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Behavior General topics or questions concerning the way your cornsnake may be acting.

snake twitch/jerking??
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Old 08-05-2010, 11:22 PM   #1
snake twitch/jerking??

hi, I noticed Sonja do this a few times before but very very rarely.

last night I got out Saxon, my new baby male blood red, and held him for about 10-15 minutes, put him away then got Sonja out, I usually wash my hands before and after handling Sonja but this was the first time handling 2 snakes and I forgot to wash after I put Saxon away.

when I got Sonja out, she paused very still in my hands then started twitching/jerking...sounded like a quick "phhfff" at the same time she "twitched". kinda like sneezing...

is that because she smelled Saxon on me?

I held her for about 20 minutes, she didn't do it the entire time...just the first few minutes.
I'm going to get Saxon and Sonja out again right now and see if she does it again.
any help/opinions would be appreciated, thanks!

Old 08-05-2010, 11:56 PM   #2
I hear that little "phhfff" come out of my snake too. And he does that when he doesnt want to be held or if he's uncomftrable. I think its the way they hiss? Maby its the reaction that comes out of that possible "hissing". Just a thought. Hope someone ealse can give you better information.
Old 08-06-2010, 12:22 AM   #3
ok, I did the same routine, she paused again, but not as long, she only "phhfff'd" 3 times and didn't do it anymore. she seems perfectly happy as always. she's cruising around her viv after I put her back like normal...

I guess I won't worry about it.
Old 08-06-2010, 12:24 AM   #4
Yeah, I'd say its nothing to worry about. But it would be nice to know what the reason behind that noise was.
Old 08-06-2010, 10:02 AM   #5
just keep a look in on her could be a nerve problem for the jerking...the sound....umm did it sound like weezing...if so i would raise the temp in the cage that should stop b/c u dont want it to have a RI.
Old 08-06-2010, 11:10 AM   #6
I just decided to use aspen in my snakes cages instead of the usual coconut fiber. Both my snakes love to burrow but this time with the aspen is different. The little one doesn't mind it but the big one doesn't like the way it feels and when she crawls on it she holds as much of her body up as possible and then burrows and stays there. Well the other day I decided to dig her out and couldn't find her! I took everything out of the tank (hides ect) and dug through the aspen kind of fast and happened to hook her on my fingers. When I did that she made that "phhfff" sound you are talking about! First time I've ever heard her make any sort of sound. I think I scared her as bad as she scared me! So, I wouldn't worry much about the sound unless she does it all the time.

As for your snake smelling the other. I think that may be the reason or it could be just normal hatchling behavior if she is still a baby that is. My new baby has calmed down a lot but every now and again she decides to freak out on me when I first get her out. But I do notice my snakes do not like each other so it could be the smell that upsets yours.
Old 08-06-2010, 12:39 PM   #7
The jerking/twitching is what's known as the jerky dance, and they do that when breeding
Old 08-06-2010, 10:03 PM   #8
Originally Posted by CaptBogart View Post
The jerking/twitching is what's known as the jerky dance, and they do that when breeding
I agree with the above statement. Don't worry about it...
Old 08-06-2010, 09:24 PM   #9
the in viv temp ranges between 77-80, the bottom of tank (on UTH) ranges between 79-83.

she's done it before, just not as much as the other day...right after I held my new little one (Saxon).

it wasnt like weezing, although I dont think I've ever heard what a weezing snake sounds like. more like a sneeze, and her body jerked at the same time, like you would when you sneeze.

she seems perfectly healthy, so I'll just keep an eye on her, like I usually do.
thanks everyone!
Old 08-07-2010, 04:01 AM   #10
When I started out and co-habbed my boys Grrr, Diablo, Spoken Fire, And Can't Believe, they did that all the time. If I moved one thing in the cage, or took out one snake even for a second, it would start a whole jerky thing. I think it's also to establish dominance between snakes. My boys would do the whole "if I can stay higher than you for longer, I win" thing.

I don't have any evidence from scientists that corns actually try to establish dominance, but it's the feeling I got based on documentaries I've seen on snakes during breeding season. I think the snakes I'm thinking of from those videos were cobras or something. I've seen corns of all ages (even hatchlings) do the jerky movement and make that sound if they smell another snake that they aren't familiar with.

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