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Currently these animals are rare in North America, though they are available in Europe. However, unlike a true cobra, a FWC stays in a horizontal position when it hoods, rather than standing in a vertical position. We use moss to keep the box moist and humid. False water cobras are large, opistoglyphous (rear-fanged) New World colubrids that are, in name only, related to the smaller, aglyphous (fixed-fanged) and highly venomous elapid, the water cobra (Naja annulata). To that I add a small amount of sand and organic topsoil, as well as leaves to introduce beneficial bacteria and fungi to the substrate. Most long-term captive falsies lose this behavior.
False water cobras possess large, grooved teeth along the posterior portion of their maxillary bones. One of the most rewarding aspects of keeping false water cobras is interacting with these incredibly intelligent, responsive snakes. False water cobras require a wooden vivarium as their enclosure. *, * We are the biggest producer of this species in the country (probably the world)! A water bowl large enough for the snake to get in to should be used providing it does not raise the vivarium humidity too much. The box should be large enough that she can fully turn-around inside it. These can be on for 10-12 hours a day but should be turned off at night to ensure the snake gets a good day/night cycle. A good rule to follow in purchasing an enclosure is to ensure the total length of the reptile terrariums at least equal to the total length of the snake. - YouTube False water cobras, as their name may indicate, are also infamous for soaking in water basins. Falsies are slow to hatch, so don’t be surprised if your neonates pip and then spend the next day or two inside their eggs before they emerge.
This species can also flatten other areas of its body, while a true cobra cannot. This being said, however, FWCs do produce peptides and other biomolecules that can and have caused reactions in humans. Most FWCs readily except large pinkies or even fuzzy mice as their first meals. Cypress mulch, orchid bark and other substrates that can handle high moisture rates are suitable for false water cobra enclosures. To ensure successful matings, I introduce the male for 12 hours, take him out of the female’s enclosure to reduce stress for a day, and then reintroduce him. Falsies are often underfed, which can lead to stunting. Three species compose the genus Hydrodynastes, all of which occur throughout northern and central South America east of the Andes Mountains. * Captive bred here at The Serpentarium! A substrate with strong absorption properties is recommended. False water cobras are infamous for their intense response to food. Most FWC keepers, myself included, maintain a thermogradient with the hot side of the vivarium maintained around 88 degrees and the cool side around 75 degrees.
Within these environs FWCs feed pretty much on anything they can overpower, though a preference for amphibians, fish and other small vertebrates has been documented.
They are also rear-fanged (mildly venomous). After a year in my care he reached 5½ feet, but he’ll never reach his full size potential. They haunt marshes, wetlands and rivers in northern Colombia east to Venezuela and south to northern Brazil. Mine tend to do so especially if their enclosure temperatures get too high; they will begin to soak, trying to thermoregulate their excess heat away. As FWCs mature they become more confident and more acclimated to their keepers, and tend to lose their likelihood to bite as well. Given their generalist ecology, false water cobras eat myriad vertebrates, which makes feeding them somewhat straightforward. Full-grown adults are best maintained in enclosures that are at least 5 feet long by 2½ feet wide. This means that prey need to be chewed on in order to be injected with Duvernoy’s gland secretions. Currently, she is still growing, and will likely max out between 7 and 8 feet sometime during the next year. He is an associate professor of biology at West Liberty University, and coordinator of the University’s Zoo Science and Applied Conservation, which prepares students to work in zoos and aquariums or as conservation professionals. The head is usually patterned in solid colors, and always possesses an emblematic black eye stripe. What’s even more startling is what happens after a false water cobra makes contact with its prey. Once they have emerged, I transfer mine to individual plastic shoeboxes in a neonate rack (the only time my FWCs live in a tub). Females will begin to swell, and when fully gravid look enormous! It is incredibly important that anybody reading this article take this into consideration prior to purchasing a false water cobra. Exactly one year to the date that she entered my collection, employing the previously described feeding schedule, she weighed 4.6 pounds and was 5 feet in length!
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