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Viper Boa Care (Candoia aspera aspera)
Viper Boas are a wonderful species of snake to observe. They are very strong, with strong scales and arrowheads. They are usually a dull brown, although they can be a lovely red or orange. They do, however, change color with the seasons, temperature and perhaps mood swings. I had a lovely orange specimen that turned dark brown over time. Almost all are caught by boa vipers, in fact, I have never heard of a successful breeder who bred and raised them. A gravid (pregnant) woman often comes from outside and carries her baby. However, most of them die within 6 months due to little or no known cause. As time goes on, we can hope to learn more about this species and succeed in breeding it in captivity. Viper Boas are calm snakes, but when not handled, they can move in one direction at the speed of light. Although they are not poisonous, they have a nasty bite. Large females can reach 80cm; males are less than half the size.
When you keep a snake as a pet, you generally want to see the snake from outside its enclosure, in the most natural environment you can offer. It will be more pleasant and will help the general condition of the snake. If the snake likes its surroundings, it will feed better and grow faster. A larger vivarium also provides more interest in the snake’s life, and by adding branches and other natural products you will improve the snake’s quality of life, and stop it from becoming lethargic and overweight. . Also, if it is stronger, it should have more resistance to infections or other problems that may arise later on.
For an adult Viper Boa, a vivarium of 60cm Length x 45cm Width x 45cm Height is sufficient. This is a shy type; Many specimens when bought in captivity can go for months without food. It is important to be as stress-free as possible during this transition period. A small enclosure, fenced off without additional lighting, away from the human ‘end’ may be needed. Once the boa is feeding regularly, a larger vivarium with lights can be provided.
The snake cover can be made of several materials. The most commonly used is melamine-coated wood that covers all sides except the front, where there are glass sliding doors. Aquariums can also be used for Viper Boas, although a separate cover should be purchased or made instead of the original aquarium cover. It’s very important when you think about the type of fence you use, you think about these 6 ‘SSSHHH’ factors:
1) Safety – Can the snake or its owner injure itself from the enclosure or equipment?
2) Safety – Can the snake escape through a hole or hole?
3) Size – Will the dimensions be correct?
4) Heating – Is the enclosure capable of regulating temperature well?
5) Moisture – Will the fence hold up well in wet conditions? Is there adequate ventilation to remove moisture?
6) Hygienic – Will the enclosure build up a lot of bacteria in a small hole? Easy to clean?
By following the steps above, you can have a suitable fence made of a variety of materials.
The decorations in your tank serve two purposes. The first is an additional mask for your snake and the second, it gives a more natural and pleasant look. When choosing decorations, think about snake safety. Make sure that whatever you decide to use is well fixed and that there are no rocks, sticks or heavy objects that could fall and potentially injure or even kill the snake. You should also make sure that everything used is free of fleas. If something is imported, or originally imported, such as cork, you should boil it, or put it in the oven at 200 degrees Fahrenheit for about 30 minutes. Freezing works for some parasites, however, others are known to survive for months in cold conditions. Some parasites found in English conditions in the last winter at low temperatures, so it is not completely effective.
When all your decorations are free of parasites, they are safe to put inside the enclosure. As a general rule, if you can squeeze something to knock it over, the Viper Boa can certainly do it. When placing stones or heavy objects, make sure that they are completely secure. If it still doesn’t fit, bend them or use superglue to fix them properly. If this is not possible, the rule is simple: Do not put the item in the vivarium!
If you decide to go with a bigger fence, you have to provide plenty of space and privacy. A hiding place can be anything from a tupperware box with a hole cut out to a natural vegetable peel. There are many brands of artificial plants and decorations that you can use that are both animal safe and pleasing to the eye. Cork bark is available from all UK pet stores, and can be ordered if they do not have it in stock. It is a great cover for all reptiles and is 100% natural. One thing you should consider when thinking about the size of the vivarium, is that the bigger you are, the more hidden area you have to provide. I recommend at least one hiding spot for every meter of fence length.
NOTE: Do not use adhesive tape in the fold; it’s a disaster waiting to happen. Believe me; It is not easy to remove duct tape from all snakes!
Viper Boas are found on the forest floor and are exposed to constant air temperatures. They do not bask in the sun and therefore it is not important to give them a dedicated warm place. 85-90ºF during the day and 80-85ºF at night is fine. A large bowl should be provided for the snake to submerge completely if necessary. If your viper boa is doing this regularly, the vivarium may be too hot and should be kept cool.
In my opinion, the best way to heat the Viper Boa enclosure is to use a power plate. This is a small thin square plate, about 25mm thick that is attached to the top of the vivarium. It does not need to be protected, because there is no way for snakes to get hold of it. It is almost invisible because it just sits on the ceiling of the vivarium. The only brand available in the UK is HabiStat Reptile Radiator; It is 75 Watts and is sufficient for any vivarium up to 4ft in length and possibly larger. It does not produce light and therefore in the vivarium you also need some form of lighting. The power board should be used in conjunction with the HabiStat Pulse Proportional Thermostat, which will shut off power to the power board as soon as the temperature rises, and turn it back on as soon as it gets too cold. This is one of the most accurate thermostats on the market today.
Ceramic heaters, light bulbs and heat mats are also a way to heat the vivarium. All of these have their pros and cons, but in my opinion, none really weigh as well as a power plate.
Viper Boas are mainly nocturnal, meaning they come out in the dark at night. That’s when the real predator sleeps, and the prey wakes up. Lighting for this type is not important. However, the presence of artificial light in the vivarium is pleasant to the owner, and a good addition to the snake house. They will use this as the period of the picture, and generally their time clock will correspond to the situation in which you set your lighting.
They do not need a special form of light, such as the Ultra-Violet D3 light that is often used in everyday types. The Arcadia Natural Sunlight Fluorescent Lamp is a great form of lighting. It comes in lengths from 12″ to 48″ and I recommend you use the largest size that will fit your vivarium.
Viper Boas occur in most of New Guinea and the surrounding Islands and are therefore exposed to high humidity. It should be reintroduced into captivity to help your snake’s health and well-being. A humidity level of 80-90% allows the snake to shed its skin well and is less prone to problems such as respiratory diseases.
Young or male should be given small or dim mice, and as they grow up, larger mice or rats should be given. A large female boa viper should be fed a rat eater. One of these every 2 weeks is enough. A large male may take a dull rat or a large mouse. Newborn babies should be fed regularly, every 7 days is ideal. Their metabolic rate is higher than adults and as they get older they need more food to keep them going. Viper Boa has a low metabolism compared to many snakes, they are less active and do not need the same amount of food as other species. Snakes have the ability to build up large fat reserves, and become very fat. Removing the burden, however, is a more difficult task. Obese snakes will not live as long as healthy snakes because of liver and kidney problems. If you are unsure of your snake’s weight, consult a veterinarian.
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