Taiwan beauty snakes – Orthriophis taeniura friesei

 

A large colourful Colubrid snake species that occurs  almost completely in Taiwan . A sub-species, other similar looking sub-species and the nominate occur throughout a wide range of South Eastern Asia. This sub-species can be a large snake, but slender, at a maximum of nearly 3 metres long – most grow to around 2 metres in captivity. When I first bred this species, from wild caught stock, in the 90’s large specimens were quite common, but most seem to be smaller nowadays. Their natural habitat varies, unlike several of the sub-species who mainly occur in caves – this sub-species can be found in wooded, agricultural, human residential and other areas. Often found climbing in trees, under debris and generally active (in the hot months) in the late afternoon / evening.

 

One of the first documented breeding reports occurred at Coast to Coast Exotics in the 1990s.

 

In captivity they do well, if given a large , tall vivarium. A medium to large snake such as this is best housed in a minimum of a 4x2x2 (preferably a minimum of three feet tall) for an average sized specimen – a larger one will require more space. As with all snakes, there are two school of thoughts, one suggests they will settle better, and feed better in smaller than expected vivaria. The other camp suggests this is not acceptable and they will settle and feed well in larger vivaria as long as ample hides are provided. Plenty of branches for climbing will be appreciated. Temperatures during the day should be around 28-30C, down to around 20C at night. For breeding purposes, I gave my adults a dormancy period of three months with no food and little disturbance. Temperatures were maintained for this rest period at around 10-15C.

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