Reptoman

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   Oct 15

Herp Photo of the Day: Rat Snake

This curious little wild Rat snake is checking out the camera in our herp photo of the day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user cmac107 ! Be sure to tell them you liked it here!

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   Oct 14

Herp Photo of the Day: Mangrove

Black Mangrove, uploaded by kingsnake.com user ptahtoo

Poised and watch, what a stunning Mangrove in our herp photo of the day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user ptahtoo! Be sure to tell them you liked it here.

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   Oct 14

The Granite Spiny Lizard

This is an adult male granite spiny lizard.Light phase adult male Sceloporus orcutti are arguably the most beautiful of our spiny lizards. The ground color of adult males may vary from copper to charcoal. A dark wedge, often obscured in darker males, is present on each shoulder. Dorsally, scales are marked with black, turquoise, and yellow-green. The entire venter and throat is brilliant blue. Light phase males often have a broad stripe of intense purple for the entire length of the dorsum. Females tend more towards a coppery ground color, are often prominently banded, and have the purple dorsal area less well defined. The venter is whitish or faintly washed with blue. Juveniles are prominently crossbanded.

Adult males attain a total length of 10 1/2″ (svl 4 1/2″). Females are somewhat smaller.

This beautiful rock and cliff dweller ranges southward from the northern side of San Gorgonio Pass, Riverside County, CA, southward to the latitude of La Paz, Baja California Sur. (south of this it is represented by the genetically dissimilar but lookalike Hunsaker’s spiny lizard). Adult male granite spiny lizards attain a total length of 10 1/2″ (svl 4 1/2″). Females are somewhat smaller and are less colorful.

One large female laid 11 parchment-shelled eggs in late June. Incubation lasted for 57 days at a variable (room) temperature. The hatchlings consumed small crickets within a day of hatching. Both nighttime cooling and natural photoperiod are probably necessary to induce breeding and the production of viable eggs.

Fast and wary, S. orcutti is most easily approached early in the morning and just before retiring to their crevices for the night.
Continue reading “The Granite Spiny Lizard” …read more
Read more here: King Snake

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   Oct 11

Herp Photo of the Day: Happy Rattlesnake Friday!

Happy Rattlesnake Friday! What a stunning albino Southern Pacific Rattlesnake (Crotalus oreganus helleri) for our Herp Photo of the day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user lichanura ! 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 10

Herp Photo of the Day: Kingsnake

“You’re kingsnake.com, where are all the kingsnakes?” Right here 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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   Oct 09

Herp Photo of the Day: Boa

Loving this Dumeril’s basking in the sun for a photoshoot 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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   Oct 08

Herp Photo of the Day: Tortoise

A stunning Asian Forest Tortoise (Manouria emys phayrei,) takes over as our Herp Photo of the day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user emysbreeder ! Be sure to tell them you liked it here!

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   Oct 07

Our Eastern Newts

Whether spots or stripes the red markings are usually at least partially edged with black.Our eastern newts are members of the genus Notophthalmus. Those seen in the pet trade are the four subspecies of the red-spotted newt, N. viridescens. Of these, two subspecies, the red-spotted and the broken-striped newts are, respectively, attractively adorned with a row of black edged vermillion spots or intermittent stripes along both sides of their dorsa. The remaining two subspecies, the pleasantly colored central, and the particularly drab peninsula newts usually lack most, or all, traces of red.

The eastern newts are rather small creatures. The largest race, the red-spotted form, tops out at a mere 5 1/2″ in total length. All four subspecies of the eastern newt have quite complex life cycles. Eggs are deposited in water, and hatch into prominently gilled larvae. After a period of time, if conditions are right, the larvae resorb their gills and transform into rough-skinned, often brightly colored, terrestrial dwelling subadults. At this stage of their lives, the creatures are often referred to as “efts.” In the northeast, central, and some areas of the south, red or red-orange are the common colors of the efts. Efts in the deep south are often only little, if any, brighter than the adults. This stage exists, conditions allowing, for from one to several years. After completing the eft stage (which is foregone entirely in some newt populations or if terrestrial conditions are unfavorable) eastern newts return to the water, fade in coloration from red to olive-green (with black spotted yellow bellies) and, there, complete their lives.

Adult eastern newts are often sold as “oddities” for aquaria. Slow moving, they are compatible with most “community tank” fish, but will prey upon fish eggs or freshly dead baby livebearers. Adult washed brine shrimp, blood and whiteworms, and chopped earthworms are relished by newts. Some prepared fishfoods are also consumed. Their skin secretions usually protect newts from the occasional aggressive tankmates.

