CB rosy bites vs WC rosy

Captive care and husbandry discussions.

Moderator: Scott Waters

Post Reply
User avatar
Joseph S.
Posts: 540
Joined: June 11th, 2010, 4:21 pm

CB rosy bites vs WC rosy

Post by Joseph S. » March 26th, 2015, 3:11 pm

Anyone have any explanations for this strange phenomena.

Apparently WC rosys do not bite in defense-and they rarely mistake humans for food even after long years in captivity.

I find a strange number of reports of CB rosys being nippy, which I attribute to them confusing human hands for something they might eat.

Has anyone consistently reared CB rosy's without the bitey behavior?

Would changing feeding methods help?(maybe putting mice into a container in the enclosure that forces the rosy to search for it rather than tong feeding them).

Apparently kings are pretty infamous for this random "lemme see what this tastes like" behavior.

Thoughts?

~Joseph

I just received 2 LTC Verbena rosys and a CB baby they produced.

hellihooks
Posts: 8025
Joined: June 8th, 2010, 7:12 am
Location: Hesperia, California.
Contact:

Re: CB rosy bites vs WC rosy

Post by hellihooks » March 26th, 2015, 4:16 pm

cb rosys typically have very robust feeding responses... once in hand though... should not gnaw/bite... :thumb:

User avatar
Kent VanSooy
Posts: 1100
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 6:51 am
Location: Oceanside

Re: CB rosy bites vs WC rosy

Post by Kent VanSooy » March 27th, 2015, 11:32 am

I've heard that some folks move their CB rosys to a different enclosure prior to feeding them, to break the association that the hand coming into their primary enclosure might mean food. That said, it's not something that I do, and some of my CB rosys are terrible in that regard. To handle them, I used something to block them from striking, and more or less "tail" them (maybe about 3/4 of the way down the body). What's been interesting to me is the difference in this behavior between locales - my coastal SD county neos will do their best to chew my fingers off, but the high desert and AZ boas are much better. If you're holding a captive coastal rosy, and it starts nosing around the soft part of your hand, watch out!

User avatar
jamezevanz
Posts: 114
Joined: January 7th, 2013, 10:31 pm
Location: Alaska
Contact:

Re: CB rosy bites vs WC rosy

Post by jamezevanz » March 28th, 2015, 11:41 pm

Never seen or heard of a wild rosy trying to bite. My WC Rosy has been fed in her enclosure for the four years I've had her and has never tried to bite. About the only precaution I take (if you can call it that) is I always feed from tongs. I also handle her regularly between feedings. She has fed on f/t like a champ since I caught her exempt late in fall when it's time to brumate. However, I have noticed that she is pickier about the quality of feeders than other snakes-- if they've been in the freezer too long she'll turn her nose up at them. In those cases they go to my "garbage disposal" glades rat snake who, I'm pretty sure, would eat a two week old piece of flattened roadkill if I offered it. And I get to make a special trip to the store for fresher mice...

Anyway, I've heard the same about captive bred Rosie's sometimes becoming ferocious biters and I'm fascinated by the phenomenon. I hope some of the more hardcore rosy folks can share some info about it, I'm curious what kind of percentages of captive biters we're taking about. How prevalent is feeding agression in captive bred rosies and does it become more pronounced or prevalent with successive generations? Rosies are a snake I'd consider breeding someday but I worry I might end up with litters of "little shop of horrors" rosies instead of the chill, inquisitive snakes I have grown so fond of.

User avatar
Joseph S.
Posts: 540
Joined: June 11th, 2010, 4:21 pm

Re: CB rosy bites vs WC rosy

Post by Joseph S. » March 29th, 2015, 9:19 am

It seems fairly common...search the webs for anecdotes. Interesting on locale differences.

I have 1 cb verbena rosy who is quite bitey. Even after a while out of the cage. I think the whitewater area would be an intergrade region.

I would love input from breeders as well. They seem fairly popular in the trade


A lot of people seem to confuse this feeding for defensive behavior.

hellihooks
Posts: 8025
Joined: June 8th, 2010, 7:12 am
Location: Hesperia, California.
Contact:

Re: CB rosy bites vs WC rosy

Post by hellihooks » March 29th, 2015, 9:38 am

the only wc I've seen, that would smell, nose, then gnaw on any skin he could... was also from Verbenia. I think he was dain bramaged... lol

User avatar
Joseph S.
Posts: 540
Joined: June 11th, 2010, 4:21 pm

Re: CB rosy bites vs WC rosy

Post by Joseph S. » March 29th, 2015, 11:14 am

Bahaha.

