Romania Sept. 2017

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Romania Sept. 2017

Postby Clive Brignull » Sat Sep 23, 2017 5:48 pm

Could not miss the chance to visit Histria and Vadu while in Romania. An early start at Histria yielded the desired Dolichophis caspius and at Vadu found many juvenile Eremias arguta. The Caspian whip snake was seen at the entrance of it's night time refuge. What I thought was to be an almost impossible capture turned out to be very easy. As I approached the snake it came out further to re enter the hole. This produced more of the snake and a perfect loop to grasp. The snake came out without any resistance. In fact the snake was very placid and allowed itself to be handled without struggling or biting. A quick photo session and it was returned to it's hole where it leisurely slithered back into. Was the snake just cold (it was certainly cool to the touch) ,old or unwell (perhaps all three)?? It appeared robust, injury free and without external parasites. Has any one else had a similar encounter with a Caspian? (or any other normally aggressive species).

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Re: Romania Sept. 2017

Postby Ruggero Morimando » Sun Sep 24, 2017 9:18 am

Unless your beautiful caspian whipsnake was an "actor snake" put there for herping tourists, I think its behaviour could be related to two factors: well tempered specimen (20%) and cool temperatures (80%). With these percentages I mean the most probable factor was low temperature, but a combination of both factors (temperature + good snake) is also possible.
I would exclude illness or old age as main factors.
It's not so rare that some specimens of normally aggressive species will demonstrate themselves as well tempered pets... I think, as I said, this is related to individual variability and actual situation (temperatures, physiological moment, and so on).
I remember an almost totally motionless najadum found under a stone in Greece one morning: it was cool, and its behaviour was related to this fact.
Sometimes Malpolon do not bite and behave as good pets. I've met probably also tame and quiet viridiflavus in hundreds of individuals I've met: but I cannot remember now any particular episode... :|
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Re: Romania Sept. 2017

Postby Berislav Horvatic » Sun Sep 24, 2017 9:37 am

I fully agree with Ruggero. Maybe this, maybe that, and maybe you just had a lot of luck
with this particular individual of D. caspius, then and there. Lucky you. Be grateful.
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Re: Romania Sept. 2017

Postby Kevin Byrnes » Sun Sep 24, 2017 10:25 am

Well done Clive on getting both your target species, that whip snake is a beauty.
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