Crotalus shedding observation

Accounts and photos of non-captive reptiles in their natural habitat outside of South Africa. Try to record with your account details such as time of day/night, temperature, weather conditions, lunar cycle, sex, rough age of reptile, and so on.

View Gallery

Crotalus shedding observation

Postby TJ&ACP » Tue Jan 15, 2013 10:16 pm

From Wikipedia
“The rattle is composed of a series of hollow, interlocked segments made of keratin, which are created by modifying the scales that cover the tip of the tail.”

“At birth, a “pre-button” is present at the tip of the snake's tail; it is replaced by the “button” several days later when the first skin is shed. However, no sound can be made by the rattle until a second segment is added when the skin is shed again.”

My Observation:
It is known that the amount of segments is not an indication of the age of the snake. Furthermore, it is also not a true reflection on the amount of sheds that the snake had as pieces break off.

On the 22de July 2012, a purge two Dusky pigmy rattlesnake (Sistrurus miliarius barbouri)

During a photo session on the 8th October 2012, I noticed a staged shed on the tail on one of them, this was removed by spraying it with water over 2 days and it came off.

Image
Pic 1

From my records, he only shed once (13th Sep 2012) in the period (Jul-Oct) at the time of the photo two segments were noticeable.

At that time, I did not think much and did not pay any further attention.

On the 4th Jan 2013 my Western diamondback (Crotalus atrox) shed in one piece, I had time on hand and cut the shed up and scanned it on a flatbed scanner.

Image
Pic 2 (Chupacabra)

From this scan (Pic 2) it seems if it shed till the first segment.

The following two questions came to mind after reading the statement on Wikipedia:
Question 1: What was retained to form the next rattle?
Question 2: If the snake had a bad shed as in pic 1, will that cause up normalities to that segment?

I then decided to dig out the old photos and compare them with more resent ones.
Image
Pic 3 (Chupacabra): Top view
Image
Pic 4 (Chupacabra): Side view

Pic 3; 4 was taken on the 04th Feb 2012.

Taken from where the body scales end as the first segment, 5 segments are visible in Pic 3 since then three sheds were recorded.
I need to mention that this rattler hardly rattles even during feeding, so the change of a lost segment was not likely but not over seen.

The next photos was taken 11 months later (12th Jan 2013)
Image
Pic 5 (Chupacabra)

Image
Pic 6 (Chupacabra)

In comparison to Pic 3; 4 the end of the body scales is not prominent and does not overlap the first segment.
Does this explain why it seems if he shedded up to the fist segment (Pic 2) and this the reason that only seven segments appear in Pic 5.

The observation was extended to the other Western diamondback. A lack of evidence makes it difficult to compare.
(1) A piece of retained shed that obscure the counting of segments.
(Pic 7) taken 04th Feb 2012 and
(2) no scan copy of the last shed was obtained (25th Dec 2012). Also three sheds was
recorded where the first was 07th Feb 2012, 3 days after the fist photo (Pic 7) was
taken.
Image
Pic 7(Camazotz)
The end of the body scales and the first segment is prominent. The end of the tail appears swollen.

This rattler in comparison with the other doesn’t stop rattling, even when a light is switch on in the room, she will start to rattle.

Pic 8; 9 was taken on the 13th Jan 2013. (Rev 1: 7 segments counted)
Image
Pic 8 (Camazotz)
Image
Pic 9 (Camazotz)

Here the body scales are overlapping the first segment.

Conclusion
More observation is needed to conclude a finer time line but from the above it seems that the last two rows of the tail scales become obscure and appears swollen as the new segment is formed within the tale section, shedding take place and 8-18 days after shedding the tail normalize and the new segment is visible.

Finely:
It is more correct to say:
Shedding is the result of growth and the wellbeing of a reptile and the forming of a segment has to do with growth and not shedding.
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

Re: Crotalus shedding observation

Postby Herald_23 » Tue Jan 15, 2013 11:34 pm

Top notch observation with follow-up report.
Very interesting too!

Thank you
The lion does not fear the jackal
User avatar
Herald_23
SA Reptiles Member
 
Posts: 233
Joined: Sun Jan 15, 2012 7:49 pm

Re: Crotalus shedding observation

Postby coral snake » Wed Jan 16, 2013 7:19 am

One the best observation reports I've ever seen on Crotalus sp. Shedding!!! Thanks for sharing!
Brown House snake 0.2
Corn snake normal 3.1
Corn snake Albino 0.1
Leopard Gecko 0.0.1
Western Hognose 1.0
White lipped Tree viper 1.1
Yellow anaconda 1.0
Bahai scarlet birdeater 0.1
Fire Red birdeater 0.1
Curly hair 0.1
Chilean rose 0.1

-Alex Parsons
User avatar
coral snake
SA Reptiles Member
 
Posts: 133
Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2012 5:30 pm
Location: Benoni,JHB

Re: Crotalus shedding observation

Postby croteseeker » Wed Jan 16, 2013 7:25 am

I'm not exactly sure what you're getting at here, but I'm going to take a shot at this and hope I hit the right mark. I apologize, in advance, if I've missed the point.

