Reptoman

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   Nov 23

Herp Photo of the Day: Gecko

They may be sassy but the beauty of a Tokay gecko is undeniable, like this one in our herp photo of the day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user stingray! Be sure to tell them you liked it here!

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   Nov 22

Herp Photo of the Day: Reticulated Python

This Reticulated Python is grabbing a drink and a little sunbeam in our herp photo of the day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user ChondroGTP! Be sure to tell them you liked it here!

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   Nov 21

Herp Photo of the Day: Agama

Wary and keeping his distance, this agama is protecting his territory in our herp photo of the day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user aero_tiff ! Be sure to tell them you liked it here!

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   Nov 21

Curly Tailed Lizards

Patti took this photo of the beautiful Cuban Side-blotched Curly-tailed Lizard.
Curly-tailed Lizards are well known to herpers and even non-herper visitors to southeastern Florida. They were purposely introduced in the 1940s in the hopes they would eradicate the sugarcane beetle.

They didn’t. But in one way or another Curly-tails made their way from the cane-fields to the Palm Beach area and found the sandy soil of that region much to their liking. Populations thrived and grew..From there they have spread westward and southward, and as far northward as winter temperatures would allow. The form found in Florida is a Bahaman subspecies, Leiocephalus carinatus armouri. When we had a chance to travel in Cuba, we had opportunity to see 4 additional species, some of rather plain coloration and patterning, but others that were quite strikingly colored.

Under the guidance of Dr. Luis M. Diaz, we have been able to see several species and subspecies of curlytails, some of which, by the way, do not curl their tails much at all. These have varied from several subspecies of Cuban Striped Curlytails, L. stictogaster ssp. to the Cuban Curlytail, L. cubensis, the beautiful Cuban Side-blotched Curlytail, L. macropus, and others. All species were amidst outcroppings, rock-fields, sidewalks (including downtown Habana) and/or sandy beaches.

The lizards of this primarily insectivorous genus are oviparous, with females having 2 or 3 clutches of 2 to 5 eggs during each breeding season. The clutches are about 2 weeks apart.
Continue reading “Curly Tailed Lizards” …read more
Read more here: King Snake

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   Nov 18

Herp Photo of the Day: Happy Rattlesnake Friday!

In celebration of all things venomous, a photo of a bushmaster taken in the field graces our herp photo of the day uploaded by kingsnake.com user surgeon ! Be sure to tell them you liked it here!

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   Nov 17

Herp Photo of the Day: Gecko

Beautiful shot of a Grandis Day Gecko in our Herp Photo of the day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user uggleedog brightens your day! Be sure to tell them you liked it here!

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   Nov 16

Herp Photo of the Day: Python

Hope this beautiful Sumatran Short Tail (aka Black Blood) in our Herp Photo of the day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user amaliamoran brightens your day! Be sure to tell them you liked it here!

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   Nov 15

Herp Photo of the Day: Water Dragon

What a lovely looking pair of Chinese Water Dragons in our Herp Photo of the day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user Agata ! Be sure to tell them you liked it here!

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   Nov 14

Herp Photo of the Day: Python

The Coelen’s python may be a hybrid, but they are still are so beautiful that they deserve a spot in our herp photo of the day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user JonathanH! Be sure to tell tem you liked it here!

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   Nov 14

Anoles—“Standard and Gnarly!”

The beautiful White-chinned Giant Anole, Anolis flavigularis, is now a full species.
With 60 (plus or minus a few—the taxonomists are still at work!), Cuba, if you don’t already know, is “anole-central.” These vary from 3 ½ to 5-inch-long twig anoles, that, even if you’re looking for them are difficult to see, to the 12+ inch long giant and chameleon anoles that blend superbly with the foliage and trunks among which they dwell.

Following our very successful stop at Soroa,, our next venture took us westward to the beautiful town of Vinales. Although a great stop for both herping and birding, we were hoping to see at least 5 herp taxa on that first night, 4 Anolis species, and 1 snake. We succeeded on the anoles and the target snake plus 1.

