Sunday, July 13, 2014

I Took The Advice...

...of Long Island Herpetological Society president Vin Russo and got myself a couple of Russian Tortoises. I had been thinking of getting at least a pair of them for over a year now but as usual I was The Great Procrastinator. Then Vin mentioned them either during a talk or just in passing at an LIHS meeting and happened to say that he thought they might soon wind up on a protected species list and become difficult to obtain. He certainly knows the reptile trade so I guess that was all it took to convince me that the best time to get them was now (relatively speaking).

The male.
A couple of months ago, at the Long Island Reptile Expo, I picked up a male. Then just a couple of weeks ago, at the NY Metro Reptile Expo in White Plains, I was lucky enough to find a nice looking female and I bought her too.

Both of them appear to have been wild caught. I am guessing the male may have been a recent import because he was a little on the light weight side and had recent abrasions to his carapace as from shipping in a crowded shipping box. The female, on the other hand, was said to have been a long term captive. Maybe she was just that and I say so because her shell was in better condition and her weight was quite a bit better than that of the male when I first got him. She was not quite up to what his weight was by the time I bought her but she
was pretty close, meaning her weight at time of purchase was better than was his when I bought him. So, I figured, she was in good shape and I paid a bit more than I had wanted to for her. Not much more, I figure $85 was a good buy but also felt that the dealer could have come down somewhat more in price. Not complaining though, she is a nice tortoise.

The female.
I am hopeful that next spring, she an the male will have been conditioned well enough by my care for them to breed. This is a species that is still imported in high numbers as wild caught adults but has only a small base of breeders willing to give them the attention they need in captive bred breeding programs. It is about time that we, as the herp community, establish a good captive bred population of them to help assure they are not wiped out in their natural habitat! I do not in any way oppose well regulated (not over regulated) wild caught collecting - in fact I support it but I certainly also support captive breeding programs to make sure we prevent over collection of species from the wild. This is a species that needs serious consideration among herpers as to captive bred breeding programs. I plan to give them good care and just that type of consideration.

All the best,
Glenn B

Beat It...

...used to be the name of a popular song by who I think was one of the most detestable singers ever. I guess then that 'beating it' makes it natural for me to detest the actions of a group of Mexican villagers who reportedly beat to death a large snake purported to be 25 feet long. While I may detest it, I can understand it in the face of their likely ignorance about snakes and the potential they cause for danger.

Thanks again to Deb Hoppe for sending that in for inclusion in the blog. Deb, I do not know what the LIHS, or at least the LIHS blog, would do without you and I mean that most sincerely. Thanks.

All the best,

Sunday, June 29, 2014

LIHS Annual Auction

Well folks, it looks like we are still in business as the LIHS. We raked in about $860.00 at our annual auction earlier this month. Since our treasurer Rich H said that was very good, I am imagining we have enough in the treasury to carry out LIHS functions as usual next year. I consider us lucky since the attendance at the auction seemed less than normal to me and since it appeared as if herps were not getting many bids if any depending on the item offered for bidding. Oh well, what do I know? Of course, the answer to that must be, as usual: "Next to nothing"! The rest of the story in pictures and captions.

Our supreme leader and his very competent assistants commence the auction.

One of the assistants, now a seemingly an erstwhile one, is noticeably
missing as this Texas Rat Snake goes up for bidding. Note the sparkle
in its eye, like it expected to latch onto Rich Meyer's finger but
the snake was disappointed cause Rich M was not there.
As you can see, the bidding audience was not huge but that lady, (in pink,
over to your left - second row from front) must have had lots of cash since
she was bidding like there was no tomorrow and the place was on fire.
What we lacked in numbers, the bidders made up with enthusiasm.


I had promised myself to only donate herps so I could get rid of them, instead
of buying more of them. It is amazing, I cannot even keep promises that I 
make to myself and I wound up taking these two baby corn snakes home
 along with a ball python someone gave to the LIHS.

I also had the high bid on this wonderful device that
for some reason I thought would be great in my 40
foot wide backyard. Anyone have a large yard and
a medium sized dog that needs this, let me know.
If you were not there, you missed out on some really great items up for sale and we missed you. Hope to see you all at the auction next year.

Remember the next LIHS general meeting will be in September 2014. It has not yet been scheduled but you can check on the LIHS website, maybe in late August and hopefully the info will be up by then.

All the best,
Glenn B

Expert Snake Handler

Here we have a fine example of an Expert Snake Handler giving his best impersonation of an expert snake handler:

Thanks to Deb H for sending me this.

All the best,
Glenn B

Thursday, May 29, 2014

I Have Loved Tortoises...

