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 Cannibalism in vipers.

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Peter Kane
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PostSubject: Cannibalism in vipers.   Thu 16 Aug - 7:52

I have been reading a paper on cannibalism among vipera aspis and vipera latestei. I've also read that some juvenile vipera ammodytes have exhibited cannibalistic tendencies. Does anyone have experience of this in animals they have kept in captivity?
Peter.
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Michael Bollhorn
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PostSubject: Re: Cannibalism in vipers.   Thu 16 Aug - 8:25

Some years ago I kept some adult V. ammodytes meridionalis.
One male eats 2 females. One at the former owner (he told me that later) and one at my place.
All the time he lived in a cage with his brother, I never saw he do a attack to the other male...

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Peter Kane
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PostSubject: Re: Cannibalism in vipers.   Thu 16 Aug - 15:55

That's very interesting. I've read that only juvenile ammodytes have the tendency, but not adults. Also, no sex was mentioned. Was he feeding normally on usual food at the time?
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Peter.
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Rainer Fesser
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PostSubject: Re: Cannibalism in vipers.   Thu 16 Aug - 20:46

Hello Peter,
I´ve experienced cannibalism in V. aspis (juveniles), rarely in V. ammodytes (juveniles, very rarely in V. a. ammodytes, more often in meridionalis, all cannibalistic specimens did not accept mice as food like their siblings).
Friends of mine had one adult male V. ammodytes meridionalis that regarded every other snake (independent from their sex) as food. He even did not breed in spring but tried to eat any female V.a. merid. that was offered as a partner.

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Rainer
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Peter Kane
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PostSubject: Re: Cannibalism in vipers.   Thu 16 Aug - 20:58

Hello Rainer,
Thanks for your input. From what you say, it appears more likely that males have the tendency rather than females, although we cannot be certain. It also appears that specimens that are not feeding regularly on mice, develop a taste for their fellow species. Or had any of your examples previously fed on mice, but subsequently refused them?
And I wonder why meridionalis in particular?
Interesting subject.
Regards,
Peter.
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Peter Schulze Niehoff
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PostSubject: Re: Cannibalism in vipers.   Thu 16 Aug - 21:20

Rainer Fesser wrote:
Friends of mine had one adult male V. ammodytes meridionalis that regarded every other snake (independent from their sex) as food. He even did not breed in spring but tried to eat any female V.a. merid. that was offered as a partner.
Wouldn't that one make a nice hat band?

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Graeme Skinner
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PostSubject: Re: Cannibalism in vipers.   Thu 16 Aug - 22:09

Peter Schulze Niehoff wrote:
Rainer Fesser wrote:
Friends of mine had one adult male V. ammodytes meridionalis that regarded every other snake (independent from their sex) as food. He even did not breed in spring but tried to eat any female V.a. merid. that was offered as a partner.
Wouldn't that one make a nice hat band?


Haha sounds like one mixed up ammo!
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Rainer Fesser
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PostSubject: Re: Cannibalism in vipers.   Fri 17 Aug - 3:27

Hello Peter (Kane),

from the 2 cannibalistic adult males I would not conclude that males have more tendency towards cannibalism than females.
All other V. ammod. that I experienced as cannibalistic were very young juveniles that did not accept mice as food and had never before eaten by themselves. Though they were forcefed, they surely were hungrier than those that ate regularly in shorter intervals. There were males and females among them. After keeping them seperate for a while and getting them used to mice as food, I could keep them with other V. ammod. again.
This does not mean that all V. ammod. that refuse to eat mice as babies would take snakes, also among these the cannibalistic ones were a small minority.

From what I have seen when I watched V. ammod. in nature, food of small juveniles mainly consists of lizards.

Hello Peter (Schulze Niehoff),
"Wouldn't that one make a nice hat band?" - They eventually gave him a huge female (about twice his weight) which resulted in many really nice babies - none of them cannibalistic.

Regards,
Rainer
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Michael Bollhorn
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PostSubject: Re: Cannibalism in vipers.   Fri 17 Aug - 7:17

Peter Kane wrote:
That's very interesting. I've read that only juvenile ammodytes have the tendency, but not adults. Also, no sex was mentioned. Was he feeding normally on usual food at the time?
Thanks,
Peter.

Hi,
he was feed normally on mice and small rats!
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Arjan Breedveld
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PostSubject: Re: Cannibalism in vipers.   Tue 21 Aug - 15:34

I've had a female gaditana eating a smaller male.
She was verry food orientated.
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Albert Gracer
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PostSubject: Re: Cannibalism in vipers.   Fri 24 Aug - 5:20

Just today, I also experienced the first time cannibalism by my Vipera ammodytes meridionalis . I had three of them together from the beginning and they're two years old now. I've never had any problems with them by feeding on mice, and I never offered them any lizard for food . Today I was quite shocked when I realized what had happened. They all ate last weekend and now this Sad
I do not know how to respond to the question " what was crucial that one ate the other".
And I never noticed that one of them has any special interest to the other one.

Let me present you the cannibal ammo with today's lunch Rolling Eyes








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Dylan Gartner
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PostSubject: Re: Cannibalism in vipers.   Tue 6 May - 3:19

That is very interesting yet sad it interests me as i have not heard so many accounts of cannibalism in cobras and they are considered cannibals. Suspect 
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Arjan Breedveld
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PostSubject: Re: Cannibalism in vipers.   Tue 6 May - 16:16

I've have had it severall times with an female gaditana eating a smaller male.
I see your's was allso smaller.

Here I see at the moment (springtime) that my vipera's are demanding food as crazy.
Striking at every movement.

Females mostly are more food orientated.
Just don't put food orientated animals together.




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