Fewer people keep rubber boas but I can find no cases of cb rubber bites. Two very different snakes tho!

VICtort
Posts: 688
Joined: July 2nd, 2010, 5:48 pm
Location: AZ.

Re: CB rosy bites vs WC rosy

Post by VICtort » March 29th, 2015, 1:27 pm

Oh contraire...I may be one of the few in history to be "attacked" by a feeding response Charina bottae bite. It was a 1:100000000 snake, in the zoo lab at West Valley Jr. college. It would eat anything, including liver strips! The Zoo instructor was not real skilled at herp care, and yet this snake somehow thrived. I had mouse scent on my hands, and it grabbed my finger and started to swallow...

Some captive snakes seem to have bizarre feeding behaviors, some of which may be artifacts of captive life. I have seen Rosys' and Kings' that would show interest and often bite almost anything that moves...certainly some of that behavior would get them killed/trouble in the wild...? I think some of these domestic snakes would not likely survive in their origin habitats.

Vic

User avatar
regalringneck
Posts: 563
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 5:20 am

Re: CB rosy bites vs WC rosy

Post by regalringneck » March 29th, 2015, 4:37 pm

... yes its a phenomena many of us have experienced the hard way ( & yes adult rosys effing hurt!) but the same feeding bite from a burmese or retic .. i hear .. makes ya wanna die! In rosys ; it seems to be specific to pops; mexican & baja s. no, everywhere else; yes. Yet these same biters will somehow recognize & refuse f/t grnd squirrels the several times I offered them … ? I always cringe when i think how many claim rosys make such great starter snakes ... rubbers yes ?

User avatar
Kelly Mc
Posts: 4319
Joined: October 18th, 2011, 12:03 pm

Re: CB rosy bites vs WC rosy

Post by Kelly Mc » March 29th, 2015, 9:47 pm

I'm not well versed in localities, but have been bitten by captives and its a sonofabitch. Enough to remember and to Regals comment about Starter Snakes, when people have told me that they chose a rosey as a first snake because of how sweet they heard they are I always think ya but when they do bite its a sonofabitch.

Really interested about the proclivities between them on this thread.

I have never thought of boids as dumber than other families just because they've been on Earth longer.

User avatar
Joseph S.
Posts: 540
Joined: June 11th, 2010, 4:21 pm

Re: CB rosy bites vs WC rosy

Post by Joseph S. » March 29th, 2015, 10:03 pm

I think baja and triv trivs are better represented in the hobby...more chances for incidents but coastals still get a rep?

I came across a few amecdotes on mex rosies biting...as well as wc adopting bitey behavior.

User avatar
Berkeley Boone
Posts: 878
Joined: June 8th, 2010, 3:02 am

Re: CB rosy bites vs WC rosy

Post by Berkeley Boone » March 30th, 2015, 5:51 am

I will vouch for the Mexicans biting. I had a pair when I was in high school, that I got from a buddy of mine. Both were CB adults and he warned me they may 'nibble'. HA! Both of those snakes gave my mom the only bites she has ever received! (I still feel bad about that- I try to remember that every Mother's Day!!)
Those two, and a couple of other generic coastals that I tried for a while, all bit regularly.

--Berkeley

User avatar
Joseph S.
Posts: 540
Joined: June 11th, 2010, 4:21 pm

Re: CB rosy bites vs WC rosy

Post by Joseph S. » March 30th, 2015, 9:35 pm

Haha! Poor mom

Any thoughts as to the least bitey snakes youve worked with?

User avatar
Kelly Mc
Posts: 4319
Joined: October 18th, 2011, 12:03 pm

Re: CB rosy bites vs WC rosy

Post by Kelly Mc » March 31st, 2015, 1:36 am

All snake species have bite potential. Unless they are little cool earth & damp grass guys that shouldn't be subjected to the distress of our hands handling them. Little snake bodies absorb our heat readily and it sucks for them.

The best way is to get bit and just relax.

If you are worried about others in ed presentations getting bit its kind of the same, if it is a dominating concern it can transmit itself in the interaction.

Oddly the less one worries about an animal biting, the less it happens.

Its the same relaxed blankness that wisks a cat into a carrier, or gets a suspicious parrot to step up.

