Friday, 23 August 2019

Egg Eater...

We’ve had our pet Honduran Milksnake, Lampropeltis hondurensis (Copan ) for six months now and she’s settled in very well, feeding and shedding regularly. I say ‘we’ but Copan is very much Jake’s, he had her for his 13th birthday. Feeling a little left out, I decided it was time for me to get something and having seen an ad for Common Egg Eaters, Dasypeltis scabra last week (the nearest thing you’ll get to a vegetarian snake), I bought one. Well, two actually - Nigel Marven wanted one too so I ordered a couple of well marked females for us.

Dasypeltis scabra, beautifully marked!
The smaller, browner individual. 

The slightly larger, greyer of the two. 

Dasypeltis scabra,  Common Egg Eater

The only genus of snakes to feed
entirely on eggs.

Dasypeltis scabra 

Dasypeltis scabra 

I’ve wanted a Dasypeltis for a long time but you don’t often see them for sale so this was a rare opportunity. They are stunning little snakes with heavily keeled scales which they rub together when agitated and a black mouth lining to frighten potential predators. They do (as their name suggests) eat bird and reptile eggs by swallowing the egg whole and then using muscles in the upper body to force the egg against specially adapted bony projections from the spine, puncturing the shell and releasing the contents before regurgitating the egg shell. They are completely harmless to humans and this particular species hails from Southern and Western Africa where they are as likely to be found in tree branches as they are on the ground.

I can't wait to see this beauty feed and grow!