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Rosy Boa Rosy Boa

Housing:

Vivarium Viv-Exotic 24 inch VX24 or LX24. These come in Beech, Walnut and Oak.

 

Lighting:

Is for viewing so a PT-2131 Sun Glo Neodymium Daylight Basking Lamp R20/50Watt. Spot lamp Guard 230 x 120 x120mm. The bulb needs a ceramic lamp holder such as the Komodo Ceramic Lamp Fitting.

 

Heating:

A Royce Heat Mat 10 x 12 inches placed on the floor of the vivarium. Use a Habistat Mat Stat  Thermostat. To ensure that the heat mat does not overheat. The thermostat should be set at 75 deg F so that when the lights are on the temp should rise to the low 80´s. 

A medium Exo Terra Hot Wave Rock PT2002 can also be used as a basking rock.

You will need two thermometers PT-2465 place one at each end to show the cool temperature and hot end temperatures to indicate that there is a heat gradient.

 

Substrate:

For baby snakes we recommend kitchen paper, wallpaper backing paper or newspaper for the first six months. This is due to the fact that they can get compaction of the gut by ingesting substrates, like Aspen, sand, and beach chippings etc. After the Rosy Boa has reached twelve months old the best substrates are Aspen, beach chippings or desert sand.

 

Décor:

Water dish Choose a PT-2803 Exo Terra Water Dish Medium, for adults and PT-2801 Exo Terra Water Dish small, for hatchlings. The water bowl should be kept at the cool end to avoid excessive humidity and the water changed daily as they often defecate in their water. Hides/Caves use a PT-2851 for hatchlings and a PT-2853 for adults.  


 

Rosy boas are one of the smaller members of the boa family. Like many boas and pythons, they are nocturnal (sometimes corpuscular), moving around mostly at night or around dawn and dusk. Rosie’s may live in excess of 15 years. Their name comes from Lichan = forefinger (Gr. (=) and - oura = tail, possibly due to the bluntness of their tail. Trivirgata refers to their prominent triad of stripes.

There are currently four subspecies of rosy boas; as with the classification of many animals, the taxonomists frequently dispute the species and subspecies designations. As more information is learned about the physiognomy and range of the animals in question, these may change currently, the subspecies designations for the rosy boas are:

C. trivirgata Rosy Boa. To 40 in (100 cm). Ranges through south-western U.S. (Southern California, Arizona, and northern Mexico). Ground colour slate Gray or brown.

L. t. bostici Mexican Rosy Boa. Ground colour laced with pale, creamy broad longitudinal stripes. (Or, L. t. bostici = Cedros Island Rosy Boa and L. t. trivigata = Mexican Rosy Boa)

L. t. roseofusca Coastal Rosy Boa. Ground colour laced with blotchy reddish-brown longitudinal stripes.

L. t. gracia Desert Rosy Boa. Ground colour laced with well-defined pink, orange or tan longitudinal stripes.

Rosie’s look much like their cousins, the Rubber boa (Charina bottae). Rosy heads are set off slightly more from their bodies, and the tops of their heads are covered with numerous small scales, rather then the fewer, but much larger, scales of the Rubber boa. Rubber boas have blunt, rounded tails while the Rosy tails are more tapered, ending in a rounded tip.

Housing: Rosie’s range in size from 2-3 feet (never more than 4 feet) in overall length and can thus easily be housed in a 4ft vivarium. They do not climb much, needing only low branches, so a tall vivarium need not be provided as for the more arboreal boas. Provide bark slabs or half-logs for caves as an occasional alternative to substrate burrowing.

Substrate: Rosie’s like it dry. Their native habitat is mostly warm savannah’s that experience little rainfall. Although they are not desert dwellers, they need to be kept in a dry vivarium like a desert dweller. Substrates such as aspen, Beech wood chips work well. Rosie’s are burrowing snakes, so the substrate must be layered to a depth of at least 2”. Plain shredded paper may be used but small hide boxes (big enough for the snake to get into but not so big that they can’t feel it around them) will have to be provided on both sides of the temperature gradient.

