Genus Liophis (Wagler, 1830)
© Maarten De Boer 2005
The Liophis specie belongs to the family of Colubridae and within this family to the group Aglyfe snakes with a branched off seed groove in the hemipenis, extended or enlarged teeth which are in the back of the mouth. These teeth are separated of the remaining cogs by a diastema. The species in the genus Liophis are approximately between 50 and 150 cm large. Their tail is between 13 and 31 per cent of the total length of their body. The animals have round pupils, two pairs of chin shields, between 8 and 28 mixillairy teeth and 2 extended ungrooved teeth, aglyf, sometimes separated by a little space diastema. These snakes have a Duvernoy's gland.
The animals prefer to live in swamps and wet rain bunches, but also in savanna bushes (only if there is enough water). Their food exists from frogs, toads, fish, little mammals, little birds and insects. The Liophis genus occurs in the north of South-America and in Middle-America.
At this moment the family Liophis exists of 39 species including subspecies, according to James Dixon:
Liophis breviceps breviceps
Liophis breviceps canaimus
Liophis breviceps longiventris
Liophis cobellus cobellus
Liophis cobellus dyticus
Liophis cobellus taeniogaster
Liophis cobellus trebbaui
Liophis epinephelus epinephelus
Liophis epinephelus pseudocobellus
Liophis epinephelus juvenalis
Liophis epinephelus bimaculatus
Liophis epinephelus albiventris
Liophis epinephelus opisthotaenius
Liophis epinephelus lamonae
Liophis epinephelus fraseri
Liophis epinephelus korgiorum
Liophis jaegeri jaegeri
Liophis jaegeri coralliventris
Liophis melanotus melanotus
|Liophis melanotus lamarii
Liophis melanotus nesus
Liophis miliaris miliaris
Liophis miliaris merremi
Liophis miliaris semiaureus
Liophis miliaris chrysostomus
Liophis miliaris orinus
Liophis miliaris amazonicus
Liophis miliaris mossoroensis
Liophis poecilogyrus poecilogyrus
Liophis poecilogyrus sublineatus
Liophis poecilogvyrus caeseus
Liophis poecilogyrus schotti
Liophis reginae reginae
Liophis reginae semilineatus
Liophis reginae macrosomus
Liophis reginae zweifeli
Liophis sagittifer sagittifer
Liophis sagitiffer modestus
Liophis typhlus typhlus
Liophis typhlus brachyurus
Liophis typhlus elaeoides
Liophis viridis viridis
Liophis viridis prasinus
My own animals:
Since December 2003 I own three Liophis species; Liophis jaegeri, Liophis meridionalis and Liophis poecilogyrus.
Liophis jaegeri jaegeri:
Of this specie I have two pairs, of which one already laid eggs. I keep this specie which really likes water separated so al my four animals have their own terrarium. It has been notable me that when the men are together with the female the men always refuse to eat. This is because the men will breed than, with all consequences. These are quiet, curious animals but when they get scared they try to escape as soon as possible. The animals have a dark green to fell greenness colour, with a brown stripe on their complete length. Their belly is almost complete red.
Like I wrote one pair had eggs. These were 6 eggs which I bread in a little bucket filled with spaghnum. The breeding machine was like au-bain-marie style. When the air temperature was about 29 degrees the first four snakes where born after 50 days, the fifth snake was born one day later. The last egg had a dead but fully grown animal. After six to seven days they get peeled. The young animals are about 8 to 10 cm large, little and vulnerable. They like to lay in a bottle capsule with water.
The first thing I fed them were little tropical fish and later also fish which I cut in pieces. After a few weeks I tried to feed them frog fish. You really have to watch out with shortage fought. This is because in Paraguay -where this specie lives- there is exactly te opposite season as in The Netherlands. This means; when the temperature raises in The Netherlands, in Paraguay the temperature decreases.
I got only one pair of this specie. They are little restless animals, which have really beautiful drawings on their skin. As I have seen, these animals do not lay in the water as much as the Liophis poecilogyrus and jaegeri. They have a brown stripe on their back, on both sides they have one black stripe which is on the whole length of their body. Between these 3 stripes the scales are light-brown / rosé coulour. On several centimetres from the head this colour becomes yellow.
This yellow applies also the tale.
From this specie I also got eggs. These were 4 beautiful white eggs. These I bread in the same manner as the Liophis j. jaegeri. After 53 days all snakes become born at the same time. I fed these young animals also little tropical fish and pieces of fish.
First of all I searched for the right sub specie. Like James Dixon told me, it is possible to cross 2 different subspecies on a natural way. These sub species are caesius and sublineatus.
I got a breeding group of 3 female and one male. Of the 3 species Liophis I got, this is the most relaxed specie which eat perfectly. This specie is very active and you can find them in the water a lot, where they are searching for food. The specie has a white belly and chin, and on both sides over the whole bode a yellow stripe. The head and back are black with dark spots, which are not very clearly to see sometimes.
Of this specie I had 2 times eggs, of which just one group became born. The second group unfortunately died because of the breeding machine did not work properly. The first group, which were 5 eggs, became born after 47 days breeding in the same temperature and at the same manner as the other Liophis species. The young animals are much more active and faster than the parent animals. They are easily to feed but only they grow very slow. In my own collection I keep these young animals separated to be sure that they eat enough.
These Liophis-species are still not very much in The Netherlands, in spite of this it is an family which can be held easily and don not become so large. They are nice, active, look great and don't smell as much as the Thamnophis. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us by e-mail.