User avatar
Kent VanSooy
Posts: 1100
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 6:51 am
Location: Oceanside

Re: CB rosy bites vs WC rosy

Post by Kent VanSooy » March 31st, 2015, 7:19 am

Any thoughts as to the least bitey snakes youve worked with?
My longnose snakes are incredibly mellow - and I don't remember ever seeing a wild one attempt to bite. When a snake novice comes into my room and wants to hold something, the longnose are the first thing I reach for.

hellihooks
Posts: 8025
Joined: June 8th, 2010, 7:12 am
Location: Hesperia, California.
Contact:

Re: CB rosy bites vs WC rosy

Post by hellihooks » March 31st, 2015, 7:27 am

WAYYY back in the day (70's) when I was herping with Bob Howard (palm springs) he had a sizable selection of rosys... and had a standing offer of $1,000 to anyone who got bit by a rosy, in his house. I tried EVERYTHING i could think of (including fresh mouse blood on fingers) to get one of his wc rosys to bite me... never happened. :roll: :lol: :lol: :lol:

User avatar
Kelly Mc
Posts: 4319
Joined: October 18th, 2011, 12:03 pm

Re: CB rosy bites vs WC rosy

Post by Kelly Mc » March 31st, 2015, 7:55 am

There was a little girl who was getting her first snake. She had a Hello Kitty notebook and was writing notes on everything, and it was her second visit, all set up at home - temps keyed, hidey spots placed, and a Do Not Tap On Glass sign (like whats posted in the reptile room) taped to the front of the tank.

We talked about everything and it was the big day.,

I showed her some baby corns and a little okeetee executed a quick bite on one of her fingers.

After an equally quick knit of her eyebrows she shook it off and said :

"I want him. He's vigris!

:D

craigb
Posts: 625
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 5:02 am
Location: Southern Cal.

.

Post by craigb » March 31st, 2015, 10:32 am

.

User avatar
AndyO'Connor
Posts: 1019
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 6:14 pm
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: CB rosy bites vs WC rosy

Post by AndyO'Connor » March 31st, 2015, 11:15 am

I've been bitten by some of the so-called "nice" species in the wild, glossy snakes that were handled by 2 or 3 people and passed to me to admire suddenly become Masticophis wanna-bes, I've been bitten by a longnose. No rubber boa bites. I have seen snappy CB rosy boas in people's collections, and have heard what many of you are describing here. I had a regal ringneck with a snappy feeding response when I put anything in its tank, but I avoided letting it latch on and try, it was 24 inches, and I think it could have broken the skin.

User avatar
Bryan Hamilton
Posts: 1217
Joined: June 10th, 2010, 8:49 pm

Re: CB rosy bites vs WC rosy

Post by Bryan Hamilton » April 5th, 2015, 2:06 pm

I have a captive bred rosy and she consistently bites and gnaws. Once I let her chew on my shirt for a awhile to see how long she would go. I'm convinced that she would have swallowed my shirt if I gave her the chance.

Lately I've been spraying her with water when she bites. Any thoughts on adverse conditioning in snakes?

So are these boas and pythons that have a strong feeding response, really smart or really dumb? My colubrids and rattlesnakes will show a feeding response initially, then when they realize there isn't food, they completely drop it. I find it interesting how different the "primitive" snakes respond to food.

User avatar
Kelly Mc
Posts: 4319
Joined: October 18th, 2011, 12:03 pm

Re: CB rosy bites vs WC rosy

Post by Kelly Mc » April 5th, 2015, 2:19 pm

I think there is alot we don't know about snake perception and that we default easily to our current understandings.

Does primitive equate dumb? And what is dumb if we don't compare it to our own definitions.

Are feeding responses soley responsible for the behavior? Or is it interfaced with other responses or just looks like a feeding response because of the engulfing mechanics that commence after seizing, as part of a hardwired neural sequence that doesn't necessarily mean dumb, but reflexive.

Perhaps rosys when they bite and gnaw do so because they really have quite the good muscular ergonomic to make it highly effective, as exampled by how memorable it is.

User avatar
Bryan Hamilton
Posts: 1217
Joined: June 10th, 2010, 8:49 pm

Re: CB rosy bites vs WC rosy

Post by Bryan Hamilton » April 5th, 2015, 2:54 pm

I don't necessarily equate primitive with dumb. But it seems dumb to try to feed on something that doesn't look, taste or smell like food. Maybe reflexive is a better term, but the other snakes start their feeding sequence (ie tongue flicking, active searching, and striking), then realize that there is no food and give up. They have the reflexive response, then turn it off.

