Hierophis viridiflavus feigning death when handled

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Hierophis viridiflavus feigning death when handled

Postby Guillaume Gomard » Tue Jan 09, 2018 8:27 am

Hi guys,

Last summer in France (Vendée region) I had the occasion to witness an unusual behavior by western whip snakes: a specimen was feigning death after a short handling. For those interested, I wrote a short note providing more details about this observation. It can be downloaded (for free) here:

https://www.sendspace.com/file/atcc2q

Source: The Herpetological Bulletin
https://thebhs.org/publications/the-herpetological-bulletin/issue-number-142-winter-2017/1087-12-i-hierophis-viridiflavus-i-lacepede-1789-feigning-death-when-handled?format=html

Figure2 - fh.jpg


Cheers,

Guillaume
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Re: Hierophis viridiflavus feigning death when handled

Postby Bobby Bok » Tue Jan 09, 2018 8:44 am

Bizarre observation :shock:
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Re: Hierophis viridiflavus feigning death when handled

Postby Mario Schweiger » Tue Jan 09, 2018 9:15 am

very interesting!

I remember to see something in carbonarius, but far less impressive :)
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Re: Hierophis viridiflavus feigning death when handled

Postby Kevin Byrnes » Tue Jan 09, 2018 11:59 am

Thats strange, normally I have to feign death just to get it to let go of my bleeding hand.
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Re: Hierophis viridiflavus feigning death when handled

Postby Bobby Bok » Tue Jan 09, 2018 12:26 pm

Kevin Byrnes wrote:Thats strange, normally I have to feign death just to get it to let go of my bleeding hand.


:lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: Hierophis viridiflavus feigning death when handled

Postby Christoph Stenger » Tue Jan 09, 2018 1:52 pm

Strange and interesting.

@ Kevin: :shock: :o :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: Hierophis viridiflavus feigning death when handled

Postby Guillaume Gomard » Tue Jan 09, 2018 7:08 pm

Mario Schweiger wrote:very interesting!

I remember to see something in carbonarius, but far less impressive :)


Thanks Mario. Do you remember the context with your carbonarius encounter? Did you handle the snake for a long time? Was it a young or an adult specimen?

Kevin Byrnes wrote:Thats strange, normally I have to feign death just to get it to let go of my bleeding hand.


Lol, that's how I like them ;)
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Re: Hierophis viridiflavus feigning death when handled

Postby Mario Schweiger » Wed Jan 10, 2018 8:43 am

Guillaume Gomard wrote:
Mario Schweiger wrote:very interesting!

I remember to see something in carbonarius, but far less impressive :)


Thanks Mario. Do you remember the context with your carbonarius encounter? Did you handle the snake for a long time? Was it a young or an adult specimen?


Yes, that it was, after a lot of guys want to get pictures and always tried to do the snake ikebana. but the snake disnt turn upside down, just got completely relaxed, like dead. after some minutes (for sure it seems longer as it has been), she got alive again.
something like that also happened with a Dolichophis caspius on Ada Bojana.
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Re: Hierophis viridiflavus feigning death when handled

Postby Berislav Horvatic » Wed Jan 10, 2018 3:34 pm

Mario Schweiger wrote:Yes, that it was, after a lot of guys want to get pictures and always tried to do the snake ikebana. but the snake disnt turn upside down, just got completely relaxed, like dead. after some minutes (for sure it seems longer as it has been), she got alive again.
something like that also happened with a Dolichophis caspius on Ada Bojana.


Mario, I would say your snake just fainted. It happened to me once with a Vipera berus bosniensis. It was hot,
and I insisted on making photos in full sunshine. I was prepared to bear the heat, but the snake was not. The
photo session lasted for much too long, since the viper was not "cooperative", it just wanted to run away into
some shade. Suddenly it fainted. I was very much ashamed of myself and my ruthlessness. I hurried with it
into the nearby shade, where it soon recovered.
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Re: Hierophis viridiflavus feigning death when handled

Postby Clive Brignull » Wed Jan 10, 2018 7:33 pm

Interesting observations by Mario regarding Dolichophis caspius. Could this be another possibility regarding the lack of ressistance with my specimen (report : Romania,Sept 2017).Although not handled for long, perhaps as not being up to optimum temperature to escape it chose to remain placid ?
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