Amazon Puffing Snake
(Spilotes sulphureus)

1.0 CB'07 Amazing Puffing Snake
1.0 CB'07 Amazing Puffing Snake

Hatched by Wellspring Herpetoculture in 2007, from a clutch laid by a wild caught female.

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1.0 CB'07 Amazon Puffing Snake
1.0 CB'07 Amazon Puffing Snake

Hatched by Wellspring Herpetoculture in 2007, from a clutch laid by a wild caught female.

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1.0 CB'07 Amazing Puffing Snake
1.0 CB'07 Amazing Puffing Snake

Hatched by Wellspring Herpetoculture in 2007, from a clutch laid by a wild caught female.

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1.0 CB'07 Amazing Puffing Snake
1.0 CB'07 Amazing Puffing Snake

Hatched by Wellspring Herpetoculture in 2007, from a clutch laid by a wild caught female.

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Background: 
Those familiar with my story know that this is the species which has long driven my passion for herpetoculture - the Amazon puffing snake (Spilotes sulphureus). 

This species is the longest colubrid snake in the Western Hemisphere with adults routinely exceeding lengths of over ten feet. Widespread throughout the Amazon region, the current taxon Spilotes sulphureus likely represents a few different species, and the bloodlines I am working with are from the Guiana Shield region in the northern Amazon, specifically Suriname. 

As a teenager, I was lucky to acquire an adult female puffing snake that I soon realized to be gravid. At the time, only one person to my knowledge had successfully hatched the species, and I had yet to hatch snakes of any kind. Ultimately, after 97 days, I was fortunate to hatch 100% of the eggs, using a chicken incubator from the feed store, which I had modified to maintain 78-80 degrees F. For a 16 year old living in a trailer park, I may as well have landed on the moon the day those eggs hatched, and an enduring love and connection to these snakes was seeded then, which continues to grow nearly 15 years later. 

Photographed in the above slideshow are my captive-hatched male from that original clutch (now 13 years old and approaching 11’ long), and two established wild caught females I acquired in 2019. I am hopeful that I will be able to produce true captive bred neonates in the coming years, but it is possible that the male is past his breeding prime at this stage. I recently acquired a captive hatched neonate male to raise up as his successor should the time come. Whether I am successful breeding this species or not, I am deeply committed to providing them the best I possibly can. If not for the influence of this species in my life, it’s safe to say I’m not sure I would be involved with herpetoculture today. 

Check out my article on this species here.

Their Setup
 

Enclosure: 
The trio of adults is kept in an 8' x 3' x 6' (240cm x 90cm x 180cm) enclosure by Maximum Reptile, fully planted exclusively with species native to the Guiana Shield, and outfitted with a Universal Rocks background and ledges.

Heating:​
A combination of PAR38 halogens, Arcadia deep heat projectors, and ceramic heat emitters. 

Lighting:

Two Arcadia 6% T5HO bulbs and two Arcadia LED bars. 

 

Notes: 
Humidity on this setup is maintained by a MistKing automatic misting system.

 

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AVAILABILITY UPDATE: Neonates have hatched as of November 15th, and will be available late winter or early spring 2023!

Ontogenetic Color Change
 

One of the more interesting facts about Spilotes sulphureus is that each specimen goes through a gradual change in color as it matures. Neonates are born patterned in black and gray or various shades of brown, but by the time they reach maturity could show colors as diverse as red, green, yellow, or even blue. This process is called an ontogenetic color change, and I'm documenting it in the gallery below as it occurs in a CB'20 male I'm currently raising up.

1.0 CB'20 Amazon Puffing Snake
1.0 CB'20 Amazon Puffing Snake

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1.0 CB'20 Amazon Puffing Snake
1.0 CB'20 Amazon Puffing Snake

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1.0 CB'20 Amazon Puffing Snake
1.0 CB'20 Amazon Puffing Snake

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1.0 CB'20 Amazon Puffing Snake
1.0 CB'20 Amazon Puffing Snake

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