Today, this snake is not uncommon in home terrariums. Many people who want to start it are interested in the question: is the Amur snake poisonous or not? We can calm you down, these snakes are not poisonous. They can bite, especially during feeding, but it is not dangerous for humans.
To keep the snake, you will need a horizontal terrarium. Its minimum size (for one individual) is 70 × 40 × 60 cm. These dimensions are given without regard to the height of the lamp. The temperature in it can be maintained with the help of a thermowatt or thermal cord. During the day, it should be within +32 ° C, at night - +25 ° C.
It is necessary to install in a terrarium a cuvette filled with water, where it would be comfortable for a runner to swim and be in molting. Shelters can be of any shape - shelves, houses, etc. In the warmest corner of the shelter there should be a sphagnum cuvette. This will help maintain moisture and allow the snake to bury. Shelter should be completely dry in a cold corner. In the terrarium, you can put a variety of snags, branches, on which your pet will be willing to crawl.
In the terrarium, the soil is optional, but with a strong desire, you can use gravel, coarse sand, coconut substrate, or cover the bottom with filter paper. Do not forget to spray the terrarium with warm water once a day, the sphagnum should always be wet. There can be one Amur snake or a group of animals in the terrarium.
What to feed an unusual pet?
The Amur snake, a description of the species and photos of which can be found in many publications for terrariumists, in natural conditions feeds on mammals (small and medium), birds, as well as their eggs, sometimes frogs. Juveniles consume small rodents, chicks, mollusks and frogs.
At home, the Amur snake happily eats laboratory mice, hamsters, rats, quails, chickens, as well as bird eggs. Young snakes will like newborn mice.
Feed pets about once every four to five days. They drink water often, so it should be changed regularly. Together with the feed, the snake should receive mineral supplements. They can be crushed eggshell, calcium. Sometimes mineral water can be added to the drinker, preferably Borjomi.
Once a month with food, give vitamin preparations. Balanced feeding give strictly in accordance with the instructions.
After wintering, the snakes must be irradiated and start feeding with the addition of preparations containing vitamin E for about 2-3 weeks. Then females and males are combined. Duration of copulation - up to 3 hours. After 40-55 days, the females lay their eggs. In advance it is necessary to prepare for them a container with sphagnum. Laying is placed in an incubator in which the temperature is maintained at +27. +29 ° C. In one laying there can be up to 30 eggs. From them after 55 days the hatchlings hatch.
Daily and seasonal rhythm
During the period of activity (from spring to autumn) the duration of the day (light) and, accordingly, the work of day heating is 12 hours. Throughout the day should be irradiated with UV lamps. For the same purpose fit special erythemal lamps. They should work 15 minutes three times a day. When irradiated, the snake must be in a dry corner.
In the winter months, the snake enters a state of rest. For this, it is necessary to reduce the light day and the heating operation very smoothly within twenty days. When the light day is reduced to eight hours, the feeding of snakes stops and they are turned off the night heating. At the four-hour day, you can turn off daytime heating. From this moment the skid is placed in a ventilated light-tight cage with sawdust. During wintering, the temperature should be at a level no higher than +16 ° C.
In one corner of the cage, the soil should be sprayed once a week to maintain humidity. Wintering lasts about two months. They remove the snake from this state in the same mode, increasing the heat and light day gradually. At eight o'clock in the day, they include night heating and the skid begins to feed.
Where does the Amur snake live?
These snakes live in northeastern and northern China, in Mongolia and Korea. In our country, Amur snake lives in the Khabarovsk and Primorsky Territories. In the west, the habitat of these snakes reaches the Little Khingan, and in the north - to Komsomolsk-on-Amur.
Amur snake lives in forests of various types, but also creeps on the meadows. These snakes, like ordinary snakes, can settle near buildings, in gardens and kitchen gardens, that is, they are not afraid of human proximity.
Amur snakes are distinguished by high mobility, they crawl quickly and perfectly climb trees, they rise to a height of up to 10 meters. In addition, these runners can swim and dive. They can travel long distances, but they always return to their place of residence. In the experiment set, the Amur snake crossed 8 kilometers a day. Individuals own certain areas, the boundaries of which adhere to for many years. Snakes can leave their allotments, to search for a pair or, going to winter, but always come back.
It looks like an Amur snake resembles an exotic snake.
Amur snakes are hiding in rotting stumps, in hollows, crevices between stones, in animal burrows, in piles of garbage (when it comes to life in the city). They spend the winter in such places, and at the same time accumulate in groups in which there can be up to 30 individuals.
How do Amur snakes eat?
The diet of adult individuals consists of small mammals, birds, their chicks, eggs and frogs. Large representatives of the species can eat a rat and even a young hare. Snakes living next to human housing often eat chicken eggs. The shell breaks right in the esophagus of the snake, this happens due to outgrowths of the cervical vertebrae. The snakes do not regurgitate the shell like other snakes, the basis of which are bird eggs. Small animals swallow swallow alive, and large choke, wrapped around her ring or crushing her body to the ground.
Sometimes Amur runners are met not only in the forest, but also in cities and villages.
During the danger of Amur snakes flee, and if the escape does not work, they show defensive tactics: hiss and rush in the direction of the offender. Like some other species of snake, in the excited state, the Amur snake vibrates with the tip of its tail. A large individual can cause serious bites. In captivity, these snakes quickly get used to the owner, feed from their hands and multiply well. These snakes in China are raised as pets that kill mice and rats.
