- SIMPLIFIED CARESHEET AND INFO FOR SOME OF THE REPTILES IN OUR COLLECTION -
Climate and Habitat
The Chondro or The Green Tree Python (lat. Morelia Viridis) is truly one of nature’s beauties. Colors like a venomous snake, pupils like a cat and most often a nice and cool temperament. Has its origin in New Guinea (and in the northern parts of Australia. The habitat in New Guinea is hot, humid and still has some untouched rainforests. The island has an enormous amounts of rainfall (up to 125 inches a year), but of course there are zones in which there are more and less. The year is divided into a wet and a dry season (like any other tropical climate). During the wet season the relative humidity is approximately 80-90 % in some locations, with a temperature of 26-28 degrees Celsius. During the dry season the temperature is slightly higher and is approximately between 28-32 degrees Celsius, but the relative humidity is lower. The wet season is calculated to be between early November and has its end in the mid of April, dry season between May and October. It is during the first couple of days of wet season that mating is stimulated. The lowering of temperatures that occurs prior to the wet season acts as a hormonal stimulant. As Greg Maxwell writes in his book (The Complete Chondro), it is not unusual that mating in captivity occur during extremely strong low pressure weather. This means –as mentioned above- is that mating in the wild is triggered by low pressure climate that occur when the wet season starts. The low pressure is accompanied with thunderstorms and heavy rain. Why the weather hits New Guinea like this every year, is because the island has its location between Australia and the Asian landmass; falls in the hands of the Monsoon.
Nightly Activity in True and Artificial Habitat
This arboreal snake that thrives in medium dense vegetation, hunts by nightfall and during the rest of the night. Movement during the day occure, but most of the time the Chondro use a well-planned spot to rest during the day. Inspecting the snake in a terrarium makes one think that these beauties most often uses same spot, but records are showing that they actually descent during dusk and wander of in the vegetation. This means that they can move around in a relative big area, but in controlled forms. For example if there is good feeding ground in one area, the snake will stay active in this area and move ones this area is used. Other factors like hormonal and air pressure also stimulates movement. For example males which have become sexual active (can occur as early as 18 months, females <>36) uses most of the night to search for females. It is remarkable how big the search grid for this can be.
The night is hunting time as mentioned above. In a controlled form a keeper can feed a Chondro with appropriate sized food (let them get used to eat preheated dead prey, instead of live prey. This is not normal, but you have control and this also eliminates the risks of injuries caused by a frightened mouse or rat) one evening and find the very same hunting behavior the following evening. This makes one think that these snakes A; needs more nutrition! B; has an eating disorder!, but as Mr. Maxwell says regarding many behaviors; ...this is just a Chondro, being a Chondro. The same behavior can be found among many other species. The best is, if one can feed youngling once a week and sub adults to adults every ten days or so. Females cycled to breed can be fattened up, so to speak. Do not mistake this for obesity, but good fat reserves need to be established, one should keep in mind that the female will go of feed later in the pregnancy. If one decides to let the female brood her eggs, it is crucial with these reserves. During the cycling period one should have in mind, that a smaller size in pray, can be better for the digesting system. This is due to that the lower temperature during the night makes bowel movement and digesting harder. An easy way of making sure you always have good size on the food, have your own setup of mice and rats.
Many Chondros as owners like to see them, is a big and alert snake that strikes on any pray presented to it. This equation has some elements in it, which sometimes doesn’t end up positive. Youngling often takes the food presented to it. Sub adult males that are in what I would like to call puberty, can one day be eating furiously and suddenly refuse. One should then keep in mind; you can not compete with hormones! Often is this behavior combined with severe scouting during the night. He wants to find a female! One of my males refused food for almost 6 months due to this. Older snakes, both male and females often eat when food is given. If not, they could have started a shedding cycle (often can this be seen as dull colors, milky eyes or even blown up head both on the top and on the nose).
Bloated head is due to that water assembles in small pockets under the skin. Stress and sickness can also be a factor. But often there are other things involved. Other Chondros could be interested in the pray and smell and taste it with the tongue, but do not strike. This is sometime the facts of life. Try next week, often is this temporary. Other Chondros has a stunning S-pose (strike pose with the body) for several hours and strikes as soon as one passes the terrarium. This is often due to shadows building from the human body and the fact is that they need minimal amounts of lights to detect shadows.
