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 My vipera ammodytes

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Kiril Vulkanov
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PostSubject: Re: My vipera ammodytes   Thu 6 Jun - 17:19

Martin:
There is antivenom for some species of crotalus i think - but atleast the durissus warns you before it strikes.

Rainer:
I know this wasnt meant as an offence Smile i know people that have been bitten by some Viperas in Bulgaria, but here hardly find antivenom for snakes so most of the times they end up in a hospital for some time, and for the unpredictability - i agree you really cant say what they're going to do.
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PostSubject: Re: My vipera ammodytes   Thu 6 Jun - 17:22

Quote :
But I guess better ammodytes than durissus.

In most cases you might be right. If you have the bad luck to get an absolutely outstanding ammdytes-bite, these snakes could kill you within a couple of minutes just like any tropical snake known to be dangerous.
Don't underestimate the bite effects of any venomous snake!

Antivenin may help - or not. It's not a reliable life insurance in every case.

Quote :
but atleast the durissus warns you before it strikes.

Oh, yes? Never seen a rattlesnake striking without rattling? Could become a very dangerous misbelieve of rattlesnake behaviour some day....

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PostSubject: Re: My vipera ammodytes   Thu 6 Jun - 17:42

Peter Zürcher wrote:
Quote :
But I guess better ammodytes than durissus.

In most cases you might be right. If you have the bad luck to get an absolutely outstanding ammdytes-bite, these snakes could kill you within a couple of minutes just like any tropical snake known to be dangerous.
Don't underestimate the bite effects of any venomous snake!

Antivenin may help - or not. It's not a reliable life insurance in every case.


Yes that's what I meant - in most cases Smile There have been dry bites from durissus in Bulgaria. Antiveniv may not be 100% reliable but I think that it's better to have it than don't.

Kiril Vulkanov wrote:
Martin:
There is antivenom for some species of crotalus i think - but atleast the durissus warns you before it strikes.

There maybe some left but I'm not sure. Even so I doubt that it will be enough if you get bitten. As far as I know Crotalus bites take a lot of antivenin to treat and even with treatment you could lose an arm or a leg.
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PostSubject: Re: My vipera ammodytes   Sun 9 Jun - 0:57

So today i went to get a mouse.. and you wont believe what happened LOL Very Happy.

http://prikachi.com/images/538/6199538S.jpg
http://prikachi.com/images/537/6199537m.jpg

And now there is a big lump in the middle of the snake Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: My vipera ammodytes   Sun 9 Jun - 5:14

OK, that problem seems to be solved for this snake. Did the others react and eat too?

"In most cases you might be right. If you have the bad luck to get an absolutely outstanding ammdytes-bite, these snakes could kill you within a couple of minutes just like any tropical snake known to be dangerous." (cited Peter Zürcher) - Peter is absolutely right and that is why I wrote in a former post: It is at least unpleasant but may be much more.

"but at least the durissus warns you before it strikes" - addition to Peter´s comment: Most bites are not defensive bites (with or without warning) but bites because the snake mistakes your hand / finger for food. These bites hardly ever are dry bites.

Additionally the toxicity of V. ammodytes can be very different depending upon where they come from. Some populations have 3 times the toxicity of others in their venom. As you don´t know where your snakes are from, you have another reason to be very careful.
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PostSubject: Re: My vipera ammodytes   Sun 9 Jun - 6:38

Well in im personal oppinion.. every venomous snake can kill a man.. the size doesnt matter nor the teeth size.. but in connection with the feeding - i dont know.. i got the last mouse in the shop... will try out the other 2 in a couple of days.. and annother thing i want to know.. is the meal too big? i mean now its like that there is a giant ball in the snake LOL Very Happy can that cause anything? like puking or problems with pooping etc.?


Last edited by Kiril Vulkanov on Sun 9 Jun - 6:49; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : spelling mistake)
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PostSubject: Re: My vipera ammodytes   Sun 9 Jun - 21:32

"Well in im personal oppinion.. every venomous snake can kill a man." - Yes, only the probability differs. In V. ammod. it´s not really low.

Usually a food item of that size is no problem for a V. amm. like your´s as long as the temperature fits. I would take smaller mice for the other ones (for 1 or 2 meals) because your animals haven´t eaten for a long time and the probability of problems (mainly regurgitation) is higher than if they have eaten regularly during the last weeks.

