Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Some Mussurana Love

I recently picked up the Lamborghini of the colubrids - Mussuranas (Boiruna maculata). I got a pair of these wonderful little snakes from John Michels, at Black Pearl Reptiles - if you've never dealt with him, I have nothing but nice things to say. Quality snakes and a very knowledgeable, flexible guy to work with! You can check his site out here: http://web.mac.com/michelsj/Black_Pearl_Reptiles/Home.html

So these colubrids are CBB (captive bred and born) by John, originating from a line started by David Fabius in Uruguay. Native to Central and South America, not many have been imported into the US and even fewer have been captive bred and born.

A Pied Female with the fading red nuchal band

These colubrids are fast and powerful! They max out around 7 ft in length and are explosive feeders - they strike very hard! Similar to indigos, they are shiny, jet-black, and shine with iridescence comparable to an oil-slick. They are quite the attractive, intelligent, and personable colubrid!

Ventral scales of a pied mussurana. You can see the white patches,
along with the typical red belly that will fade to black through an ontogenetic color change.

They basically come in three flavors: Normal, Pied, and SuperPied. All three start out with a red nuchal band and red ventral scales. The red fades within their first year of life, becoming the deep jet-black coloration, carried into adulthood. Normals are shiny and very deep black. Pieds are also very deep black with patches of stark white scales - this is a codominant mutation. The SuperPieds are almost the polar opposites of the pieds - almost all white with a few random black patches. This is the homozygous form of the pied gene.

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