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08-14-2011, 01:38 PM #1
False Water Cobra (Hydrodynastes gigas)
- False Water Cobra
Commonly known as the False Water Cobra, Brazilian Smooth Snake and False Cobra; Hydrodynastes are what the common names say, a mock cobra. A lot of people look at me when I mention having H.gigas as if Im a crazy person keeping true Naja species. False Water Cobras, sometimes referred to as Falsies or FWC are indeed venomous, but are rear fanged and require chewing-like motion to have the venom flow down the grooved fangs to even get the slightest bit into its prey or potential enemy.
Ranging anywhere from 5-8` with females being larger, H. gigas are not to be taken lightly. They are very bulky for a colubrid and do not hesitate to charge or chase when food is present. I`ve had a few run-ins with my female to a point where she was chasing me across the room! They do have a hood that they can spread out, much like a cobra when agitated, however they cannot rear up the same as true cobras but can only tilt their neck to the side that the threat is at to show off. Ive also seen my female flatten the majority of her body as well, which the typical cobra cannot do.
H. gigas are a diurnal species, with eyes that are so dark that it is very hard to see the rounded pupil. Babies are brownish-yellow with black saddles and banding. As adults the colors lighten up to a grey or yellow depending on the specimen. I will talk about this further in. (Not included in this caresheet)
Hydrodynastes are found in Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname as well as other countries.
Food is a BIG thing with False Water Cobras...they love, love, love to eat. As mentioned before, I have been chased down just trying to feed my female and seemed to have thought I looked better then a rat on hemostats. One thing with H. gigas however, they cannot take down large meals. My adult female gets no larger than a medium rat or two, where as my male will only take down smalls. By the girth, it looks like they can take down larger, but their mouth structure does not allow them to eat larger food. Despite what some people think, I feed my H. gigas a variety of food items. Im sure in the wild they would not only eat rats as they spend a great deal of time in the water. Lucky for me, they are garbage cans! Hydrodynastes will eat just about anything; dont take it for granted though! I give mine a variety of rats, whole fish, frog legs(with another larger meal), chicks, squid(on a rare occasion due to salt content), and the odd stillborn snake if any happen.
To make it short and sweet, I dont trust them. H. gigas are either tolerant or downright aggressive. My female is tolerant once out of the enclosure but is aggressive and defensive in it. As for my male, I can touch and handle him in or out of the enclosure.
The venom has not been studied enough to know what the venom causes or what it can potentially do. The only time I have ever been bit is by a newly hatched neonate that chewed my finger and left it tingling and burning for about 5 minutes. I have heard rumours that someone had their arm amputated from an adult. No proof to back it up however.
Hydrodynastes are big and need room. They use up every bit of space I give them. I have them each in a 4x2, soon to be upgraded as they love to move. I would suggest avoiding top opening enclosures because a) humidity escapes and b) I find it much more comfortable to open it frontwards so I can go to the side and feed them without my hand dangling above their head. I keep temperatures between 80-88F with humidity fluctuating between 60-80% . For those who use paper or newspaper for substrate, it is useless with H. gigas. They go to the bathroom...a lot. Its easier to just scoop the substrate. I just use Aspen for my pair, however dirt and other substrates are okay as well.
Despite my success so far with fertile eggs; Im still unsure on how exactly to go about the process. Im still trying to figure out what is best with tweaking things here and there such as temperature, humidity and introdution times, but it seems the basics are with a slight cooling, lower humidity and less feeding much like a Boa Constrictor. With this method however, I didnt get a large clutch and only half seemed to be fertile. I hope to soon change this and figure out the best way to successfully get it going.- Ashley
09-18-2012, 03:24 PM #2
- Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Awesome post!!! I am interested to find another FWC. My old girl passed away 3 years ago and i feel i am ready to adopt another. If you know anyone with babies or an adult who needs a new home, Please let me know!
The Following User Says Thank You to DreadedWaterCobra For This Useful Post:
09-18-2012, 11:27 PM #3
09-19-2012, 02:49 PM #4
- Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Thank you so much! I would love to read anything you have. Always love getting info about the things i love from people who have the same passion. Keep me posted if you have babies in the future. I would really be interested in one.
01-26-2015, 07:59 PM #5
I know this is an older post, but I was still wondering if you have any babes available. Thank you
01-26-2015, 10:06 PM #6
Long wait list for Hydronastates Gigas in this country.
01-27-2015, 12:17 AM #7
01-27-2015, 01:55 AM #8
My buddy John here in Calgary just bought an adult breeding pair from Cali. The grey / white coloured FWC like what Ashley keeps. Very beautiful snakes! There very Tame no gloves needed. Not sure when he will get eggs but there breeding! Keep an eye out I'm sure he will post pics in the future!Daniel Chappus
Monkey Tails Canada
Corucia Zebrata Breeding Program
01-27-2015, 08:34 AM #9
great looking forward to seeing them