I usually feed my V. ammodytes bigger mice (in relation to snake-size) and I have seen V. ammod. in nature eating prey of sizes that I would not have dared to feed them.
Most extreme: A semiadult female eating a big vole. The vole was much more than half the weight of the snake(estimated). It took the snake about 2 hours to swallow it and she hardly was able to move afterwards. I could watch the snake for several days after that, after 6 days the lump in the stomach was no longer visible.
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PostSubject: Re: My vipera ammodytes   Sun 9 Jun - 21:35

Non-feeding snakes of the genus vipera depends mostly of the environment that you keep your enclosures. Many herpetologists keep their snakes in dark cellars, where the snakes cant assimilate real sunshine. The best you can do, it`s to Place your enclosure neir to a window. Another wery important things is to hibernate in low temperatures so the animals not "burn" during hibernation. You should not hibernate in 10-15 Celsius it`s to warm. Regarding the temperature in the enclosure it`s very simple, one spot in one of the corners on for an example on a pyle of limestones, and "roomtemperature" in the rest of your "Ammodytesenclosure" Good luck Jimmy
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PostSubject: Re: My vipera ammodytes   Sun 9 Jun - 22:09

No real sunshine, only artificial light and proper temperatures needed. I'm keeping many ammodytes far away from windows....

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PostSubject: Re: My vipera ammodytes   Sun 9 Jun - 22:52

Yes Peter i know that Ammodytes and other vipers are breeding succesfully in dark cellars with artificial Lightning, but as Kiril wrote his Ammodytes is very docile and harm. My opinion of this behaviour is that they are in a sorts of a "coma" depending off lack of reel proper lightning.
Have you ever put one off your enclosures to a window and then observe the difference off the snakes behaviour due to a dark place. Why you can breed and raise vipers in dark places is cause the instincts are so strong. Jimmy
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PostSubject: Re: My vipera ammodytes   Sun 9 Jun - 23:16

@Jimmy: You are right, heat in combination with light and a cooler place in the terrarium is the best way or even essential for keeping V. ammod. successfully.
I know that Peter does not keep his V. ammod. in darkness and I know that he keeps some of them in outdoor enclosures. And I know that he has been keeping and breeding the species over many years already.
I have been keeping and breeding V. ammod. for over 40 years now, in terraria with artificial light and in outdoor enclosures of different kinds. I would say that both is effective in the same way and never could see anything like "coma" caused by darkness.
If you keep the animals in big enclosures with many hiding-places, indoors or outdoors, they will not get used to you and maybe even react like those in the wild (trying to escape or being ready to defend themselves easily). If you often confront them with yourself and maybe even make them used to being fed by you or being handled (gently), they will behave like you might call it "coma" or something like that. During my work with this species I could achieve the same with adult wild specimens in nature, making them used to me so much that I could even touch them or gently pick them up (with gloves for my safety) without any flight- or defensive reaction.
And you are right too concerning temperature of hibernation.

But I agree with Peter, sunlight is not needed. You can use sunlight or a lamp. But keep in mind (Kiril, you surely know the effect of the sun in Bulgaria), Bulgaria is not Sweden (or Germany,...), even if you shade the enclosure partly it can easily become overheated.

Best regards,
Rainer

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PostSubject: Re: My vipera ammodytes   Sun 9 Jun - 23:39

Quote :
Have you ever put one off your enclosures to a window and then observe the difference off the snakes behaviour due to a dark place.

i cannot move my enclosures....they're too large and too heavy, and they're not that dark. But seeing you talk about "moveable" enclosures i probably might know what you mean.

Like Rainer i have experiences in outdor-keeping (not only ammodytes, but other european snakes and Crotalus spp. too).
The difference between indoor and outdoor behaviour depends only on more thermo-regulating movements outside because of changing weather conditions and changing/moving sun.
If we could manage the sun and the weather conditions to stay exactly the same for hours, the snakes would stay on their same favourite small place all the time like they do in indoor terrariums.


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PostSubject: Re: My vipera ammodytes   Tue 11 Jun - 19:13

Hi again guys ! Well I had read the posts once again and the thread was - How come my Ammodytes not eat mice. Peter, Rainer, myself and some other guys had a couple of suggestions. One thing that no one comment was that Kiril mentioned that one of the snakes had some white spots on the body ? My experience of that are mites. Kiril the white spots are exctrement off mites probably, check under the chin if some of the scales putting out with black spots inmost under the scale if so you got mites on all off your ammodytes if they was kept in the same enclosure. That could be a big issue if they refuse to eat. However this is beginners issues so i suppose this is the wrong forum to discuss this matters. well it`s worth to mention anyway.

I have to explain and change some words to my former posts. I wrote "sunshine" I really meant "daylight" - Indirect "sunbeams" in the enclosure could be demostating off course , especially in a hot country as Bulgaria. I didnt meant to use the sun as a heatsource only put the enclosure nearby a window if its possible To offer the snakes a natural "daylightcircle" - So if Kiril keep his enclosure in a for example a room without a window its favourable for the snakes to move the enclosure to a more uplighted environment. This could be the key to get his ammodytes to eat. His terraria was 70 cm something, so a suppose its moveable.

