Reptoman

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   Oct 19

Mole-Pine snake Similarities

Note the similarities such as the narrow pointed head of mole and pine snakes that is designed for plowing through subsurface burrows. This is a young adult mole snake.
They’re a half a world apart but the similarities between the African Mole Snake, Pseudaspis cana, and the American Pine Snakes, Pituophis melanoleucus ssp. are rather remarkable. Do not mistake the mole snake of this article for our various Mole Kingsnakes. The two are very different. If you have been fortunate enough to work with both African Mole and American Pine snakes you’ll know immediately what I’m talking about.

Both are small-headed, strong-jawed, powerful constrictors that spend a goodly amount of time pursuing rodents in their subsurface burrows. Our gopher and pine snake pursue pocket gophers and the mole snakes pursue mole rats and other rodents. The two differ in scalation, with the scales of the pine snakes being keeled and with the mole snake usually (but not always) having smooth scales. A length of 6 feet is not unusual for them and anecdotal accounts of even greater lengths are often heard.

Mole snake hatchlings and juveniles are straw colored and strongly patterned with dark alternating dorsal and lateral bars. The markings fade with age and adults vary from an almost uniform light olive to dark olive-brown in color. Hatchlings of the American pine snake may be paler than the adults. This snake varies in color by subspecies with the northern subspecies (P. m. melanoleucus) being the most strongly patterned in chocolates, black, and white. The Florida subspecies, P. m. mugitus, is the palest (sometimes almost a uniform straw tan), and as indicated by its common name the Alabama/Mississippi subspecies the Black Pine, P. m. lodingi, is the darkest.

Mole and Pine snakes also differ in reproductive modes. The mole snake bears large litters (usually between 20 and 90) of live young. The Pines produce small clutches (often only 3 to 8) of large eggs.

Both species are tough and they know it. And they’re not at all reluctant to pass that knowledge on. If unduly disturbed both hiss loudly, assume a striking “S,” and lunge at the intruder. But both do tame and some make excellent pets.
Continue reading “Mole-Pine snake Similarities” …read more
Read more here: King Snake

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   Oct 19

Herp Photo of the Day: Boa

What a stunning boa in our Herp Photo of the day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user BoaZilla! Be sure to tell them you liked it here!

Upload your own reptile and amphibian photos at gallery.kingsnake.com, and you could see them featured here! …read more
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   Oct 16

Herp Photo of the Day: Happy Rattlesnake Friday!

Happy Rattlesnake Friday! What a stunning Brazil’s Lancehead in our Herp Photo of the day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user neverscared ! Be sure to tell them you liked it here!

Remember, we share photos of all our venomous reptiles to help celebrate their place in this world and help dispel some of the myths surrounding them. They contribute so much to our medical community and environmental health, they need our help for their conservation!

Upload your own reptile and amphibian photos photos at gallery.kingsnake.com, and you could see them featured here! …read more
Read more here: King Snake

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   Oct 15

Herp Photo of the Day: Snake

How cool is this African Herald Snake (Crotaphopeltis hotamboeia) in our Herp Photo of the day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user MVH4 . Gotta love colubrids of all types! Be sure to tell them you liked it here!

Upload your own reptile and amphibian photos at gallery.kingsnake.com, and you could see them featured here! …read more
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   Oct 14

Herp Photo of the Day: Mud Snake

What wonderful color contrast in this hatchling Mud Snake in our herp photo of the day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user Godfrey ! Be sure to tell them you liked it here!

Upload your own and photos at gallery.kingsnake.com, and you could see them featured here! …read more
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   Oct 13

Herp Photo of the Day: Lizard

Alligator lizards are becoming more popular as reptile pets and it is easy to see why in our herp photo of the day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user SalS ! Be sure to tell them you liked it here!

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   Oct 12

Herp Photo of the Day: Python

This hatching Burmese python our Herp Photo of the day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user OrangeTurtle is super creamy and beautiful. Seeing these make a comeback at shows reminded us WHY we keep fighting. Be sure to tell them you liked it here!

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   Oct 09

Herp Photo of the Day: Happy Rattlesnake Friday!

