Stubbs is Ready To Shed (July 6, 2002)
He's nearly blind at this stage in the shedding process...

I didn't handle him during this period to avoid causing injury to the new, tender skin underneath. However, his aggressive behavior causes him to strike as I pass by his enclosure, repeatedly bumping his nose on the enclosure glass. That behavior has wrinkled the skin there. His eyes have turned a blue-gray color and appear opaque. He is probably unable to see very much right now. This will change just before he sheds, when the eyes become transparent again.

He will need lots of water to keep hydrated and to keep his skin moist for the shedding process. The hollow log in his enclosure should give him plenty of hooks to attach the skin around his mouth to when the shedding begins. Then he will pull himself out of the skin, hopefully in a smooth operation that will leave the old skin intact. Note that the skin over his entire body has turned a lighter grayish coloration.

Snakes like Stubbs typically shed four to eight times a year. The frequency varies inversely with age, and directly with food intake. This snake will eat any live rodent I put in his/her enclosure (I doesn't know Stubb's sex yet), and one consequence of eating three full-sized mice in a week is added growth and a subsequent need to shed the old skin (which is now too small). The process is hormone driven, and begins with a period of inactivity. Stubbs started getting sluggish about a week ago, when he stopped roaming his terrarium constantly and began to spend most of his time coiled up under a log in one corner of the enclosure.

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