Reptoman

see reptiles diffenetly

   Jun 26

Herp Photo of the Day: Newt

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

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Read more here: King Snake

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   Jun 25

Herp Photo of the Day: Snake

So bright and brilliant, this Yellow Anaconda shines in our Herp Photo of the day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user mattf77 ! Be sure to tell them you liked it here!

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   Jun 24

Herp Photo of the Day: Python

What an awesome shot of a shedding in our herp photo of the day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user tylerwork! Bet this Ball Python loves it’s new outfit! Be sure to tell them you liked it here!

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   Jun 24

Cross-country Snake Species

This, the western yellow-bellied racer, is the most westerly of the racer clan.
Racers as a group of 11 subspecies, range across the USA from Maine and Florida to California and Oregon. Think about that. Then add to that thought that one subspecies, the eastern yellow-bellied racer ranges from just north of the USA/Canadian border to southern Texas (not quite to the MX border) and both the facts and the snake species itself, Coluber constrictor by name become even more impressive.

Except for 2 subspecies in the southern Midwest the racers are of a rather uniform but variable color both dorsally and ventrally. The dorsal color may be black, olive-tan, blue, or gray, The ventral coloration of many subspecies is the same or slightly lighter than the dorsal color. The common names, such as black racer, blue racer, yellow-bellied racer, tan racer, black-masked racer, even a buttermilk racer the latter being a blue to tan snake with groups of lighter scales that resemble the curds in buttermilk. To these may be added a regional feature such as northern, southern, eastern, western, or a more specific area such as the Everglades. In actuality the names are quite descriptive.

Besides the racers there are several other coast to coast snake species. Among these are the eastern garter snake, Thamnophis sirtalis. This variable species starts at the east coast with the eastern, Maritime, and blue-striped garters and terminates on the shores of the Pacific with the more gaudy San Francisco, California red-sided, and Valley subspecies.

Ditto with the ring-necked snakes, Diadophis subspecies, beginning on the eastern seaboard with the northern and southern ringnecks and transitioning on the West Coast into a host of beautiful, subspecies with remarkably brightly colored bellies.

And although there are others, I’ll cease and desist with mention of the hobbyist favorite, the kingsnakes of the genus Lampropeltis. Ignoring the current trend to make species out of subspecies or to not recognize appearance differences at all, we begin on the California coast with the pretty and variable California kingsnake, transitioning eastward first to the desert king, then after a broad area of intergradation to the speckled, black, eastern and Florida races.

The United States, a wonderland of herpetological diversity, no matter what your classification system may be.
Continue reading “Cross-country Snake Species” …read more
Read more here: King Snake

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   Jun 21

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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Read more here: King Snake

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   Jun 20

Herp Photo of the Day: Lizard

This young green Basilisk in our herp photo of the day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user AirPirate is enjoying his morning swim! Be sure to tell them you liked it here!

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   Jun 19

Herp Photo of the Day: Snake

This beautiful Trans-Pecos Rat Snake is holding on to her most valueable treasure in our herp photo of the day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user pecoskid ! Be sure to tell them you liked it here!

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   Jun 18

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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   Jun 18

First documented parthenogenesis birth in Water Dragons


The Smithsonian’s Reptile Discovery Center recently hatched it’s first Chinese Water Dragon from an unfertilized egg. For the species, it was the first recorded parthenogenetic birth. It is not unusual to see unfertilized eggs from a variety of species, just ask any Iguana or bearded dragon owner! Lauren Augustine, a keeper at the Reptile Discovery Center, decided to hold and incubate all eggs from virgin females. What happened next is quite honestly history, and documented at that!

After two weeks of incubation, Reptile Discovery Center keepers candled the eggs; that is, they held them up to a light. The candling process revealed veins—a tell-tale that the eggs were fertile and the embryos were developing. After looking through our Asian water dragon’s records, I immediately suspected parthenogenesis. Before reaching sexual maturity, she was housed either by herself or with other females.

They have actually collected more than 1 fertile egg, however only 1 has hatched. This year the baby is of breeding age, so the team will be monitoring her eggs as well as mom’s. They are still looking at the embryos that did not survive to hatching to determine the genetics as well. For more on this fascinating story, visit the Smithsonian Blog here.
lead photo courtesy of Smithsonian Blog …read more
Read more here: King Snake

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   Jun 17

Herp Photo of the Day: World Croc Day

Happy World Croc Day from this group of breeding Gharials in our Herp Photo of the day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user Lucky_7 . Be sure to tell them you liked it here!

