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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
no hostility please. i would like to be educated about the territoral behavior in snakes that i have always been hearing about here. i have searched and searched the internet and various forums looking for information explaining it. i can find no scientific papers or discussions on the subject. i think it would be a fascinating read and help me improve on my understanding of snakes. all that i can find is competition between males during breeding time. personally, i don't believe it. i've had multiple retics, anacondas, burms and indians and others. i never saw it. could someone enlighten me? again, i just want information or good debate not attitudes or tempers. i am only being honest and must follow the method and require evidence and data supporting the theory of territorial behavior in snakes, especialy boids. does it exist? is it a bogus theory? why can i not find any information on it? i would tend to believe that it would be the subject of intense study by professional herpetologists. the closest thing that i have found were multiple studies involving garter snakes but even these papers did not mention non-reproductive territoriality. is it real or a myth. let's actually share information, ideas and observations on a worthy subject. i believe it would be productive and informative to all who keep snakes here. as for me? i believe snakes are nomadic and do not compete for territory with others of their kind. cornered, yes a snake can be defensive in response to a percieved threat and unable to flee. however, this does not constitute territoriality in the true sense of the word. i may very well be wrong in my beliefs and if i am, then PLEASE correct me. again, i must have some real evidence. that's only reasonable. any and all are welcome to share ANY of their thoughts on the matter in this thread.
thank you,......HABU

P.S.- sorry for talkin all fancy and stuff!:blush:
 

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i don't know if it helps but i think it is just because they are not used to being handled. when i got my 3 year old corn she seemed very territorial. as soon as i went near the viv she would coil up into a striking position and i got tagged more than once. if i left the viv door open she would come out and i could handle her without any problems, which at first seemed territorial. here is a pic of her just after i got her.



i was just patient with her now i can go in to do all the regular things you do with a viv even went in one day with a power screw driver to take the bulb cage out and change a bulb and she just lay there watching me not in the least stressed. it may be different with bigger snakes but i think if you don't show fear they will eventually build a trust that you are not going to harm them so they can save their energy
 

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nice post.

I've not heard of it until now, and I think maybe some people have generalized this for reptiles, knowing croc's can be, and assuming the same for snakes.

Our boids give no impression of this. They never look to be defending anything, and for our LTC pastel, i expect she's only defending herself, rather than the territory/viv/tub she lives in. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
jimmy.on,---what i tend to believe in your case is that your snake saw you as a separate entity and that you posed a threat. snakes are poor multi-taskers. they are easily distracted. i have what many would call a vicious emerald tree boa. i can handle her just fine. i don't give her a target. if i hold my hand out in front of her she will absolutly tear my hand off. but i can just reach in and pick her straight up. i am no longer a target, i'm a tree. in your case, she was cornered. in the wild, for example, a black racer is gone before you can see it. big 'ole scaredy cats. usually all you see is a tail dissapearing in the weeds. now if you catch or corner them....they will come at you like a peed-off mamba. is it being territorial? or just reacting to a threat the way that nature has selected them to react? now a hognose will react differently...what happened to it's territoriality? it was selected to respond differently...just a different strategy. now a copperhead won't flee at all. it will sit completely still. they rely of their camo. a water moccasin opens that pearly white mouth to startle predators. territorality is all about possessing your turf. as your snake got more familiar with you, you became less of a threat in it's mind. as everyone knows, snakes need time to acclimate to their environment...that should include the keeper too. if they never interact with you, how will they get de-sensitized? you'll stay alien and a threat to them in their little minds. then when you do have to get in there for things. in these cases you usually end up with a snake that stresses out everytime you get around it......oh well, i've rambled on enough on this post. i may be totaly wrong but hey!..it's just my point of veiw..hope it makes some sense.
 

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my burm acts quite territorial in the viv(or at least what i percieve as territorial) but is fine outside of it, im sorry that is pretty much all i can contribute on the matter
 

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no hostility please. i would like to be educated about the territoral behavior in snakes that i have always been hearing about here. i have searched and searched the internet and various forums looking for information explaining it. i can find no scientific papers or discussions on the subject. i think it would be a fascinating read and help me improve on my understanding of snakes. all that i can find is competition between males during breeding time. personally, i don't believe it. i've had multiple retics, anacondas, burms and indians and others. i never saw it. could someone enlighten me? again, i just want information or good debate not attitudes or tempers. i am only being honest and must follow the method and require evidence and data supporting the theory of territorial behavior in snakes, especialy boids. does it exist? is it a bogus theory? why can i not find any information on it? i would tend to believe that it would be the subject of intense study by professional herpetologists. the closest thing that i have found were multiple studies involving garter snakes but even these papers did not mention non-reproductive territoriality. is it real or a myth. let's actually share information, ideas and observations on a worthy subject. i believe it would be productive and informative to all who keep snakes here. as for me? i believe snakes are nomadic and do not compete for territory with others of their kind. cornered, yes a snake can be defensive in response to a percieved threat and unable to flee. however, this does not constitute territoriality in the true sense of the word. i may very well be wrong in my beliefs and if i am, then PLEASE correct me. again, i must have some real evidence. that's only reasonable. any and all are welcome to share ANY of their thoughts on the matter in this thread.
thank you,......HABU

P.S.- sorry for talkin all fancy and stuff!:blush:
it's forum talk again!! :rotfl:

must be said that asociating food with viv opening, yes i can relate to that. females grumpier than males, again yes. but never really encountered territorial behaviour.

as usual this is a forum myth, very similar to forum law. it's for the people that don't seem to understand that everyone has different styles and whatever works for them is best. it's a herding mechanism to make people do as they do, the only way they can do that is by scaring the :censor: out of people.
 

