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RE: Richard Hoyer-Help! Rubber Boa stopped eating- was eating well!

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Posted by: RichardFHoyer at Fri Oct 8 16:08:12 2004  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by RichardFHoyer ]  

Boas that are badly dehydrated will drink immediately. Those that are somewhat dehydrated will drink once they calm down. So if a boa does not drink soon after being place in shallow water, then chances are it is reasonably hydrated.

The next most important item I mentioned is to remove the artificial heat source as it can cause both dehydration and speed up the use of body reserves.

I have a variety of current projects involving Charina bottae all of which involve adding to our knowing of the species' life history. I first became involved with maintaining the species in 1962 and deciding to pursue research. So while holding down a job from that point until the end of Oct. 1991, essentially all of the information gathered was on the boa population that exists in northwestern Oregon. Upon retirement on 11/1/91, I began branching out and researching other pupations of the species. Most current projects deal with obtaining large enough samples from various localities in order to make comparisons.

My first such effort involved the 1993 - 1997 study of the S. Rubber Boa with Dr. Glenn Stewart of Cal. Poly, Pomona. During that study we confirmed my suspicions that the SRB was a dwarf form of the species. Since then, I have gradually worked my way west and north in S. Calif. confirming that this dwarf form occurs elsewhere in the isolated mt. ranges and mt. peaks of S. Calif. This information has taxonomic implications.

I also expanded my efforts in Oregon to include a couple of unique populations, one in SW Oregon and the other in E. Oregon. Information from those population can then be compared with similar information obtain from our local NW Oregon boas and the populations for which I have sufficient sample size in S. Calif. And thanks to my son in Utah, last year we began to gather information on the population of C. bottae that exists in the Wasatch Mt. range in Utah.

Since 1997, I have been trying to determine the extent of the dwarf form distribution in S. Calif. It is well known that the same species varies greatly in physical size in different geographical regions. However, it seems that little if any real research has been aimed at characterizing such size differences in discrete terms. So gathering the type of information that will allow me to define the differences between the dwarf and large morphs of C. bottae has been a primary goal the past few years.

My normal mode of operating has been to release all specimens where found since recaptures can provide a wealth of information.
Beginning in 2000, I began retaining specimens from selected localities in order to acquire the type of information needed to strengthen the dwarf vs. large morph scenario. Such information deals with growth patterns, the size at which males and females become sexually mature, and data on litters. In that light, I began entrusting specimens to my son so that the two of us could accomplish more than what I could do alone. Unfortunately, the Utah wildlife agency, acting on flawed information supplied to them by one or two informants, in early January confiscated most of the boas being maintained by Ryan We recently were informed that perhaps a large number of those boas have since died.

In the meantime, I have conducted some controlled crosses between the two morphs that have produced some interesting results. All of this information will need to be sorted out by those more savvy in taxonomy and genetics.

Richard F. Hoyer


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<< Previous Message:  RE: Richard Hoyer-Help! Rubber Boa stopped eating- was eating well! - EricWalt, Thu Oct 7 22:17:48 2004