Wednesday, 14 July 2010

California King Snake's first 'slough'

Our California King Snake earlier today just moments after sloughing (shedding) his skin (the transparent skin can be seen clearly at the bottom of this image).

We had planned to move the King snake today to his new vivarium where he'll be on view to the public; however, as he was in the midst of shedding his skin we decided to postpone his relocation for a couple of days (the sloughing process can make snakes quite tetchy!)

All reptiles shed their skins (the technical term is ecdysis) - however the precise manner varies from species to species. Snakes usually shed in one piece, including eye caps, as opposed to lizards who look as though they're recovering from a bad case of sunburn! In general snakes slough once a month but the frequency depends on factors such as species, age, nutritional and reproductive status, the presence of skin parasites or bacteria, ambient temperature and humidity levels. Regular shedding is a necessary part of the growth process in snakes.

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