If you want to be sure about the gender of your Corallus hortulanus, you need to probe the snake. Females probe around 2-4 scales deep and males probe 8 or more scales.
Probing is potentially dangerous to the snake. That is why I never ever probe Corallus hortulanus under the age of 6 months.
Another method of sexing is the so called “popping”. I don’t practice this method on Corallus hortulanus because of their fragile tail.
In December I choose the animals I want to breed with next season. The animals, especially the females must be well fed and in mint condition.
Between December and March the male is introduced to the female for several times Each time for a period of one week. Normally several matings are observed sometimes even within two hours after introduction of the male.
Is she pregnant?
– Maybe you’ve seen matings..
– The colour of her skin becomes darker
– She is constantly basking, even turning her belly towards
– She stops eating and grows bigger anyway.
All these are indications but no guarantee for pregnancy.
Time and again I expected a female to be pregnant because of these indications to see her return to her old behaviour after several weeks and started eating again…
Yes, she is..
The gestation period is about 8 to 10 months (you don’t know which mating in those weeks was successful). Gravid females may not accept food especially in the last period of gestation. I don’t stop offering them a smaller prey every now and then.
Most females in my collection give birth to there litters between mid September and the end of October. The largest litter ever in my collection contained 14 youngsters. Normally the size of the litters vary between 4-10 juvenile.
After given birth I offer the females food frequently. Normally they accept prey without hesitation. It might take a few months before they have regained their former weight.
The colour of the skin becomes darker..
This is the same female prior and at the end of her pregnancy. .
A pregnancy is not without risks:
For me there was no doubt what so ever that this beautiful eight year old female was pregnant again; her skin colour had darkened, she was constantly basking and she refused food for the last two months. I didn’t observe any odd behaviour.
And then I found her dead one morning.. I didn’t see it coming at all. Opening up her belly I found 15 eggs. hard as a rock.. I have no idea what went wrong; I kept her under the same conditions as the years before.