The anoles included 2 in the subgenus Chamaeolis, the “gnarly” Western Bearded Anole, A. (C.) barbatus and the Short Bearded Anole, A. (C.) chamaeleonides, (these are big and different looking than “normal” anoles), plus 2 typical anoles, the big tree dwelling, white-chinned A. flavigularis and the smaller tan and blue, cliff dwelling A. bartschi. The “target” snake seen was the Broad-banded Trope, Tropidophis feicki, a species most wanted by our group. Additionally, a Guaniguanico Racerlet, Arrhyton tanyplectum, was found. This latter is, as suggested by its name, an alert and fast rear-fanged species of small size.

The weather was very dry and it was perhaps for that reason that we failed to see the big Giant Robber Frog, Eleutherodactylus zeus. But we’ll try again.

Continue reading “Anoles—“Standard and Gnarly!”” …read more
Read more here: King Snake

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   Nov 11

Herp Photo of the Day: Happy Rattlesnake Friday!

In celebration of all things venomous, ciccada is on the menu for this Copperhead in our herp photo of the day uploaded by kingsnake.com user coolhl7 ! Be sure to tell them you liked it here!

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   Nov 10

Herp Photo of the Day: Cribo

This hatching Cribo in our herp photo of the day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user alanB makes monday more bearable! Be sure to tell them you liked it here!

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   Nov 09

Herp Photo of the Day: Ball Python

Get Naked! Ok maybe not, but this Ball python was slipping into something a little more comfy in our herp photo of the day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user tylerwork ! Be sure to tell them you liked it here!

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   Nov 08

Herp Photo of the Day: Lizard

Alert and always keeping his eye on you, this Basiliscus plumifrons shines in our herp photo of the day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user kus! Be sure to tell them you liked it here!

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   Nov 07

The Frog of the Caves

Sitting at its front door, this E. zeus had an estimated snout to vent length nearing 6 inches.
Zeus–the Greek God who rules sky and thunder; who rules as king of the gods of Mount Olympus.

But no, it was not for this deity that our search took us to the mojotes in western Cuba near Vinales. We had looked for our Zeus on an earlier trip but perhaps due to the dryness then, had failed. Our Zeus, you see, was a frog, a rather spectacular frog that because of its restricted range and even more restricted habitat is not a well-known species.

The common name for this sought frog, Eleutherodactylus zeus, is Zeus’ Robber Frog. As suggested by its scientific name, it is in the family Eleutherodactylidae. It dwells in the perpetual dampness of caves and crevices, shaded by forests on the limestone mojotes of western Cuba.

And this time, with escarpments and caves still dampened by rainfall runoff, we succeeded, seeing not one, but a half dozen of the frogs. These varied from about a 2 inch svl (snout-vent length) to close to 6 inches.

Nearly as dark in color as the caves from which they had emerged, the first one seen was mistaken for one of the local giant toads. But its 3+ foot leap back into its cave—a length that no giant toad could equal–quickly gave lie to that assumption.

Within just a few minutes others were seen, photos were taken, and we departed, leaving these prodigious anurans in peace.

Like all members of the family, reproduction is by “direct development. There is no free-swimming tadpole stage.
Continue reading “The Frog of the Caves” …read more
Read more here: King Snake

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   Nov 07

Herp Photo of the Day: Gecko

The ability to camouflage is impressive in some species, like this Uroplatus pietschmanni in our Herp Photo of the day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user mcamo3shows the awesome variety in their colors!! Be sure to tell them you liked it here!

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   Nov 04

Herp Photo of the Day: Happy Rattlesnake Friday!

Happy Rattlesnake Friday! Let’s celebrate with this fantastic in situ Eastern Diamondback in Alabama, uploaded by kingsnake.com user SalS? 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.

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   Nov 03

Herp Photo of the Day: Diamond Python

The only way this Diamond Python can be described is stunning in our Herp Photo of the day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user CincyGrady shows the awesome variety in their colors!! Be sure to tell them you liked it here!