Continue reading ” Our Eastern Newts” …read more
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   Oct 07

Herp Photo of the Day: Crocodile

Here is to hoping this hatchling albino Siamese Crocodile our Herp Photo of the day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user crocodilepaul helps you survive this Monday!! Be sure to tell them you liked it here!

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   Oct 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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   Oct 03

Herp Photo of the Day: Lizard

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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   Oct 02

Red-bellied Swamp Snakes

The 3 subspecies of the black swamp snake are so similar that it will take scale counts to differentiate them. This is a Carolina swamp snake.Three races of red-bellied swamp snakes, Seminatrix pygaea ssp., occur in the southeastern United States. They differ principally in the number of belly scales that each possesses. None are restricted to swamps, but, rather, may inhabit all but rapidly moving waters. They are especially partial to those waters that are choked with vegetation. The dense vegetational mats formed by the crowns and root systems of the beautiful and prolific, introduced water hyacinth are particularly favored. In fact (the difficulty I had in finding swamp snakes not withstanding), the spread of the troublesome water hyacinth through southeastern waterways has probably greatly benefitted swamp snake populations.

Seminatrix pygaea is an ovoviviparous species. From three to 14 young, diminutive replicas of the adults in appearance, are birthed in the late summer or early autumn.

Swamp snakes are generally thought of as difficult captives. In nature they are rather specialized denizens of a habitat that is difficult for herpetoculturists to reproduce. If kept captive in either an aquarium or with moist sphagnum as a substrate, a potentially fatal blister disease often manifests itself. If kept on a dry substrate, these snakes often experience shedding difficulties. A happy medium may take considerable effort.

The commonly listed dietary preferences of the species are also not those usually available to hobbyists. Mentioned food items include, among other things, leeches, dwarf sirens, tadpoles, and other such aquatic fare.

However, I have recently learned of one, long-term captive swamp snake that has contentedly dwelt in a small, dry, terrarium (with a water bowl), AND which feeds ravenously on newly born pink mice. Too little is known about the species as a captive for me to hypothesize whether this specimen is the exception or the norm. It might be of interest for other southeastern reptile enthusiasts to experiment with the captive care of swamp snakes, but to be ready to release their specimens back into natural habitats should they not respond quickly and satisfactorily.

Certainly the snake is sufficiently beautiful to warrant the interest of many hobbyists who have space for only a small specimen or two. Although swamp snakes may rarely attain a length of 18 inches, most are adult at from 10 to 14 inches in overall length.
Continue reading “Red-bellied Swamp Snakes” …read more
Read more here: King Snake

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   Oct 02

Herp Photo of the Day: Turtle

This Box turtlle is loving life in our Herp Photo of the day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user Jen350 ! Be sure to tell them you liked it here!

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   Oct 01

Herp Photo of the Day: Toad

Most commonly known as the harlequin toad, this Atelopus barbotinitakes center stage in our herp photo of the day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user jamesmatthews! Be sure to tell them you liked it here!

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   Sep 30

Herp Photo of the Day: Pine snake

Here is to hoping this Northern Pine in our Herp Photo of the day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user orchidspider can cure any case of the Mondays!! Be sure to tell them you liked it here!

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   Sep 27

Herp Photo of the Day: Happy Rattlesnake Friday!

Happy Rattlesnake Friday! This is such an amazing shot of an eyelash viper (Bothriechis schlegelii) in our photo of the day uploaded by kingsnake.com user beckherps ! 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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   Sep 26

Herp Photo of the Day: Morelia

Here’s to hoping this IJ Jag in our Herp Photo of the day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user StonedReptiles makes your day a bit brighter!! Be sure to tell them you liked it here!

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   Sep 25

Herp Photo of the Day: Frog

What a chunker! I’m just gonna go out on a limb and say that the Barking Tree Frog in our herp photo of the day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user saltycity has never missed a meal! Be sure to tell them you liked it here!

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   Sep 24

Herp Photo of the Day: Bullsnake

That’s a whole lotta bull. Bullsnake that is! Loving the colors on the one here in our herp photo of the day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user orchidspider has never missed a meal! Be sure to tell them you liked it here!

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   Sep 23

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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   Sep 20

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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   Sep 19

Herp Photo of the Day: Lizard

This Uromastyx (U.acanthinurus) in our Herp Photo of the day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user rockabirdie, is all fired up and sassy! Be sure to tell them you liked it here!

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   Sep 18

Herp Photo of the Day: Snake

Through all the years, corn snakes remain our favorite for a great beginner snake! After seeing this one in our Herp Photo of the day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user cochran, it is pretty obvious why! Be sure to tell them you liked it here!