Reproduction of Amur Runners
With the onset of spring, adults gather together annually in the same area. Males seek the location of females, while they are constantly close to their chosen one. During courtship, the male strokes the body of the female with his head. After the mating period is over, the males crawl away, and the females remain to bear the offspring. They rest in secluded shelters and bask in the sun. In these places, not only Amur snake females gather, but also other snake females, such as the shield-mord and the patterned snake.
In mid-summer, females lay their eggs. Their diameter is 2.2 centimeters, and length - 5 centimeters. In clutch there are 7-30 eggs. Larger females tend to lay more eggs. Laying is done in a loose moist substrate: in faded leaves, moss, in hollows. Females can make and collective laying. In one such nest there were 108 eggs.
Amur snakes are very prolific snakes.
Cubs hatch large enough, not infrequently their length reaches 30 centimeters. The diet of the young is more diverse than that of adults. They eat shrews, young rodents, chicks. Most of the young are killed in the first winter, because it is difficult for them to find secluded, non-freezing shelters in the habitat region. Sexual maturity in Amur runners begins in the 3rd year of life.
People eat these big snakes. Catching Amur snakes for gastronomic purposes and for keeping in captivity causes serious damage to the population.
Country of Origin: Russia
Lifespan: 10 - 15 years
Conditions of detention: does not require special conditions
Nanai people have legends about the dubians, a creature that looks like a boa, but researchers believe that this creature is the Amur snake. Officially, the history of the species began in the middle of the 19th century, when in 1856 the researcher of the Amur Region, Leopold Schrenk, first discovered this species in the area of the so-called Khingan post on the Amur River. He brought the skin of this snake to the Zoological Museum of the Imperial Academy of Sciences in St. Petersburg, and the snake received the second name - Shrenk's snake. Outside Russia Amur snakes have practical application. So, in China, these snakes are kept as pets that effectively kill mice and rats. Also, the Chinese have a belief that these snakes guard the house and savings and, moving to their own home, the son receives a snake from his father as a gift. This tradition has been passed down from generation to generation for many years.
The Amur snake - the snake is calm and quickly gets used to the person. This is largely due to the lifestyle of these snakes. They can often be found near human habitation: on private land plots, in gardens, kitchen gardens, on concrete slabs along bridges and even under the roofs of old abandoned buildings. The natural habitat of Amur snakes is forests. These snakes swim beautifully and can crawl out of their "houses", but after a while they return. They like to winter collectively, sometimes wintering groups of snakes reach 30 individuals. The marriage period for Amur runners also takes place in groups, where they choose their partners. These snakes are active during the daytime and lead a semi-woody lifestyle, climbing trees up to a height of 10 m from the ground.
It is best to keep the Amur snake in a horizontal type terrarium. The minimum size of the terrarium for one snake is 70x40x60 cm, for a pair of snakes a dwelling should fit no less than 100x60x70. If you want to get offspring, it is better to keep the snakes of different sexes apart and settle together only for the mating period.
It is better to use peat or ground covered with sphagnum leaves or moss as a soil. Be sure to install in the terrarium a spacious drinking bowl. Shelters in the terrarium are optional, but you can install one or more convenient branches so that the snake can climb, as in a natural habitat. Amur snakes are fed with mice, small rats, birds (day-old chickens or young quails) and bird eggs. It is important not to overfeed the snake, which does not refuse from food and can rush to the lactating hand and even bite on the food reaction. The temperature in the serpentine dwelling should be maintained at 26 - 31 degrees during the day and 18 - 20 degrees at night. Air humidity is about 70%. This indicator should be carefully monitored, since Amur snakes are susceptible to fungal diseases (moisture changes are allowed only during the wintering period). Light day of the snake should be 9 hours, but for the period of wintering it should be reduced.
Wintering is a very important period in the life of the Amur snake and it is important to carry it out correctly. Wintering lasts from 1 to 3 months and includes 5 stages: cleaning, preparation, cooling, removal from wintering and additional stimulation. The wintering process begins with a temporary cessation of feeding, so that the snake completely digests the food that it consumed earlier - this is the purification stage. The preparation consists in a gradual reduction in daylight and a decrease in temperature, but a slight increase in humidity. These stages take place in a terrarium, in which the snake lives permanently. The next stage — cooling or wintering itself — is the most difficult and should be strictly controlled. At this stage, snakes, one by one or in small groups, are placed in canvas bags, which are placed in rigid boxes on a layer of chips or sphagnum 3–5 cm thick. Boxes with bags are filled with sphagnum or hay. A box of snakes should be placed inside a spacious box to avoid a sharp temperature drop. The drawer space must be filled with chips. These boxes can be placed in the lower part of the refrigerator, but you need to make sure that the temperature does not fall below +5 degrees. To avoid dehydration, the filler in the box every 5 days should be moistened with a spray bottle. Then the snake needs to gradually withdraw their wintering conditions. This is the reverse preparation stage: the wintering boxes must first be transferred to a place with a higher temperature, then to the terrarium with heating turned off, after 1 to 2 days to turn on the heating, then increase the light day (maximum duration to maintain at least 20 days) and humidity. When the snake’s usual living conditions are restored, you need to start feeding right away. On the second day after cooling, you need to start making snakes with ultraviolet radiation (any source with a wavelength of 258-315 mm).
Danger to humans
Amur snake is not poisonous and quite calm - that is why he can get along with a person without any problems.
However, a cornered or trapped snake will desperately defend itself: hiss loudly and bite.
A newly caught snake can fold into a ring and rush at the abuser through the glass of a terrarium. However, many individuals calm down if you carefully hold them in your hands for a while. In addition, a skid released into the wild can quickly escape from the hands (to hold it too is not an easy task), and then without haste, royally retire to the grass or thick bushes. Here is such an amazing and magnificent snake.