Happy Rattlesnake Friday! Let’s celebrate in the mighty southwest beauty of the Rock Rattlesnake here in our Herp Photo of the day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user Janne ! Be sure to tell them you liked it here!

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   Oct 08

Herp Photo of the Day: Tortoise

Our Herp Photo of the Day shows and amazing look inside the egg of a Russian Tortoise to be, uploaded by kingsnake.com user tortusjack!
Be sure to tell them you liked it here!

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   Oct 08

Some Banded Geckos of the American West

Banded Geckos look a lot more delicate than they actually are. This is a San Diego Banded Gecko.

Counting species and subspecies there are 7 forms of banded geckos, genus Coleonyx, in the American West. Two of these, the Barefoot, C. switaki, and the Reticulated C. reticulatus, are larger than the remaining 5 and have very limited ranges. One, the Texas, C. brevis, is the easternmost and is smaller than any of the others. It is the remaining 4, all subspecies of the wide ranging Western Banded Gecko, C. variegatus, that we shall mention here. All have elliptical pupils and are nocturnal. The body is slender and between 2 and 3 inches long. The original tail (the tail is easily autotomized and often in some stage of regeneration) is about the same length as the snout-to-vent. Original tails are prominently banded.

The 4 subspecies of the Western Banded Gecko that occur in the USA are the San Diego, C. v. abbotti, the Tucson, C. v. bogerti, the Utah, C.v. utahensis, and the Desert, C. v. variegatus. Appearance differences are slight and it is best if you are interested in a particular form that you check a field guide for ranges.

Generally speaking though, the San Diego subspecies occurs on the Pacific slopes of southern CA. The Tucson form may be encountered in seAZ and swNM, the Utah race is restricted to swUT and immediately adjacent NV and AZ, and the Desert, by far the most wide-ranging of the 4, is found over much of AZ, NV and eastern CA.

Although these little geckos may be found beneath surface debris such as wood, cardboard, and rock by day, I’ve always found it a lot more fun to road hunt them at night. They are active, their light color contrasts well with dark pavement, and they cross roads in a series of darting rushes, often with their tail curled up over their back, this initially giving them the appearance of a large scorpion. Keep this similarity in mind as you jam your car into park, slam open the door, and rush out to slap a cupped hand of the little creature on the road. It’s not pleasant to be painfully surprised!

Continue reading “Some Banded Geckos of the American West” …read more
Read more here: King Snake

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   Oct 07

Herp Photo of the Day: Frog

Hang in there, just like the Tree Frog in our Herp Photo of the day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user gerrygi! Be sure to tell them you liked it here!

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   Oct 06

Herp Photo of the Day: Lizard

What stunning colors on this male Sceloporus orcutti in our Herp Photo of the day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user arkherps . Be sure to tell them you liked it here!

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   Oct 05

Herp Photo of the Day: Colubrids

There is so much to love about Colubrids, so why not celebrate them with a big ole pile of beauty in our Herp Photo of the day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user xtranch ! Be sure to tell them you liked it here!

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   Oct 05

Speckled Forest Pit Viper, Bothriopsis taeniatus

Juvenile Speckled Forest Pit Vipers are much grayer than the adults.

This pretty, rather large but slender lancehead of the primary Amazonian Rainforests is seldom seen and therefore poorly understood. The gray to olive green ground color (gray when juvenile, olive when adult) renders this snake all but invisible as it lies quietly coiled amidst the fallen leaves or, seemingly as often, on the mossy or lichenate trunks of fallen trees or forest lianas. Normal adult size is between 3 and 4 feet in length but may occasionally exceed 5 feet. Litter size varies from 2 to more than a dozen in number. Neonates reportedly vary from about 7 inches to 10 inches in length. The grayish color of the neonates provides no less camouflage than the green shades of the adults. At all stages of growth there are prominent darker bands are flecked heavily with the ground color and often terminate ventrolaterally with a light blotch. The iris of the eye is liberally flecked with black.

In bygone years this snake was referred to as Castelnaud’s Viper, Bothrops castelnaudi, and that name is still occasionally used today.

