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News & Events: Herp Photo of the Day: Black Racer . . . . . . . . . .  Eastern Indigo Snake . . . . . . . . . .  All Maryland Reptile Show - Apr. 01, 2023 . . . . . . . . . .  Richmond Reptile Expo - Apr. 08, 2023 . . . . . . . . . .  Exoticon Pet Expo Chesapeake - April 08-09, 2023 . . . . . . . . . .  Northern Virginia Reptile Show - Apr. 15, 2023 . . . . . . . . . .  Exoticon Pet Expo Salisbury MD - April 22-23, 2023 . . . . . . . . . .  Ozone/Exoticon Pet Expo Georgia - May 05-07 2023 . . . . . . . . . .  All Maryland Reptile Show - May 06, 2023 . . . . . . . . . .  East Coast Reptile Super Expo - May 13, 2023 . . . . . . . . . .  Reptiles At The York Expo Center - May 20, 2023 . . . . . . . . . .  All Maryland Reptile Show - June 03, 2023 . . . . . . . . . . 

( - Tuesday, Mar 28, 2023

An amazing shot of a chill Black Racer being all chill in our herp photo of the day, uploaded by user ReptileProducts! Be sure to tell them you liked it here!

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News Briefs

GIla Monsters saving Diabetics
( - Friday, Mar 24, 2023

Bear, a captive Heloderma suspectum cinctum, photo courtesy of user DennisDeLapJr from our galleries.

Venom is a magical thing, it can both destroy and save. When the diabetic drug Byetta hit the market, it was originally marketed as derived from the "spit" of Gila Monsters. The stigma of the destructive properties of venom was too much for the marketing team. Now Ozempic is on the market and making waves for more than it's ability to balance A1C. Ozempic is the newest rage in medical weight loss. But it is the where it came from that interests us. A second medication made from the venom of Gila Monsters moving forward and advancing medicine thanks to the venom of our cold blooded friends.

It all started back in the early 1990s, when government researcher Dr. John Eng discovered that Gila monsters have a special hormone in their venom. The hormone is quite similar to a hunger-regulating hormone humans harbor in the small intestine, which helps control blood sugar levels.

In people, it's called glucagon-like peptide-1. In Gila monsters, Eng named it exendin-4.

Thankfully now, they are marketing it as a venom protein, something we herpers already knew! Here is to hoping this helps increase understanding and conservation into venomous species! To read the full article, click here.
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Featured Contributors
Eastern Indigo Snake
(Richard Bartlett) - Monday, Mar 27, 2023

An adult Eastern Indigo from Southern Florida.

In contrast to many other snake species that are warm weather specialists, the Eastern Indigo Snake, Drymarchon couperi, is active and breeding during our cooler weather. To see one in the wild is a spectacular event. Indigos are smooth scaled serpents of large size. Males may exceed 7 feet, females are about a foot shorter. Both gender are alert and so heavy-bodied that they put the Black Racer (with which they are often confused by non-herpers) to shame. In addition, the Indigo is a glossy, a shiny, black (so shiny that it often has a blue sheen in bright light) while the black racer is a soft, non-shiny, satin black. The chin of the Eastern Indigo may be black or red.

Indigo snakes have a comparatively huge home range. They favor brush piles, stump holes, gopher tortoise and mammalian burrows, with tortoise burrows being of prime importance. Tracking summations indicate the range of a single indigo often exceeds 150 acres and occasionally nearly twice that amount. Habitats vary seasonally from longleaf pine plantations and stream beds to sandy ridges. A few reintroduction programs are underway to bring Indigos back to state and federal parks and some other private/public holdings. Presently the Indigo can be found in southern Georgia, southern Alabama, and Florida, and perhaps in extreme se Mississippi and the low country of se South Carolina.

Adult prey items of adult indigos include birds and mammals of suitable size, as well as other reptiles including pit vipers, while juveniles add amphibians and smaller reptiles to the culinary list. Like King Snakes, Indigos are immune to pit viper venom

Indigo Snakes are often thought of as gentle snakes that are disinclined to strike or bite but if surprised, they may vibrate the tail. Because of their tractability they were often sought after for pet snakes. This popularity along with massive habitat loss has resulted in protection at state and federal levels. They cannot be collected from the wild. A federal permit is needed for interstate trade/sale. Be certain to know all relevant state and federal laws.

Indigos are oviparous. Clutches usually number 4 to12 large eggs. Hatchlings are ~20” in length and may be flecked with blue dorsally.
Continue reading "Eastern Indigo Snake"
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