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News & Events: Herp Photo of the Day: Tortoise . . . . . . . . . .  Herp Photo of the Day: Frog . . . . . . . . . .  Northern Virginia Reptile Show - Apr. 11, 2020 . . . . . . . . . .  DFW Herpetolocial Society Meeting - Apr. 18 2020 . . . . . . . . . .  All Maryland Reptile Show - May 02, 2020 . . . . . . . . . .  Reptile Family Expo - May 16-17, 2020 . . . . . . . . . .  East Coast Reptile Super Expo - May 16, 2020 . . . . . . . . . .  DFW Herpetolocial Society Meeting - May 16, 2020 . . . . . . . . . .  Reptiles At The York Expo Center - May 16, 2020 . . . . . . . . . .  The Reptile Expo - May 30, 2020 . . . . . . . . . .  All Maryland Reptile Show - June 06, 2020 . . . . . . . . . .  The Reptile Expo - June 20, 2020 . . . . . . . . . . - Thursday, Apr 02, 2020

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News Briefs

Reptile events canceled by Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Jeff Barringer - Sunday, Mar 22, 2020

It should be no surprise to the reptile and amphibian community that we would be impacted by the COVID-19 virus shutdowns. We will do our best to keep the herp community informed, here, on this post with the latest meeting and event cancellations. Most of these event cancellations have been mandated by state or local agencies and the event promoters had no say in the cancellations. In all cases it is best to check with the event promoter to check the status of individual events as some may not be listed here. If you are event or meeting promoter that needs to list a cancellation or postponement please send us an email at

List updated 03/22/20

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Featured Contributors

Florida Peninsula Kingsnakes
Richard Bartlett - Monday, Mar 30, 2020

A portrait of a canefield king.
Time and again Jake and I had mentioned taking a drive to South Florida and trying our luck at locating 1 or 2 of the once common and now much less common Florida peninsula kingsnakes. By today’s genetic standards these are simply eastern kings. By Linnaean standards they are easily differentiated from the eastern kingsnake. Some researchers have simply considered them an intergrade between the eastern and the South Florida kingsnake. Others (and I prefer this designation) have assigned the subspecific designation of Lampropeltis getula floridana to these. With this latter designation Florida would be populated by 4 kingsnake subspecies, the Apalachicola Lowlands, the common, the South Florida (aka Brook’s), and the Florida.

It was early in January 2020 that we finally made the jaunt southward. We beat a southbound cold front by 36 hours. And in those 36 hours we searched hard for the Peninsula (or Florida) kings. Found were garter snakes, a very disfigured yellow rat, some banded and brown water snakes, and some baby American crocodiles. No kings---Florida or otherwise.

The next morning dawned a bit “brrrrrish”—close to 50F. For Floridians that’s brrrrrish. We decided to recheck a few boards just in case a wandering king decided to seek shelter from the cool. Few boards zero kings but one bobcat. We drove 15 miles to a new venue. First several boards, zero. One more board area to recheck and the we’d be heading north again.

Glad we rechecked. 1 yearling king was at home. Quite a thrill, for it was the first one either Jake or I had seen for 10+ years.

Homeward bound!
Continue reading "Florida Peninsula Kingsnakes"

The Striped Whipsnakes, Desert and Central Texas
Richard Bartlett - Monday, Feb 24, 2020

Desert striped whipsnakles may vary geographically in color intensity but are always busily striped.

Whipsnakes including coachwhips and the closely allied racers are a snake group that is all too often completely ignored by hobbyists. Although as adults many of the racers and coachwhips can be of dark and uniform color, many of the whipsnakes are colorful at hatching and remain so throughout their their lives. For example let’s take a look at the Striped Whipsnakes. The Central Texas subspecies, Masticophis taeniata girardi, ranges southward from Central Texas well into Mexico. In contrast the Desert subspecies, M. t. taeniata, ranges northwestward from western Texas and adjacent New Mexico to central Washington. Both subspecies are snakes of the thornscrub, shrubby western grasslands, rocky and scrubby deserts, and dry open forestlands.

Like all of the racers and whipsnakes, these two are oviparous and produce only a single clutch annually. Hatchlings measure about 15”; adults may attain a length of 5to 6 feet. Their slenderness and the speed with which they disappear between and behind desert shrubs often makes the adults seems smaller.

Of these 2, the Central Texas whipsnake is the darker, usually having only a single light ventrolateral stripe and light, elongate dorsolateral blotches on each side. The latter are most prominent anteriorly. Because it has numerous white stripes on each side the desert subspecies is much the lighter of the 2. Both have whitish chins, cream to yellowish bellies, and coral subcaudal scales. Hatchlings are much like the adults in color and pattern.

It seems probable that lizards are the primary prey of these whipsnakes, but they also eat insects, amphibians, birds, and small rodents.

When taken captive they are often nervous and should e provided with ample secure hiding areas. They soon quiet down but seem to always dislike being physically restrained.

Continue reading "The Striped Whipsnakes, Desert and Central Texas"
More Featured Articles
  - Florida Peninsula Kingsnakes
  - The Striped Whipsnakes, Desert and Central Texas
  - Axolotls
  - Pacific Newts
  - Where Have all the Water Snakes Gone?
  - White Rattlesnakes
  - Red-lipped Snake
  - Great Plains Skink
  - The Variable (or Western) Ground Snake
  - Florida’s Boa Constrictors
  - The Cuban Treefrog
  - A Florida Evening Chorus
  - Gopher Frogs
  - Hog-nosed Snakes, Natures Bluffers
  - Pink Coachwhips
  - The Canyon Treefrog
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  - Our Eastern Newts
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  - Innertubes
  - Reds, Winders, and Geckos
  - Where Have All the Sand Dwellers Gone.
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