I had for a couple of years ago my snakeroom with the only window faced to north with a couple hours of " morningsun" and ca 1 hour sun before dawn. I had a couple of taxa as v.a meridionalis, xanthina, atra, fransiscredi, aspis aspis c. cerastes sp, ruber sp I moved the different enclosures during the years and when the snakes placed nearby the window with a "daylightcircle" and sunbeams during the mornings they displayed a very aggresive natural behaviour. Especially the pair off adult xanthinas. When I went into the room they escaped immedatly, and when handled started to hiss. I moved the xanthinas to one off the corners of the room and they went very dull immediatly. Then later on the xanthinas always Went still under their baskinglight "area" - Conclusion I still think it`s quite important to strive to get "daylight" so much as possible.

Rainer - You understod what I meant about "coma " Ok maybe I exaggerate this a Little bit, many other circumstances influence this matter. (Peter I think you understod too) But when you freehandling "Gregorwallneris) in the wild maybe you should to forewarn the ambulance LOL.

Peter - Your theory about thermo-regulating, I´m only have one question - How can you be sure about that ?

One thing I forgot to mention - even though you have an enclosure nearby a window, there must be a baskinglight in the enclosure, or much favourable on the ventilation-net on the top off the enclosure. It`s also important of good UV-Lightning off course but that is an another thread

Jimmy
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PostSubject: Re: My vipera ammodytes   Tue 11 Jun - 20:36

Quote :
How can you be sure about that ?

Just 40 years of experience in keeping a very large livestock of different snakes in in- and outdoor-terrariums - the last 18 years as a zookeeper 365 days in a year and all day long watching....

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PostSubject: Re: My vipera ammodytes   Tue 11 Jun - 20:58

Hi Jimmy,

I did not say that I freehandle V. ammod. or any other venomous snake. I love to live and to live healthy. I use gloves,... to be safe and thus only have to care about whether the snake can be handled safely and with as little stress as possible for the animal.
I have been handling many Vipers, mainly V. ammod. during my work and my experience is that the northern ones, eg. "Gregorwallneri" have less tendency to bite in defence if caught the way I do it than for example those from Montenegro. I one of the populations I was working with, usually perhaps 1 out of 10 adult V.ammod. would have tried to bite whereas in Montenegro almost all of them would (with the same hunting-technique). But you are right, also with the northern ones it would be good to have an ambulance near in case you make a mistake in handling them.

Thermo-regulation: I can confirm Peter´s statement from my observations in nature. The animals change their position corresponding to their body-temperature. If their temp. gets too high in the sun (or in a terrarium usually a basking-spot), they move to a cooler place (half shade or shade). If it gets too cool there, they come out into the sun again. I could watch many V. ammod. over many years. As most of them are very territorial I could easily predict on which sideof a tree, wall,... they would be at a certain time of the day and year under certain weather and temperature conditions. This is not some "theory" but I could confirm it by measuring their body-temp. and finding that they would stay on a certain spot as long as they could keep theit optimum-temp. there and only moving to another one if this place became too hot (usually caused by the sun) or too cool (usually because the sun had moved and the place became shaded).

You are right, Vipers (at least most of them) need heating in combination with light in a daytime-cycle but I think they don´t need sunlight/daylight (directly or indirectly) and based on my experiende I would say they don´t need UV-light. Otherwise I would not have been able to breed and raise so many of them (mainly V. ammod but many other species too) and keep quite a number of specimens for over 30 years.

@ White spots: Kiril, how big were those spots? If they are very small round ones, they may be excrements of mites like Jimmy wrote. If they are bigger with different shapes - could they be uric acid from the excrements of the snakes themselves? I wish you they are the latter, mites may be a problem.

Did the other ones eat meanwhile? Does the male digest properly (bump getting smaller)?

Rainer
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PostSubject: Re: My vipera ammodytes   Tue 11 Jun - 23:12

Rainer
I totally agree with you regarding thermo-regulating, What you says are basics however. I personally followed a couple of Berus at the same kind as you did with ammodytes, i think its similar. Read what Peter says - If we could manage the sun and weather conditions to stay exactly the same for hours, the snakes would stay at their small favourite small place like they do in Indoor terrariums.- How can he proof that. UV-ligntning yes there`s not a newsflash that you can breed the most species without it. But what I dont understand is why you guys defend a poor "snakekeeping" such as no proper ligthning, no UV. Do you have natural habitats in your terrariums, or cutted woods as a substrate with a flowerpot as a hidingplace ? It would be fun to see some pictures of your " ammodytesterrarien" If I had any pictures i should add them, but I only have diapositives of my former snakeroom. But now we are a long way from the origin thread.

