Reptoman

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   Jan 19

Herp Photo of the Day: Boa

Looks like there is a new guitarist in the band in our Herp Photo of the day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user liljenni . Be sure to tell them you liked it here!

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   Jan 18

Herp Photo of the Day: Boa

We are LOVING this motley snow Boa Constrictor in our Herp Photo of the day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user Sharkman20 ! Be sure to tell them you liked it here!

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   Jan 18

Meet the Puff Adder

A captive puff adder.
By Dick and Patti Bartlett

The Puff Adder (Bitis arietans) is probably the most common and widespread of all African snakes.Except for rainforest and montane regions, this dangerously venomous and irritable snake may be found over most of the southern 2/3rds of the African continent. It can also be encountered in Oman, Saudi Arabia and Yemen.

Capable of both linear (slow and in a straight line like a caterpillar) and serpentine (side-to-side) movement, when possible the Puff Adder relies mostly on its camouflaging colors for protection and exemplifies the term sedentary. When frightened, either purposely or accidentally, these snakes coil and expel the breath in loud, easily heard puffing-hisses (hence the common name) and often strike savagely.

Adult at 30 to 40 inches in length, rare examples of this very heavy bodied adder may attain a length of 4 feet. They are primarily terrestrial, often common in grassland habitat, but are able to climb and may bask a few inches above ground in shrubs. They swim readily.

In keeping with its sedentary behavior, the Puff Adder is an ambush predator, waiting quietly for its prey of mammals, birds, amphibians, and lizards to approach within striking distance.

Reproductively active Puff Adder male often follow the pheromone trails of females and engage in combat matches. Live bearing, a clutch usually numbers between 20 and 50. The neonates are 5 ½ to 7”. The largest clutch recorded numbered 156 newborns.
Continue reading “Meet the Puff Adder” …read more
Read more here: King Snake

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   Jan 15

Herp Photo of the Day: Happy Rattlesnake Friday!

We love everything that rattles, but today we give the spotlight to this baby timber rattlesnake in our herp photo of the day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user jameswv! Be sure to tell them you liked it here!

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   Jan 14

Herp Photo of the Day: Salamander

Here’s to hoping this smiling albino fire salamander (Salamandra s. terrestris) in our herp photo of the day brightens up your morning! It’s uploaded by kingsnake.com user alessio.
Be sure to tell them you liked it here!

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   Jan 13

Herp Photo of the Day: Snake

There is no mistaking why these guys are called the yellow-belly puffing snake (Spilotes sulphureus), as you can see in our herp photo of the day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user zmarchetti ! Be sure to tell them you liked it here!

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   Jan 12

Herp Photo of the Day: Lizard

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

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   Jan 11

Herp Photo of the Day: Lizard

What a great looking pair of Australian water dragons 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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   Jan 11

The Wonderful Screaming Frog

Big, loud, and toxic. What more could you want?
Its proper names are Smoky Jungle Frog, Leptodactylus pentadactylus, and the normal calls of the males as they sit half in or next to their burrows are loud, penetrating, whistling, hoots, that have a rising inflection. But just grab one—go ahead and grab it—grab it hard because they are SLIPPERY, and be prepared for a distressing, loud, penetrating, scream—a scream that has often been likened to a woman in distress! Once heard, you’ll remember it. This frog also may “stand high,” extending all four legs downward and inflating its body if it feels threatened. And wash your hands after handling the frog. The glandular secretions are virulent.

This bullfrog-sized (to a robust 7 inches) rainforest anuran, is one of the largest, if not THE largest, and most common of the tropical frogs. Its call was the one we most often listened for as we settled in at our Amazonian camp. If heard the rainforest was wet and humid. The wet season had officially begun. If not heard we were probably a few days early and although still a wonderland, the forest was probably still comparatively dry.

I’m not sure what the “smoky” part of the name is meant to connote. The dorsum, uppersides, and limbs are a rich tannish-brown and the lower sides are a rich red. There may be dark bars across the back and hind legs and dark spots on the forelimbs. Dorsolateral folds are present. The feet are not webbed. A black stripe runs from the snout, passes over the tympanum (eardrum) and may terminate on the shoulder or continue to the groin. There are dark triangles on the upper lips.

This is a nest building species. A foam nest of body secretions is built in a constructed depression that is usually in the proximity of standing water. Within a few days after hatching rains flood the deposition site and carry the tadpoles to more permanent water.

The rainforest is a wondrous place!
Continue reading “The Wonderful Screaming Frog” …read more
Read more here: King Snake

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   Jan 08

Herp Photo of the Day: Happy Rattlesnake Friday!

