake in a feeding frenzy) might cause some severe envenoming, a potential lethal envenoming is unlikely but cannot be excluded.

In my opinion this would make this venom particularly dangerous if someone happened to have high blood pressure or some other disease which inhibits proper blood clotting. Meaning that someone could potentially bleed out easier. Other than that doesn't sound too bad.
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Old 09-23-17, 06:40 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Baron's racer questions

Yes, and, the venom of the baronii has been tested and is quite a bit more potent than commonly thought.

It's the delivery device that is actually a problem here.

Similar issues are seen in the Thrasops jacksonii which is in the same family as the boomslang and twigsnake, both of which we know can potentially cause a lethal envenomation in humans. The venom of the jacksonii has been tested and found to be just slightly less potent as the boomslang (but just ever so slightly). The main difference is that the boomslang has much more developed dentition (longer fangs, moveable, placed more forward than a typical "rear fanged" snake). The boomslang also has specialized muscles that help push the venom out of the glands. Thrasops lacks those specializations and as such doesn't quite have the potential to kill a human unless you're being intentionally foolish. A mouse however is still turned into a sack of blood in similar fashion, whether it's being tagged by a boomslang or a jackson's treesnake.

Baron's racer faces quite a similar problem.. it's fangs aren't grooved, they are small and placed very far back. When you compare that to it's more "potent" classified cousins like the P. olfersii or P. viridissima, they do have better developed dentition. The venom itself isn't that much different and all those snakes are often spoken about in the same breath when they are discussing the venom of the Philodryas genus.

Both Baron's racer and Jackson's treesnake should be treated as a hot or at the very least not free handled, be placed under lock if others can reach to the enclosure, and not handled by kids.
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Old 09-24-17, 06:20 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Baron's racer questions

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Yes, and, the venom of the baronii has been tested and is quite a bit more potent than commonly thought.
Do you have any reference for this? I would be really interested to read about it.

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It's the delivery device that is actually a problem here.

[...]
Baron's racer faces quite a similar problem.. it's fangs aren't grooved, they are small and placed very far back. When you compare that to it's more "potent" classified cousins like the P. olfersii or P. viridissima, they do have better developed dentition. The venom itself isn't that much different and all those snakes are often spoken about in the same breath when they are discussing the venom of the Philodryas genus.
According to Weinstein et al. you are wrong. They show pictures of a skull of Philodryas baroni which show clearly that the fangs are grooved for almost the total length of the enlarged tooth (Plate 4.38 page 145 -146). The fangs are located in the back of the mouth, right under the edge of the eye.

Most recorded (and verified) bites from Philodryas spp. showed only local symptoms (edema, ecchymoses, erythema, pain, in some cases also bleeding gums (however, this might have been a bite from Bothrops spp.) lacerations/puncture wounds and paresthesia/numbness (Table 4.1). The conclusion for bites from Philodryas is that most documented cases of medically significance show only "mild-to-moderate local effects".

"Uncommon cases that include systemic effects (widespread ecchymoses) have occurred, but are rarely documented. However, data characterizing several fibrinogenolytic enzyms and myotoxins suggest that large specimens of these species may be capable of inflicting a bite resulting in significant systematic effects."

Quotes from Scott A Weinstein, David A. Warrell, Julian White, Daniel E Keyler: " 'Venomous' Bites from Non-Venomous Snakes: A Critical Analysis of Risk and Management of 'Colubrid' Snake Bites", 2011

So as I said before, bites from Philodryas baroni seem to cause only local symptoms most of the time, but especially with large specimen you should be really careful with handling them, since a potentially dangerous bite can not be ruled out completely.

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Both Baron's racer and Jackson's treesnake should be treated as a hot or at the very least not free handled, be placed under lock if others can reach to the enclosure, and not handled by kids.
I totally agree.

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Old 09-24-17, 12:40 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Baron's racer questions

I had a better reference by Fry about a whole series of front and rear fanged snakes where it was easy to compare the different venoms and their toxicity but I seemed to have not saved it in my bookmarks (crap because that was a nice link), but here's another one by specifically on the baroni from 2016;

http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc...=rep1&type=pdf

I'll check on this grooved vs non-grooved thing, I was in the understanding they weren't grooved... if they are I stand corrected.
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