Confirming identity

Snakes exotic to South Africa with venoms that are considered to be medically important.

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Confirming identity

Postby TJ&ACP » Fri Feb 03, 2012 9:55 pm

Can someone confirm that these are western diamondbacks? I bought them in December 2011 from a private seller, no record could be given (sex/age), although the one is lighter and smaller then the other I don’t think that they are from the same clutch, but I have my doubt that both are western diamondbacks.

I have Google the 37 species I can not find similarities to the lighter one.

Western’s have two dark diagonal lines on each side of its face running from the eyes to its jaws this can be seen on the darker one. Where the line behind the eye of the lighter one is curving and meets at the jaw.

Please advice.

This is the only photos that I have taken thus far, hope it helps.
[URL=http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/193/chupacabra1.jpg/]Image

[URL=http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/542/camazotz1.jpg/]Image
As a general rule, the more we learn about snakes and their ways, the less fear we have of them. This is usually not so with the Mamba.
The more one learns of his ways, the greater grows the dread of him.
He, without doubt, is the King of Snakes in South Africa.
For quickness, aggressiveness, and the deadly nature of his venom, he has no equal.
F. W. FITZSIMONS, 1912
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Re: Confirming identity

Postby croteseeker » Fri Feb 03, 2012 11:32 pm

Yes, those are both Crotalus atrox. Pretty ones, too, although I hope the little one grows out of that bug-eyed look. They appear to be the same locality (but that can be misleading) but definitely not the same clutch. It's fairly common for siblings to be different sizes, but that first one looks like it's much bigger than the other.

Regarding the eye stripes, they're textbook. C. atrox usually have only one dark eye stripe, bordered by two light ones. They should all cross the lip, which they do. (Rather than angle more towards the posterior as they descend, as with C. scutulatus.) The best identifier, though would be a close-up shot of the top of the head. C. atrox' supraocular scales are separated by 4-7 smaller scales, whereas C. scutulatus will have two or, sometimes, three larger scales in the same place.

BTW, If you haven't sexed them, you should post some good photos of their tails.
" a squat, scaly worm with, 'don't touch,' on one end and, 'that's why,' on the other."

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Re: Confirming identity

Postby TJ&ACP » Sat Feb 04, 2012 12:14 am

Thank you this far for the info, i have fed them today so will give them a day or two then i tube them to take photos of head and tail
As a general rule, the more we learn about snakes and their ways, the less fear we have of them. This is usually not so with the Mamba.
The more one learns of his ways, the greater grows the dread of him.
He, without doubt, is the King of Snakes in South Africa.
For quickness, aggressiveness, and the deadly nature of his venom, he has no equal.
F. W. FITZSIMONS, 1912
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Location: Kempton Park

Re: Confirming identity

Postby MegF » Sat Feb 04, 2012 5:32 am

Nice animals. They have litters by the way, not clutches. Rattlesnakes give live birth (which I'm sure you already know). Your first one if fairly typical of the atrox coloration I see locally here in South Carolina, the other is definitely much lighter. I rarely see ones here that light a shade. Reminds me of the basins I've seen. Nice find!
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Re: Confirming identity

Postby croteseeker » Sat Feb 04, 2012 2:28 pm

MegF wrote: Your first one if fairly typical of the atrox coloration I see locally here in South Carolina, the other is definitely much lighter. I rarely see ones here that light a shade.


I imagine you just need to shop around a bit more. This species is not endemic to the Eastern coast (which I'm sure you already know) thus limiting the field to imported specimens. I assure you, S. Carolina has plenty of nice atrox available from a wide range of localities. Actually, short of PA, TX, FL, and CA, I can't think of an easier place to find one. (For sale, that is.)
" a squat, scaly worm with, 'don't touch,' on one end and, 'that's why,' on the other."

-Thomas Palmer
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Re: Confirming identity

Postby WW » Sat Feb 04, 2012 2:34 pm

MegF wrote:Nice animals. They have litters by the way, not clutches. Rattlesnakes give live birth (which I'm sure you already know). Your first one if fairly typical of the atrox coloration I see locally here in South Carolina, the other is definitely much lighter. I rarely see ones here that light a shade. Reminds me of the basins I've seen. Nice find!


Huh? C. atrox does not occur anywhere near S. Carolina - the nearest it gets is Arkansas, and from there W to SE California and S way into Mexico.
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Re: Confirming identity

Postby TJ&ACP » Sun Feb 05, 2012 9:36 pm

Thanks for your advice this far, here are close-up of the head and tail. For reference the first two photos are of the darker/bigger one. The photos are not the best quality and the lighter one is in the blues.
Croteseeker I am in South Africa and to shop in the US is not an option at this stage. The tail shots might not be what you asked fore (sexing) but to me there are a difference


Image

Image

Image

Image
As a general rule, the more we learn about snakes and their ways, the less fear we have of them. This is usually not so with the Mamba.
The more one learns of his ways, the greater grows the dread of him.
He, without doubt, is the King of Snakes in South Africa.
For quickness, aggressiveness, and the deadly nature of his venom, he has no equal.
F. W. FITZSIMONS, 1912
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Re: Confirming identity

Postby croteseeker » Mon Feb 06, 2012 8:39 am

Okay, now I know they're probably not the same locality.

Regarding sex, I want to say you've got a sexed pair there, but you, being excellent at following directions, did exactly what I told you to do. :lol:

Those are, indeed, some good tail photos. I can't really reference their tails to their bodies, though, which makes it a guess based strictly on shape and what I guesstimate the length of the tail to be based on it's size relative to the proximal segment of the rattle.

Basically, here's what you're looking for. Notice on these two females how short and tapered the tail is?

Image

Image

Hard to mistake for a male, especially side-by-side.

Image

Image
" a squat, scaly worm with, 'don't touch,' on one end and, 'that's why,' on the other."

-Thomas Palmer
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Re: Confirming identity

Postby croteseeker » Mon Feb 06, 2012 8:45 am

(This site really needs an edit feature.)

If I had to guess, I'd say the big one's a male and the little one's a girl.
" a squat, scaly worm with, 'don't touch,' on one end and, 'that's why,' on the other."

-Thomas Palmer
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Re: Confirming identity

Postby TJ&ACP » Mon Feb 06, 2012 8:03 pm

Thank you for the input and the explanation with first hand photos. I am glad to know that they are both C. atrox. This is the thing with CB in another country; you will never know where they originate from unless record was kept. In this case it was not even done on the date of birth.
For me time will tell as these animals are mysterious but yet osum and it seems every one have a deferent facial expression (grumpy old man on the stoop). Hopefully the lighter colour is genetic and dominant.

You have mention “bug-eyed look” can you please elaborate, thanks
As a general rule, the more we learn about snakes and their ways, the less fear we have of them. This is usually not so with the Mamba.
The more one learns of his ways, the greater grows the dread of him.
He, without doubt, is the King of Snakes in South Africa.
For quickness, aggressiveness, and the deadly nature of his venom, he has no equal.
F. W. FITZSIMONS, 1912
User avatar
TJ&ACP
SA Reptiles Member
 
Posts: 104
Joined: Wed Sep 22, 2010 10:07 am
Location: Kempton Park


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