Happy Rattlesnake Friday! Yes, it isn’t a Rattlesnake, but it is a venomous snake! What an awesome shot of this Lansberg’s hognosed pitviper (Porthidium lansbergii) in our photo of the day uploaded by kingsnake.com user Neverscared ! 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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   Jan 07

Herp Photo of the Day: Snake

The clutch of thayeri hybrids in our herp photo of the day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user mordd, explain why we can’t have just one! So much variety in reptiles and so much beauty!

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   Jan 06

Herp Photo of the Day: Snake

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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   Jan 05

Herp Photo of the Day: Gecko

What a cute lil Punkin! Loving this gorgeous shot of a young Tokay Gecko in our Herp Photo of the day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user mfontenot ! Be sure to tell them you liked it here!

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   Jan 04

Herp Photo of the Day: Frog

Hopefully the gorgeous blues of this Dendrobates auratus uploaded by kingsnake.com user amazonreptile will brighten your day. Be sure to tell them you liked it here!

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   Jan 04

The Big-headed Amazon River Turtle

Note the facial plates on this interesting turtle.
This big side-necked turtle, Peltocephalus dumerilianus, ranges in the Amazon and Orinoco drainages from Ecuador, Peru, and western Venezuela to Brazil. Once thought to have been extirpated from Peruvian waters, it has again been found in that country. The actual abundance there (as elsewhere) is not known.

It is monotypic within its genus, but is most closely related to the much better known Amazon River Turtles of the genus Podocnemis.

This appears to be a seldom seen Podocnemid turtle. Until you see it withdraw and fold its head sideways, its overall appearance is that of a “ginormous” mud turtle. The folding of the neck and its nonhinged plastron, however, are positive giveaways. It can reach a length of slightly more than 2 feet straight measure.

Carapacial color is gray to black. The plastron may be brownish or yellow. Limbs, tail legs, and neck are also dark. The dark head may have yellowish cheeks. The crown, cheeks, and jaws appear plated.

Very little is known about this understudied aquatic turtle, this despite it being an important food source for Amazonian families.

Up to 25 eggs have been reported for a clutch, but it is not known whether this species multi-clutches.

Continue reading “The Big-headed Amazon River Turtle” …read more
Read more here: King Snake

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   Jan 01

Herp Photo of the Day: Happy Rattlesnake Friday!

Albino Monocled Cobra, uploaded by kingsnake.com user MaxPeterson

This Cobra in our herp photo of the day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user MaxPeterson just learned we celebrate venomous animals every Friday! Boy is he happy for the respect! 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. Be sure to tell him you like it here.

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   Dec 31

Herp Photo of the Day: Milk Snake

This Milk snake is just hanging out our Herp Photo of the day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user gerryg . Be sure to tell them you liked it here!

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   Dec 30

Learning Life from Snakes

Woohoo, the author’s snake, photographed in Mississippi in 2020.Credit...Houston Cofield for The New York Times
Woohoo, the author’s snake, photographed in Mississippi in 2020.Credit…Houston Cofield for The New York Times

Do you ever have an issue explaining why you love your pet snakes so very much to friends? Have you ever had problems putting into words your love of those cold blooded pets that share your world? Never fear, we all have!

A recent opinion piece in the New York Times puts our love of snakes into a special light.

The snake is as much symbol as animal, and this oversaturation of meaning prevents us from seeing the snake clearly. In reality, they are gentle, healthful to the environment, “more scared of you than you are of it,” a sort of tragic hero of the ecosystem that is, when gazed upon without malice, beautiful.

To read the whole article, click here.

BTW, a hearty congrats to WooHoo for reaching 25 years old!

…read more
Read more here: King Snake

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   Dec 30

Herp Photo of the Day: Kingsnake

Love the darker phase of this 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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   Dec 29

Herp Photo of the Day: Boa

Welcome to the world little one! That magical moment when a baby takes it’s first breath is captured here with this boa in our Herp Photo of the day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user dpiscopo69 ! Be sure to tell them you liked it here!

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   Dec 28

Herp Photo of the Day: Water Snake

So small and precious, this baby Broad Banded Water Snake in our Herp Photo of the day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user cochran gets up close and person with the mighty herper! Be sure to tell them you liked it here!

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   Dec 28

The Tawny Forest Racer

Note the yellow interstitial skin of this forest racer.
The genus Dendrophidion contains about 15 species of big-eyed, diurnal, alert snakes, all of racerlike slenderness and speed. The overall distribution of the genus is from southern Mexico to Bolivia. The Tawny (aka Olive) Forest Racer, Dendrophidion dendrophis, was a common and welcome species at our camps in Amazonian Peru.

