Friday, October 19, 2007
The latest acquisition in my collection of herps (reptiles and amphibians) is a Woma Python. It is a striking beautiful snake, and its kind comes from Australia. The one I have, and that is pictured here, is an average looking specimen. There are some that look much more striking in that their heads are more yellow, and their bands more contrasting with reddish color in the darker bands. This one even though being an average looking specimen is still spectacular to behold. You may not realize it from the picture, but this guy (I think it is a male) is about 4.5 to 5 feet long. Its body at the widest point is thicker than my wrist. It is a powerful beast, that in its wild habitat eats small to medium rodent sized mammals, birds, lizards, and other snakes. It kills its prey by constriction, and those coils are strong, my hand was feeling the squeeze as I took some pictures. If you don't believe that then carefully look at the color difference between my forearm and my hand, the hand is a bit on the red side. This one will probably not get much bigger as it has hit the average size for the species, but some have been known to grow to longer than 7 feet, and I have heard they can reach about 8 feet (I sure hope not).
I still have to check it to determine if it male or female by probing it (you probably don't want to know). If it is a male, I'll either keep it for a while and sell it, or pick up a female and try to breed them. That is if I can find a female at a reasonable price, and assuming mine is a male. Heck if it is a female, I may just get stud service for it, usually at the cost of the pick of the litter. This one cost me $300. That was a deal. They usually go for between about $500 and $800 each. Prices are coming down though since some people are breeding them regularly. Still though, the investment in a female would be a good one if the male and female wind up being fertile. Babies easily go for $400 to $500 apiece now, and will still be in the hundreds for at least the next few years. I would not be quite that money hungry, and would sell them at a lower price, but not too low (mama may not have raised the brightest kid at school, but mama did not raise a fool).
I know for sure that my new Woma Python has been eating. The lady from whom I bought it said it was eating frozen/thawed rats. (Yes we buy em frozen because they are cheaper in bulk and snakes will eat dead prey as long as it is thawed fully. Always fun when my wife asks what is in the bag in the back of the freezer.) I know mine was eating well because once I got it home and set it up in a tank, one of the first things it did was to answer nature's call. A nice big healthy answer at that. Nuff said, it seems healthy.
Hopefully when I try to feed it, it will eat. I like to let new snakes in my collection settle in before trying to feed them. This particular snake is a bit on the nervous side when in its tank and someone walks by. It has not tried to biter me or even strike at me when I have opened its tank, that is very good because some snakes strike like crazy when something enters their tank. Once you pick it up it is very easy going. I think it will take to the change of homes pretty well, but I still want to give it about 5 to 7 days before I try feeding it. I am hoping it is not sort of addicted to rats and that it will take large mice and other small rodents. I prefer my snakes to eat a variety of prey for health reasons (sort of like a balanced diet, they get different nutrients in different percentages, from varying prey; and in the event I can not get one type of prey item for awhile.
One other thing I have to do now, is figure out how to recoup the $300 I paid for this guy. That chunk of change will take a big bite out of my hunting budget for this year; and it may mean camping out as opposed to staying in a motel for a few nights on this year's hunting trip. Oh well, if I keep it to breed it, it will be worth the expense in the long run.
All the best,