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longshot - Aesculapian rat breeders?

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Posted by: Thamnophile at Wed Nov 12 17:29:28 2008  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by Thamnophile ]  
   

Hi,it's been a loong time since I've posted anywhere on kingsnake...

Anyone breed Aesculapian rat snakes (Elaphe longissima or Zamenis longissimus) depending on which taxonomic names you prefer? Any subspecies or morphs...

Unfortunately, the European species seem to be ignored by herpetoculture, except for leopard rats and lacertas. I've been looking for breeders of the Aescl. rats and have had no luck.

Not only do I have an interest in these snakes as an experienced herp keeper/breeder, but also their mythological/religious and healing aspects. (read on if that piques your interest...)

This species is the snake that appears on the medical symbol the cadeuceus and the Staff or Rod of Asklepios, and the symbol of the goddess Hygeia (origin of the word hygiene), and the Greeks built temples that were centers of the healing arts, and they kept these ratsnakes in them for their healing powers.

They are from southern Europe and their spotty distribution further north, as far as southern Germany just might be the result of healing temples that the Romans built after conquering that area (they copied the Greeks). The Romans even brought the snakes north to reside in the temples!

Sorry for the mythology lesson, but I think it's very cool that the myth is represented by an actual animal.

Thanks,

-----
Lisa
Living Earth Environmental Education
@__/ __/ __ / __==< :>--


   

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