Are these king snakes fighting or courting?

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Gary N
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Are these king snakes fighting or courting?

Post by Gary N » May 8th, 2016, 11:28 pm

I think the activity seen in this video is male combat. I see lots of body slamming and biting in the video but no attempts to hook up cloacas. Let me know if you think it's mating behavior.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mvRBLLO ... e=youtu.be

Image

This second video shows similar activity, but with less violence, so I have labelled it as courting behavior, but I could be wrong. Does anybody think this is also combat behavior?

http://www.californiaherps.com/movies/K ... es4152.MOV

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Calfirecap
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Re: Are these king snakes fighting or courting?

Post by Calfirecap » May 9th, 2016, 4:13 am

Looks more like combat to me.

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nhherp
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Re: Are these king snakes fighting or courting?

Post by nhherp » May 9th, 2016, 7:37 am

Attempting to mate. Although the video makes it hard to judge sex (and visually is never a confirmation). It would appear to be two dumb males thinking the other one is a potential female as both are exhibiting male mating tendencies, neck biting and the fast simultaneous tail twirling. Male kings will often grab the female behind the head when breeding and hold her still, oddly more so with gray banded kings than cal-kings in my experience.
I have had male corn snakes try to breed one another as a result of pheromone saturation from being in with females prior to exposure.. Cleaning slots and placed to males in same slot in the process.

-N-

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Re: Are these king snakes fighting or courting?

Post by VICtort » May 9th, 2016, 7:51 am

I think the two striped kings are combating, as both are attempting to bite, and I don't recall seeing a female that was willingly mating bite (having witnessed many captive breedings). It is plausible what Nhherp says about them being confused/pheromones, and possible two males are trying to breed each other. Both seek to get on top and be "dominant", which I don't see females do much of, they either accept and willingly breed or leave the scene... So I think combat on the striped cal kings.

The banded kings not so easy to decide, I think not vigorous enough for imminent breeding nor for combat, I guess it is mating attempt.

Vic

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Kelly Mc
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Re: Are these king snakes fighting or courting?

Post by Kelly Mc » May 9th, 2016, 9:56 am

It seems like a who's who and what's what male engagement with a complete lack of twerking.

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Martti Niskanen
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Re: Are these king snakes fighting or courting?

Post by Martti Niskanen » May 9th, 2016, 10:09 am

Intrasexual combat.

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rpecora
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Re: Are these king snakes fighting or courting?

Post by rpecora » May 9th, 2016, 11:08 am

Must be what prison sex is like.

Looks like two kings trying to eat each other, but they don't try to wrap up. Interesting.

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lateralis
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Re: Are these king snakes fighting or courting?

Post by lateralis » May 9th, 2016, 12:28 pm

Classic male combat.

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Re: Are these king snakes fighting or courting?

Post by hellihooks » May 9th, 2016, 6:20 pm


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Porter
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Re: Are these king snakes fighting or courting?

Post by Porter » May 9th, 2016, 10:00 pm

That's the best footage I've seen in a long time :thumb:

Two brothers reunite to once again bring up the question... who's momma's favorite?

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Re: Are these king snakes fighting or courting?

Post by chrish » May 10th, 2016, 9:38 am

Combat, not mating.

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canderson
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Re: Are these king snakes fighting or courting?

Post by canderson » May 10th, 2016, 5:17 pm

This is classic combat behavior. There is no attempt at penatration that I could see.

Here is a video of what snakes mating looks like, admittedly these are corn snakes but the behavior and how the male massages along the female is the same. You'll have to skip to a bit after the fifth minute to see the courting begin. The actions are also pretty well described by the woman who posted the video.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=1SLKrfiqSjU


Cheers! :beer:
-Chris

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Kelly Mc
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Re: Are these king snakes fighting or courting?

Post by Kelly Mc » May 10th, 2016, 5:23 pm

I cant help but chuckle at how inert males keep their tails during these contests. Other than a moment of leverage here and there - it seems to be a deliberate attempt to avoid any undulating mis signaling.


"Don't get it twisted Bro!.." hahaha.

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Re: Are these king snakes fighting or courting?

Post by canderson » May 10th, 2016, 5:37 pm

:lol: good observation Kelly! Never thought of it that way but it certainly looks that way. Between the tail action and aggressive shoving and biting they are sure to be no mixed signals. :beer:

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Kelly Mc
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Re: Are these king snakes fighting or courting?

Post by Kelly Mc » May 10th, 2016, 6:03 pm

Thanks for your feedback Canderson, also the lovely video of the corns mating.

Both mating and combat in snakes is exquisitely beautiful.

Imagining it on an epic scale with some rolling thunderclouds and you have the stuff human mythology and cultural deities are made of.

But its just as magnificent on its own.

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Re: Are these king snakes fighting or courting?

