Reptoman

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   Apr 19

Herp Photo of the Day: Happy Rattlesnake Friday!

A great shot of a live (as they should be) Pygmy Rattlesnake on concrete in the field in our herp photo of the day uploaded by kingsnake.com user JARHEAD1969 ! Be sure to tell them you liked it here!

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   Apr 18

Herp Photo of the Day: Lizard

Despite their reputation of being angry, the beauty of a Tokay gecko puts it front and center 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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   Apr 17

Herp Photo of the Day: Kingsnake

We might be biased but this is one sexy greyband in our Herp Photo of the day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user trevid ! Be sure to tell them you liked it here!

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   Apr 16

Herp Photo of the Day: Salamander

Sonoma County has some beautiful Black Speckled Salamanders, just like this one in our Herp Photo of the day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user skyserpent ! Be sure to tell them you liked it here!

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   Apr 16

To Cuba, Again

A Cuban racer, Caraiba andreae
Three months to go. In late June Jake and I will be airborne—on the short flight from Central Florida to Havana. As quickly as we can rent a car and rendezvous with our guide, Tomas, we’ll be headed to who knows where for a week of herping and birding with various friends on this wonderful island.

So far I have been to Cuba twice, both times basically for birding. However on the last occasion Lloyd and I managed to sneak away while everyone else was searching for owls and do a little nighttime herping. We walked a long way, but for our efforts saw several Cuban giant toads, Bufo peltocephalus, several species of tropical eleutherodactyline frogs, all of confusingly similar appearance, and distressingly, a few American bullfrogs, Rana catesbeiana. On shorter jaunts we crossed paths with 2 examples of the island’s largest dwarf boa (aka “wood snake”), Tropidophis melanurus, and several pygmy racers, Caraiba andreae.

When I returned from that trip I began to think about making a herping trip a priority and mentioned it to Jake. His answer was “let’s go.”

So I contacted Tomas, a herper, birder, and all around biologist, and plans were made. We’re hoping for photos of several species each of dwarf boas, a Cuban water snake or two, more racer taxa, anoles, curly tails, and anurans. Not to mention the big Cuban boa. Oh yes—and a stygian owl! Please wish us luck.
Continue reading “To Cuba, Again” …read more
Read more here: King Snake

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   Apr 15

Herp Photo of the Day: Lizard

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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   Apr 12

Herp Photo of the Day: Happy Rattlesnake Friday!

Happy Rattlesnake Friday! It may not be a rattlesnake, but it is a venomous snake that needs a little extra love! What a stunning copperhead, uploaded by kingsnake.com user HerpLverassumes the traditional cobra pose for this photo! 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.

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   Apr 11

Happy National Pet Day

Today, social media will be flooded with photos of dogs and cats to celebrate National Pet Day. If I show you mine, will you show me yours?

This is Karen, an adult male iguana who came to live with me recently through my rescue. Karen was left behind in an eviction, so I really know nothing of his past. Being a green iguana, he came with metabolic bone disease, a few infections, and was just beaten down from neglect. He is slowly recovering and showing signs of breeding behaviors. While he is “technically” available for adoption through my rescue, I know he will live his life out with me. Seriously, I do.Living in Wisconsin, he got his first taste of sunshine recently and I can honestly say this is one happy iguana here! …read more
Read more here: King Snake

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   Apr 11

Herp Photo of the Day: Snake

Not just any pine snake, but a pied black pine, gets the spotlight in our herp photo of the day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user pikiemikie!

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   Apr 10

Herp Photo of the Day: Salamander

Back in the field as this lovely Fire Salamander takes the spotlight in our Herp Photo of the day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user NYgaboon ! Be sure to tell them you liked it here!

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   Apr 09

Herp Photo of the Day: Frog

There is always something special with dart frogs like this one in our herp photo of the day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user FrogUs ! Be sure to tell them you liked it here!

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   Apr 08

Herp Photo of the Day: Lizard

What an adorable trio of Banana Pectinatas in our Herp Photo of the day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user kellyp. Be sure to tell them you liked it here!

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   Apr 08

Turnip-tailed Agamas

The extent of the blue suffusion on a male Xenagama can be easily seen on this breeder male.
When I looked in the terrarium at the dealer’s I could hardly believe my eyes. Soaking up the Florida sunlight in an outside pen were a number of little brownish lizards that lay, basking, their bodies as flat as the proverbial pancakes. And except for a short slender tip, the tail was flattened, rimmed with enlarged spike-shaped scales, and turnip or shield shaped when viewed from above.

