Saturday, March 29, 2014

A Hair of the Dog That Bit You...

...or an early morning drink of whatever you had the night before, that gave you your hangover, is supposedly a hangover cure. I think though, to this tortoise it means something else altogether. Well, maybe not altogether different. After all, the dog is being a pain in the tortoise's neck and the tortoise is apparently biting the dog on his short hairs to make himself feel better but it sure doesn't make the dog feel too good.

Hat tip to Deb H for this one.

All the best,
Glenn B

Monday, March 24, 2014

A Russian Has Invaded My Home

Not a mad Russian like Rasputin, not Czar, nor a Russian leader like Putin or a soldier or diplomat, not even a Russian citizen but definitely a Russian by name if not by origin. Truth is, this little Russian, a tortoise - Testudo horsfieldii or the Russian Tortoise (aka: Horsfield's Tortoise among other names) - could be from a number of places like: Afghanistan; Armenia (Armenia); Azerbaijan; China; Iran, Islamic Republic of; Kazakhstan; Kyrgyzstan; Pakistan; Russian Federation; Tajikistan; Turkmenistan; Uzbekistan (source).

I got rid of 8 bearded dragons today and was able to pick this guy in doing so. The dealer gave me a 20% break from his asking price and I could not resist. I was hoping to get a sexed pair but the only females I saw were at another dealer than the one where I got this one. Those others looked pretty lame (closed puffy eyes, not attentive, not moving, limp necks or in other words like they were ill). So me having a pair will have to wait. The one I picked up was active, alert, eyes wide open, had no mucous or dried out secretions around the eyes, nostrils or cloaca and had a good body weight making me think it is on the healthy side. I am anxious to acquire a female so I can try a breeding project. In general these tortoises are from semi-arid to arid regions in the above listed countries. They endure fairly hot summers and long cold winters during which they brumate. In nature they eat what plants they can find such as grasses, weeds and broad leafed plants. Since they brumate for at least 6 months, and aestivate in the hot summer months, they have little time to achieve peak condition for breeding and eat as often as they can do so in nature. A sample of what they can be fed in captivity can be seen on the page at this link:

They are pretty easy to care for if some basic principles are followed. I have kept Hermann's and Redfoot Tortoises with some success and should have little difficulty, if any, with the Russians - certainly fewer and easier problems than Obama is having with Putin. If you are interested in keeping Mediterranean tortoises, the group in which the Russian Tortoise is a member, some basic care information for them can be found here:

All the best,
Glenn B

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Hairy Bush Viper (Atheris hispida) Video

Hat tip to Meg Chan for sending in a link to a video of a Hairy Bush Viper (Atheris hispida):

All the best,
Glenn B

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Indonesian Autumn Adder?

Well, here is a photo of a snake that Deb H sent me back in November (during the right season):

I found it to be absolutely awesome, so much so that I had to wonder if it was a Photoshop job. I kind of figured I would have seen this particular snake on some nature show or another before then, but I never had seen one before, so I did a little checking. Here is another version of what appears to be the same photo that has been flipped around and had the coloring changed:

Nice snake in either photo but I still figured it was so striking in yellow that I certainly would have remembered having seen one before, at least on television or in a magazine. Yet, it was unfamiliar to me and still extremely awesome looking - almost too good to be true. So, I checked more, this time using the scientific name that accompanied the second picture on the site where I had found it.
An Internet search of the name Atheris hispida revealed several online photos of that species and revealed its common name as the African Hairy Bush Viper . Most of them were markedly different from either of the above two photos in that the colors shown in the other photos mostly were nowhere nearly as vivid. Still though, what I came up with were some pretty nice photos of a pretty impressive looking snake but also that, by my guess, were probably closer to reality. One example of what I found is shown below:
Still a very impressive looking snake but the coloration and markings are somewhat different than the other two. So what is the bottom line, are the other two Photoshop jobs and the last one the real McCoy or are they all the genuine item? I cannot answer that with any certainty, so if anyone knows for sure, please leave a comment about it. More info on this species can be found here:
and here: (the pic at this link looks a lot like the snake in photos 1 & 2 but with a more washed out appearance).
Once again, my hat is doffed to Deb H for another submission for the blog.
All the best,
Glenn B

The Force Is Strong With This One...

A hat tip to Deb H for this one.

All the best,
Glenn B

LIHS March 2014 Meeting

First off, allow me to apologize to the LIHS membership for not keeping up with the blog for way too long. It was not that there was enough material to post, Deb H sent me articles and pics as usual and I came across others. It was more along the lines of a lack of interest in posting on my part. That snaked its way over to my attendance at meetings too. Until today, I had not been to an LIHS meeting in sometime either. I think today's monthly meeting was the first I have attended since October. Shame on me and I offer my apology for letting down the LIHS as far as that goes. My apology also to Deb H for not publishing the stuff she took the time and effort to send me. That will be corrected forthwith.

Anyway, the meeting today was excellent. John Heiser did a presentation about Salamanders and newts of LI. It was nice to see the other members who showed up, I think there were a dozen to maybe 14 of us there today.

News from the meeting today was that the LIHS judged show will be held at the April meeting. In addition, the annual dinner may be held later this month, the tentative date was for March 29th. I am pretty sure that an email will be sent out to the membership soon.

Finally, Deb H notified the members in attendance at the meeting that there will be a reptile lecture and field trip given at Connetquot River State Park Preserve in Oakdale on Sunday March 15th. It will be held from 1:30 to 3PM. Please note that advance reservations are required and that this is an adults-only program. The cost is $8.00 for parking. For more information and to make reservations, call: 631-581-1072.
Hope to see you all at the next meeting and or at the LIHS annual dinner.

All the best,
Glenn B