Post by Porter » May 11th, 2016, 12:06 pm

Someone through out a large unfolded cardboard box about a month n a half ago on the side of the road... I pulled it up into the grass under a tree where it gets some good sun. Rain molded it to the earth, rodents within a week, garter in two weeks and saw a HUGE female king with a smaller male cloaca to cloaca a few days back... chillaxing. So, I figured I'd ask in relevance to the post:

Has anyone actually seen snakes courting in the open without being flipped first? I mean undoubtedly seen them hooked up wothout assumption. Just wondering, cause I honestly don't know. Never seen it except under boards. Seen pics...but those snakes could have been flipped before pic. Saw a couple of twisted up lateralis on a deer trail before they leaped off a slope and into an overhanging tree...but, they could have been fighting. They stoped what they were doing as soon as they saw me

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Porter
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Re: Are these king snakes fighting or courting?

Post by Porter » May 11th, 2016, 12:45 pm

Because I see these videos saying that this is courtship but I'm not seeing Hemi penis in the Quaker I'm seeing them just twisting and fighting against each others muscle strength. I get it it looks sexy and all that but is it really actual courtship? were these snakes sexed after this? did somebody stay long enough to see any actual mating happened...? When I'm seeing them mating they were gently just laying on top of each other underneath the board with their Cloaca together and not necessarily twisted up. I guess people have observed this in captivity right do they twist up like this in a cabinet case? even if they do are they just doing it because they're in an enclosed environment? is the female just fighting off a male rapists i f twisting occurs between opposite sex? Is it mellow love in the cabinet case on occasion?

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=N5phBbRUyuQ

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Re: Are these king snakes fighting or courting?

Post by Jimi » May 11th, 2016, 2:39 pm

Has anyone actually seen snakes courting in the open without being flipped first? I mean undoubtedly seen them hooked up wothout assumption.
Yes. Copulating, not "courting", out in the open tall grass, under sparse-canopied shrubs, among boulders, and in large rock crevices open to the sky. Once alongside a lake (that was a NAFHA trip) near some rip-rap. Rattlesnakes, gophers, racers & whipsnakes. Always a quiet affair when I have witnessed it. Same goes for in captivity - copulation is "mellow love", "courting" is peppier (mostly him, not her - he has to talk her into it, she just has to say yes - or no; I don't think there's non-consensual sex in wild snakes), male combat can be pretty strenuous.

Copulation is easy to tell with the right view - the female's body obviously has something fat jammed into it. The skin is stretched enough so the scales (body, at & just above cloaca, NOT her tail) are all spread out. It is completely unambiguous, there's no need to assume anything. The tails are not usually all wrapped at that point, nor are the cloacae ventrally opposed. Multiple-turns tail-wrapping & twitchy chin nuzzling is "courtship" stuff. Full-body twisting, pushing, interludes of zooming around etc is male combat.

My observations anyway. A fairly small sample of wild animals, much bigger with captives (just vipers). Curious what others have seen, and how they interpret it. Once you've seen the real thing, there's no more confusion as to what that is. The other stuff I can understand some confusion. Watching captive snakes helps a lot - you get to see all the stages, and (presumably...) you know who's a he and who's a she.

cheers

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Gary N
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Re: Are these king snakes fighting or courting?

Post by Gary N » May 11th, 2016, 3:22 pm

Thanks for all the replies and for confirming that it is combat.

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Re: Are these king snakes fighting or courting?

Post by Porter » May 11th, 2016, 3:26 pm

Cool :thumb: So, I can think of at least a dozen times where I walked up on two snakes laying/basking together and then took off quickly as I approached. Is it safe to say that they'll stay put and ignore you if they're hooked up?

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Re: Are these king snakes fighting or courting?

Post by canderson » May 11th, 2016, 5:11 pm

Hey Porter,

I don't think it's a sure bet they stay still when they are locked up. Ive never seen it first hand but have heard of cases where one or the other is dragging the other snake along in order to escape a threat.

Have a nice evening!
Chris

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Re: Are these king snakes fighting or courting?

Post by Kfen » May 14th, 2016, 5:59 am

Here is copulation out in the open as found with visible hemipenes as requested:

Image

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Ross Padilla
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Re: Are these king snakes fighting or courting?

Post by Ross Padilla » May 16th, 2016, 5:08 am

Both videos show combat. I don't see a male mistaking another male from a female. When a male bites a female, he holds down and doesn't let go, in an attempt to subdue her, and his movements are completely different than what you see here. Years ago I kept 2 males and a female caged together and witnessed one of the males biting down on the other male like that and then letting go like that. Females don't bite males.

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Re: Are these king snakes fighting or courting?

Post by Ross Padilla » May 16th, 2016, 5:09 am

Sorry, didn't read all the replies till now. :lol:

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Gary N
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Re: Are these king snakes fighting or courting?

Post by Gary N » May 16th, 2016, 6:27 pm

Ross Padilla wrote:Sorry, didn't read all the replies till now. :lol:
No problem, Ross. Thanks for your input.

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Re: Are these king snakes fighting or courting?

Post by Porter » May 17th, 2016, 10:00 am

Kfen wrote:Here is copulation out in the open as found with visible hemipenes as requested:

Image
:lol: :lol: :lol: :beer:

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