at Thu Dec 30 12:02:57 2004 [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by RichardFHoyer ]
If you have a ready supply of slugs all year round, then there isn't any particular need to try worms or salamanders. Here in Oregon, slugs become scarce during the warmer part of the year but I can always dig up small earthworms.
Since your sharptail has been taking food and growing, then your set-up is probably fine. Since the specimen came from the Santa Cruz Mt. area, the weather conditions in that region are such that the species is probably active a good deal of the time during he winter except when temperatured fall below 50 - 55 degrees F. In the only full length publication on Contia, Cook (1960) showed that the species is most commonly found in Feb-March and again in Nov. But his data, taken from information in preserved collections showed that the species has been found in all months of the year. This is further evidence that the species is active all year around during suitable temperature conditions which for these species, can be in the mid 50's and 60's.
I have not tried to maintain juvenile specimens of either species for any prolonged length of time. But from recaptured data, the Common Sharp-tailed Snake can more than double its length in a year or less so they grow very rapidly. I would expect the same scenario to occur with the new species.
As far as disturbing your set-up, that should not pose any problem as the snake will re-establish it trials, etc. One reason for weighing and measuring your specimen is so you can document growth over time. No one has done that sort of thing for the Forest Sharp-tailed Snake.
Richard F. Hoyer
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