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A Question For Tony

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Alan Hyde View Drop Down
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    Posted: 29 May 2003 at 4:00pm

Hi Tony,

My wife knows how much it means to me to see and photograph B.nasicornis in the wild, but we do not want to take the children to such a dangerous country and give them maleria tablets. She has said ,that if I want to, she wouldn't mind me going on my own.

Can you tell me, what is the best area , and time of year for nasicornis observation?

Thanks,

Alan

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Alan Hyde Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 May 2003 at 10:20am

Hi Tony ,

Many thanks for all the info , much appreciated. I think I'll order that book this afternoon.

I've often pondered over how one field herps in places like Africa .For instance , you don't want to be photographing Bitis arietans only to have a lion pounce on your back, there's some pretty dangerous wildlife , and people out there. How did you go about it? Did you just take the risk and walk around alone?

Sarah has been saying for the last few years , "Go on , you go ..I really don't mind , if you don't get it out of your system it'll always eat away at you". But then , I've been reluctant . Not only because of the possible dangers but, also because it'd be pretty daunting being in a foriegn land totaly alone.

Anyway, thanks once again,

Alan

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Alan Hyde Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 May 2003 at 9:20pm

Hi Tony ,

Thanks for a fascinating read! I've often wondered about such situations , and it's great to read about it from someone like yourself that's been there and done it.

Good job you didn't race up that tree only to look up and see a leopard above.

I totaly relate to having a buddy when abroad . Like yourself I often mooch alone in the UK , but rarely in another country. I have done it , but aside from the risks like you mention(bites) it's also nice to share a laugh , and excitement when encountering a new species. I often go into the field with my brother ,(a herp lover, but not as obsessive as myself), and we have taken herp curious people with us on the odd occasion. It simply doesn't work with the herp curious holiday maker . Rarely do they have the devotion , or stamina. They often also freak when a snake slides across infront of them, then comes the , "Shouldn't we be heading back now "(After just about half hour).

Back to Africa-

Yes , I must admit Crocs and hippos would be my main concern , but as you said , common sense is the key here. Dukuduku Forest KwaZuluNatal sounds like a fantastic place , and to see wild gabonica would be a good substitute for nasicornis . I must confess i've had little experience with elapids , having only ever kept naja atra. Mind you , I feel confident that I wouldn't make any disasterous boo boos if a spitter did show up.

So how long will you spend out there in October?

Right, i'm going on an internet search for a picture of B.atropos now. I've heard of them , and read a little , but never seen a pic.

Thanks Tony,

Alan

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Alan Hyde Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 May 2003 at 9:36pm

Well that's interesting. I found a site with pics , and one ,B.atropos, looked alot like cornuta , and the other pic ,B.atropos atropos, looed alot like arietans.

Great looking snakes.

Alan

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Alan Hyde Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 May 2003 at 12:01pm

Morning Tony,

Thanks again. That's very interesting . The sites I found were in German or dutch and i couldn't read the information given. From the pictures i'd of put them down as being about 3ft! 

 So if you recieve funds will you be spending alot of time out there?

 Often in the herp keeping hobby the large bitis seem to be taken for granted , at least I think so. They are readily available and commonly kept . Comments such as "Oh yeah, it's just another gabby " are reguraly heard. I remember recieving my first pair of nasicornis and gabonica. They arrived in polystyrene boxes and I took them to my snake room. Just outside the door I opened the lid and just stared and stared! How could mother nature create anything so inspiringly beautiful?!

In my opinion most bitis do not look their best when viewed in captivity under artificle lighting. See them in the wild or take them into sunlight and it's a totaly different kettle of fish , i expect the berg adder to be no exception.

(Sorry , sometimes i get a bit over enthusiastic lol!).

So , does the berg adder have an extremely long gestation period like the larger bitis? Or does the fact that it's smaller mean a shorter gestation?

I tell you, I've got to get out to Africa , This dream has to be fullfilled

 

Cheers,

Alan

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Alan Hyde Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 May 2003 at 3:27pm

Hi Tony ,

Interesting. Do you suspect that fem atropos will be a bi'annual breeder also? How about gaboon breeding behaviour ? have you observed copulation in these snakes at night?

I notice that both Gabonica and nasicornis thrive in cooler conditions in captivity . High tempretures often prove fatal , so i'm assuming that both these species will aviod the hot days , or perhaps shuffle down in cool leaf litter or a stream?

I hadn't really noticed that juvenile berus move around more. Perhaps due to the fact I've never taken details of neos so as to recognise them again. Fascinating stuff, there's obviously still alot we do not know about wild snake behaviour.

Alan

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