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   Sep 17

Herp Photo of the Day: Chameleon

Everyone feels just like this little chameleon does here in our herp photo of the day uploaded by kingsnake.com user 1Sun every once in a while! Be sure to tell them you liked it here!

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   Sep 16

Herp Photo of the Day: Python

Help fight off any case of the Mondays by welcoming this little ball python to the world in our Herp Photo of the day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user TerryHeuring brighten your day!! Be sure to tell them you liked it here!

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   Sep 16

Inyo Mountains Slender Salamander

Inyo Mountains Salamander at home (momentarily minus the sheltering rock
We headed to the Inyo Mountains to try to whittle some species from the list.

“Turn right, ummm—here,” Gary said as we barreled along. I turned right and was confronted by a half-dozen boulders someone had rolled onto the dirt road.

“I can roll those.” Gary said (I didn’t argue because I wasn’t sure I could—roll them, that is).

Somehow between Gary’s efforts and the car’s 4-wheel drive we actually accessed the gravel-dirt road.

“See that ridge?” Gary said?

“I think so.” I said tentatively. There looked to be several ridges.

“That’s where we’re going.”

“OK.”

So I put the car in low and we went. As we bounced slowly along we frightened huge basking male desert collared lizards, Crotaphytus bicinctores, from boulder-top vantage points. Toasty warm, they were alert, unapproachable, and clad in scales of warm desert brown. Good road.

Somewhere along the way one of the low ridges developed a sombrero of green formed by one or more cottonwoods. Ahhhh-that was the ridge. That was good. It was considerably closer than the one at which I had been looking. A short spur turned right and we bumped our way to the cottonwoods and at the cottonwoods was a bubbling spring.

“This is one of two places where that salamander is found.” Gary said.

“That salamander” was, in this case, the Inyo Mountains slender salamander, Batrachoseps campi.

So we parked, got out, and began carefully turning damp rocks. Nothing. Nary a salamander, but we were serenaded the whole time by goldfinches so all was not lost.

Gary said “Let’s try the second spot.”

Sounded good to me, so off we went. The roads got worse and as we ascended and rock-hopped I found myself wishing I had a Wrangler rather than a Trooper. But the car was steadfast in its approach—until the road disappeared and I chickened-out.

So we stopped and walked upwards, ever upwards, and finally we entered a beautiful spring fed copse of cottonwoods. This was a magnificent desert spring, replete with terrestrial orchids, mosses, ferns, and flat surface rocks. If ever an oasis existed, this was it.

Gary went in the direction where on an earlier trip he had found an Inyo Mountain slender salamander. Not knowing better, I floundered around in a more open area having a great number of flat rocks, most of which were partially awash in the numerous seeps that emerged from the main spring.

And through dumb-luck, it was I who found the only Inyo Mountain slender salamander of the trip. This beautiful caudatan of the silvery phase was right at water level beneath a tilted rock.

What can I say but “thanks, Gary!”

Continue reading “Inyo Mountains Slender Salamander” …read more
Read more here: King Snake

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   Sep 13

Herp Photo of the Day: Happy Rattlesnake Friday!

Happy Rattlesnake Friday from this Pygmy Rattlesnake in our herp photo of the day uploaded by kingsnake.com user randyprobst ! Be sure to tell them you liked it here! Remember, we celebrate #RattlesnakeFriday to celebrate our venomous animals and spotlight their conservation needs

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   Sep 12

Herp Photo of the Day: Snake

Good things come in small packages, like the Rough Earth Snake in our Herp Photo of the day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user gdy! Be sure to tell them you liked it here!

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   Sep 11

Herp Photo of the Day: Lizard

Glass Lizards, like these guys in our Herp Photo of the day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user sweetpea are like having the best of both world’s dontcha think?!! Be sure to tell them you liked it here!

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   Sep 10

Herp Photo of the Day: Hognose

It is a whole lotta squee in this two for Tuesday pair of hatching Hognose in our Herp Photo of the day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user caracal ! Be sure to tell them you liked it here!

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   Sep 09

Herp Photo of the Day: Boa

These two boas are chilling in a fresh tub of water in our herp photo of the day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user BNixon ! I bet there were babies being made at some point here. Be sure to tell them you liked it here!

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   Sep 09

Black Collared Lizards

Black collared lizard juvenile
Next stop would be a bit closer to San Diego, where amidst canyons and boulder fields we would try to photograph Baja black collared lizards, Crotaphytus vestigium. Because of their color, predominantly black with an intricate pattern of white crossbars and spots, the breeding males of this species are distinctively different in appearance from any other collared lizard in the United States. Breeding females are also dark but have deep brown fields alternating with the black.