Trying to swallow a cotton shirt is strange to me and seems mal-adaptive.

User avatar
Kelly Mc
Posts: 4319
Joined: October 18th, 2011, 12:03 pm

Re: CB rosy bites vs WC rosy

Post by Kelly Mc » April 5th, 2015, 3:05 pm

I agree, maybe it is more novel to be in proxy to such a large mammal however benign than maybe we might realize, and that some misfiring occurs?

Here on this forum some Rosy guys were describing finding specimens with huge boluses of recent prey. I wonder if these could be the result of nest raiding for babies, getting accosted by the parent, and biting/ constricting the parent and eating it as well?

I also don't think it would be cruel to find out what happens with the squirting water/conditioning potential. But if it doesn't show in good time it may mean she really cant help herself.

User avatar
Bryan Hamilton
Posts: 1217
Joined: June 10th, 2010, 8:49 pm

Re: CB rosy bites vs WC rosy

Post by Bryan Hamilton » April 5th, 2015, 3:23 pm

Thanks for the conversation, Kelly. I always enjoy visiting with you on-line.

I'm going to try the water. Works pretty well for cats. Its actually impressive how strong and persistent this snake's feeding response is. I wonder if it is something that might pay off in the wild, especially dealing with a large, aggressive mother rodent.

Its too bad about CB rosy's, my sister wanted a kids snake for her son, researched rosies as great snakes and bought one. Then its attacks every time. lol. Kind of didn't work out.

Any idea why folks don't captive breed rubber boas? Maybe because they aren't colorful?

User avatar
Joseph S.
Posts: 540
Joined: June 11th, 2010, 4:21 pm

Re: CB rosy bites vs WC rosy

Post by Joseph S. » April 5th, 2015, 4:04 pm

At least in ca their is no legal method of commercial propagation for rubber boas.

I dont think mindless behavior is limited to just boas...common kingsnakes seem pretty famous for this sort of thing.

I know alcohol works well to remove snakes. Dunno if snakes like yours could be reliably responsive to punishment....I bet they would revert over time.


I think it is surprising snakes are usually good about knowing we are not food...we are warm and fuzzy and smelly too!

User avatar
Bryan Hamilton
Posts: 1217
Joined: June 10th, 2010, 8:49 pm

Re: CB rosy bites vs WC rosy

Post by Bryan Hamilton » April 5th, 2015, 5:54 pm

Joseph S. wrote:I think it is surprising snakes are usually good about knowing we are not food...we are warm and fuzzy and smelly too!
I kind of feel the opposite. We are warm and fuzzy and smelly but...

snakes are gape limited predators and make extremely precise choices about their prey in wild. Since a snake can't feed on anything it can't swallow, its both a waste of energy to attack a large animal and its downright dangerous. Granted captivity is different but its still surprises me that a snake, one generation removed from the wild, would risk attacking something is can't swallow. That's the whole basis for discrediting people's "I was chased/attacked by a snake" stories.

I didn't know kingsnakes showed similar behavior. I guess its not limited to the more basal snakes.

Jimi
Posts: 1875
Joined: December 3rd, 2010, 12:06 pm

Re: CB rosy bites vs WC rosy

Post by Jimi » April 7th, 2015, 9:26 am

Any thoughts on adverse conditioning in snakes?
I think if it eats, it can be conditioned. Carrot and stick. (It amuses me about the cats - they sure resent the stick!) Snakes aren't especially bright, but they learn pretty well about food. It may take some patience...and a lot of biting. There might be something better than water. A heftier stick. Slightly diluted whiskey, say. "One for you, one for me." Ha ha.

As for why nobody breeds rubber boas, I think (besides "they're not RED!") it's because they're actually pretty challenging captives as WCs and there's no source of CBB young. If you made them your "special project" you could definitely succeed at it. But they're not a casual pet. In my experience with them, and the degree they were able to hold my interest, you'd probably need to go through quite a few wildcaughts to find the individuals that would acclimate well and constitute a breeding colony.

Incidentally - brown treesnakes are funny about food too - Bryan you might peruse the literature on them. No joke - they actually come into houses and constrict & envenomate human babies. And try to eat them. Very strange.

cheers,
Jimi

User avatar
Joseph S.
Posts: 540
Joined: June 11th, 2010, 4:21 pm

Re: CB rosy bites vs WC rosy

Post by Joseph S. » April 24th, 2015, 11:23 am

Their exists a very strange scientific publication on Brown treesnake response to human blood.


