Moon and Reproduction

January 29th 

Its cold for many of us in the US at this time and our boas are breeding. Many of you in the Northern parts of the US are in the home stretch of your breeding season while folks in Florida like me are really just starting. Regardless of where you are and what your climate is like, I wanted to quickly hit on moon phase a little bit. I started paying attention to the phase of the moon and what my snakes were doing when I met Eugene Bessette back in 1988 or so. Eugene is the founder of Ophiological Services in Archer Florida, just down the road from me. When I first visited his place he had these great maps up on the wall showing all of the various phases of the moon throughout the year. In talking to Eugene and then working with him starting in 1990, it became apparent that he correlated various breeding oriented activities to what moon phase we were experiencing at that time. It’s hard to argue with the strong relationship that the moon has to the pulse of our environment and the animals within it. So, as a wildly passionate about reptiles hungry for knowledge young man, I started paying attention to the moon phase and not just observing events that correlated with a given moon phase, but actually using the moon in my breeding and management plan.

Case in point. Right now today in North Central Florida we are having a cold front come through that has brought a nice rain. With this the barometric pressure has dropped, humidity has gone way up and the temperature is trending downward aggressively, AND, in two days the moon is full. For me these weather fronts that correlate with a new or full moon are events I like to mimic in our breeding management. How do we do that? By trying to schedule pairing, misting, and big temperature fluctuations as they are happening outdoors. I don’t go to the extremes in temperature for example, but I will definitely attempt to mimic what is going on outdoors with our snakes indoors. Try this yourself and I think you could see an increase of activity and breeding behaviors in your reptiles. And a BIG thanks to Eugene, a now close friend and mentor for introducing me to the moon!

Consider acquiring a moon phase map. You can always look up moon phase on the internet, but a map will keep it more top of mind, they are attractive, and you might correlate some interesting behaviors to moon phase you never considered previously.