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   Jun 17

The Mexican Short-tailed Snake

Sympholis lippiens, another of Mother Nature’s wonderfully secretive creations. The Mexican short-tailed snake is a larger- than- normal insectivore.
Unlike earlier years when herping south of our border was simply a choice of whether or not to just get up and go, today’s decisions are a more complex decision for me. In fact, the last time I traveled into Mexico was about 15 years ago and then I didn’t travel too far to the south. I had initially considered going to Sinaloa, got as far as southern Sonora, and decided that was far enough. And, as it turned out, it actually was far enough for me to interact with the small boas of Yecora, Mexican treefrogs, beaded lizards and other species that I hadn’t seen for years.

And one of these “other” species, one that I found really interesting, was the Mexican short-tailed snake (Sympholis lippiens).

The first of this species on that trip was seen in the headlight glow of oncoming traffic. The little snake was slowly moving across the pavement. And somehow, after the half dozen cars (that’s 24 collective tires) had passed, the snake remained uninjured. I was delighted for this was an enigmatic species that really intrigued me.

That it is patterned for its entire 16- (or so) inch length in rings of jet black and creamy yellow is obvious. That it is of reasonably heavy girth, has a proportionately short tail and feels rather yielding and flaccid when lifted is almost as obvious. It was known (or at least thought) to be a secretive burrower that comes topside primarily when forced to do so by monsoon rains flooding its burrows. But beyond these things everything about Sympholis was conjectural. There was virtually nothing known about its food or feeding habits or its reproductive biology.

Today, thanks to research and compilation by Peter Holm, an Ecologist with Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument we do know a bit more about this little snake.

It is apparently commensal with a Mexican leaf- cutting ant. Leaf-cutters, their larvae, and grubs of a species known to dwell in the detritus of ant-mounds are now known to be eaten by Sympholis. Additionally, it was surmised that the thick skin, the conformation, cloacal discharge and skin secretions of this anthill specialist protected it from ant bites.
Continue reading “The Mexican Short-tailed Snake” …read more
Read more here: King Snake

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   Jun 14

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.

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

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   Jun 13

Herp Photo of the Day: Frog

This Wood Frog in our herp photo of the day, makes me want to go herping. Uploaded by kingsnake.com user casichelydia . Be sure to tell them you liked it here!

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   Jun 12

Herp Photo of the Day: Snake

We are loving this shot of a Black Milk Snake in 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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   Jun 11

Herp Photo of the Day: Python

All that glitters is not always gold, sometimes it is diamonds too! This diamond/jungle cross is absolutely stunning in our Herp Photo of the day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user KWE , they still inspire us constantly! Be sure to tell them you liked it here!

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   Jun 10

The Reddest of the Reds

Adventures, good adventures, interesting adventures, just seemed to happen to Kenny and me. On this trip Kenny had decided that he would like to see dwarI waterdogs and since I am always interested in new spots for old herp species, I went along. I don’t remember exactly how it happened, but somehow our target got redirected when our host, Matt, asked whether, as well as the little Necturus, we’d like to see some pretty – real pretty – red salamanders, Pseudotriton r. ruber. Our collective answer was, of course, not only yes, but “heck yes” and temporarily at least waterdogs were forgotten.

When we stopped it was at a huge swamp, an expanse that was criss-crossed by newly fallen as well as decomposing pine carcasses and with as much soupy mud as I would ever wish to slog through. In other words it was a salamander haven and heaven.

Kenny and Matt (and Matt’s “wonder-dog) were soon plowing agiley through the mud and jumping over or turning fallen timber. As usual I was far behind and tripping over most obstacles. Nothing new there until I floundered over a log, knocking off a bit of bark, and found 2 eastern worm snakes, Carphophis a. amoenus. Just about then Kenny and Matt both hollered “got one.” Being reasonably sure that I would get a chance to photo at least one I started back to the car.

Now time for the waterdog. At least I’d get a chance to wash some of the mud off. And we actually got both demudded and a waterdog, N. punctatus.

Another successful day.

The black-chinned red salamander, Pseudotriton ruber schencki, is a brilliant subspecies from the Smoky Mountain area.

To be introduced to this heavily speckled phase of the red salamander, Pseudotriton r. ruber , was a pleasure indeed.

