Saturday, October 11, 2014

Turtle Thighs???

Just this past August a man was caught attempting to cross the border, into Canada from Michigan, with 51 turtles strapped to his thighs. Read about it here:

http://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/local/wayne-county/2014/09/25/man-tried-smuggle-reptiles-pants-across-detroit-windsor-border/16203929/

It gets more complex because the same guy and an accomplice were reportedly arrested in September too - the charge - more turtle smuggling.

Thanks to Mike G for sending me that info.

All the best,
GB

About To Catch Dinner?

It looks as if the monitor may have dinner, in the form of the bearded dragon, on its mind and I can almost hear it thinking: "Oh boy am I actually gonna catch this tasty morsel?"

 

Luckily, the beardie had an answer already prepared: "NOPE!"

Thanks to Deb H for the submission.

All the best,
GB

Sunday, September 21, 2014

LIHS Call For Care Sheet Submissions

Right now, the Long Island Herpetological Society has only nine (9) herp care sheets linked on its homepage and blog. The reason we have those is because they were written by LHS members who submitted them to the LIHS for publication on our website (and now they get a link on the blog too).

The care sheets that we have linked are:

  • Ball Pythons
  • Bearded Dragons
  • Boa Constrictors
  • Bull, Gopher & Pine Snakes
  • Corn & Rat Snakes
  • Hermann's Tortoises
  • Hognose Snakes
  • Kingsnakes & Milk Snakes
  • Leopard Geckos

  • There have got to be at least a few to several of you, LIHS members, who keep herps other than those in that list. I am going to ask that if you have been keeping them successfully over the long term, and maybe even breeding them, that you write up an original care sheet and submit it to one of the LIHS board members for inclusion (a link to it) on the LIHS webpage and blog. I figure it would be really nice to have care sheets on some popular and even not so popular herps that are currently in the trade. Some suggestions are care sheets about:

    Axolotls
    Ribbed Newts
    African Clawed Frogs
    Dart & Mantella Frogs
    Fire Belly Toads
    Pacman Frogs
    Red Eared Sliders
    Other Sliders and Cooters
    Ornate Box Turtles
    Central American Wood Turtles
    Russian Tortoises
    Red Foot Tortoises
    Star Tortoises
    Crested Geckos
    Tegus
    Monitors
    Anoles
    Chameleons
    Tri-color Milk Snakes
    House Snakes
    Green Tree Pythons

    The list could go on and on and we sure can make good use of the care sheets. One of the main goals of the LIHS is to educate folks about how to care for herps properly and posting care sheets on the website and blog would be a great way to achieve that. Hope to receive at least a few of them from you, the membership.

    All the best,
    Glenn B

    Okay WHAT Do I Do With It Now???

    When you grab a tiger by the tail you had better hope that you had a plan beforehand and it seems the same could be true when you grab an Anaconda likewise. The guy in the boat apparently gets talked into grabbing a big Anaconda's tail but seems to have no clue what to do once he has it.



    This tale seems to have turned out for the best because they evidently let it go.

    Video submitted by Deb H and another hat tip is sent her way, thanks Deb.

    All the best,
    Glenn B

    Monday, September 15, 2014

    Tegu Invasion

    I am pretty sure that is you are at all into herps or nature, you probably have heard of several invasive species of reptiles that are on the loose in Florida. The Burmese Python is probably the first that comes to mind with Green Iguanas not far behind. Brown Anoles and other species also are breeding rampantly throughout the state. One species I had not realized that was and remains a problem for Florida's ecology is the Argentine Black & White Tegu.

    Florida seems almost custom made for these ravenous predators and they are multiplying there in good numbers since their release into the wild. In fact, they may soon expand their range far enough to endanger the American Crocodile. Tegus are probably more of a threat to the ecology in FL and in states further north than FL because they are more cold tolerant than many of the other invasive species that are thriving in that state.

    My source for the above info was a nice article submitted by LIHS member Deb H. Read it here:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/05/science/a-lizard-interloper-presents-challenge-in-florida.html?_r=2

    All the best,
    Glenn B

    Sea Turtle Rescue

    Nice video of a sea turtle rescue. The turtle in the video to which they keep referring as "the animal" is a Leatherback Sea Turtle.


    Thanks to Deb H for sending in this one.

    All the best,
    Glenn B

    LIHS: First Meeting of the 2014/2015 Meeting Year

    Did you miss the first meeting of the LIHS 2014/2015 meeting yesterday? If so, that's too bad because it was a good one. To open, business was discussed as usual. Business included holding the nominations for the LIHS executive board.