Although of subdued color this is a pretty snake. The ground color is lightest anteriorly and darkens progressively towards the tail. A series of 50+ narrow, dark-edged, light bands or dark bands with light lateral spots, begins on the nape, and continues to tailtip. These are best defined on young snake and may be obscure on old adults. The Interstitial skin (the skin between the scales) and the belly are yellow, paling anteriorly. Each eye is shaded by an enlarged, flat, outward projecting, supraocular scale. The eyes of juveniles appear proportionately larger than those of the big-eyed adults.

Adult size of this oviparous snake is 3 to 4 feet. This is a frog-eating species.

These racers are most often seen on or near the ground, but they can climb well and often sleep in shrubs or trees 5 to 8 feet above the ground.

The fact that this snake (as a matter of fact, all snakes in this genus) readily autotomizes the tail if grasped by this terminal appendage explains why many forest racers seen have a truncated appearance. The tail is readily lost but does not regenerate.

Continue reading “The Tawny Forest Racer” …read more
Read more here: King Snake

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   Dec 24

Herp Photo of the Day: Gecko

One day to get things ready and this gecko is making those light look boring in our Herp Photo of the Day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user chrisvanaken! Be sure to tell them you liked it here!

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   Dec 23

Herp Photo of the Day: Gecko

Santa’s gecko elves are prepping to load the sleigh in our herp photo of the day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user Geckoranch ! Be sure to tell them you liked it here!

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   Dec 22

Herp Photo of the Day: Iguana

Kismet thinks Iguanas are better to lead Santa’s Sleigh in our herp photo of the day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user Really! Be sure to tell them you liked it here!

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   Dec 21

Herp Photo of the Day: Lizard

We have the proof Santa is a reptile right here in our herp photo of the day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user rosebuds! Be sure to tell them you liked it here!

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   Dec 21

The Banded Calico Snake

This is a typically colored hatchling Banded Calico Snake
Varying by researching authority, the genus Oxyrhopus contains 12 or more, largely nocturnal, neotropical (central and northern South America, including Trinidad and Tobago) snake species that vary widely in color. Some are primarily red others are primarily black, some bear bands of contrasting colors, others, except for the head that often contrasts with the body color, are largely unicolored.

In my opinion, one of the prettiest is the Banded Calico Snake. Other frequently heard common names include False Coral Snake and Forest Flame Snake.

Long known as Oxyrhopus petola, Jay Savage has recently suggested that its proper name is O. petolarius, and that this contains 3 subspecies, including the one with which I am most familiar, O. petolarius petola.

Over the years we have gotten very used to visits from this Calico Snake at the preserves where we stay. We not only happen across adults on the trails and juveniles in trailside shrubbery, but the adults range widely and often stray into our campsites.

Hatchlings and juveniles of this yard long, oviparous, snake are banded white and black, most young adults are banded with bright red (sometimes white) and black, and the red bands old examples often darken until the entire snake looks sooty.

Although these snakes were initially considered rear-fanged colubrines, they have now been reclassified as a Dipsadine genus. The venom seems especially virulent against lizards and amphibians on which calico snakes primarily prey. Small rodents and birds are also prey items.

I have found this snake reluctant to bite.
Continue reading “The Banded Calico Snake” …read more
Read more here: King Snake

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   Dec 18

Herp Photo of the Day: Happy Rattlesnake Friday!

It would be pretty hard to tread on this Albino Atrox in our herp photo of the day uploaded by kingsnake.com user krantz ! Be sure to tell them you liked it here!

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   Dec 17

Herp Photo of the Day: Komodo

A True Giant. This Komodo Dragon takes center stage in our Herp Photo of the day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user cowboyfromhell ! Be sure to tell them you liked it here!

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   Dec 16

Herp Photo of the Day: Gila

This lovely Gila monster poses perfectly in our Herp Photo of the day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user vegasbilly ! Be sure to tell them you liked it here!

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   Dec 15

Herp Photo of the Day: Monitor

This female Kimberly Rock Monitor is just hanging out in our herp photo of the day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user bob! Be sure to tell them you liked it here!

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   Dec 14

Herp Photo of the Day: Axolotl

If this axolotl in our Herp Photo of the day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user tadpoleo doesn’t make you smile, I am not sure what will! Be sure to tell them you liked it here!