As I have learned, sometimes a fall results in a find, as happened with this northern worm snake, Carphophis a. amoenus.
…read more
Read more here: King Snake

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   Jun 10

Herp Photo of the Day: Snake

So very underestimated but how many of you caught a Garter like the one in our Herp Photo of the day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user snakekate for your first field find? Be sure to tell them you liked it here!

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

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   Jun 10

The Reddest of the Reds

Adventures, good adventures, interesting adventures, just seemed to happen to Kenny and me. On this trip Kenny had decided that he would like to see dwarI waterdogs and since I am always interested in new spots for old herp species, I went along. I don’t remember exactly how it happened, but somehow our target got redirected when our host, Matt, asked whether, as well as the little Necturus, we’d like to see some pretty – real pretty – red salamanders, Pseudotriton r. ruber. Our collective answer was, of course, not only yes, but “heck yes” and temporarily at least waterdogs were forgotten.

When we stopped it was at a huge swamp, an expanse that was criss-crossed by newly fallen as well as decomposing pine carcasses and with as much soupy mud as I would ever wish to slog through. In other words it was a salamander haven and heaven.

Kenny and Matt (and Matt’s “wonder-dog) were soon plowing agiley through the mud and jumping over or turning fallen timber. As usual I was far behind and tripping over most obstacles. Nothing new there until I floundered over a log, knocking off a bit of bark, and found 2 eastern worm snakes, Carphophis a. amoenus. Just about then Kenny and Matt both hollered “got one.” Being reasonably sure that I would get a chance to photo at least one I started back to the car.

Now time for the waterdog. At least I’d get a chance to wash some of the mud off. And we actually got both demudded and a waterdog, N. punctatus.

Another successful day.

The black-chinned red salamander, Pseudotriton ruber schencki, is a brilliant subspecies from the Smoky Mountain area.

To be introduced to this heavily speckled phase of the red salamander, Pseudotriton r. ruber , was a pleasure indeed.

As I have learned, sometimes a fall results in a find, as happened with this northern worm snake, Carphophis a. amoenus.
…read more
Read more here: King Snake

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   Jun 07

Herp Photo of the Day: Happy Rattlesnake Friday!

Happy Rattlesnake Friday! Heading south of the border for this Olemecan Pit Viper (Atropoides olmec) in our photo of the day uploaded by kingsnake.com user PeteSnakeCharmer ! Be sure to tell them you liked it here! As always on Friday, we celebrate all of our venomous reptiles for their contribution to the world. It is our goal to help dispel the fears surrounding our beloved venomous creatures.

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

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   Jun 06

Herp Photo of the Day: Lizard

How adorable are Kelsey and her pal Stubby the BTS in our herp photo of the day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user danielle4girls4 ?! Seriously, this is why we fight so hard to have our pets! Be sure to tell them you liked it here!

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Read more here: King Snake

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   Jun 05

Herp Photo of the Day: Kingsnake

We might have a favorite snake here. This gorgeous Cal King in our Herp Photo of the day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user Kingzilla, is just chilling in the sun! Be sure to tell them you liked it here!

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Read more here: King Snake

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   Jun 04

Herp Photo of the Day: Lizard

I’m pretty sure photoshop was used on this Ackie in our Herp Photo of the day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user BryanD , but I would prefer to think they are realy taking over outter space! What a cool shot in black and white! Be sure to tell them you liked it here!

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   Jun 03

Herp Photo of the Day: Snake

This Blue Beauty in our Herp Photo of the day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user DunnsMtnReptiles is experiencing the world for the first time! What an amazing shot! Be sure to tell them you liked it here!

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   Jun 03

Speckled Racer

Drymobius margaritifer, the speckled racer
Thornscrub surrounded us. Every time we started forward it seemed that we had first to move backward to disentangle our clothing (and since we were both wearing shorts, our skin) before we could hope to move forward. I had done this on several previous occasions so I knew that I was going to get nowhere fast. In fact, there were times when 2 steps backward were needed before moving a few inches ahead. It didn’t take Jake long to understand why I referred to the vegetation in this region (collectively, I might add) as “monkey-get-back-bushes,” If it grew here it had thorns. Sometimes the thorns were straight and pointed as a needle and placed strategically to nail you while you were moving ahead. Sometimes they were recurved like a cat’s claw and waiting in patient silence for you to try to back up a bit while you were trying to avoid their needle-like brethren. One thing you could be sure of, they were there. Jake knew this now.

So what drew us to this particular locale in the Lower Rio Grande Valley?

