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Another case of cannibalism in Psammophis sibilans ?

Or only food competiton?

By Cesare Colli

My Psammophis sibilans pair has lived together since Ton Steehouder gave me the animals in september 2014 (CB 13). The snakes have always shared their spaces and ate together without problems. However, the male has always been dominant in feeding, perhaps because it is larger ( recently 135 cm vs. 118 cm for the female).

The female has laid four eggs on May 30, 2016 and then made a further shed on June 25. After that date, they had three more meals without problems.
Both the sibilans were well fed.

On the morning of July 13, I gave food to both the animals and went to work. I usually leave the food in two different places in the terrarium.
When I returned home around 19 o’clock I saw that the male had in his mouth at least 45 cm of the female body, now dead.
I think everything started from competition for food, and that the male had the female in his mouth from the early hours of the morning. Probably he had not been able to swallow her, nor to regurgitate her.

Fortunately, the male was saved thanks to my intervention, otherwise I think it would have died too.