This was my introduction to the pudgy little turnip-tailed agama. Collected from the aridlands of Somalia and Ethiopia, this agama, Xenagama taylori, is adult at about 4”. Quietly colored like many desert lizards, they may vary from tan through various browns to terracotta. Dark flecks, spots, or ocelli may be present on the back and sides as might small whitish spots. The various markings are most pronounced on young examples. Some metachrosis occurs with an individual lizard being lighter in color when it is warm than when it is cold. Males displaying territorial tendencies or in breeding readiness develop a suffusion of rich blue on the snout, chin, throat, anterior chest and upper forelimbs. Females in breeding readiness may (but not always do) develop a very pale blue suffusion on the chin and throat.

Females produce about a half dozen eggs in a clutch at the end of a nesting burrow and the hatchlings are about an inch long. Although these lizards may also dig shallow sleeping burrows that are “plugged” by the flattened spiky tail, ours seemed to prefer squirming into loose sand beneath their flattened basking rocks.

Adults are omnivorous, eating a broad array of insects and leafy greens. Hatchlings are primarily insectivorous.

These are not “flighty” or nervous lizards and if you like Uromastyx you should love Xenagama. The latter are not always available, so watch the ads carefully.

Continue reading “Turnip-tailed Agamas” …read more
Read more here: King Snake

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   Apr 05

Herp Photo of the Day: Happy Rattlesnake Friday!

Happy Rattlesnake Friday! It may not be a rattlesnake, but it is a venomous snake that needs a little extra love! This beautiful Egyption Cobra, uploaded by kingsnake.com user PHNajakassumes the traditional cobra pose for this photo! 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.

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   Apr 04

Herp Photo of the Day: Python

You can’t deny the awesome patterns in ball pythons, like this one in our herp photo of the day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user hcrepties! Be sure to tell them you liked it here!

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   Apr 03

Herp Photo of the Day: Lizard

What an awesome frilled dragon in our herp photo of the day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user frilly ! Be sure to tell them you liked it here!

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   Apr 02

Herp Photo of the Day: Snake

Love the color variation that this mottled Mexican Redtail Indigo (Drymarchon m. rubidus) has in our Herp Photo of the day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user alanB ! Be sure to tell them you liked it here!

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   Apr 01

Herp Photo of the Day: Snake

Of course we salute the greatest reptilian prankster today! Behold the glorious hognose in our herp photo of the day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user MCMB! Be sure to tell them you liked it here!

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   Apr 01

Southern Chorus Frog

Southern Chorus Frog

This is the only green Florida chorus frog that Jake or I have seen in a lifetime of herping.

The chorus frogs, genus Pseudacris of the family Hylidae, vary in size from just over ½ inch in size (the little grass frog, P. ocularis, of southeastern USA) to 2 inches (the California and the Pacific treefrogs, P. cadaverina and P. regilla respectively). Although a couple of other Pacific Coast species do attain a 2” length, the lion’s share of the species and subspecies are adult at a slender 1 ¼” in length.

Among these latter is our little southern chorus frog, Pseudacris n. nigrita and its often synonymized subspecies, the Florida chorus frog, P. n. verrucosa. This latter, whether or not valid, was differentiated from the nominate form by having a broken dorsal pattern rather than complete, although irregularly edged, stripes and a dark spotted, rather than an all-white, upper lip.

One of the draws (for me) when we moved to Gainesville, FL was the fact that the characteristic ratcheting calls of southern chorus frogs could be heard in many places well within the city limits. Sadly, today, 25 years later, most of those choruses have been silenced, the ephemeral waters from which they seasonally emanated now having been replaced by apartments, subdivisions, and parking lots.

Having commented time and again on the absence of chorus frogs in the city, on a recent rainy night herping trip, Jake and I were delighted when one county westward we heard these little winter choristers first in the dozens and then by the hundreds. Despite the loud choruses it took a while for us to actually see any of the vocalizers, because these like most chorus frogs, most often call while hunkered down, with only a nose showing, in grass clumps growing in shallow water. There, their striped patterns and gray and black colors blend perfectly with the background hues and shadows.

So, if you’re driving along on a humid or rainy night and hear sounds like many people dragging their thumbnails over the teeth of a pocket comb, stop and acquaint your self with these little beings of the winter wetlands.

Continue reading “Southern Chorus Frog” …read more
Read more here: King Snake

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   Mar 29

Herp Photo of the Day: Happy Rattlesnake Friday!

The photo may be a bit blurry, but there is no mistaking that is a gravid Masssasauga in our Herp Photo of the day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user LetsConservate24 in the field! We can only imagine the excitement at this find! Be sure to tell them you liked it here!

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   Mar 28

Herp Photo of the Day: Frog

What an adorable little tree frog in our herp photo of the day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user redjiboia ! Be sure to tell them you liked it here!

