Lycodonomorphus rufulus

South African snakes commonly known as non-venomous, including the Natal rock python (Python natalensis).

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Lycodonomorphus rufulus

Postby Mehelya » Mon Jul 07, 2014 1:16 pm

Last Monday (30/06), I got an sms from an apparently petrified mother, who's younger son had found two brown snakes, with red and black tongues. She had managed to get the two snakes into a large bucket, with a 2m pole. How she managed that I did not know. But that was all the description, along with a very blurry photo, that I was going to get.

I instructed her to just put a lid over the bucket, and weigh it down with something heavy, and I would come and collect them after work.

Upon arriving, I was greeted by the whole family, and all very eager to find out what the species was, and to get them far away off the property. The story came about that the kids were plodding around the farm, and they came across these two in a marshy area behind the shed, under some rocks. one is considerably smaller than the other, and I am just taking a guess at the smaller one being male, and the larger one being female. I'll do counts and what not when I edit those photos eventually. I showed them how to identify these harmless little fellows, and the common house snake, and asked them to rather just leave them be, as they would do no harm to any human or animal on the farm. This they readily soaked up and agreed to.

These have to be the most placid snakes I have ever handled. Neither of them had tried to bite from the moment of collection till release.

Here are a few of the photos I took of them on release.

The larger, possible female...
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The smaller one, possibly male...
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Enjoy!
Rian
If I wasn't me, then I'd probably be someone else...
Forceps. Not fingers...
Yes, it probably will bite you if you carry on that way...
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Re: Lycodonomorphus rufulus

Postby Westley Price » Mon Jul 07, 2014 4:19 pm

Great photos!

I like the snake on the mossy log with the black background. Works well.

Literature always says that this species has round pupils, but I always find the elliptical, although less elliptical than others.

I can also wee why the old Lamprophis ornatus is now grouped with the Lycodonomorpus; the eyes of L. ornatus looks a lot more like the above specimen than for instance a BHS.
"I am dying by inches from not having anybody to talk to about insects." - Charles Darwin
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Re: Lycodonomorphus rufulus

Postby rolandslf » Tue Jul 08, 2014 8:02 am

These get nice and stout when kept in captivity. I was given one a few years ago that was a long term captive. He chowed down on Guppies and Fuzzy Mice.
Sadly he died about 3 years after I got him. I don't know how long exactly he was in captivity before I got him.
It is better to be Pissed Off than Pissed On.
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Re: Lycodonomorphus rufulus

Postby Chris89 » Wed Jul 09, 2014 2:18 pm

Water snakes are awesome. I remember finding a pair of these in the overberg as a laaitie and feeding them in hand on the same day. Wild snakes greedily accepting tadpoles and a small frog from fingers while being held. I can't think of any other wild vertebrate as trusting. Except maybe a shrew because they are eating machines. Perfect snakes for educating the people. Well done Mehelya!
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Re: Lycodonomorphus rufulus

Postby Mehelya » Wed Jul 09, 2014 7:27 pm

Thanks all.

These were real sweethearts, and I doubt one really does get a more timid species.

Westley, never noticed the eyes. Will dig up some photos of Olive Snakes and check it out. Thanks for the compliment. I'm trying to master the equipment I've got, so that the only editing I need to do is crop.

Roland, thankfully these were collected near town, and released near town. I have heard that they settle well, and readily switch to small rodents, but I wouldn't have the space for the enclosure worthy of these beauts.

Chris, they are lovely snakes, and I'm sure they would make excellent specimens for talks and shows. Their placid demeanor, and amazing sheen and color are also eye-catching, and the tongue is self-explanatory. Maybe one day I'll find a captive pair, and give them a bash.
Rian
If I wasn't me, then I'd probably be someone else...
Forceps. Not fingers...
Yes, it probably will bite you if you carry on that way...
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