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Systematic classification and distribution
Species: P. obsoletus Say in James, 1823
Coluber obsoletus Say, 1823
Elaphis holbrookii A.M.C. Dumeril Bibron, 1854
Scotophis obsoletus Kennicott, 1860
Elaphis obsoletus Garman, 1883
Obsolete Elaphe Stejneger Barbour, 1917
Pantherophis obsoletus Utiger et al., 2002
Pituophis obsoletus Burbrink Lawson, 2007
Scotophis obsoletus Collins Taggart, 2008
Pantherophis obsoletus Pyron Burbrink, 2009
It is found in the central-eastern United States and southern Canada. 5 subspecies have been classified:
- Pantherophis obsoletus lindheimerii Baird Girard, 1853)
- Pantherophis obsoletus obsoletus Say, 1823)
- Pantherophis obsoletus quadrivittata Holbrook, 1836)
- Pantherophis obsoletus rossalleni Neill, 1949)
- Pantherophis obsoletus spiloides Duméril, Bibron Duméril 1854
Colubride that reaches relatively important dimensions, usually between 150cm and 180cm, with a weight that often touches and exceeds the kilogram. Babies at birth measure approximately 25-30cm, and their build is approximately double that of the wheat snake babies.
Pantherophis obsoletus quadrivittata yellow variety (photo http://vasilisc.ru)
Pantherophis obsoletus spiloides (photo http://vasilisc.ru)
Habitat and terrarium
It is a very active colubride, therefore it would need terrariums of adequate size, while adapting, without any particular problems, also to rack farming.
They must be part of the furnishings, in addition to the inevitable bowl of water, large enough to easily contain the spere, one or more dens, perhaps placed in different areas of the display case, and some branches, so that you can observe it in full splendor while conducting its night inspections.
Any material can be used as a substrate, avoiding dusty and resinous ones. Other information: www.squamata.it
Temperature and humidity
The average temperature of the terrarium must be kept around 26-27 ° C, possibly creating a thermal gradient such as to allow thermoregulation in a warmer and colder area. Although many breeders maintain these parameters constantly day and night, we prefer to lower the temperature by a couple of degrees at night.
The ambient humidity must be towards average values, the air must not be too dry or saturated with humidity, in order to avoid respiratory problems, of dysectysis (incomplete moult) and any dermatitis.
Pantherophis obsoletus in nature eats mainly small rodents, eggs, nestlings and other reptiles. In captivity you will have to feed it only with mice (Mus musculus) since they fully satisfy their nutritional needs.
- Adult specimens: just feed it every 8/10 days with an adult mouse.
- Sub adults: just feed it every 7/8 days with a medium-sized mouse.
- Baby: just feed it every 4/5 days with a pinkie (mouse pup with 3/4 days of life).
Before introducing a new guest into the house, it is advisable to have a vet analyzed by a vet with a parasitological examination and occasionally check the snake's skin for mites, also check in the bowl of water. Mites present as small black dots visible to the naked eye. Strange attitude, loud breathing, sudden loss of appetite are certainly bad signs and must be reported as soon as possible to a competent veterinarian.
The reproduction, similar to the wheat snake, is relatively simple, and can also occur in unfavorable conditions.
Sexual maturity is reached early enough by these colubrids, but to be sure not to run into dystocia problems (the female is unable to expel the eggs, thus risking her own life) or otherwise, it is good to wait for the third year of age for females, weighing more than 600-700g.
Males are sometimes sexually active after the first year and a half of life. Let's say that, in general, after the second year of life they are ready to undertake their first mating.