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   Mar 27

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!

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   Mar 26

Herp Photo of the Day: Frog

This clawed frog is bobbing along in our Herp Photo of the day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user Tadpoleo! Be sure to tell them you liked it here!

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   Mar 25

Herp Photo of the Day: Turtle

Martha, a Reeve’s Turtle, is just chilling out in the sun in our herp photo of the day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user kasie ! When this photo was originally posted in 2006, Martha was over 30 years old! Be sure to tell them you liked it here!

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   Mar 25

Blackie’s Back

11:00 AM on a cool winter day, the sun is finally out and Blackie is anxious to bask.
At first Blackie as a yearling was no more approachable than any other southern black racer, Coluber constrictor priapus. I’d see him in the tortoise yard, try to approach, and the snake would dart into tall grasses and disappear. When first seen Blackie was well patterned as are most normally colored black racers. It was June when I first noticed him.

But being open to the sunlight the tortoise pen was a great place for a snake to thermoregulate and every couple of days Blackie would make an appearance and on every appearance I managed to frighten him.

Then for a period of about 2 weeks I didn’t see him and I thought, “darn-one of the resident red shouldered hawks had gotten him. But no. He had changed positions and was spending a much of the time when he wasn’t hunting brown anoles behind the tortoise house. We have lots of anoles in the yard so Blackie grew noticeably during that summer. By autumn Blackie was about 26 inches long and most of the dorsal blotches of its baby pattern (I’ve never caught it to actually ascertain its gender) were already suffused by the melanin that would soon obscure all.except chin and throat. These would remain white.

When the seasonable temperatures dropped Blackie disappeared again. Since I heated the tortoise house in cold weather I guessed that the little snake was somewhere near that source of warmth. But then during one of our warm winter spells I found a shed skin coming from a loose spot in our house wall into the tortoise yard. Blackie had found a spot safe from tortoise feet and now that I knew where to look, on warm winter days I would often see a loose coil of the snake’s body slightly below the lowest level of siding.

By mid February Blackie was out basking and feeding again. But now he was not skedaddling if I approached him slowly. By the end of that year Blackie was approaching or may have exceeded 36 inches in length by a bit and he was a jet satiny black.

I seemed to be finding a shed skin from Blackie every couple of weeks but he was less easily seen. Again I thought “oh oh—a hawk got him. But then I found him basking quietly in the greenhouse. I knew it was him because I was moving the black plastic on which he was lying before I saw him and his only response was a couple of flicks of the tongue. This morning, an 85F day, Blackie was back in the tortoise yard and then an hour later basking on the back porch. As he left to begin foraging he stretched completely across the 4 foot wide steps with a bit of tail drooping over one side. That measured out to 50”, about as big …read more
Read more here: King Snake

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   Mar 22

Herp Photo of the Day: Happy Rattlesnake Friday!

Happy Rattlesnake Friday! The detail in this headshot of an Atrox is amazing in our photo of the day uploaded by kingsnake.com user scserpents ! 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.

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   Mar 21

Herp Photo of the Day: Snake

This boa is chilling out for photo in our herp photo of the day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user pythonas! Be sure to tell them you liked it here

Anery boa, uploaded by kingsnake.com user pythonas” />

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   Mar 20

Herp Photo of the Day: Gecko

Check out that amazing camoflague that this Satanic Leaf Tail Gecko has in our Herp Photo of the day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user kellih i! Be sure to tell them you liked it here!

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   Mar 19

Herp Photo of the Day: Snake

Spring is close and so is finding sassy Garter Snakes like the one in our herp photo of the day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user FreshTendrils ! Be sure to tell them you liked it here!

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   Mar 18

Herp Photo of the Day: Lizard

What a gorgeous little Ameiva 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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   Mar 18

The Kirtland’s Snake

The black dot on both sides of each ventral scute are a surefire way to identify a Kirtland’s snake.
just read a short poem by Taylor West about the little natricid known as the Kirtland’s snake, Clonophis kirtlandi.

In her poem, a mere 8 short lines, she referred to a food (slugs), habitat (burrows of mudbugs (crayfish)), crepuscular habits, and the ample supply of musk manufactured and spread by the snake when it is handled.

In other words, it was accurate wording to portray a wonderful and poorly known little (rarely more than 20” and often less than 18”) snake that calls the states of IL, IN, and OH home but that does extend its range a bit beyond the borders of those states.

I’ll take this opportunity to add a few sentences about Kirtland’s snake.

