at Fri May 6 14:27:30 2011 [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by markg ]
This is a lesson that many online care sheets are very general - too general.
It is true that most snakes seek out a similar range of temps at certain times. However, there are differences in how they do it and how long they need these temps for certain tasks. There are also differences in ability to retain mositure and how that is achieved.
True that their care is reasonably similar on certain levels. The difference is that rubber boas are all about higher elevation living and being able to digest at much cooler temps than rosyboas and sandboas. And while rubber boas will bask at similar temperatures that rosies and sandboas do for short periods of time, they also retreat to cooler temps more often than the others, I mean where they come from they probably have little choice. In my experience with rubber boas, they can reach their preferred body temps very quickly with very little heated area, and they don't sit their all day unless pregnant or for certain other specific reasons.
Rubber boas seems to have thinner skin and they surely dehydrate easier. More care must be taken to prevent them from dehydrating compared to sandboas and rosies. Seems that rosies and sandboas rarely need to drink or have access to moisture beyond what their food supplies them. Caresheets should mention these things, but most just say "Aspen and a plastic box. Feed once a week. The end."
Feeding is generally not an issue. Rubber boas in the wild can have short seasons, and they seem to do this in captivity. Feed them while they are willing to eat and provide cool temps when they are not eating. Where I live it is providing cool temps that is difficult, and that is reason #1 that I do not have a rubber boa. Sandboas can go on fasts too. Many snakes do to some degree and for various reasons. It is not a bad thing if they are fed well when they are eating. I had a sandboa fast a good 6 months and he looked no less chubby then as when he first stopped eating. He was not in any danger obviously.
Not all sandboas or rosies are bitey. Plenty of sandboas avail online. The ones that are not bitey probably won't become bitey (reasonably true, not 100% guaranteed). I think a seller would be willing to sell you the one that has never bitten. Most rosies are fine too in that regard. The ones I have had that were biters were biters from very early on. The ones that did not bite by age 1.5 yrs didn't bite later. I had some females that would not hesitate to eat my hand, and they were fat and well fed. But they did that very early in their lives, so I knew what I was dealing with.
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