...since I was a young kid. I remember going to the Bronx Zoo, or maybe it was the Catskill Game Farm (or both), when I was 8 and younger, and riding on giant tortoises. At least the tortoises seemed huge to me and chances are that they were big ones that they let kids climb aboard, back then, for the slow motion ride of their lives. I was heart broken when the practice was no longer allowed.

Tortoises are magic reptiles, even more mystical than are turtles. While many folks, if not most of them, have an aversion to other reptiles and to the amphibians, almost everyone likes a turtle or at least finds them less repulsive than a slithery snake or a slimy frog. Yet, some few (in the overall scale of things) find even turtles to be repugnant. Somehow though, when it comes to their dry land cousins, even most of us seem to have an open space in our hearts for tortoises. They exude a personality (or is it an animalality because they surely are not persons) that says love us because: they are responsive to those who care for them or otherwise give them love, they give everlasting hope to those who have been the targets of the abuses at the hands of others (even of time itself since they live so long), that says even though I not aggressive - I am not defenseless, that shows them to be survivors because they have survived some of the harshest climates, on land, on our planet against all odds - even including relocation to inhospitable climes, that says 'be my friend and I will reciprocate'  - as they are among the most responsive reptiles known to mankind, and they have a look about them that makes them appear to hold the wisdom of the ages. They have more human-like attributes than may other creatures. My bet would be, that even if you don't love them, you find them at least somewhat fascinating.

Jonathan, a Seychelles Tortoise living on the island of St. Helena,
may be 182 years old. Thus, he well could be the longest lived land
animal currently surviving on the planet earth or even in the universe.
So when LIHS member Deb Hoppe sent me the following very interesting tortoise and human interest article, about Jonathan, I knew I would eventually have to post a link to it on the LIHS Blogger. Took me awhile but at last, here it is. See:

Once again, my thanks to LIHS member Deb Hope, whom I would bet loves tortoises too, for another great blog submission.

All the best,
Glenn B


The deadline to reserve a spot for the LIHS Annual Dinner is rapidly approaching. Last chance to pay for the dinner is Jun 1st. The dinner will take place on Saturday June 7th, at 7PM, at SUNY Farmingdale, more info here: .

Directions to the event can be found here:

A campus map here:

Also, don't forget that the LIHS Annual Auction will be held in the Conference Center at SUNY Farmingdale on June 8th commencing at 1PM. Fpr more info, see this link:

All the best,
Glenn B

Friday, May 2, 2014

LIHS May Meeting and Other Upcoming Events

The Long Island Herpetological Society's Monthly meeting for May 2014, will be this Sunday, May 4th, in the Conference center at SUNY Farmingdale, NY. It is slated to run until 4PM but may end earlier. Open to members and the public, no admission fee. The will be a presentation called Madagascar Live by Erik Callendar !

Please also remember that the LIHS Annual Auction will take place during our June meeting on Sunday June 8th at 1PM in the Conference Center at SUNY Farmingdale.

Directions to SUNY Farmingdale can be found on the page at this link:

A campus map showing the location of the Conference Center can be seen on the page at this link:

One other even is also coming up, the LIHS Annual Dinner. It will be held on Saturday evening, June 7th, at 7PM in the Campus Center, Building 08, at SUNY Farmingdale. A campus map showing the location of the Campus center can be found at this link: Please bear in mind that the dinner is open only to LIHS members. Payment for the dinner must be made by June 1st.

All the best,
Glenn B

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Upcoming LIHS Events

Hello Long Island Herpetological Society members and all non-members too. Just wanted to remind you about a few upcoming LIHS events:
The LIHS monthly meeting for May will be on Sunday, May 4th, from 1 - 4 PM in the Conference Center, at SUNY Farmingdale. Directions to SUNY Farmingdale here. The topic for the day will; be MADAGASCAR LIVE Live by Erik Callendar. As usual, the meeting may end earlier than 4. Meetings are open to both LIHS members and non-members. There is no admission fee.
The annual LIHS dinner will beheld on Saturday evening, June 7th, from 7 - 10 PM. Unlike most LIHS events, THIS IS A MEMBERS ONLY EVENT. It will be held at SUNY Farmingdale but in a new on campus location for us, the Campus Center Building. Directions to SUNY Farmingdale hereThe price of the dinner is $25 for adults and $10 for children. First come, first serve on ticket availability. For more information, please see the page at this link:

ANNUAL LIHS AUCTION  (and June Meeting)
C/B 2012, 100 % het for albino, 1.0 ball python
to go up for bids at the auction. Starting bid $70.00.
2013 Baby Redfoot Tortoise, about 3" long will be
looking for bids and a new home.
Captive bred. Starting bid $70.
The LIHS Annual Auction will take place on June 8th from 1 - 4 PM at SUNY Farmingdale in the Conference Center
Directions to SUNY Farmingdale here. This event is open to both members and non-members. For more info on the LIHS Auction, please visit this link:
Some items donated by Zoo-Med
for inclusion in the auction.