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I personally don't believe that they are territorial - if they were we'd have seen documentry's on TV showing snakes fighting over their 'patch', and I certainly haven't seen anything like this.
As most snakes like to stay hidden for the most part, I'd imagine they'd almost make a concious effort to avoid, or at least stay hidden from another snake.

just my opinion, i have nothing to back it up :(
 

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I believe this comes with confusion and using the word 'territorial' in the wrong context.

I agree with you Habu, in that when some of our charges react when we enter their enclosure is because they are basically backed into a corner - they have no real chance to flee.

Again though it would be interesting to hear from boid keepers, since we often here how different retics are with regards to intelligence. (No experience of this species) Is it the same? Are they just cornered? Albeit a bigger corner???

Great topic Habu :2thumb:
 

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i dunno if they are or not, but i have heard that boas can be: victory::2thumb:
 

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For me with my snakes I don't think they have a territorial issue that precipitates behaviour. Do they have different defence/breeding challenging mechanisms? For sure thats how I interperate some of their behaviours. They certainly don't get shirty about moving to a different home for 10 mins whilst I clean theirs out, my dogs on the other hand have their feckin names printed on their cages as far as they're concerned.

This will stimulate certain behaviours ie my Alpha male will jump into everyone's cage whilst they get upset on the floor but know better than to cross him over his inspections, the, up and coming male is treated to a 'spray' showing ownership if he's pushed his luck with the old man. During the bitches seasons ie breeding season to a snake, there is no way on earth I can run any of the males together because they split the yard up between them and 'claim' any bitch that happens on their patch be she in season or not.
 

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i have one royal in particular that actes very territorial. upon opening the viv door he will immediately 's' up ready to have me!! as soon as he is out this behaviour stops entirely. when i clean the viv's i put him in a RUB, he probably doesn't see this as his as he only goes in there when im cleaning out. when i remove him from this box he never acts defensive or territorial. I do believe that at least some snakes are territorial.
 

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i have one royal in particular that actes very territorial. upon opening the viv door he will immediately 's' up ready to have me!! as soon as he is out this behaviour stops entirely. when i clean the viv's i put him in a RUB, he probably doesn't see this as his as he only goes in there when im cleaning out. when i remove him from this box he never acts defensive or territorial. I do believe that at least some snakes are territorial.
but is this not just a pure defensive mechanism? does he see you as a threat, then as Habu says when you've got him out you're just a 'tree'?
 

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I think that most, if not all, 'territorial' behaviour is defensive. It is easier to percieve that the snake is being aggressive since this is the behaviour we are taught as children and what we have inherited from our ancestors. It goes against our instinct that the snake is only being defensive.

I would also add that from my experience most larger boids do recognise their environment, and a lot of them do not want to go back in their viv after handling. Maybe the snake can be territorial of the same viv, but it is more likely that he is being defensive when removing them.
 

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I don't know about snakes, but my male ig is certainly territorial about his viv. He shudder-bobs like made when anyone approaches his viv, but once he's out he stops. He also charges the glass doors of his vivs sometimes and sometimes shoots straight out at you when you open the door, but again once he's out of his enclosure this behaviour stops.
 

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I don't know about snakes, but my male ig is certainly territorial about his viv. He shudder-bobs like made when anyone approaches his viv, but once he's out he stops. He also charges the glass doors of his vivs sometimes and sometimes shoots straight out at you when you open the door, but again once he's out of his enclosure this behaviour stops.
See that does sound a little more territorial than defensive. Almost as if he is actively rushing out to chase you off his "turf" rather than say you lifting his hide to remove him and you then receiving a defensive response. Our corn Duncan exhibited this behaviour when we removed his water bowl for cleaning, he'd rush out and throw a few fake strikes. It was strange because you'd be no where near him and he'd come from nowhere. Maybe he felt threatened by our presence rather than territorial over his viv though. Hmmmm, interesting. Territorial or just defensive over an invasion into their personal space?
 

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Correct me if I'm wrong but most snakes in the wild, exept burrowing species don't live and sleep in the same place. They move around in search of food and shelter where they find it, therefore wouldn't they become terratorial. Just a thought.

Liam
 

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Only Burms, Retics etc. are terratorial in my opinion!! Most of the smaller snakes do it to defend themselves rather than their territory!!:2thumb:
 

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but is this not just a pure defensive mechanism? does he see you as a threat, then as Habu says when you've got him out you're just a 'tree'?
If im was to place him on the floor and leave him to explore for a while, when i return to pick him up he is very calm, it is only when he's in the viv, this is why i thought it may be territorial???!!!
 

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If im was to place him on the floor and leave him to explore for a while, when i return to pick him up he is very calm, it is only when he's in the viv, this is why i thought it may be territorial???!!!
i'd think thats because he's not cornered while out and about like he is in the viv?
 
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