I have but one rubber boa I collected. Maybe I got lucky but I've found her so far to be a very ready feeder...a trash can even...will put away several mice in a feeding if I let her. She is a small female(not really sure how big they actually get) and seems very easy to please. I keep her on the floor in my room(ranges anywhere from 55-80) and put a corner of her cage near the communal heating pad after she has had a meal...leaving the cage there if I see her using the heat. I refill the waterbowl in a way that it dumps water into other parts of the cage and makes the aspen slightly damp for a little while...I would be very interested in assembling a colony of these neat snakes.

User avatar
Kelly Mc
Posts: 4319
Joined: October 18th, 2011, 12:03 pm

Re: CB rosy bites vs WC rosy

Post by Kelly Mc » April 24th, 2015, 8:43 pm

Joseph, I know by which gruesome reference you are speaking of, my friend. And gosh it was a strange read.

The few times I have been in custody, so to speak of rubber boas I managd them similarly, with a small band of optional heat. I call it marginal heating.

There is something very meta about rubber boas, as if they have an almost magnetic understanding of the Earth.

They make me proud to be in California, to host such a soft little dinosaur of a serpent.

User avatar
Joseph S.
Posts: 540
Joined: June 11th, 2010, 4:21 pm

Re: CB rosy bites vs WC rosy

Post by Joseph S. » May 15th, 2015, 9:26 am

Those of you who have raised munchy cb boas...did you feed live or frozen?

I wonder if in the wild a more diverse set of stimuli coupled with live prey teaches the snakes. Compared to a captive environment where they are raised in sensorily boring environments

craigb
Posts: 625
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 5:02 am
Location: Southern Cal.

.

Post by craigb » May 15th, 2015, 9:54 am

.

User avatar
Bryan Hamilton
Posts: 1217
Joined: June 10th, 2010, 8:49 pm

Re: CB rosy bites vs WC rosy

Post by Bryan Hamilton » May 16th, 2015, 10:24 am

Mine is the same way, its so aggressive, I laugh at it. Its gotten to the point that as soon as I open the cage its mouth is open. I'll get a picture next time.

I feed frozen/thawed.

Conditioning with water is not working. It almost makes her chomp down harder.

User avatar
Kelly Mc
Posts: 4319
Joined: October 18th, 2011, 12:03 pm

Re: CB rosy bites vs WC rosy

Post by Kelly Mc » May 16th, 2015, 11:46 am

That is an important notation.

User avatar
Joseph S.
Posts: 540
Joined: June 11th, 2010, 4:21 pm

Re: CB rosy bites vs WC rosy

Post by Joseph S. » September 3rd, 2015, 10:47 am

I wonder if it is due to lack of different olfactory and other stimuli in captivity.

Think about it. A captive rosy boas olfactory environment is incredibly simple.

aspen-mice-human

the mouse and human smells mean potential food(since invariably mice will have some of our scent on them I bet)



compared to a wild snake who has to decipher smells of many different animals.

User avatar
Kelly Mc
Posts: 4319
Joined: October 18th, 2011, 12:03 pm

Re: CB rosy bites vs WC rosy

Post by Kelly Mc » September 3rd, 2015, 1:20 pm

Joseph S. wrote:I wonder if it is due to lack of different olfactory and other stimuli in captivity.

Think about it. A captive rosy boas olfactory environment is incredibly simple.

aspen-mice-human

the mouse and human smells mean potential food(since invariably mice will have some of our scent on them I bet)



compared to a wild snake who has to decipher smells of many different animals.

That is a compelling thought. Sort of like a hyperbole of response to a stimulus. Snakes can react in an almost mechanical style to sensate information, especially feeding cues.

User avatar
Joseph S.
Posts: 540
Joined: June 11th, 2010, 4:21 pm

Re: CB rosy bites vs WC rosy

Post by Joseph S. » September 6th, 2015, 11:32 am

So I managed to get a WC rosy to bite me. It was a quick snap and go(so he figured out his mistake almost right away). I had my fingers in the cage after feeding and the male(who had just eaten two mice) went for a finger.

Wheres my $1000?

User avatar
justinm
Posts: 3430
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 4:26 am
Location: Illinois
Contact:

Re: CB rosy bites vs WC rosy

Post by justinm » September 9th, 2015, 9:50 am

I have two CB Mexican Rosy Boas, both male for what its worth. One bites like crazy no matter what. The other is a favorite to hold, for my children.

Post Reply