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CampCounselor45   Snakesitter  

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  Coluber constrictor flaviventris sudden death?

I’m a Camp councilor at a girl’s camp. One of our girls found, and caught, an eastern yellow-bellied racer three months ago. We had a Garter and a Bull snake on display already so we just made up another terrarium for her. She was in a 2.25 square foot terrarium. We used CareFresh Natural reptile pet bedding as a substrate. She had two hides, and a basin of water just big enough for her to coil up and soak in. The water was constantly changed to ensure freshness. We kept an eye on the temperature of the terrarium, and the heating pad which was placed under her terrarium. The terrarium temperature averaged around 70 degrees while just above the heating pad averaged between 80-85. She was three feet long.

Anyway, three weeks ago she laid eggs. We tried to care for both eggs and mom as best we could. We even added a heat lamp just above the eggs to keep them at 90, leaving enough room in the cage for the racer to get away from the heat if she wanted. We even added more water and insects so she could eat after laying her eggs. She ate before laying the eggs, but afterwards we never saw her eating. We just hoped she was eating whenwe weren’t looking. The eggs concaved in on themselves, and holes appeared a week ago. We assumed the eggs were dead, and removed them. We also removed the heat lamp, but the heating pad remained. We didn’t change out the bedding just yet since the bedding for the garter and bull would be changed out in two days anyway so we just decided to do them all together. Last week I noticed she was in the same spot she had been the day before. I reached in, and found a dead snake. Not really sure what happened. Again the only thing I can think of is after laying the eggs she stopped eating for some reason. Any ideas?

07/15/15  01:00pm


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  Message To: CampCounselor45   In reference to Message Id: 2314232

  Coluber constrictor flaviventris sudden death?

My condolences for you and your campers’ loss. Racers are not my area of expertise, but your theory sounds reasonable. Hopefully someone with more expertise will stop by and can you help you.

As a caution, though, sometimes it’s impossible to tell what happened without a necropsy...and sometimes even with.

Best of luck with your future herping.

Cliff Earle
Living Gems Reptiles
Premium Brazilian Rainbow Boas from a disease-tested facility
Website, Facebook

07/16/15  02:13pm

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