In more than 20 years of periodic Amazonian exploration I have seen only a single example of this species in the wild. But after seeing the remarkable camouflage of that one, I have never ceased to wonder how many unseen examples I’ve brushed by?

Continue reading “Speckled Forest Pit Viper, Bothriopsis taeniatus “ …read more
Read more here: King Snake

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   Oct 02

Herp Photo of the Day: Happy Rattlesnake Friday!

To kick off breast cancer awareness month is this Copperhead in our herp photo of the day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user Tomwetzel ! Contortrostatin, a protein in the venom of Copperheads has shown to be quite beneficial in treating breast cancer! Be sure to tell them you liked it here!

Remember, on Rattlesnake Friday we celebrate ALL venomous reptiles, not just the rattlesnakes, to help raise awareness of their benefits on this planet!
Upload your own reptile and amphibian photos photos at gallery.kingsnake.com, and you could see them featured here! …read more
Read more here: King Snake

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   Oct 01

Herp Photo of the Day: Garter Snake

As you can see from our Herp Photo of the day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user TomDickinson, garter snakes come in an amazing variety of colors! Be sure to tell them you liked it here!

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   Oct 01

The Long Drive Eastward

The finding of this blue phase speckled rattlesnake by friends had us doing a quick reversal in direction.
Our drive eastward started with a totally unintended delay. Jake and I had walked a wash known for its population of blue phase Speckled Rattlesnakes, Crotalus pyrrhus. Even Jake, who had walked much farther than I had found none. But as I had walked, a snakehook wielding pair of herpers, Mike and Nick, had passed me. We chatted a while and they went on their way. Meanwhile I returned to the car and Jake soon followed. I mentioned the other herpers and he said that they must have gone elsewhere for he hadn’t seen them. My comment was that I was pretty sure they were still in the wash.

Anyway, it was time to head eastward and Phoenix was soon far behind us. Too far behind us as it turned out, because Jake’s phone beeped and Nick (who was still in the disputed wash) said c’mon up. “We’ve got a beautiful blue speck here.” What to do now? We explained where we were and how long it would take us to get back to the spot. They kindly agreed to hold the snake so we returned over the 50 miles we had driven. From there, Jake laden with both his camera and mine, ran up the wash, photographed the snake with both cameras (I can no longer run) and after profusely thanking the duo and watching the snake crawl slowly back into its crevice, Jake ran back to the car.

We started eastward again. This time we actually made it out of AZ, through LA, and well into MS before deciding to find a herping road for that night. A likely road was found, a nearby motel had room for us so we were all set.

At dusk we realized that although there were herps on the chosen road there was also a goodly number of fast moving vehicles. But we persevered and by midnight we had added 2 species of water snakes, one of which was a beautiful big female Diamond-backed water, Nerodia rhombifer, a Texas rat snake, a Gulf Coast toad, and a Marsh brown snake to the trip total.

Time for the motel, then homeward. Florida beckoned.

Continue reading “The Long Drive Eastward” …read more
Read more here: King Snake

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   Sep 30

Herp Photo of the Day: Cornsnake

This is a gorgeous corn snake in our Herp Photo of the day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user dallashawks ! Be sure to tell them you liked it here! No offense USPS!

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   Sep 29

Herp Photo of the Day: Racer

So simple and so beautiful. That is the black racer in our Herp Photo of the day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user ReptileProducts ! Be sure to tell them you liked it here!

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   Sep 28

Peter’s Banded Skink

Despite being an aridlland species, Scincopus is not at all like a sandfish.
I’ll start this article with a question: Is Peter’s Banded Skink, Scincopus fasciatus, going to be a species that disappears quickly from the American herp hobby?

The reason for this question is that many species, once rarely seen and coveted, then so readily available that they were accessible to anyone who wanted one and had a few dollars to spend, have again become rare, if not in nature, at least in the trade. Some are now virtually unobtainable. I’ll just mention a few here to jog your memories: Colombian horned frogs, spiny hill turtles, Asian keeled box turtles, pipe snakes, almost any European herp, and Mexican dwarf pythons, are among the many. These were imported (sometimes in the hundreds, even thousands), were deemed to inexpensive to bother setting up in long-standing captive populations, and then they slipped quietly from sight. Could Scincopus soon be added to the “here then gone” list? It’s possible.

