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News & Events: Herp Photo of the Day: Happy Rattlesnake Friday! . . . . . . . . . .  Herp Photo of the Day: Kingsnake . . . . . . . . . .  Reptilian Nation Expo Denver - Feb. 22-23, 2020 . . . . . . . . . .  ReptiCon Tampa - Feb. 22-23, 2020 . . . . . . . . . .  ReptiCon Jackson - Feb. 22-23, 2020 . . . . . . . . . .  ReptiCon Charlotte - Feb. 22-23, 2020 . . . . . . . . . .  ReptiCon Mobile - Feb. 29-Mar. 01, 202 . . . . . . . . . .  ReptiCon Houston - Feb. 29-Mar. 01, 202 . . . . . . . . . .  ReptiCon Greenville - Feb. 29-Mar. 01, 202 . . . . . . . . . .  Western Maryland Reptile Show - Mar. 07, 2020 . . . . . . . . . .  The Reptile Expo - Mar. 07, 2020 . . . . . . . . . .  Reptilian Nation Expo San Diego - Mar. 07-08, 2020 . . . . . . . . . . - Friday, Feb 21, 2020

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News Briefs

Indiana woman dies with python around neck
Jeff Barringer - Thursday, Oct 31, 2019 gallery photo

Police say a woman has been found dead with an 8-foot-long python wrapped around her neck at a snake-laden home 20 miles northwest of Lafayette. Details are sketchy at the moment and police have yet to point the blame at the Reticulated Python in question. The woman’s cause of death remains under investigation, with an autopsy scheduled Friday. About 140 snakes were found in the home, the woman owned about 20 of them and had visited the home about twice a week.

The reticulated python (Malayopython reticulatus) is native to South and Southeast Asia, including India, Burma, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaya, Indonesia, and the Philippines. The worlds longest constricting snake, some specimens are known to exceed 20 ft. in length. An ambush hunter, it waits until prey wanders within strike range before seizing it in its coils and killing by constriction. Its natural diet includes mammals and occasionally birds. Small specimens eat mainly rodents such as rats, whereas larger individuals switch to larger prey including deer and pigs weighing more than 130 lb.

A popular species among reptile hobbyists Reticulated Pythons are common in captivity and have been bred in many different color varieties.

Human fatalities attributed to large constrictors are exceedingly rare but do happen. wants to emphasize that people working with large or venomous species should always work with a partner to avoid mishaps and injury. No matter how well you think you know an animal it only takes one mistake to have disastrous and sometimes fatal consequences.

For more information on this story please check out
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Featured Contributors

Richard Bartlett - Monday, Feb 17, 2020

Cannibalism can occur even in axolotls of the same size.

For decades a fully aquatic (neotenic) Mexican relative of the tiger salamander has been laboratory bred for both laboratory and pet purposes. This is a species with the complicated Aztec name of axolotl (axe-o-low-tul). Scientifically it is known as Ambystoma mexicanum. These are permanent and nearly obligate neotenes, never voluntarily metamorphosing into the adult form unless water quality becomes totally untenable. Even then, many simply die, not ever beginning to metamorphose. Most that do metamorphose die a short time later. Although many are full grown at about 7 inches in total length, some attain the impressive length of nearly 10".

In spite of the fact that it comes from a country that we consider tropical, the habitat of the big, bushy-gilled axolotl is cold mountain and plateau lakes. Preferred water temperature is between 65 and 75 F.

Axolotls now occur in many more than the normal olive-brown phase. Among others are the gold, albino (white with pink eyes), leucistic (white with dark eyes), and piebald (olive and white blotched with dark eyes).

Axolotls are able to consume comparatively large food items. Worms, small freshly killed fish, beef heart, and other such items are ravenously accepted and these salamanders are usually not at all reluctant to accept food from your hand. Not uncommonly, during a feeding frenzy, axolotls will grasp, dismember, and consume the leg or a chunk of the tail of a tankmate—or even the tankmate itself. In other words watch out for cannibalism. You may consider this disconcerting, but in an axolotl community it is a fact of life. Axolotls (and most other larval salamanders) are quite able, given time, to regenerate missing limbs and tail parts. And if all else remains normal you will soon see signs of regenerative growth.

Enjoy. These are wonderful salamanders.

Continue reading "Axolotls"

Pacific Newts
Richard Bartlett - Monday, Feb 10, 2020

This is a Red-bellied newt in its terrestrial stage.

Broadly speaking, there are two rather distinct groups of newts (family Salamandridae) in the USA. There are the small primarily aquatic species of the genus Notopthalmus that range in one or another of their 3 species from TX eastward and an equal number of the larger, rather terrestrial species in the genus Taricha. These latter, restricted to the Pacific Coast states are collectively referred to as the Pacific or the Western newts. The California and the Sierra newts are subspecies of T. torosa, the Rough-skinned and the Crater Lake newts are subspecies of T. granulosa, and the beautiful Red-bellied newt, T. rivularis, stands alone.

The Pacific newts are hardy and easily maintained, but not all are readily available.2 are protected by either state or federal mandates. If available to the pet trade at all Pacific newts are seasonal.

The Pacific newts are large (to 8") salamanders that have a less complex life cycle than their eastern counterparts. In the winter to spring breeding season all are aquatic. Following the breeding season, the late spring, summer, and autumn all are terrestrial. Captives are far more comfortable in a semi-aquatic or a woodland terrarium with a small pool of water than in an aquatic setup.

Dorsally all Pacific newts are vary from a warm fawn to deep brown (rarely yellow). The venters of two species, the California and the rough-skinned newts, are a pretty, unspotted yellow. The color of the venter of the third species, the red-bellied newt, is aptly described by its common name.
Worms and suitably sized insects will be eagerly accepted by your captives. If the worms are large and your newts are small, worm sections impaled on a broomstraw can be offered your captives. You can often get your salamanders to accept small pieces of beef-heart by using the same method. Small feedings may be given daily. Larger feedings may be required only once or twice a week.

Wash your hands well after handling any Pacific newts. All produce very toxic glandular secretions.
Continue reading " Pacific Newts"
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