    As pretty much has been usual for the past few years, most of the board members are unopposed so far. I say 'so far' because their will be an additional chance to nominate someone at the October meeting before the election in November. One board member, Kirk P is not running and has dropped out of being the 2nd Vice President. Wayne (don't know his last name) has been nominated for that spot. If you want to run, ask someone to nominate you at the next meeting (you'll need a second to the nomination too).

    Other business included mention of the up coming Long Island Reptile Expo at the Hilton Hotel in Farmingdale, NY on October 19th. It is expected that the LIHS will have a table there. Volunteers to help out at the LIHS table during the day might be needed. Check with one of the board members on that if you want to volunteer. I will probably be helping out at the LIHS table for the entire expo.

    After business was discussed we moved onto the presentation for the meeting. That turned out to be a show and tell sort of an exhibit given by some of the members. Rich Hume did a short talk on his breeding efforts with a few morphs of corn snakes and hognose snakes. Mike V also gave a presentation ion Ball Python morphs and showed an exceptionally nice one that looked as if it had ink blots on its sides. You have to see it up close to see how awesome is that snake.

    After that, just about everyone remained for an hour or so and chatted. it was nice to see some folks I have not seen over the summer and I think there were some new faces there too. All in all, I am guessing we had about 20-25 folks in attendance. Hope to see more of you at some of the future meetings. The remainder of this season's meeting dates are:

    October 26
    November 16
    December 7
    January 18
    February 15
    March 15
    April 12
    May 3
    June 7
     
    As usual, the meetings are held in the Conference Center at SUNY Farmingdale. Directions and a link to a campus map can be found at the page at this link:
     
     
    All the best,
    Glenn B

    Sunday, September 7, 2014

    Today's NY Metro Reptile Show

    The reptile expo, today up in White Plains, was pretty much par for the course or in other words was a good one. I only got there at about 1:15PM, instead of the more usual 0830, but that was fine by me. Late starts can be a good thing on some days. Once inside, I bypassed saying hello to some friends and went straight to the Slither & Swim tables where I said hi to Paul (the owner as far as I am  aware) and I grabbed two 40 quart bags of cypress bedding before it sold out as it often does. Paid for that and promised him I would be back for something else later.

    After getting the substrate, I headed over to the table of John H & Rich H who both had herps for sale. John was offering some really exceptional crested geckos and Rich was selling corn snakes and hognose (I think) but at that moment only Tim was there watching the table while they were at lunch. Tim had a nice selection of leopard geckos for sale. Vin R was set-up next to them and as usual he had his ball pythons, boas and I think some hognose snakes for sale. Being in the market for a female crested gecko, I looked over what John was offering. He was out to get some lunch when I got there but Tim pointed out that he mostly had males for sale but also had two females. Somehow I had missed the females when I had just looked - I must be getting old. I looked again, this time at both females and grabbed the larger one of them and put it under the table as sold to me. I'd pay John later.

    I helped out at the table a bit until John and Rich got back from lunch, then I took a walk around the expo center to see what was there. Mostly the same old stuff from what I could see, nothing new or unusual enough to make it very exciting but it was still all good. I took several walks around the center today, trying to make sure not to miss anything as happens all to often when I am stuck helping out at the table more. I had nothing to sell today and no obligations to help out (although I did help out when needed) so I had more time than usual at the show.

    I wound up getting just about everything I needed but not quite all of it. The two bags of substrate, a thousand 1/4" crickets (but forgot to get super-worms), a jar of tortoise pellets (the pellets are what I bought later on at Paul's table) and a nice piece of hollow cork bark for one of my gecko tanks. I got a really good deal on the gecko from John, quite a bit less than the asking price, but I still wound up spending more than I had planned on spending and that was because I bought the gecko. I am not complaining. Sooner or later she will breed with my male and start producing eggs. If I am lucky, selling some of the babies may help defray the costs of my reptile hobby/addiction.

    I have to say that the place was pretty much packed when I got there and remained that way up until at least about 3:30, then it started to thin out markedly. Lots of folks were buying and that was a good thing.  John said he sold a decent number of crested geckos, Rich a couple to a few snakes, Tim a few leopard geckos. It looked as if Vin R was doing okay, which he confirmed later, and most of the dealers around us also seemed to be doing well. One of the busiest vendors at these expos winds up being Slither & Swim, whose table was right across from us, they had a steady flow of customers during most of the time I was there. They don't sell any animals at the expo, only herp food, accessories, tanks and other herp equipment.