Don't eat to much the night before at the LIHS Dinner or you may oversleep and miss the auction and you sure don't want to miss your chance to be the high bidder on some fine auction items. A preview of some of the auction items can be found here. If you are donating items or animals to the LIHS for the auction, please contact: Likewise if you have pictures of auction items for posting on the site.


The LIHS will be participating in Reptile And Amphibian Appreciation Day at Cold Spring Harbor Fish Hatchery & Aquarium on Saturday June 14th from 10 AM until 4PM. As usual we are seeking volunteers to display herps at the LIHS tables. While only LIHS members may volunteer to display animals at the LIHS tables, the event itself is open to the public. The hatchery charges a small admission fee that also covers the event. Note that there is no admission fee for LIHS member volunteers.
There will also be a Turtle and Tortoise Pageant the same day and that is open to the public and their turtles and tortoises for participation. Don't forget, if you want to participate in the pageant, you must meet the June 9th registration deadline. I am uncertain as how you go about registering but you can email the hatchery staff for information at this email address: or you can call them at this number: (516) 692-6768.
This is a great way to spend the day or part of it. The hatchery has several trout tanks, a couple of ponds, and a few exhibit buildings; see this link for info on exhibits. I think that the CSFH&A has an excellent display of native American fish, reptiles & amphibians that is not to be missed and that if you at all like turtles (or have kids that do) then you should make certain not to miss the baby turtle tank. 
If you are into fishing, they also offer a catch and keep program geared toward the youngsters. They supply fishing equipment and bait at $5 per fisherman. You and your kids can then go fishing but the catch is you must keep what you catch and pay a $4.00 fee per fish; more info here.
Of course, lest you forget, there should also be a fine outdoor display (weather permitting - otherwise indoors) of reptiles and amphibians exhibited by LIHS members.
Directions can be found here.
Hope to see you at all of the above events.
All the best,
Glenn B


Sunday, April 13, 2014

Thoughts On The 2014 LIHS Reptile & Amphibian Show

See the title, it says thoughts on the show. The main reason it says that is because someone was running late and did not think about double checking to see he had everything before leaving for the show and thus forgot his camera. yes that would be me. So instead of having at least even a few photos of the event, all I have is thoughts and they don't even cover the whole show because I had to leave early.

The show was small, smaller than I would have hoped for, but there were some nice animals on display. They included either a green tree python (or emerald tree boa), a Texas rat snake, a boa constrictor, a ball python, several corn snakes, a few crested geckos, a few Chahoua geckos, a Central American wood turtle, a red foot tortoise, a couple of Egyptian tortoises, a Hermann's tortoise, and a ribbed newt. There also were others that I cannot remember right now. In all, they were some pretty nice herps. The judging started earlier than I had thought it would and I think was over by around 2:30, the same time I had to leave since I had a relative's birthday to attend. Thus, I missed the awarding of prizes. I did not bother entering my three animals into the contest because I had to leave early but apparently the judges included them in the contest anyhow. I know because I just got an email from Rich M saying he had a ribbon or two for me. That was nice of the judges.

All in all it was a nice show and I met a couple of new folks to the society (sorry I am terrible on names). It could only have been nicer if we had more participation from the membership. It's always nice to see familiar faces at these things and plenty of them. I hope more of the members, yes you, turn out at the next meeting and the auction (that must sound great coming from me since I missed most of the meetings this season). Oh well, hopefully there will be a good turnout at the auction and as I said, the show was nice regardless.

If I get the list of who won and for which animals, I will post it here later.

All the best,
Glenn B

Saturday, April 12, 2014

LIHS Annual Judged Show

The Long Island Herpetological Society's annual judged show is set for Sunday April 13, 2014, at SUNY Farmingdale commencing at 1PM. Note that this is not the equivalent of our previously annual herp expo - this is a judged show only and not a sales event; our herp expo is a thing of the past.

Anyway, the judged show should be interesting and fun. Based on my past experience with it, there are going to be, or should be, a wide variety of herps entered. As with our past shows, prizes will be awarded. The prizes will consist of ribbons for the various winners and there will be a $50 gift certificate, from Nicebalz, for the overall show winner. Entries of herps into the contest are open to LIHS members and non-members alike. There are no entry fees for members but there is a $1.00 entry fee per animal for non-members. The show is open to the public at no charge.

For more info about the contest, see:

Hope to see you, and your herps, there.

All the best,
Glenn B