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kingsnake.com - Monday, Jan 20, 2020

New beginnings and new life! A peek at a super dwarf Reticulated Python in our Herp Photo of the day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user jnemani! Be sure to tell them you liked it here!


Upload your own reptile and amphibian photos at gallery.kingsnake.com, and you could see them featured here!


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News Briefs

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


kingsnake.com 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. kingsnake.com 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 https://fox8.com/2019/10/31/indiana-woman-found-dead-with-8-foot-python-around-her-neck/.
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Featured Contributors

Red-lipped Snake
Richard Bartlett - Monday, Jan 13, 2020


Although rear-fanged, the red-lipped snake was once common in the pet trade.

The Red-lipped or Herald Snake, Crotaphopeltis hotamboeia, is a rather small, nocturnal, rear-fanged, colubrine snake from Sub-Saharan Africa. It is adult at 3 feet or less, and has large rear-fangs that have been described as “blade-like.” It is oviparous.

When surprised it is a defensive snake species, flattening the head, distending the lips, and striking forcefully. If carelessly grasped it will bite. In other words, this little amphibian eater does all possible to appear formidable.

Despite producing a venom that is fully capable of overcoming the amphibians on which it preys, bites sustained by humans have shown no signs of toxicity. What isn’t known of course is whether the bites were sufficiently forceful or lengthy for the snake to bring its rear venom conducting teeth into play. When kept captive it quickly tames and once acclimated seldom attempts to bite.

The common name describes an identifying characteristic of red-lipped snakes from the southern part of the range—the upper lips (labial scales) are red. However, this species in the more northerly part of the range may have white, cream, or even dark upper lips.

The head of this species is nearly black with an iridescent sheen (the iridescence is especially notable when the snake has freshly shed its skin), is noticeably darker posterior to the eyes, and is darker than the brownish to olive dorsum. When the snake’s body is inflated as when it huffs and puffs in indignation, white interstitial flecks in the form of narrow bars are often visible. The venter is white.

This snake, once common and inexpensive in the pet trade, is now less frequently available.

Continue reading "Red-lipped Snake"


Great Plains Skink
Richard Bartlett - Monday, Jan 06, 2020


A profile of an adult male Great Plains Skink

This dweller of plains and prairie grasslands is known scientifically as Plestiodon obsoletus. It is not only pretty, but is also one of the 2 largest skink species in the USA where it may be equaled in size by the more easterly Broad-headed skink, Plestiodon laticeps.

The ground color of the Great Plains skink varies from light sandy tan to a much darker olive-tan. Each dorsal and lateral scale is edged in black or very dark brown. The edging varies in thickness, producing when minimal a light tan skink or when broad one that is quite dark in color. Over all the pattern may be appear speckled, striped, or almost nonexistent. The sides may be darker than the dorsum. This lizard does not change color or develop a strongly widened head when in breeding condition. However, males may develop a wash of orange along each side and become more territorial. Females are normally a bit smaller than the males and, except when gravid, are slenderer.

Like those of many skink species, the hatchlings are of a color very different than the adults. Hatchlings have a black head and body, white labial (lip) spots, a few small yellowish spots along the upper edge of the snout and above the eyes, and a dark blue tail.

This insectivore ranges widely in the USA from southwest Nevada and extreme southwest Iowa southward to south Texas and southern Arizona. It also ranges well into northern Mexico. Secretive, they are primarily terrestrial, can burrow, but often seeks seclusion beneath surface cover.

Continue reading "Great Plains Skink"
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