    I don't think all of the crowd was there to buy. I am pretty sure that many folks attend just to see the reptiles and amphibians. There is a pretty decent variety of what is available in the herp trade there each time they hold the expo and that brings in those who just want to gawk. Mostly though, the attendees are indeed buyers or at least are shoppers. Whether they buy or not depends on what they are looking for, what is offered for sale, the prices and so on. As I said though, the dealers seemed to be doing well and a lot of folks were carrying purchases.

    I did come across something else that interested me there but did not purchase any. The dealers right behind John's table had ribbed newts. Sub-adult, but sexable, pairs were going for $50.00. Not a bad price and they would have given me a discount making it $40 for a pair. I had to hold off but am pretty certain I will get a pair or maybe even four of five of them from those guys at the next expo. I want to have a tank already set up and seasoned before acquiring any of them.

    I must say I had a good time there, I stayed until closing. Traffic was fair going there and pretty light going home, so that with a good show made for a good day all in all. Hope to see you at the next one. Speaking of the next one, there will be a Long Island Reptile Expo on Sunday October 19th at Huntington Hilton Hotel located at 598 Broad Hollow Rd. (Rt. 110) in Melville, NY  11747. It runs from 9AM until 3PM. You can find more info at this address: http://www.reptileexpo.com/lifirst.htm

    All the best,
    Glenn B








    Egads Is It 1030 AM Already?

    That means that the New York Metro Reptile Expo, up in White Plains, has already opened its doors. It also means, I am late, very late. I usually get there by about 0830 to lend a helping hand to some friends who have a table at this event. Not helping out today though, but will be attending anyway, and am getting there later than usual.

    Anyway, it is a great way to spend part of your Sunday and you still have plenty of time to enjoy it since it runs until about 4PM. Good deals are to be had on herps and herp supplies of all sorts. LIHS members Vin R, John H and Rich H will have tables there. Today I'll probably be picking up some things like: two large bags of cypress substrate, a thousand crickets, maybe some super worms too, and some gecko feeding cups and who knows what else. I'll get at least a couple of those items from Paul at Slither & Swim; he was a long time vendor at, and supporter of, the old LIHS annual show. Of course, me getting anything there will only happen if I actually get there. It's only about a 40-45 minute drive from mid-Nassau County but there is always the chance of traffic and since I want to spend as much time there as I can, no more dallying for me.

    All the best,
    Glenn B

    Thursday, September 4, 2014

    Look There's A Snake In Our Yard

    Being a herper, if you see a snake crawling around in your back yard, your first idea may be to catch it and check it out. It might even seem especially appealing an idea if the snake is an albino. Hopefully you will think again because caution may be the prudent thing to exercise.

    It seems an albino monacled cobra (Naja kaouthia) is on the loose in Thousand Oaks, CA (source). This is not one of those frantic fantasy reports of a loose exotic animal, this report has been accompanied by both photographs of the snake and of an instance of a dog apparently having been bitten by it (the dog is supposedly okay). Authorities are urging folks to stay away from it if they spot it; they are also trying their best to capture it before someone is bitten by it. Chances are though, if someone is bitten by it, it will be because they attempted to handle it or because they have cornered it. These normally are not aggressive cobras and usually flee when threatened but will certainly bite in defense if cornered or handled. Their venom is mainly neurotoxic and deadly.

    My son and wife once spotted a snake crawling along side our garage. My son was about to pick it up but I told him to hold off until I could get a flashlight to illuminate it better to make sure it was safe (it was just after dusk and darkening quickly). Turned out that it was a Yellow Rat Snake, certainly not a native NY species so it must have escaped from somewhere. I knew from where it had escaped, mine had been missing for at least several months. Since it was early spring, I can only deduce that it had overwintered by bromating outside, or in my basement unseen, and had made its way outside on what was the third day of that year with temps in the eighties. Had it been outside before that day, chances are we would never have seen it again.

    You can probably safely bet that the cobra on the loose in CA is also an escapee either from a zoo, or from a personal collection. When dealing with venomous species extra care to their security must be given. They are often kept in locked enclosures which are themselves kept inside of double doored, locked, virtually escape proof snake rooms. Right now the priority in CA is catching the snake. Once it has been captured, my guess would be that the priority will become finding out who is responsible for it getting loose.

    All the best,
    Glenn B

    All the best,
    Glenn B