The Emerald Treeboa (Corallus Caninus) was first disovered/described to the European community in 1758 by Carl Linnaeus. Carl Linneus also known as Carl von Linné (Swedish botanist, zoologist and psycian; 1707 - 1778). If interested in the description of the emerald treeboa and more, you can read; The Herpetological Legacy of Linneaus (click link). Linné named the snake Corallus because of the corallike pattern and color the neonates have. Linné also thought the head had a doglike appearance; therefor he named it Caninus from the word Canine.
Corallus Caninus and Corallus Batesii
There are two types of the emerald treeboas, the Corallus Caninus, found in northern Surinam and Guyana (northern emerald treeboa), and the corallus caninus (or corallus batesii) also known as the Amazon Basin Emerald Treeboa. The Batesii can be found along the Amazon river basin; from southern Surinam, southern Guyana, southern Venezuela to Colombia, Peru and Brazil. Amazon basin treeboas have a yellow underside and a darker green than the northern cousin. There are also reports, dictates that he Amazon Basin-type is more calmer (reptilemagazine). There is also a difference in size, the northern boa is smaller. Close herp-friends have watched the Amazon Basin in its wild habitat, hanging on small, thin branches over the Amazonriver. They are quite hard to spot, since there dark green coloration, makes a perfect camouflage. Although once they are found and you know what to look for, they are easily spotted.
Care for the both types of Emerald Tree Boas
Adult emerald tree boas typically feed once every three weeks, shed every six months and defecate every two months or so. They need a stable environment in terms of humidity, temperature and ventilation.
Humidity needs to be non-condensing (in other words, there should be no water dripping down the sides of the enclosure) and in the 65- to 75-percent range. It helps if you can maintain some level of humidity in your snake room, which lessens the burden of creating and maintaining humidity inside the actual enclosure(s). We believe it is important to mist the substrate and not the snakes directly, as the evaporative cooling of a wet animal can cause its core body temperature to drop, with potential for respiratory issues (keep this in mind especially if you plan to use automatic misters in the enclosure).
Both forms of emerald tree boa do well with a daytime ambient high temperature of 84 degrees Fahrenheit (28,9 degrees Celsius), with a nighttime low of 78 degrees (25,6 degrees Celsius). It is critical to provide captive snakes with a temperature gradient, and positioning a heat panel at one end of the cage to heat the entire cage is an ideal mechanism for doing so. Place a thermostat sensor in the cooler side and keep it set to ensure the day and nighttime ambient temperatures mentioned previously. This will also ensure that the basking site at the hotter end of the enclosure will be in the 88- to 93-degrees range (31,1 - 33,9).
Ventilation needs to be finely balanced to maintain airflow without having fans blowing on your emerald tree boa and without drying out the cage.
Hydration: The Key to Success
In the wild, emerald tree boas are frequently rained on and are accustomed to drinking fresh water. Therefore, keeping captive snakes adequately hydrated is essential for their overall health and well-being. A lack of hydration leads to retained stools with large urates, incomplete sheds and potentially stuck embryos during parturition. One trick is to place water bowls for juveniles and adults higher in the enclosure, next to perches, and change the water frequently, at least once -or twice per week, to stimulate drinking. Emeralds seem able to sense fresh water, and one can often see them drinking immediately after clean water is presented. Emerald tree boas have a tendency to retain their stools for long periods of time, which can result in pressure on the cloaca. Some believe that in the wild, emeralds defecate while it’s raining so that their scent is washed away, avoiding detection by predators. Hydration is therefore essential for there well being.
Feeding Emerald Tree Boas
Emeralds are opportunistic ambush feeders and will remain frozen in their classic hanging ‘S’ position night after night while waiting for a small mammal or bird to scurry or fly by. Our job as keepers of these magnificent creatures is to resist the temptation to overfeed them. Emerald tree boas are naturally slender because of their arboreal lifestyle, and because they hunt virtually every night except when in shed or gravid, it is very easy to want to overfeed them. One could feed adult females one medium (150 to 175 grams), frozen/thawed (F/T) rat every three weeks, and adult males one small (75g to 125g) F/T rat every month or so. One would like to keep the males lean, as lean males tend to be more aggressive breeders. Juveniles are fed every two to three weeks and neonates every 8 - 10 days or so. The usual pattern is two to three meals, followed by defecation.
Specializes in breeding different types of localities and mixes of Morelia Viridis and also captivebreed Corallus Caninus, Corallus Hortulanus, Morelia Spilota Spilota and Cites A snakes like Sanzinia Madagascariensis.
Phone: + 46 (0) 735 - 33 05 74
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