SPotted Harlequins fighting...

SPotted Harlequins fighting...

Postby Jamster » Mon Mar 28, 2011 12:06 pm

Hey guys, this summer has been insane for snake callouts etc. So many puffies and boomslang and rhinkals!!!This past week we got 4 harlequins...
At first there were three living quite happily for a couple of days in their containers awaiting release, we released two of them and kept one back to photograph... The next day we were called to catch another, so we put them in the container together for releasing that afternoon... With no problems for an hour or so, I walked past only to find them latched on to one another! Is this normal? I know they eat blind snakes but do they naturally eat eachother or other snakes?
image575-002.jpg


I was hesitant to pull them apart as i might get bitten and also the worry was that i hurt them...but i took a tooth pick and used it to gently lift the ones jaw off, he then wanted to bite again, eventually i separated them, no harm done, they were both fine and released the next day...
image579-001.jpg

image580-002.jpg
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1.0-reticulated python (Ripcord)
1.1-burmese pythons
5.5-brown house snakes
1.0-taiwanese ratsnake
3.8-BCI
1.1-corn snakes
1.2-rhombic skaapstekers
1.0-yellow rat snake
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Re: SPotted Harlequins fighting...

Postby Fooble » Mon Mar 28, 2011 12:12 pm

This is a great post THANK YOU!

I've read papers where they have been documented feeding on a Common Slug Eater.
I think they will feed on many things include small Acontais.

These are beautiful and high on my list to find and photograph.
That second to last snake is stunning
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Re: SPotted Harlequins fighting...

Postby TonyK » Mon Mar 28, 2011 12:21 pm

Fooble wrote:These are beautiful and high on my list to find and photograph.

Fooble if you are ever down in the Cape Town area give me a shout I am sure we could find some for you .
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Re: SPotted Harlequins fighting...

Postby Fooble » Mon Mar 28, 2011 12:30 pm

Thanks Tony, consider that offer Accepted!
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Re: SPotted Harlequins fighting...

Postby Bushviper » Mon Mar 28, 2011 12:33 pm

I think that these snakes cannot be too choosy about what they eat. Finding suitable prey is not easy so cannibalism should occur from time to time. First time I think it has ever been documented. Captivity does strange things to people so why not reptiles.
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Re: SPotted Harlequins fighting...

Postby Jamster » Mon Mar 28, 2011 12:40 pm

Thanx guys, what i dont understand is why they have such bright markings? They spend so much of their life underground that they really dont need those bright colours to warn predators of the fact that they are venemous...just an observation... They are very attractive snakes in my opinion, and if they got bigger and werent such fussy eaters i reckon they would be highly prized in snake collections :)
1.0-reticulated python (Ripcord)
1.1-burmese pythons
5.5-brown house snakes
1.0-taiwanese ratsnake
3.8-BCI
1.1-corn snakes
1.2-rhombic skaapstekers
1.0-yellow rat snake
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Re: SPotted Harlequins fighting...

Postby Rishaad » Mon Mar 28, 2011 3:52 pm

Absolutely beautiful, at least got to them before they ate each other. Do you know whether the 2 that were biting each other were males.
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Re: SPotted Harlequins fighting...

Postby Scavenger » Mon Mar 28, 2011 8:31 pm

Wow that is lucky and interesting behaviour. I'm keen to find some of these as well one day, beautiful snakes :)
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Re: SPotted Harlequins fighting...

Postby Bob H » Tue Mar 29, 2011 2:15 am

You didn't happen to sex them did you? I wonder if it could be either a mating ritual or male/male combat? Thanks for sharing....they are beautiful.
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Re: SPotted Harlequins fighting...

Postby Jamster » Tue Mar 29, 2011 9:24 am

Sorry guys, didnt sex them, next time, :D hahah
1.0-reticulated python (Ripcord)
1.1-burmese pythons
5.5-brown house snakes
1.0-taiwanese ratsnake
3.8-BCI
1.1-corn snakes
1.2-rhombic skaapstekers
1.0-yellow rat snake
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Re: SPotted Harlequins fighting...

Postby armata » Tue Mar 29, 2011 9:40 am

That pattern is interesting; like a transitional stage between the W.Cape and the northern ones.
Re warning colours - these snake do in fact bask out in the open quite frequently. esp after rain.
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Re: SPotted Harlequins fighting...

Postby Amphibian » Tue Mar 29, 2011 5:19 pm

When I was a kid we didn't know any better and we used to put all the snakes we caught through the day into the same bag but at the end of the day the Harlequins would inevitably be found "gnawing" on one of the other poor snakes in the bag usually a small Skaapsteker. The same thing used to happen with Cape Centipede eaters. Perhaps its a defensive habit?
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Re: SPotted Harlequins fighting...

Postby n-groundie » Wed Mar 30, 2011 8:08 pm

Nice one, that pattern is quite common in PE.
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