Billy-Bob "Legs"  :

Billy-Bob "Legs"   was Julian's pet snake. He was an amelanistic corn snake -- "amelanistic" means he had no black pigment. Photo of Billy-Bob curled on his log

Ordinary corn snakes are patterned in black and red and white; amelanistic ones only have the red pigment, so they're various shades of orange and white, with no black. Yes, there are also corn snakes that don't have the red pigment, and just about every other imaginable combination.

Corn snakes are native to North America, found throughout the southeast; they're close relatives of the common rat snake. They're called corn snakes because they're commonly found in corn fields; they're rat snakes because they eat rats.

Yes, this meant that Billy-Bob lived on a diet of rodents -- every five or six days we would pick up a mouse at the local pet shop for him. He'd take dead ones in an emergency, but he preferred them alive.

If you look at the photo below to the right, you can see him looking a little bloated right after eating a very large mouse, the tail still hanging out of his mouth. The skin on his neck is so stretched you can see white between the rows of scales.

Photo of Billy-Bob right after eating a large mouseBilly-Bob died of old age in late January of 2008, at the age of eight and a half. He was about four feet long -- not particularly large for a corn snake, but I don't think we'd underfed him or anything.

He was a pretty good pet. Didn't take much care, didn't bite, could be handled pretty readily. And yes, his last name was a variable.


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