What is Scincopus? As mentioned above it is a skink from North Africa. It is pleasingly colored, being yellowish with 7 or 8 broad black bars that cross the back and stop about midway down the sides and a black tailtip. It is adult at about 8-10 inches in length, tail included. It is a heavy bodied burrower that has often been referred to as a giant sandfish—but a sandfish it is not. The toes of Scincopus are only weakly flanged, as opposed to the excessive flanges of the sandfish. Also, Scincopus is of far greater bulk than the more streamlined sandfish. Rather than swimming through the arid desert sands this skink seems to be a burrowing resident of sandy grasslands and croplands. They are fairly quiet and are easily handled.

I received my first examples of this pretty burrowing skink way back in the 1980s. They proved to be 2 males, and try though I did, I could not find a female available anywhere in the world. They fed on all manner of insects, would take an occasional pinky mouse and would accept some of the veggie mixture I prepared for the blue-tongued skinks. I had these for many years. As far as I know, when these died there no others in the USA.

I believe they were then unknown in the herp hobby until 2014 or 2015. But when the export doors opened they opened wide, and hundreds of the Scincopus flooded the pet trade. Herp importers were selling them first in the $200 to $300 dollar range, but then as the influx continued the price dropped to $70 to $100 dollars each. I have never attempted breeding this species. I did find 1 record of successful breeding on line. Ovoviviparity is the reported mode of reproduction. Perhaps you will be the one to second this.

But today as I scan importers listings the majority of the mentions read “out of stock.” So now …read more
Read more here: King Snake

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   Sep 28

Herp Photo of the Day: Monitor

This gorgeous pair of Blue Tree Monitors peking out of their hide in our herp photo of the day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user roadspawn are stunning! Be sure to tell them you liked it here!

Upload your own reptile and amphibian photos photos at gallery.kingsnake.com, and you could see them featured here! …read more
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   Sep 25

Herp Photo of the Day: Happy Rattlesnake Friday!

Happy Rattlesnake Friday! Such a sassy Mamba in our herp photo of the day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user fangfatale! Be sure to tell them you liked it here!

Remember, on Rattlesnake Friday we celebrate ALL venomous reptiles, not just the rattlesnakes, to help raise awareness of their benefits on this planet!
Upload your own reptile and amphibian photos photos at gallery.kingsnake.com, and you could see them featured here! …read more
Read more here: King Snake

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   Sep 24

Herp Photo of the Day: Hognose

Feeling kinda like this hoggie in our herp photo of the day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user jeffb ! Be sure to tell jeffb you liked it here! TAKE NO PRISONERS!

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   Sep 23

Herp Photo of the Day: Pine Snake

This Mexican Pine Snake (Pituophis deppei jani) is ready for action in our Herp Photo of the day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user pitparade . Be sure to tell them you liked it here!

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   Sep 22

Herp Photo of the Day: Pine Snake

This Pine Snake looks so velvety smooth in our herp photo of the day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user Jack77 ! Be sure to tell them you liked it here!

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   Sep 21

Herp Photo of the Day: Crocodile

Tick Tock. Hopefully the week passes quickly but today is easier starting with the smile of a Nile Croc in our herp photo of the day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user CDieter! Be sure to tell them you liked it here!

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   Sep 18

Herp Photo of the Day: Happy Rattlesnake Friday!

Happy Rattlesnake Friday! Time to crack a cold one and celebrate the weekend. This A. c. contortrix is already a step ahead of us in our herp photo of the day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user AlexNevgloski! p.s. Always pick up the trash you see in the field. Be sure to tell them you liked it here!

Remember, on Rattlesnake Friday we celebrate ALL venomous reptiles, not just the rattlesnakes, to help raise awareness of their benefits on this planet!
Upload your own reptile and amphibian photos photos at gallery.kingsnake.com, and you could see them featured here! …read more
Read more here: King Snake

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   Sep 17

Herp Photo of the Day: Kingsnake

What a stunning variable Kingsnake in our herp photo of the day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user Rod_McLeod ! Be sure to tell them you liked it here!

