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RE: Some thoughts on hatchling behavior...

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Posted by: Damon Salceies at Fri Sep 16 13:54:52 2011  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by Damon Salceies ]  
   

While gray-banded kingsnakes have a reputation amongst those that work with them in captivity as being "finicky" I feel that the reputation has been earned through our ineptitude and not their predisposition toward earning it. Hatchling alterna are notoriously picky when offered fare that is not preferred, but offer them a small Sceloporine lizard and you'd be hard pressed to find one that won't eat after the first or the first few offerings. Alterna are not by nature rodent feeders... not until they grow large enough to take advantage of them (even then I don't feel that rodents compose a significant part of their wild diet). As hatchlings they are lizard feeders. For me, initial feeding successes with mice of any sort often fall in the ~10% range. When utilizing young Uta for the first feeding attempts that rate jumps upwards of 90%. Most that so eagerly take live Uta on their first attempt will transition to mice only 4 or 5 feedings later.

Just a side note... of the alterna I've collected from the wild only two had rodent hair in their feces. The vast majority had lizard scales of some sort. I've seen either regurgitated lizards or parts in the feces that were indicative of Cophosaurus texanus, Sceloporus merriami, Sceloporus poinsettii, Coleonyx brevis, and some unidentified Aspidoscelis.


   

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