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   Nov 02

Herp Photo of the Day: Collared Lizard

This cute little pile of Collared Lizards in our Herp Photo of the day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user pheve shows the awesome variety in their colors!! Be sure to tell them you liked it here!

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   Nov 02

The Amazonian Toadlet

Meet the Amazonian Toadlet, one of the smallest and most easily overlooked of the regions herpetofauna.
Truly a “Minuta”

At an adult length of just under 1”, the tiny, basically terrestrial, Amazonian Toadlet, Dendrophryniscus (Amazophrynella) minuta, is truly an anuran whose actual length is exceeded (dramatically!) by a scientific name that is, when printed, much longer than the amphibian itself. In some areas, such as in our “stomping grounds” north of Iquitos Peru, this is a rather common but easily overlooked component of the rainforest floor herpetofauna. Afterall, the dorsal color is “fallen leaf” brown, the orange belly color is not to be see unless the toad is in hand or peering at you from a trailedge shrub leaf that just happens to be face-high, it is literally minute, and is not overly active. The reddish soles of the feet will not be seen unless the toad is being held.

This tiny bufonid has an immense range, being found almost coast to coast from Brazil, Bolivia, and Peru northward to Colombia and Venezuela. It utilizes temporary waterholes for breeding in its rainforest habitat. The breeding call remains undescribed.
Continue reading “The Amazonian Toadlet” …read more
Read more here: King Snake

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   Nov 01

Herp Photo of the Day: Hognose

Let’s go Hog Wild for this Eddy County New Mexico Locality Hognose in our Herp Photo of the day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user nearhoofm ! Be sure to tell them you liked it here!

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   Oct 31

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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   Oct 28

Herp Photo of the Day: Happy Rattlesnake Friday!

Happy Rattlesnake Friday! How cool is this calico Pygmy Rattlesnake, uploaded by kingsnake.com user abyssus? 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.

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   Oct 27

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!
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   Oct 26

Herp Photo of the Day: Kingsnake

What a sassy Mex Mex 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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   Oct 25

Herp Photo of the Day: Gecko

How precious and tiny is this! This wee Gargoyle Gecko is delicately perched on a finger in our Herp Photo of the day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user madisyn74 ! Be sure to tell them you liked it here!

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   Oct 24

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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   Oct 21

Herp Photo of the Day: Happy Rattlesnake Friday!

Happy Rattlesnake Friday! This gorgeous field found Rock Rattlesnake (Crotalus lepidus), uploaded by kingsnake.com user Tom Anderson was found on the 277 back in the day! 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.

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   Oct 20

Herp Photo of the Day: Fire Skink

The Fire Skink in our Herp Photo of the day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user firereptiles is appropriately named! Pure FIRE! Be sure to tell them you liked it here! No offense USPS!

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   Oct 19

Herp Photo of the Day: Corn Snake

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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   Oct 18

Herp Photo of the Day: Turtle

This is one sassy Mississippi Mud Turtle in our herp photo of the day uploaded by kingsnake.com user Lyn! Be sure to tell them you liked it here!

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   Oct 17

Cuban Boas


This was the “Big Guy.”Long known as Epicrates angulifer, this long and hefty boa is now, like other West Indian Boas, in the genus Chilabothrus. Its common name of Cuban Boa has not been changed and it remains well known to hobbyists. They are live-bearing and may have up to 20+ young.

This boa is the largest and heaviest of the genus and may attain an adult length of 15 feet and an age of 25+ years. It ranges in the forestlands throughout Cuba and Cuba’s immediate islands. Although on an earlier trip in the dry season we had missed seeing this iconic taxon, some rain had fallen between then and now and we hoped that we would see at least one. We did. In fact we saw about a half a dozen, and these ranged from about 2 feet in length to—well let me tell you a bit about the largest one.

The group had spent a couple of hours on a trail known by the name of “Enigma of Rocks.” You may have never seen this trail, but the name alone should give you an idea of the complexity of passage. And somewhere along the trail a 5 foot long Cuban boa had been seen. Our group were happy campers.