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   Sep 16

Herp Photo of the Day: Gecko

May this adorable pair of Lygodactylus williamsi in our herp photo of the day brighten your midweek, uploaded by kingsnake.com user jamesmatthews ! Be sure to tell them you liked it here!

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   Sep 15

Herp Photo of the Day: Skink

Gotta love the smile from this Monkey Tail Skink in our herp photo of the day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user sreps ! Be sure to tell sreps you liked it here!

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   Sep 14

Herp Photo of the Day: Newt

How adorable is this Newt in our Herp Photo of the day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user plagueguitarist ! Be sure to tell them you liked it here!

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   Sep 11

Herp Photo of the Day: Happy Rattlesnake Friday!

Happy Rattlesnake Friday! Today we bring you this serene headshot of a lovely Black-tailed Rattlesnake (Crotalus molossus), uploaded by kingsnake.com user MartinWhalin1 ! This guy was found in the wild in Arizona and as you can see, he was respected by the herpers and he gave them respect in return. Be sure to tell them you liked it here! As always on Friday, we celebrate all of our venomous reptiles for their contribution to the world.

Upload your own reptile and amphibian photos at gallery.kingsnake.com, and you could see them featured here! …read more
Read more here: King Snake

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   Sep 10

Herp Photo of the Day: Gecko

These Uroplatus pietschmanni in our Herp Photo of the day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user mcamo3 ,show us what amazing masters of camoflague they truly are! Be sure to tell them you liked it here!

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   Sep 09

Herp Photo of the Day: Water Snake

This young banded water snake being very curious in our herp photo of the day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user casichelydia ! Be sure to tell them you liked it here!

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   Sep 08

Herp Photo of the Day: Corn snake

This little cornsnake must have been racing to get out of the egg ahead of his siblings in our Herp Photo of the day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user cochran ! Be sure to tell them you liked it here!

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   Sep 07

Herp Photo of the Day: Gopher Snake

This vibrant Cape Gopher Snake (Pituophis catenifer vertebralis) in our herp photo of the day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user pitparade will brighten your day for sure! Be sure to tell them you liked it here!

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   Sep 04

Herp Photo of the Day: Happy Rattlesnake Friday!

Happy Rattlesnake Friday! Loving the close-up of this Southern Pacific Rattlesnake in our photo of the day uploaded by kingsnake.com user goombaorigato ! Be sure to tell them you liked it here! As always on Friday, we celebrate all of our venomous reptiles for their contribution to the world. It is our goal to help dispel the fears surrounding our beloved venomous creatures.

Upload your own reptile and amphibian photos at gallery.kingsnake.com, and you could see them featured here! …read more
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   Sep 04

FL UPDATE: Judge Rules Changes are Unconstitutional

There was some great news regarding the regulation changes for Florida; including Tegus, Iguanas and a selection of large constrictors.

This is the announcement from USARKFL:

We have some news… good news. The judge agreed with USARK FL and found that SB1414 is in fact unconstitutional! We will post full details soon but the judge granted our motion for summary judgment and now we just await his formal order stating the same. Thank you to everyone who supported us. Please keep the donations coming! We must still pay for this lawsuit and future actions. What a win!

NOTE: This will take a few days to all be finalized and for FWC to rescind their Executive Order. We also do not know if FWC will appeal. Also, by “unconstitutional” we mean the Florida Constitution, not the U.S. Constitution. This is a state lawsuit against a state agency, not a federal lawsuit.

Please stay tuned to both USARK and USARKFL to follow updates and please continue to support USARK. They are getting things done! …read more
Read more here: King Snake

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   Sep 03

Herp Photo of the Day: Uromastx

Uromastyx, uploaded by kingsnake.com user plietz

What amazing colors Uros come in, like this ornate in our herp photo of the day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user plietz! Be sure to tell them you liked it here.

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   Sep 02

Herp Photo of the Day: Tortoise

Remember to eat a hearty breakfast, just like this Aldabra in our Herp Photo of the day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user Danielk ! Be sure to tell them you liked it here!

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