The good news about our search for these collared lizards is that we found them. Gary, with his new fangled, reach to eternity digital camera, even got some good photos of a basking (but very wary) male.

Me? My little 35mm never even had a chance with the lizards. So we decided to try to catch one to enable me to photograph it. After a more than casual “look around” the lizard we zeroed in on was a beautiful adult male in peak coloration. He was basking quietly atop a boulder only about half the size of a house about 20 yards from the road. Even before the car had stopped he was on the alert (being alert is how you get to be a big lizard!) and as we got out he darted over the side and disappeared. Gary ran and I hobbled over to where we thought he had gone and found that he had wedged himself in a cul-de-sac of rocks. He was safe from everything but a whipsnake or our lizard noose. Gary manned the noose and after about a half an hour of standing and lizard fishing in sunshine that had heated the desert to a seeming 200F, he exclaimed “I’ve got him!” He withdrew the noose and with it came one of the most spectacular lizards I’ve ever seen. We were elated—for a moment. The lizard dangled free for a moment, seemed to glare (was it balefully or quizzically) at Gary, shrugged a bit, and before either of us could move to grab him, he had dropped free and was gone. We still don’t know what happened, but we do know it was collared lizard, 1, collared lizard noosers, zero!

Continue reading “Black Collared Lizards” …read more
Read more here: King Snake

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   Sep 06

Herp Photo of the Day: Happy Rattlesnake Friday!

Happy Rattlesnake Friday from this Timber Rattlesnake in our herp photo of the day uploaded by kingsnake.com user evil-elvis ! Be sure to tell them you liked it here! Remember, we celebrate #RattlesnakeFriday to celebrate our venomous animals and spotlight their conservation needs

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   Sep 05

Herp Photo of the Day: Boa

With his nose peeking through the baby goo, this boa’s first moments are here 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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   Sep 04

Herp Photo of the Day: Snake

The best part about corn snakes is their wide variety of looks, like this Striped Sunglow Motley in our herp photo of the day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user jcherry! Be sure to tell them you like it here!

Corn Snake, uploaded by kingsnake.com user jcherry” />

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   Sep 03

Herp Photo of the Day: Alligator

This American Alligator is is keeping an eye out for Dorian in our herp photo of the day uploaded by kingsnake.com user mwright82 ! Hang in there Florida, you are in our thoughts! Be sure to tell them you liked it here!

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   Sep 02

Panhandle Pines

A Florida black pine snake–almost!
Two of Florida’s forestlands are located on the Panhandle, a 3 or 4 hour drive from my home. The closer of the 2 is the Apalachicola National Forest, more than 550,000 acres of pine and mixed forestlands with stands of hardwoods along the creeks and rivers. West of the Apalach (as it is fondly called) by some 100 miles is the Blackwater River State Forest. This is an expanse of 190,000 acres of uplands, lowlands and in-between-lands, that are home to an impressive array of herp-life, not the least interesting being the Florida pine snake, Pituophis melanoleucus mugitus. On the east side of the forest the Florida pines are of very typical appearance. This means that they are pale snakes—they have a pale, chalk white ground color, and the tannish blotches, widely separated posteriorly but almost contiguous anteriorly, can vary from nearly indistinct to reasonably well-defined. This coloration doesn’t usually vary much throughout this snake’s entire range of from southeastern South Carolina to Mobile Bay and throughout most of the northern 4/5 of the Florida Peninsula. In western Escambia County, Florida though, pine snakes that are obvious intergrades between the Florida and the black have been found. These are big (to over 8 feet in length!) and both ground color and blotch color are variably suffused with melanin. The result is that these hulking snakes are distinctly different in appearance than either of the parent species, but are decidedly dark enough in color to be unexpected on the Florida side of Mobile Bay.

Although neither the Florida nor the intergrade pine snakes are commonly seen throughout most of the year, in the spring when males are surface-active and trailing females, seeing a pine snake is a distinct possibility.
Continue reading “Panhandle Pines” …read more
Read more here: King Snake

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   Aug 30

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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   Aug 29

Herp Photo of the Day: Bearded Dragon

Bearded Dragons are always such characters like these two in our herp photo of the day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user TazziesMommy is all amphibian! Be sure to tell them you liked it here!

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   Aug 28

Herp Photo of the Day: Caecilian

Although often called incorrectly a rubber eel, this Rio Cauca Caecilian (Typhlonectes natans) in our herp photo of the day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user chrish is all amphibian! Be sure to tell them you liked it here!

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