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   Dec 14

The Common Bird Snake

Juvenile Common Bird Snakes are strongly patterned and highly arboreal.
A common snake in Amazonian Peru, the actual range of this feisty snake is from Mexico through most of northern South America. Both the genus and the species/subspecies names for this snake are currently in flux. Some refer to it as Pseustes poecilonotus, some as Phrynonax polylepis, and others simply refer to it, as I have, as the Common Bird Snake. At the moment I’ll also use the long-standing name of Pseustes poecilonotus for its scientific designation. The snake simply doesn’t care what you call it but is apt to display resentment if you approach it too closely.

We have found many of these snakes, but have never yet found one that was happy to see us. Neck distention, similar to that of the better known Spilotes, is a defensive ploy that may be used before, during, or after the snake has struck at you. Bird snakes are nonvenomous. Juveniles are strongly patterned and quite arboreal often being found at face level or above in trailside trees. Adults are more often found resting at night while coiled atop fallen trunks or simply on the trail.

The common name comes, of course, from this snake’s fondness for birds and their eggs. Small mammals, lizards, frogs, and insects are also eaten.

Continue reading “The Common Bird Snake” …read more
Read more here: King Snake

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   Dec 11

Herp Photo of the Day: Happy Rattlesnake Friday!

Happy Rattlesnake Friday! This Timber Rattlesnake in our Herp Photo of the day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user herpermike1 was found in a very populated area in Tennesee, and moved to a more safe location! Great Message! ! 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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   Dec 10

Herp Photo of the Day: Happy Hanukkah

A Happy Hanukkah to all from us, including this cute lil guy in our herp photo of the day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user natsamjosh! Be sure to tell them you liked it here.

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   Dec 09

Herp Photo of the Day: Frog

We are kicking Wednesday off right with this lovely pair of Reed Frogs in our herp photo of the day uploaded by kingsnake.com user arkherps ! We understand they are “wrestling” 🙂 Be sure to tell them you liked it here!

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   Dec 08

Herp Photo of the Day: Turtle

This Sulawesi Forest Turtle looks like he is ready to take on the world and dominate it in our herp photo of the day uploaded by kingsnake.com user andystorts ! Be sure to tell them you liked it here!

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   Dec 07

Herp Photo of the Day: Python

Love this gorgeous Moluccan python, Morelia clastolepis, in all its shimmering beauty in our herp photo of the day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user krantz!
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   Dec 07

The Black Rat Snake

Coastal eastern Black Rat Snakes are often jet black dorsally.
Long in the herpetocultural shadows of more brightly colored rat snakes, it now seems that much interest is being channeled to the big Black Rat Snake, Pantherophis obsoletus obsoletus. Although I’m surely missing some, genetic aberrancies such as white-sided, albino, lavender, rusty, brindle, and calico, have been developed. But let’s talk about the normal rather than the aberrances here.

The Black Rat Snake, a big dark colored constrictor, has an immense range in eastern USA. Using state abbreviations, it may be found from New England’s Lake Champlain to neGA, then seMN to cKS and cLA. Habitats include stone walls, woodlands, pasture edges, deserted buildings and other such structures.

It, like its several subspecies, is adult at 5 to 6 feet in length. Occasional examples have exceeded 8 feet in length. With a record length of 101 inches it is one of the 5 longest snakes in the USA.

When adult this is a large, primarily black, harmless, but often feisty, semi-arboreal snake. Black above, traces of darker blotches may be seen, and if the snake is a hatchling/juvenile, or distended with a meal or gravid. Patches of white, gray, or orange interstitial skin (the skin between the scales) may also show. Dorsal patterns are also more apt to be seen where this snake nears the ranges of the Gray Rat Snake and Texas Rat Snake. The belly is white with irregular blotches of black.

Typically hatchlings are gray with black saddles. Various colors, especially a dark olive green, may show at areas where this snake intergrades with the yellow rat snake. Rodents, birds, and lizards are the preferred prey items of this powerful constrictor.

Rat snakes, as a group, will hiss if frightened and will often vibrate the tail. This latter, if in dried grass or leaves, will make a whirring sound that is similar to the noise of a rattlesnake’s rattle.

Know the difference before you approach.

Continue reading “The Black Rat Snake” …read more
Read more here: King Snake

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   Dec 04

Herp Photo of the Day: Happy Rattlesnake Friday!

Happy Rattlesnake Friday! We are seeing red with this gorgeous shot of a Pygmy Rattlesnake our herp photo of the day uploaded by kingsnake.com user Tamers1 ! Be sure to tell them you liked it here!

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