at Tue Jan 30 21:04:09 2007 [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by RichardFHoyer ]
Because your original thread is far below, I am responding with this new entry.
First, when you mention we all know the breeder, I haven't a clue. And as far as research is concerned, I also do not know that individual either. In the past 15 - 20 years or so, there have been very few individuals that have been involved in research of the Rubber Boa and have published their findings. Besides myself and son Ryan, I know of only two grad students that are currently involved with the species. I believe they are primarily involved with biochemical, molecular, and/or nuclear DNA research of the species.
With respect to Charina bottae and water, I will expand some on what my son Ryan and others mentioned. What you attribute to the other individuals in your post of Jan. 22nd is completely at odds with my experience. I have been maintaining the species continuously since 1962 and captive breeding C. bottae since 1969.
Are you certain you didn't misunderstand what these individuals said or may have taken what they mentioned somewhat out of context? Certainly, I can see where specimens confined for an extended periods of time at relatively constant, moderate to high temperatures in a water saturated environment could result in problems. But my experience is that a the lack of water (intake and humidity) and resultant dehydration have been the major concern.
Here in the northwest, in the late winter and early spring when boas first emerge from burmation, they are frequently found beneath cover objects on wet soil. It is my opinion they undergo burmation for upwards of 5 - 6 months in damp, high humidity conditions as well. The evidence for this is that when boas first emerge, they are almost always muddy. There are some published scientific notes that associate the species with water, one indicating they are good swimmers.
I house my Rubber Boa communally in large cages for adults and aquaria for smaller specimens and provide them with choices for hides. One hide is dry without or with a water dish beneath it, another dry hide has a water dish but during the active season has a heat source overhead in the form of a 40 or 60 watt light bulb to facilitate digestion or for gravid females during gestation. A third a hide has slightly moist substrate (coarse Douglas fir sawdust) and/or slightly moist moss. Throughout the year, individual boas will choose the various hides in which to remain for extended periods of time including the one with the moist substrate and/or moist moss.
It is quite common to have one or more boas coiled up in the shallow water dish. And this is where serious problems with water can arise. If they pass a scat in the water then drink, there is a chance of the boa coming down with a serious illness. Thus, I am quite diligent in routinely checking water dishes during the active season when specimens are feeding. And a few days after feeding, I check and remove all scats from the cages or aquaria, particularly where there is any moist substrate.
So you now have two divergent views from which to choose. Good luck.
Richard F. Hoyer
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