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Do snakes in captivity hibernate?
04-24-2012, 10:28 PM,
#1
Ram Offline
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Do snakes in captivity hibernate?
Some snakes go into hibernation during the winter because of the cold temperature and the lack of food.
What about the snakes in captivity? Do they also hibernate?
If you have heat in the room, and provide them unlimited source of food, I really do not see a need for hibernation.



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04-25-2012, 04:11 AM,
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Fishbone Offline
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RE: Do snakes in captivity hibernate?
The proper term for a reptile is brumate, or brumation. Many species don't do this naturally either way. And most species from colder climates that do in the wild, do not need to if they are given ideal conditions year round. Many people do reduce their temperatures during the winter to encourage this natural behavior anyways. Some bearded dragons will go into a form of brumation no matter what you do with lights and temperatures, while some never do. For allot of snake species, it is necessary to brumate them to encourage proper breeding, so that is an additional consideration.
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04-25-2012, 07:32 AM,
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Ram Offline
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RE: Do snakes in captivity hibernate?
Ok, brumation then. Smile
Umm Microsoft Word is giving me a red line underneath "brumation". They obviously don't know anything about reptiles.

I guess by letting your pet reptile sleep through the whole winter, you save a few bucks on the food cost etc.
Is there any health benefits to encourage brumation / hibernation? Like if they will live longer?

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04-25-2012, 11:30 AM, (This post was last modified: 04-25-2012, 12:13 PM by Thor.)
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RE: Do snakes in captivity hibernate?
That is an unproven & debatable subject. My general view on it is if they seem to want to do it, help them out and go with it. I don't have any snake species at the moment that naturally brumate. Just my beardies. My male did a kind of half brumation this year.

The most informative thing I have heard on the subject was from a guy I talked to for a while about diamond pythons (morelia spilota spilota.) They have long been considered a hard to keep species by many, and this guy has had great success with keeping them and breeding them. He has a female still breeding after 23 years. They are found farther south than any other species of python. And he cools his breeding adults pretty hard during winter, and all of his sub adults and adults get lowered temperatures.

Allot of the problems associated with diamond pythons have started being associated to a mysterious condition that was coined Diamond Python Syndrome (DPS). And some of the new thinking now is that most of these people who have experienced these problems, were keeping their diamonds at a warmer temperature similar to most other python species. And this was in effect, speeding their body functions and decay. And those who weren't, and giving a more natural winter, weren't having the same problems.

So, most likely, it is beneficial to animals who come from these types of climates naturally. And the real key is to watch the animals behavior, if it is slowing down, sleeping and hiding more when it would normally be out, just go with it.
And you should see some of the weird reptile related words & latin names that are in my dictionary Tongue
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04-26-2012, 09:33 AM,
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Ram Offline
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RE: Do snakes in captivity hibernate?
Is there something triggering the snakes to hibernate / brumate? Such as the temperature?
How can you tell if they want to do it?

You have mentioned you live in Florida. It is quite warm down there. I had visited there once on 12/30 a few years ago. It was in the 70F+. You don't even have winter there in Florida. Smile


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04-26-2012, 11:29 AM,
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RE: Do snakes in captivity hibernate?
It varies a bit with the species. Mostly temperatures, either overall, or a bigger nighttime drop, and lighting cycles. And normally just work with the natural season, though it can get scewed with some animals if they are imported from South America, Indonesia, etc...

Quite warm? You are to polite Big Grin I call it Exclamation Hot!
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04-26-2012, 11:46 AM,
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Thor Offline
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RE: Do snakes in captivity hibernate?
I do not think it is hot until it is over 80F.
It is especially true in the dry northern area. With more humid, the same temperature does not give the same hot feeling. I have been to places with over 90 degree without feeling terribly hot.

As for the reptiles from hot places such as the rainforest in Southeast Asia and South America, do they hibernate at all? My guess is no.

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04-26-2012, 04:47 PM,
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RE: Do snakes in captivity hibernate?
Not any that I am aware of. Typically only reptiles from cooler temperate climates, and a few in an arid, almost desert climates, if there is a cool winter.
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