Thank for your replies Rainer and Peter
By the way I bougth my first boa 1976 and the first venomous snake 1979 C, D, Terrificus.

Best regards Jimmy
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PostSubject: Re: My vipera ammodytes   Tue 11 Jun - 23:35

Quote :
But what I dont understand is why you guys defend a poor "snakekeeping" such as no proper ligthning, no UV. Do you have natural habitats in your terrariums, or cutted woods as a substrate with a flowerpot as a hidingplace ?

LOL, you really made my day.

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PostSubject: Re: My vipera ammodytes   Wed 12 Jun - 0:25

Why would you need UVB in a nocturnal animal enclosure? LOL Very Happy and no.. the white spots arent mites.. its something like dry dust or clay actually.. and can be cleaned really easily with a brush..
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PostSubject: Re: My vipera ammodytes   Wed 12 Jun - 0:33

As I have little time right now, only a question to you, Kiril: Why do you regard V. ammodytes as nocturnal? In nature nocturnal activity is an exception in this species during very hot times.


Last edited by Rainer Fesser on Wed 12 Jun - 2:36; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: My vipera ammodytes   Wed 12 Jun - 0:48

Well i thoughts that its nocturnal as all the other snakes? so should i put UVB?
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PostSubject: Re: My vipera ammodytes   Wed 12 Jun - 1:03

Kiril Vulkanov wrote:
Well i thoughts that its nocturnal as all the other snakes? so should i put UVB?

Kiril Vulkanov wrote:
Eh, i have about 3 year experience with vipers's.. i know their behavior..

Smile Please Kirili, listen to Peter and Rainer's advices, I know personally both of them, you are luky enough to have answers from two of the most EXPERIENCED people in this forum (and in Europe in my opinion).
If you want to keep your Vipera ammodytes in the bast way just do what they are telling you to do Wink
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PostSubject: Re: My vipera ammodytes   Wed 12 Jun - 2:58

Alex: Though I almost blush, thank you for your compliment.

Kiril: Who told you that all snakes are nocturnal? There are species that are nocturnal, others that are strictly diurnal and others may be both or crepuscular. In many species the time of activity depends mainly on temperature and not on light/darkness or the time of the day. They mainly have diurnal activity in spring and autumn and are crepuscular and nocturnal in summer unless in cool periods when they shift to diurnal activity in summer too.

But this does - in my opinion, coming from many years of experience - not mean that diurnal species need UV-radiation (see my post today at 13:58).

Can you please describe how you house your V. ammodytes?

Best regards,
Rainer
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PostSubject: Re: My vipera ammodytes   Wed 12 Jun - 3:17

OK Guys I will answer your opinions in so small terms as possible thought that my suggestion to keep a couple of ammodytes beside a window to make them eat so controversial.

Peter - Ok you laugh at me, I Believe that because you dont have anymore to say.
thanks for your pics they say a lot of why you are defending a "Little not the all way" regarding to the outdoor terrarien I will say top class with wonderful real habitats and old style wooden enclosures. Your Indoor enclosures are quite dark with what I can see a couple of basking lites. I has seen this already in the 70:s at Stockholm terrarium wooden enclosures with boatpaint to prevent decomposition. Are yot still laughing Peter ?

Kiril - When i read your first posts i saw that you are a beginner - you wrote that your snakes had White spots, I suggest maybe mites, now yourè laughing about that and tell us the spots are something else. You say clay I thought you say you had sand as substrate ? Where comes the clay from ? Why havent you brush off it yet ? I agree with Rainer ammodytes are nocturnal during mostly off hot summernights maybe you stumbled over one "Montandoni" during one night cause ammodytes are a diurnal species. Are you still laughning Kiril ?
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PostSubject: Re: My vipera ammodytes   Wed 12 Jun - 4:09

Jimmy: No i'm not laughting.. and if you read the pevious posts you would know that these are suspected as wild caught.. so maybe the clay could have came from the wild? i keep them on sand, yes.. but there is no sign of dirt in it! and i originally asked if i should put some UVB lights in..
P.S the female is a montandoni.

Rainer: The snakes are on sand.. not really deep.. as hides i use rocks.. i made a 3D background a couple of says ago..
the temperature is about 30C in the day and about 25-27 in the night.
The enclosure is near the window.




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PostSubject: Re: My vipera ammodytes   Wed 12 Jun - 5:15

Sad Sad Sad

Kiril, let the night temperatures drop to 20-22 degrees, or even to 18. Avoid to have 30 degrees in the daytime in your whole cage, give'em retreats with cooler places. Give'em a shower from time to time, and watch how they react!
Additionally, i would replace the sand with natural soil and cover it partially with moss and/or dry leafs.
regards,
Peter

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