We had been making our ways slowly back to the bus and were about ready to board when Luis, who had been chatting with a Forest Ranger, said ”One more stop—if you want to see a big boa.” Of course we did and within minutes we were on another rocky forest trail. A 15 minute walk took us to a “bat cave” and in front of the cave lay coiled the biggest Cuban Boa any of us had ever seen. We all agreed that the snake was at least 10 feet long (and probably longer) and its normally substantial girth was swollen even more by the prey it had eaten. The forest ranger guessed the prey to be an adult Hutia (as mentioned, a big rodent) and said the boa had been lying at the cave entrance for 4 days and that he expected that it would remain for another 4 or 5 days while digesting its meal.

And except to say all in the group felt that this sighting was well worth the walk and thanks Luis, that’s the story of our largest Cuban Boa.
Continue reading “Cuban Boas” …read more
Read more here: King Snake

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   Oct 17

Herp Photo of the Day: Lyre Snake

A wonderful field find in Mexico of this Lyre Snake brightens your day in our herp photo of the day uploaded by kingsnake.com user Chuck_Ch ! Be sure to tell them you liked it here!

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   Oct 14

Herp Photo of the Day: Happy Rattlesnake Friday!

Happy Rattlesnake Friday! This stunning Guarico Rattlesnake, uploaded by kingsnake.com user robnimmo is a thing of beauty to behold! 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.

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   Oct 13

Herp Photo of the Day: Bearded Dragon

How high can you stack your dragons? Another pic overloaded with cuteness, uploaded by kingsnake.com user dedragons! Be sure to tell them you liked it here!

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   Oct 12

Herp Photo of the Day: Alligator

May this wild Alligator on the Peace River in Florida in our Herp Photo of the day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user JonathanH bring you a peaceful day. Be sure to tell them you liked it here!

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   Oct 11

Herp Photo of the Day: Frog

This Common Frog is up to shenanigans in our Herp Photo of the day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user kus and the backyard he was found in! Be sure to tell them you liked it here!

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   Oct 10

Herp Photo of the Day: Rainbow Boa

This close up of a Rainbow Boa shows off their fantastic beauty so well our Herp Photo of the day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user mjmullis ! Be sure to tell them you liked it here!

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   Oct 10

Scarlet Kings

Darker than many, this is an adult Scarlet Kingsnake.
Whether called Scarlet Kingsnakes or Milk Snakes, these mostly small-sized constrictors are so pretty that I can’t stop writing about them.

The Scarlet Kingsnake, Lampropeltis triangulum elapsoides, is the sole tricolored kingsnake of the southeastern USA. It is a pretty snake, gaudily bedecked with triads of red, then black that separates the red from the yellow, rings, and it almost always (perhaps always, but aberrancies may sometimes happen) has a red nose. In this manner of nose color and ring assembly, the harmless scarlet kingsnake differs from the venomous Eastern Coral Snake, Micrurus fulvius, that almost always has a black nose and again, almost always, has the 2 caution colors, red and yellow, touching.

This is one of the smaller of the tricolored kingsnakes, with lengths of 17-20 inches being most common and lengths in excess of 24 inches being quite uncommon. Hatchlings are tiny, often being only 6 to 6 ½” in length. Although large adults may accept nestling mice as prey, throughout their lives this species feeds primarily on suitably sized lizards.

The last Scarlet King that I happened upon was found in moist microhabitat beneath a sizable, mouldering,pine limb. Others have been seen crossing roadways, beneath debris, and actually in moist leaf-filled crotches of still living trees.

Continue reading “Scarlet Kings” …read more
Read more here: King Snake

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   Oct 07

Herp Photo of the Day: Happy Rattlesnake Friday!

Happy Rattlesnake Friday! This prairie rattlesnake in our Herp Photo of the day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user DanL shows us exactly what a rattlesnake does in the wild if they feel threatened! First they warn and then they try to run away! Rattlesnakes are so very important to our ecosystem and it is so very important to understand that it is important to watch for them, respect them and give them their space for freedom. Despite the urban legends, they run away! Be sure to tell them you liked it here!

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