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The Curly tailed lizard is a common sight in the southern US, but not so common as pets. They are totes adorbs as you can see in our herp photo of the day, uploaded by user Upscale!

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News Briefs

In Memoriam: Jim Fowler
Cindy Steinle - Friday, May 10, 2019

inset photo Mr. Fowler and Peter Gros in 2002. (Nati Harnik/AP)

I never met Jim Fowler in my entire life, but I can attribute a lot of who I am to our weekend mornings spent in my childhood. My breakfast bowl of Apple Jacks, cross legged on the floor of my living room, I would stare at the TV with rapt attention waiting to learn about the animals in our world. He inspired me to learn and read more about animals. He along with his long time co-host, Marlon Perkins, taught me about conservation. They taught me that beauty was simple to find and hard to hold on to.

Jim's message on nature was simple and I hope he knew this difference it made in so many lives.

"What we have to do is ask ourselves, 'What's in it for me?' Only then will we realize that the continued existence of wildlife and wilderness is ultimately important to the quality of life of humans."

To learn a bit more about Jim's life and hear why the environment is so very important to protect, pop over to The Washington Post obituary here.

Thank you Jim for inspiring a little girl who dreamed of going to see alligators in the wild, she did that and so much more. You inspired me to learn more about our natural world and gave me the desire to help protect it.

More News Briefs
  - In Memoriam: Jim Fowler
  - Romance is Ribbiting for Romeo and Juliet
  - Toads Catch Unusual Lift
  - Man vs crickets: final battle
  - Nocturnal visitor causes havoc at Alligator Farm
  - Pennsylvania’s alligator invasion
  - 2018 Herp Symposium Live blog Day 1
  - Texas Venomous Snake Myths Explained
  - Green mamba found after biting owner in Prague
  - Slipper forces emergency surgery for Python
  - Jenna and George: A lifetime of love
  - Rattlesnake Round-ups Celebrate Animal Abuse
  - Living with Reptiles: Education, jail breaks and dining...
  - Inside Madagascar's Smuggled Beauty
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  - Herp News Round Up: Salamanders, celebrities and educat...
  - Fire destroys reptile rescue - they need your help now!
  - Blue Coral Snake has One of a Kind Venom
  - Owners bond with reptile pets
  - Living with reptiles: Garbage Truck Turtle, Fashionable...
  - Maine to enact new regulations impacting reptile keeper...
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  - Managing Pain in a Komodo Dragon
  - Diary of a Snake Bite
  - Cornsnake Genome Sequenced for First Time
  - Saving Australia's Pygmy Crocodiles
  - Peace Corp Volunteer discovers new lizard
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Featured Contributors

A Beautiful Search
Richard Bartlett - Monday, May 20, 2019

Closeup and personal--a portrait of a hellbender.

Hellbender. Say the word and even herpers who have very little interest in salamanders suddenly perk up their ears. After all, this big aquatic caudatan is not only the biggest caudatan species in the USA, it is one of the 3 or 4 largest in the world. To see one of these, Cryptobranchus alleganiensis by scientific nomenclature, is always wonderful, for not only are they, the salamander, be they baby or adult, unfailingly impressive, but the stream and rivers where they dwell are equally so.

In face, it is the beauty of the surroundings, the solitude, the wading knee-deep in clear rushing waters, the verdancy of the stream-edge laurels, the foggy crispness of the mountain air, as much as the possibility and hope of seeing North America's largest salamander, that keep me returning to certain favored locales.

But there is that hope and, occasionally, persistancy pays. Once in a great while if you flip stream shallows rocks looking for shovel-nosed salamanders you just might turn up a baby ‘bender. Or if you wade enough at night, your headlamp is bright enough, and the water is running clear, you just might be lucky enough to surprise one of the bottom walking big guys while it’s out on a crayfish hunt.

I’ve spent many a night doing just that. I’ve done it in February when the edges were ice-rimmed and the water was so cold that it felt like your toes would drop off. And I’ve done it on July nights when the river ran a whole lot warmer than it had in February. And I’ve seen hellbenders a few times for my efforts. And what wonderful experiences these successes were.
Continue reading " A Beautiful Search"

A Snakey Kind of Evening
Richard Bartlett - Monday, May 13, 2019

Formerly Seminatrix. Now Lithodytes. Somebody needed a paper! North Florida black swamp snake.

The sun was already low in the sky when Patti and I decided to scoot on over to Sweetwater Wetlands Park for a short walk We figured we had an hour or so before the rangers would shepherd us out for the evening’s closing. A barred owl was already calling in the distance, but our target was actually a fulvous whistling duck that had flown in a couple of hours earlier. We met and chatted with another couple of strollers and rather than birds their comments were almost entirely about the number of snakes that they had “just seen” on the trails. Well, what the heck. We could do a duck AND check out a few snakes as well. Good thing we decided that, because the duck ducked us, but the snakes were active on all of the berms and trails.

There were no rarities, but there was a lot of color variation. The snakes were all natricines—water snakes, ribbon snakes, and red-bellied swamp snakes. The hand’s down winner as far as numbers were the 25 or so Florida banded water snakes, Nerodia fasciata pictiventris. They were present in all sizes from 3 foot long adults to last year’s neonates that had hardly grown an inch during the long winter dormancy. Next in number were the Florida green water snakes, Nerodia floridana. They, too, were seen in many sizes, from 3 ½ foot long adult females (the days of the 6 footers are long gone!) to 1 foot long youngsters. The ribbons numbered 2, both adults of the Peninsula persuasion, Thamnophis sauritus sackenii, the only subspecies found here. And last, but definitely not of the least interest was the single adult female North Florida black swamp snake, Liodytes (formerly Seminatrix) pygaea pygaea. Although only a foot long she was heavily gravid and nearing her parturition date. So the score was ducks zero, natricines about 35. No question about the winner there.
Continue reading "A Snakey Kind of Evening"
More Featured Articles
  - A Beautiful Search
  - A Snakey Kind of Evening
  - The Common Map Turtle
  - The Rich mountain salamander
  - Come and Meet Bob.
  - To Cuba, Again
  - Turnip-tailed Agamas
  - Southern Chorus Frog
  - Blackie’s Back
  - The Kirtland’s Snake
  - The Barking, Biting, Brazilian Horned Frog
  - The Variable Bush Viper
  - Tiger Salamanders
  - A Snake of Many Colors, The Eyelashed Pit Viper
  - It’s a What?
  - Ringed Salamanders
  - Grotto Salamander
  - Our First Red Pygmy
  - Memories
  - There’s a New Gecko in Town!
  - Those “Little Green Turtles”
  - The Okeetee Corn
  - Florida Leopard Frogs
  - Carpenters, Copperheads and Pygmys
  - More Non-native Anoles: Marie Galante Sail-tailed, Jam...
  - Canefield Kings
  - Eastern Black Kingsnake
  - The Dreaded Cacophony
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  - Northern Pine Snakes
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