Humidity: If you live in an area of higher humidity than their native range (60%), you should consider a vivarium with a top or one or two sides made of mesh, or that has solid sides with ventilation panels that may be opened and closed as necessary to keep in warms but provide enough ventilation to keep humidity levels down. In such climates, substrate such as aspen is suitable. Being kept in humidity higher than they are adapted to can cause skin problems (bacterial or fungal infections) and the stress of being kept in such conditions may lead to illness.

Water: You can provide a water bowl provided the snake is not able to tip it over and that you do not fill it up so high that if the snake climbs into it to soak it will not overflow. On the whole, bowls with less surface area of exposed water will evaporate more slowly than bowls allowing for a wide expanse of exposed water surface.

Temperatures: Rosie’s are from warm, but not desert climates (except the Desert Rosy). 73-83 F (23-28 C) temperature gradients will work well through most of the year. Night time temps can drop slightly. Rosie’s spend most of their time underground where the temperatures are more constant than they are above ground. Provide heat by use of an under tank heating mat under one-half of the vivarium. If additional heat is necessary during the winter months, you may use an overheat heat source. If you need to use the overhead source at night, make sure it is not a white light bulb; use a red, blue or one of the nocturnal lights made especially for reptiles, or a ceramic heating element. Be sure to monitor the temperatures to be sure they do not rise over or fall under the temperature gradient.

Feeding: Many snakes can take in surprisingly large (for their body and head size) prey. Rosie’s have a relatively small gape, however, and so need to be fed small prey items. Captive bred Rosie’s are easily fed on defrosted frozen mice, with young started out on pinkies, moving up to adult mice when they are full grown. Young should be fed once or twice a week, adults once every 7-10 days. Given their nocturnal habits, they are best fed at night.

Breeding: To ensure successful breeding, Rosie’s should be hibernated during the winter. Starting in November, feeding should be stopped. A couple of weeks later, after the snake has defecated out the remains of its last meal, the temperatures gradually reduced so that by December the enclosure is at 55 F (13 C). Maintain this temperature for about 12 weeks (until March). Allow to come gradually to room temperature, then warmed up slowly to the normal temperature gradient. Begin weekly or more frequent feeding, especially of the females. House males and females separately.

In April, place the male into the female’s enclosure. After about a week or so of mating, return the male to his enclosure. Add a warmer basking area to the female’s enclosure, up to 86 F (30 C) and maintain that throughout the pregnancy. Expect that the female will not eat much--or at all--during this time.

Birth will generally occur in September. Five to six live young (as many as 13 have been reported), each about 12 inches in overall length, will be born. The babies are active, often feisty, but bites should not be of concern. Babies should be removed from the mother shortly after birth.

After their first shed, which may occur as soon as two days after birth or as long as two weeks later, feed the babies pinkies? Some have reportedly fed prior to their first shed; if they are particularly feisty or appear to be seeking, try offering them food sooner. Remember: if you are housing them together you must separate them at feeding time!

Some may not feed at all at this time: in the wild, they are born just before the winter sets in, and in the wild many such late-season babies do not eat at all, going right into hibernation for the winter, emerging in the spring ready to feed. If they are not losing body mass or weight while not feeding, then not feeding should not be a reason for panic. It is always nice, however, to get them feeding if you can, but resorting to force feeding should only be done if the snake is losing weight. If the babies are feeding, you may not want to hibernate them during their first winter, using that time to feed them weekly and ensure them a good, healthy start in life.

Young rosy´s will have almost attained their full adult size by their second winter. Sexual maturity occurs by age 3-4 years. Females in the wild generally breed only every other year, though this may not be the case in captivity. If you do breed yearly, be sure to evaluate the females overall condition individually each year before doing so. If she is not up to breeding weight or has not fully recovered from the previous autumns birthing, let her rest a year.

 

 

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