First, you are correct in your assumption that your snakes haven't lost any segments. They each have the, "pre-button," at the end of their string. If they ever lose that, you'll notice that the ones beneath look entirely different. Given what I've seen, I would bet money that, In your case, the numbers of buttons on your snakes are in perfect proportion to their total number of sheds.

Second, segment formation is, in my experience, directly tied to shedding. As you've undoubtedly noticed, there is a new button added each time your snakes shed. While the proximal segment is sometimes partially covered by the scales on the tail, it is still there. Don't get me wrong---you've made some great observations. Better, perhaps, than the ones that I've made, even in a crote-rich environment. For that, I applaud you. But without shedding, there is no biological function that allows a rattlesnake to grow new buttons.

An observation that I've made is that, even with large, adult rattlesnakes that haven't gained any length, each shed still brings a new button. In nature, a rattlesnake's size has a certain, "ebb and flow," trend. Even when they stop getting longer, they still get more girth after a meal and they still lose mass after a fast. It is as thus that they shed and, accordingly, gain new buttons.
" a squat, scaly worm with, 'don't touch,' on one end and, 'that's why,' on the other."

-Thomas Palmer
User avatar
croteseeker
SA Reptiles Member
 
Posts: 201
Joined: Wed Dec 07, 2011 7:05 am
Location: Vanderbilt, Michigan, USA

Re: Crotalus shedding observation

Postby TJ&ACP » Wed Jan 16, 2013 9:17 am

Croteseeker, thank you for your input, this is what I need – Information – as this started as a question with in myself due a lack of knowledge and the web does not give the information that I was looking for
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

Re: Crotalus shedding observation

Postby croteseeker » Wed Jan 16, 2013 6:11 pm

No problem. Like I said before, those are some very astute observations on your part. I wish that I paid that kind of attention to the small details. Being a field herper first, and a keeper second, most of my observations revolve around age, sex, behavior, habitat....basically the stuff that helps me to figure out population trends and spacial ecology. I could use someone like you out in the field to help round out my research. :-)
" a squat, scaly worm with, 'don't touch,' on one end and, 'that's why,' on the other."

-Thomas Palmer
User avatar
croteseeker
SA Reptiles Member
 
Posts: 201
Joined: Wed Dec 07, 2011 7:05 am
Location: Vanderbilt, Michigan, USA

Re: Crotalus shedding observation

Postby TJ&ACP » Wed Jan 16, 2013 8:58 pm

Thank you for the encouraging words, I sometimes wish I had the knowledge of some of the people on this forum, but yet never to old to learn. Tomorrow I’ll might make a new observation I don’t know, one thing is a fact it will be on Crotalus sp.
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

Re: Crotalus shedding observation

Postby Robyn@TRR » Mon Jan 21, 2013 12:40 am

Pretty fascinating.
Robyn@TheReptileReport.com, ShipYourReptiles and Pro Exotics
User avatar
Robyn@TRR
SA Reptiles Member
 
Posts: 41
Joined: Sat Jun 09, 2012 2:35 am
Location: Denver, CO, USA

Re: Crotalus shedding observation

Postby TJ&ACP » Sun Mar 10, 2013 7:28 pm

Just an update. Since I started this post, there was not much deference noted. I have taken pictures every second week and compared it to the previous.

On the 3Mar I notice that there was a change to the Uracoan, the eyes turned milky (blue) on the 5Mar and on the 9 Mar the eyes was clear no shed as taken place as yet.

As this is the process of shedding but what is strange, there is a colour change noted to the last segment that was not observed with the previous shed or with the C. atrox that was shown above. Here are the photo that was taken 24Feb, 04Mar and 8 Mar.

Image
24Feb
Image
04Mar
Image
08Mar
Note the colour change and shape of the last row of scales between 04Mar and 08Mar.

I will update after shedding took place.
Thanks for looking.
TJ
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

Re: Crotalus shedding observation

Postby TJ&ACP » Tue Aug 12, 2014 9:08 am

I have not done further observation but I have found an interesting research article on the subject, here is a link to the article.
http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2148/9/35

I have also found 2 others that might be of interest.

1) Digestive performance in Western diamondback rattlesnakes
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/jez.411/abstract

2)Venom Expulsion in the Western Diamondback Rattlesnake
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/jez.a.341/abstract

Regards
TJ
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


Return to Exotic reptile observation records

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests

cron