Why, a snake of course. But not just any snake. It was one that was at the extreme norther edge of its mostly Latin American range here on the north side of the Rio Grand (Rio Bravo, if you prefer). It was the beautiful speckled racer, Drymobius m. margaritifer, a species we were not apt to see anywhere else. In fact, we had just seen one, hence our stickery predicament. We were hoping that about 15 feet ahead of us the snake had stopped and that we could get close enough to take photos. The vegetation was vying directly the opposite.

But I’ll shorten an already long story. We won. It was almost a draw but the snake wasn’t unduly perturbed by our thrashing about and we got pix.

So what is Drymobius? It, like many racer type snakes is black with big eyes and a less than amiable disposition. But there the similarities stop. The speckled racer is 4 feet of absolute beauty. In the center of each scale is a yellow spot. And at the rear of each scale is a wash of sky blue. This gives an overall appearance to the moving serpent of an overall wash of green. But if you concentrate on one curve of the moving snake, the outside of the curve will be a beautiful blue, and the inside of the curve is mostly yellow. It’s a beautiful snake of almost magical color changes. Take a trip down and see one for yourself. If you stay on the trails there will be no personal pain involved.

Continue reading “Speckled Racer” …read more
Read more here: King Snake

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   May 31

Herp Photo of the Day: Happy Rattlesnake Friday!

Happy Rattlesnake Friday! A lifer for many, this Rock Rattlesnake (Crotalus lepidus klauberi) in our photo of the day uploaded by kingsnake.com user EJacobsonis beautiful! Be sure to tell them you liked it here! As always on Friday, we celebrate all of our venomous reptiles for their contribution to the world. It is our goal to help dispel the fears surrounding our beloved venomous creatures.

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

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   May 30

Herp Photo of the Day: Lizard

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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   May 29

Herp Photo of the Day: Turtle

This little Savannah Side-necked turtle (Podocnemis vogli) in our herp photo of the day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user miyazawa, looks like he is having a great day with that smile!

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   May 28

Herp Photo of the Day: Lizard

Some might wonder what is it with this Glass Lizard in our herp photo of the day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user rosycorn, but we all know what it is!

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Upload your own reptile and amphibian photos at gallery.kingsnake.com, and you could see them featured here! …read more
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   May 27

Anacondas born by virgin birth


Aquarium Biologist Tori Babson holds one of the two juvenile anacondas while talking with members of the media.
photo via www.neaq.org

Two Anacondas were recently born at the New England Aquarium from their all female exhibit. It was determined via DNA testing that the babies are the product of parthenogenesis, which means the female was able to reproduce without a male. This was only the second recorded parthenogenesis in Anacondas, the first in 2014 in the UK.

From the New England Aquarium Blog:

Earlier this past winter, the newborn snakes were unexpectedly discovered by Aquarium staff in the rainforest exhibit. Biologists discovered in January that 8-year-old Anna, a 10-foot adult anaconda weighing about 30 pounds, was still in the process of delivering more young, most of which were stillborn, which is quite common in parthenogenesis among vertebrate species. Initially, three babies survived, but one died of within a couple of days. Since then, the other two juveniles have thrived.

To read the entire story, visit The New England Aquarium blog here. …read more
Read more here: King Snake

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   May 27

Anacondas born by virgin birth


Aquarium Biologist Tori Babson holds one of the two juvenile anacondas while talking with members of the media.
photo via www.neaq.org

Two Anacondas were recently born at the New England Aquarium from their all female exhibit. It was determined via DNA testing that the babies are the product of parthenogenesis, which means the female was able to reproduce without a male. This was only the second recorded parthenogenesis in Anacondas, the first in 2014 in the UK.

From the New England Aquarium Blog:

Earlier this past winter, the newborn snakes were unexpectedly discovered by Aquarium staff in the rainforest exhibit. Biologists discovered in January that 8-year-old Anna, a 10-foot adult anaconda weighing about 30 pounds, was still in the process of delivering more young, most of which were stillborn, which is quite common in parthenogenesis among vertebrate species. Initially, three babies survived, but one died of within a couple of days. Since then, the other two juveniles have thrived.

To read the entire story, visit The New England Aquarium blog here. …read more
Read more here: King Snake

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   May 27

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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   May 27

Egyptian Tortoises

A pair of diminutive Egyptian tortoises, Testudo kleinmanni.
OK, Chris, what are those?

