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Old 07-12-21, 01:47 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Breeding rough earth snakes

This morning I discovered that my female Rough earth snake had given birth to 4 healthy babies! She was wild caught in april. And bred to a wild caught male in may. Shes been living in an enclosure that's set up like the enviornment we found them. I had been suspecting she was pregnant, and this morning it was confirmed when I found a yolks sack and later 4 live babies. All are doing well, there are 2 boys and 2 girls based on the vent to tip length. Mama is skinny but energetic and clean. Does anyone have any advice on caring for the babies? We've released 1 girl and 1 boy and I want to hold the other 2 for now. Being able to see their growth rate and everything will be super cool.
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Old 07-13-21, 07:37 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Breeding rough earth snakes

Here are the links to the pictures of mama and her newborns. And I think a slug.
https://m.facebook.com/photo.php/?fbid=4030567287052643
https://m.facebook.com/photo.php/?fbid=4030567393719299
https://m.facebook.com/photo.php/?fbid=4030567483719290
https://m.facebook.com/photo.php/?fbid=4030567563719282
https://m.facebook.com/photo.php/?fbid=4030567657052606
https://m.facebook.com/photo.php/?fbid=4030567760385929
https://m.facebook.com/photo.php/?fbid=4030567960385909

Last edited by Hobbyherpmom; 07-13-21 at 07:52 AM.. Reason: Adding pictures
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Old 07-13-21, 05:52 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Breeding rough earth snakes

I haven't really heard of captive breeding for these snakes. I'm sure it happens but it is neat to see you did it.

Do you have access to any ant or termite mounds that haven't been poisoned that you can dig up? I'd expect the young earth snakes to eat eggs/larvae. Newborn worms, mealworms, or superworms might work too.
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Old 07-14-21, 05:21 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Breeding rough earth snakes

Oh thank you! This is actually the first time I have bred any reptiles so I'm very excited! We have fire ants but I'm terrified of those haha. I do know where I can get some good baby mealworms. I've really enjoyed watching this species. They're very secretive but what I've been able to observe and learn is pretty amazing. I'm hoping to keep going with this for a couple years and see what else I can learn!
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Old 07-15-21, 10:58 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Breeding rough earth snakes

I would strongly consider a bioactive setup with breeding colonies of isopods and earthworms for your snakes. That will provide a whole lifecycle of prey to any future babies.

Superworms thrive in bioactive setups (they eat damp, decaying wood) but they may be too large/aggressive in a captive environment.
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Old 07-15-21, 12:11 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Breeding rough earth snakes

I've been calling it self sustained lol. I'd never heard of bioactive before now! These guys were the next-to-last littles to join the party! I discovered yesterday that even our earthworms have made those weird eggsack things (super weird looking when the babies are coming out). So now we've got baby snails, worms, roly polies(sp?), some beetles and a spider lol. I never knew it was called a Bioactive set up.

So then, if I set up the baby tank the same way and add baby mealworms, the babies should have all that they need right? Anything I should be keeping an eye out for as far as mama?
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Old 07-15-21, 11:27 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Breeding rough earth snakes

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Originally Posted by Hobbyherpmom View Post
I've been calling it self sustained lol. I'd never heard of bioactive before now! These guys were the next-to-last littles to join the party! I discovered yesterday that even our earthworms have made those weird eggsack things (super weird looking when the babies are coming out). So now we've got baby snails, worms, roly polies(sp?), some beetles and a spider lol. I never knew it was called a Bioactive set up.

So then, if I set up the baby tank the same way and add baby mealworms, the babies should have all that they need right? Anything I should be keeping an eye out for as far as mama?
Unfortunately the term bioactive has been used and abused. Everything is marketed as bioactive these days even completely dry soil vacuum sealed in bags. I see a lot of people in facebook groups just purchasing these products and not understanding the true meaning behind a "bioactive" enclosure or even just putting in a few isopods and consider it self-sustaining. Self-sustaining sounds better to me .
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Old 07-16-21, 04:57 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Breeding rough earth snakes

I've been making self-sustaining fish tanks (like with pond life) for a couple years
So when i decided to do my research on these guys I did the same. I started by using completely organic gardening soil. I added snails, slugs, redworms, earthworms, grubworms, leaf litter, half of an old terracotta pot, 2 small rocks, live plants and a small water dish. When I added soil I actually used my plant compost that was mostly done. It added more little critters and made more food for everyone. I'm about to put Medusa (mama) in a 20 gallon self sustaining tank.

The self sustaining enviornment is my favorite because it's easier to transfer for wild animals (easier on the animal) and makes care and feeding easier also. As well as being able to then observe the animals. They behave naturally because the enviornment is natural. And it's a great tool to teach my kiddos about nature and how ecosystems work.
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Old 07-16-21, 09:18 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Breeding rough earth snakes

Ok, valid point on the bioactive thing.

Your self sustaining tank should be fine for the babies. With worms, roly polies (they're isopods), and the other creatures you have in there you should have plenty of food for baby snakes without the addition of mealworms. A tiny species of slug might be a nice addition if they're native to your area. Not the ones that get really big, but the ones that stay garden snail size.

I would remove the spider, you don't need any "apex" predators in there other than the snakes.

Your plans for Medusa sound good. I'm sure they'll all appreciate the extra territory.
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Old 07-17-21, 08:36 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Breeding rough earth snakes

Our tanks stay outside on our front deck. They have enough shade and sun during the day to fulfill their needs and I simulate rain with rain water and a watering can, usually when it's raining for real. They get a flood and drought season this way, and it corresponds with our actual drought and flood seasons. I figured that way the exposure to the natural enviornment and elements will keep their natural cycles in tune with when they were wild. This way I'm able to observe the mating season and birthing season as if they were in the wild. I do take special precautions for the winter but they are allowed to experience winter the same that they experience the other 3 seasons.
The spider helps keep unwanted insects from invading the tank, mostly ants. And neither snake nor spider seem interested in each other. She invited herself and does no harm so she can stay. I really try not to interfere with the tanks inhabitants after everything is stable, unless absolutely neccessary. It helps me see what could happen in the wild. These guys are only handled when I need to document something or check on their general health.
Today, three of the babies are going to see my snake breeder buddy. One male has already been released. They're a week old tomorrow so they're about to go into a permanent self-sustained tank. Hopefully they'll have their first meal shortly after.
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