Herald snake care sheet

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Herald snake care sheet

Postby DavidD » Sun Feb 01, 2009 7:48 pm

The herald snake or Black Templed Cat Snake. (Crotaphopeltis hotamboeia)
the black templed cat snake hails from Tanzania. It is a new snake to the U.S. snake trade, but is very common in South Africa. It reaches a maximum length of 3.5 feet but 3 foot for females and 2.5 foot for males is the norm. I have noted some aquatic and arboreal tendencies but it is more common for them to be terrestrial and less aquatic. They do indeed have rear fangs they are quite large to. They use them to subdue the prey they most commonly eat. This includes fish, frogs, toads, other reptiles, and occasionally mice. In captivity you can train them onto mice. My ’08 CB female is feeding well on pinkie parts scented on a Ornate horned frog. She is a bit aggressive. When angered they flatten their heads and make a hiss similar to that of what a bull snake makes when disturbed. Their venom has not been well studied but does have some side effects on humans. It causes headache, swelling, itching at the bite site, soreness, and nausea. I have been bitten only once and felt all of those symptoms but they all subsided in less than 24 hours. They are also called Savannah White lipped snakes, Red lipped snakes (color phases), White lipped snakes, rolilipslangs, Herald snakes, and Gorilla house snakes. They are egg laying snakes. If you want a CB the only breeder I know that does this is Glades Herp Farm. But many African importers often have WC adults or juveniles. I house mine in a 5.5 gallon glass cage with aspen bedding a large hide, a few fake plants and a shallow but large water dish. I put her in her deli cup when feeding. She is a CB ’08 and is about 7 inches and is active mostly at night. Their behavior is often a kin to that of a Mangrove snake but with a ground dwelling tendecy
Feeding: I feed mine scented and unscented pinkie mouse and fuzzie parts as an adult it will eat fuzzies
Caging: An active snake I house a 7in baby in a 5.5 gallon. But as an adult it will go in a 15 -20 gallon
Size: The size rage for this snake varys in the genders hotamboeia is a sexually dimorphic snake which means genders hgave a large noticable difference in size and color and other traits. In hotamboeia it is size. Not quite the difference seen in anacondas (eunectes) have a huge difference. Hotamboeia have a smaller difference. Males average 1.1-1.2 meter. Females .9-1 meter.
Lifespan: From what i have heard 10-15 years
Behavior: Aggresive by nature, very reluctant to bite, when disturbed flatten their head and hiss. Don’t usually latch on when the do bite. They arre also nocturnal by nature. Mine burrows in the aspen bedding or under the water dish
Captive requirements: Need a higher humidity than most colubrids 70% humidity is good. I keep mine at 85- 90 on the hot side on the cool side 78-80.
Breeding: Typical colubrid breeding forumula

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Re: Herald snake care sheet

Postby cynicman » Fri Dec 25, 2009 12:26 pm

Cool care sheet.

I found mine under the couch. It was 10cm long, but is now 20cm. She seems very calm when handling, only bitten me once (on the bottom lip while showing her to people at a shopping mall - she was a bit freaked out).

Just one concern: My Snake and Reptile books all say that Heralds are best suited to eating smaller lizards and frogs. I have been feed my one on baby geckos and adult gecko tails (rest of the gecko goes to my Natal Green Snake). She is an eager eater so that is good, from day one she's been taking food straight from my fingers, no lashing out or striking, just gentle and easy. She is one of the most fascinating creatures I have ever had the pleasure to care for.
Reptiles in my care: 2x Brown House (1x Female, 1x Male - here's hoping), Natal Green Male, 1x Herald, 1x Bearded Dragon Female

Total Pet Count: 26 | Dogs: 4 | Cats: 6 | Rats: 11 | Snakes: 4 | Lizards: 1
And each one is loved!!!
*My wife has lots of patience...

If you love reptiles, you would probably love rodents as well: http://www.sarodents.co.za/
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Re: Herald snake care sheet

Postby gaboon69 » Sun Jan 31, 2010 5:31 am

A few names like Gorilla house snake, Rolilipslangs etc. is either superficial or incorrect. They are commonly referred to as Herald snakes (named after a S.A. newspaper which created a local awareness, see Branch) or 'Rooilippies' (plural for Rooilippie in Afrikaans) meaning small redlip. I would think that the name Herald snake would be more suitable when considering labial colour variation. Current de facto herpetological literature consider the venom to be of little significance to humans. Sharp back fangs are used for mechanical puncturing of amphibians as they are often swallowed subdued and alive. Southern African C. hotamboeia rarely prey on other reptiles. This would also typically exclude intentional cannibilism but feeding accidents easily occur when housed together . Despite these differences the author's general knowledge regarding the species' captive care seems to be accurate.
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