I had ventured over to harass Chris and Mike while they unpacked a shipment of Egyptian imports. I recognized most of the herps, but the critters before now, little tortoises, were something new. They looked a bit like Hermann’s tortoises, but were much smaller, a little more elongate, and these ostensibly came from Egypt and Hermann’s didn’t, so????

And that was my introduction to the little “Egyptian” tortoise, Testudo kleinmanni. It was apparently rare back then and is now even more so. And sadly, as I later learned, those in that first shipment didn’t fare very well.

There seem to be very few of this tortoise species in America but a few are bred in zoos and by private hobbyists each year.

The highly domed carapace varies in color from a variable off-white, through buff, to brown. Reflecting more heat than darker colors, this allows the little tortoise to remain in the open and forage longer. The carapacial scutes often have dark edges or dark anterior blotches. The plastron is off white to buff and carapace is light yellow, often with two dark triangles on each of the two abdominal scutes. The head, neck, and legs are pale. These colors blend well with the light background colors of their desert home. Adult size is about 4”.

This is a chelonian species that I have never worked with. I have been told that although shy, the species does well and breeds readily once acclimated. I’m glad I had an opportunity to meet them so many years ago and hope to see more captive bred examples in the future.
Continue reading “Egyptian Tortoises” …read more
Read more here: King Snake

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   May 24

Herp Photo of the Day: Happy Rattlesnake Friday!

Happy Rattlesnake Friday! This copperhead in our photo of the day uploaded by kingsnake.com user AlexNevgloskiwould like you to give a hoot and not pollute! Be sure to tell them you liked it here! As always on Friday, we celebrate all of our venomous reptiles for their contribution to the world. It is our goal to help dispel the fears surrounding our beloved venomous creatures.

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

And seriously, please do not leave your trash behind when herping and put everything back the way you found it! …read more
Read more here: King Snake

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   May 23

Herp Photo of the Day: Lizard

The Curly tailed lizard is a common sight in the southern US, but not so common as pets. They are totes adorbs as you can see in our herp photo of the day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user Upscale!

Be sure to tell emvee you liked it here!

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   May 22

Herp Photo of the Day: Frog

The simple shot of a tree frog in a field of green is hard to beat! We hope you enjoy this shot of a Pseudacris regilla in our herp photo of the day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user emvee!

Be sure to tell emvee you liked it here!

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   May 21

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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   May 20

Herp Photo of the Day: Lizard

Blue Tongue Skinks are such amazing pets, they deserve the spotlight of Herp Photo of the day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user PatS !! Be sure to tell them you liked it here!

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   May 20

A Beautiful Search

Closeup and personal–a portrait of a hellbender.
Hellbender. Say the word and even herpers who have very little interest in salamanders suddenly perk up their ears. After all, this big aquatic caudatan is not only the biggest caudatan species in the USA, it is one of the 3 or 4 largest in the world. To see one of these, Cryptobranchus alleganiensis by scientific nomenclature, is always wonderful, for not only are they, the salamander, be they baby or adult, unfailingly impressive, but the stream and rivers where they dwell are equally so.

In face, it is the beauty of the surroundings, the solitude, the wading knee-deep in clear rushing waters, the verdancy of the stream-edge laurels, the foggy crispness of the mountain air, as much as the possibility and hope of seeing North America’s largest salamander, that keep me returning to certain favored locales.

But there is that hope and, occasionally, persistancy pays. Once in a great while if you flip stream shallows rocks looking for shovel-nosed salamanders you just might turn up a baby ‘bender. Or if you wade enough at night, your headlamp is bright enough, and the water is running clear, you just might be lucky enough to surprise one of the bottom walking big guys while it’s out on a crayfish hunt.

I’ve spent many a night doing just that. I’ve done it in February when the edges were ice-rimmed and the water was so cold that it felt like your toes would drop off. And I’ve done it on July nights when the river ran a whole lot warmer than it had in February. And I’ve seen hellbenders a few times for my efforts. And what wonderful experiences these successes were.
Continue reading ” A Beautiful Search” …read more
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   May 17

Herp Photo of the Day: Happy Rattlesnake Friday!

Happy Rattlesnake Friday! Love this Harry Greene Approved field shot of a juvenile Timber in our photo of the day uploaded by kingsnake.com user jameswv ! Be sure to tell them you liked it here! As always on Friday, we celebrate all of our venomous reptiles for their contribution to the world. It is our goal to help dispel the fears surrounding our beloved venomous creatures.

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

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!

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

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