African File Snakes a.k.a Mehelya crossi
Intro to File Snakes
African File Snakes are fascinating reptiles native to the rainforests and swampy regions of West and Central Africa. They are non-venomous, nocturnal snakes that have a unique appearance characterized by rough, file-like scales running along their bodies. These scales aid in their natural camouflage among the leaf litter and forest debris, making them excellent ambush predators. African File Snakes primarily feed on small mammals, such as mice, which they capture using their sharp teeth and powerful jaws. Due to their secretive nature, they are relatively uncommon in the pet trade, but their striking appearance and intriguing behavior make them an attractive option for reptile enthusiasts.
When it comes to the care of African File Snakes in captivity, it is essential to provide them with a suitable enclosure that mimics their natural habitat. A spacious glass or plastic terrarium with secure lid or sliding doors is recommended to prevent any escape attempts. The enclosure should have plenty of hiding spots, such as caves, logs, and dense foliage, as these snakes are shy and prefer secluded areas. A substrate of coco husk chips or a mixture of cypress mulch and coconut fiber can be used to maintain the proper humidity levels and allow the animal to burrow. Maintaining the correct temperature and humidity is crucial for the health and well-being of African File Snakes. The ambient temperature inside the enclosure should be maintained between 75-88°F during the day, with a slight drop to 70-75°F at night. Providing a temperature gradient within the enclosure allows the snake to regulate its body temperature effectively. Monitor temperature with a temperature gauge and monitor humidity with a hydrometer. A basking spot with a temperature of 85-90°F can be created using an under-tank heating pad or a heat lamp. Always use a thermostat when adding heat. The humidity levels should be maintained between 50-80% to replicate the snake's natural environment. Regular misting of the enclosure and providing a shallow water dish for soaking can help achieve the desired humidity. In terms of diet, African File Snakes are primarily carnivorous and feed exclusively on small mammals in the wild. In captivity, they can be fed a diet of appropriately sized live or frozen-thawed rodents, such as mice or rats. The prey items should be no wider than the widest part of the snake's body to ensure proper digestion. Juvenile snakes may require smaller prey items, gradually increasing in size as they grow. It is recommended to feed adult snakes every 1-2 weeks, while juveniles may require more frequent feedings (once per week). Always provide fresh water in a shallow dish for drinking and soaking.
File Snakes For Sale in the Pet Trade
Captive Bred File Snakes are rare but there are some dedicated hobbyist breeders and professionals working on increasing the number of CB File Snakes - definitely a step in the right direction! File Snakes are usually available as wild caught animals and are not recommended for beginner hobbyists.The ethical collection and sustainability of species Imported and Exported are monitored by USFWS & CITES.
CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) is an international agreement between governments. Its aim is to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten the survival of the species.
How does CITES work?: https://cites.org/eng/disc/how.php