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kingsnake.com - Friday, Apr 19, 2019

A great shot of a live (as they should be) Pygmy Rattlesnake on concrete in the field in our herp photo of the day uploaded by kingsnake.com user JARHEAD1969 ! Be sure to tell them you liked it here!



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News Briefs

Romance is Ribbiting for Romeo and Juliet
kingsnake.com - Thursday, Feb 14, 2019


Meet Juliet, a Sehuencas water frog recently collected from the Bolivian cloud forest. (Robin Moore, Global Wildlife Conservation)

A year ago, Romeo was trolling match.com looking for another just like him. The staff at Bolivia’s Museo de Historia Natural Alcide d’Orbigny in Cochabamba put an ad up on the dating site to help bring awareness and funding to help locate another Sehuencas water frog. They didn't find him a "date" on the site, but they gained the funding needed to locate 5 frogs, including an adult female who has been named Juliet.

Close to a waterfall, however, expedition leader Teresa Camacho Badani saw a frog jump.

“When I pulled it out, I saw an orange belly and suddenly realized I had in my hands the long-awaited Sehuencas water frog,” Badani, who works for the Museo de Historia Natural Alcide d’Orbigny in Cochabamba, tells Carrington. “My first reaction was to yell ‘I found one!’ and the team came running over to help me and pull the frog to safety. It was an incredible feeling.”


Researchers are still looking for more of the cricitcally endangered frogs to build an assurance population. Read more about this awesome expedition at Smithsonianmag.com.

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Featured Contributors

To Cuba, Again
Richard Bartlett - Monday, Apr 15, 2019


A Cuban racer, Caraiba andreae

Three months to go. In late June Jake and I will be airborne—on the short flight from Central Florida to Havana. As quickly as we can rent a car and rendezvous with our guide, Tomas, we’ll be headed to who knows where for a week of herping and birding with various friends on this wonderful island.

So far I have been to Cuba twice, both times basically for birding. However on the last occasion Lloyd and I managed to sneak away while everyone else was searching for owls and do a little nighttime herping. We walked a long way, but for our efforts saw several Cuban giant toads, Bufo peltocephalus, several species of tropical eleutherodactyline frogs, all of confusingly similar appearance, and distressingly, a few American bullfrogs, Rana catesbeiana. On shorter jaunts we crossed paths with 2 examples of the island’s largest dwarf boa (aka “wood snake”), Tropidophis melanurus, and several pygmy racers, Caraiba andreae.

When I returned from that trip I began to think about making a herping trip a priority and mentioned it to Jake. His answer was “let’s go.”

So I contacted Tomas, a herper, birder, and all around biologist, and plans were made. We’re hoping for photos of several species each of dwarf boas, a Cuban water snake or two, more racer taxa, anoles, curly tails, and anurans. Not to mention the big Cuban boa. Oh yes—and a stygian owl! Please wish us luck.
Continue reading "To Cuba, Again"


Turnip-tailed Agamas
Richard Bartlett - Monday, Apr 08, 2019


The extent of the blue suffusion on a male Xenagama can be easily seen on this breeder male.

When I looked in the terrarium at the dealer’s I could hardly believe my eyes. Soaking up the Florida sunlight in an outside pen were a number of little brownish lizards that lay, basking, their bodies as flat as the proverbial pancakes. And except for a short slender tip, the tail was flattened, rimmed with enlarged spike-shaped scales, and turnip or shield shaped when viewed from above.

This was my introduction to the pudgy little turnip-tailed agama. Collected from the aridlands of Somalia and Ethiopia, this agama, Xenagama taylori, is adult at about 4”. Quietly colored like many desert lizards, they may vary from tan through various browns to terracotta. Dark flecks, spots, or ocelli may be present on the back and sides as might small whitish spots. The various markings are most pronounced on young examples. Some metachrosis occurs with an individual lizard being lighter in color when it is warm than when it is cold. Males displaying territorial tendencies or in breeding readiness develop a suffusion of rich blue on the snout, chin, throat, anterior chest and upper forelimbs. Females in breeding readiness may (but not always do) develop a very pale blue suffusion on the chin and throat.

Females produce about a half dozen eggs in a clutch at the end of a nesting burrow and the hatchlings are about an inch long. Although these lizards may also dig shallow sleeping burrows that are “plugged” by the flattened spiky tail, ours seemed to prefer squirming into loose sand beneath their flattened basking rocks.

Adults are omnivorous, eating a broad array of insects and leafy greens. Hatchlings are primarily insectivorous.

These are not “flighty” or nervous lizards and if you like Uromastyx you should love Xenagama. The latter are not always available, so watch the ads carefully.

Continue reading "Turnip-tailed Agamas"
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