The habitat of the Kirtland’s snake is of a broader scope than just mudbug burrows. I have found them beneath discarded newspapers, paper bags, and cardboard in vacant lots in suburban neighborhoods, under debris in city parks, and under riverbank rocks. They have also been found in pastures and other grassy habitats, again most often beneath debris, and where they occur the ground is usually damp.

Besides slugs this little snake feeds readily on earthworms and one I was photographing disgorged a large leech.

The ground color of Kirtland’s snake may vary from gray to reddish brown and a lighter vertebral stripe is often present. Two alternating rows of black spots range along each side and the head is black with white lips and chin. The coral to terra cotta belly is lightest anteriorly and is bordered on each side by a row of small black spots.

This snake, once considered a water snake, is now protected throughout its range. And yes, like many (if not most) snakes, Kirtland’s snake is not at all reluctant to smear a handler with musk that is produced in glands just inside the cloaca.

Thanx for that poem, Taylor.

Continue reading ” The Kirtland’s Snake” …read more
Read more here: King Snake

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   Mar 15

Herp Photo of the Day: Happy Rattlesnake Friday!

Happy Rattlesnake Friday! This beautiful pair of Copperheads are just things of beauty in our photo of the day uploaded by kingsnake.com user ShadowChaser ! 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.

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   Mar 14

Herp Photo of the Day: Snake

Happy Pi(ed) day from this hatching Pied Black Pine Snake in our herp photo of the day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user pinkiemike ! Be sure to tell them you liked it here!

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   Mar 13

Herp Photo of the Day: Lizard

What a cute plated lizard in our herp photo of the day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user jungleemporium ! Be sure to tell them you liked it here!

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   Mar 12

Herp Photo of the Day: 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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   Mar 11

Herp Photo of the Day: Lizard

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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   Mar 11

The Barking, Biting, Brazilian Horned Frog


2 baby Brazilian horned frogs, always ready to eat and growing fast.
With good reason, Neotropical horned frogs of the genus Ceratophrys have long been hobbyist favorites. Over the years the species availability has varied. In the 1960s the Colombian horned frog, C. calcarata, was available to hobbyists. In later years the Amazonian, C. cornuta, Cranwell’s, C. cranwelli, and ornate, C. ornata, horned frogs were (and still are) readily available to hobbyists. In fact these latter three are not only available, but have been hybridized to a point where actual species identification of captive bred examples is difficult. Between these three there are at least 15 different hobbyist produced color phases now being offered! Although rare, Stolzmann’s, C. stolzmanni, and Caatinga, C. joazierensis, horned frogs have been occasionally available. And finally (at last!) the big, fabled, and coveted Brazilian horned frogs, C. aurita, are now occasionally offered (the single never-available species is the Ecuadorian C. testudo).

But rather than a generalized article about horned frogs, this is primarily about the Brazilian rainforest species, C. aurita. This species occurs in the Brazilian coastal states of Bahia and Rio Grande do Sul, and in some areas of the inland state of Minas Gerais.

At least one person has described this taxon, ostensibly the largest of the horned frogs, as “mythical.” But, although their adult size may be a bit exaggerated, a myth they are not. Adept at remaining in ambush positions while camouflaged by forest floor litter, this frog is often thought to be uncommon. But like many frogs, when gathered in breeding congresses, the Brazilian horned frog may be seen in reasonable numbers. Females are the larger, attaining a body length (and often width) of 8 to 10 inches. They are said by some to reach a length of 12 inches. Males are the smaller being 5 to 7 inches in length.

In keeping with the reputation of these frogs for being biters, the Brazilian horned frog can, will, and does bite. To this habit, as they leap forward, they add a disconcerting bark. And yes, in addition to their strong jaws they have teeth. And, yes, they invariably surprise and occasionally hurt.

Most old images depict this frog as being patterned in forest green and variable brown. A glance at the attached photos will show this to not always be the case. his species from southeastern Brazil occurs from the State of Bahia, south to the State of Rio Grande do Sul, and inland to the State of Minas Gerais.

The Brazilian horned frog, a “myth” come true.
Continue reading “The Barking, Biting, Brazilian Horned Frog” …read more
Read more here: King Snake

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   Mar 08

Herp Photo of the Day: Happy Rattlesnake Friday!

Happy Rattlesnake Friday! How stunning is the red on this Speckled Rattlesnake (Crotalus mitchellii pyrrhus), uploaded by kingsnake.com user lichanura ! This Speck was found in Arizona. 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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   Mar 07

Herp Photo of the Day: Snake

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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   Mar 06

Herp Photo of the Day: Lizard

This Ambilobe Panther Chameleon is all fired up in our herp photo of the day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user vinniem1210! Be sure to tell vinniem1210 you liked it here!

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