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kingsnake.com - Monday, May 21, 2018

What a cutie! Happy Monday from this totes adorbs horned lizard in our Herp Photo of the day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user jcraft75 ! 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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Featured Contributors

Leopard Rat Snake, Zamenis situla
Richard Bartlett - Monday, May 21, 2018


Although an agile climber, the leopard rat snake is entirely at home on the ground.

Because of superficial similarities to our corn snake, not the least being that of color and pattern, this pretty rat snake was often referred to by American hobbyists as the European Corn Snake. Like our corn snake, the leopard rat snake, Zamenis situla, was also once contained in the then cosmopolitan genus Elaphe making the nomenclatural analogy even more understandable.

Today most North American rat snakes are contained in the genus Pantherophis while the leopard rat snake, now in the genus Zamenis, is the most brightly colored of the three species in that Old World genus.

The leopard rat snake occurs in both a saddled and a striped morph. The ground color varies through shades of gray to a warm tan and the red dorsal markings may be strongly or vaguely outlined in black. A black band extends across the top of the head from eye to eye and the anteriormost red marking is in the form of a spearpoint, pointed end foremost.

Occasionally reaching a length of 3 ½ feet, these slender snakes are usually adult at 3 feet or slightly less and the females are often the larger sex.

Our captives have proven shy, seasonably active, and spend most of their time securely hidden in their hideboxes. They prefer small prey items, and several of ours were reluctant to accept white mice of any size but would readily eat deer and white-footed mice. A 90 day period of hibernation is recommended.

During their active period a cage temperature of 70-75F is satisfactory but a basking hot spot of 85-90F should be provided.

Clutch size is usually 4 to 6 large, elongate, eggs. Incubation (60 to 70 days) should be at about 82F. Hatchlings may refuse food until they have been hibernated.
Continue reading "Leopard Rat Snake, Zamenis situla"


Peeper Time
Richard Bartlett - Monday, May 14, 2018


Although capable of climbing, the peeper does not usually ascend very high.

Although peeper season down here in the “deep southeast” (nFL, sGA and sAL) is now almost over (it’s mid-April), it was brought to my attention the other day that it has just started up in the northland that I still think of as “home.”

Unlike in New England, where winter is a fearsome period of unruly (and usually COLD) weather and warmth providing fireplaces, down here, rather than by climatic extremes, “winter” is best defined by calendar dates. Depending on rains and temperatures peepers, Pseudacris crucifer, in the southeast may be heard calling in the late autumn to and through the winter months (November to March). So in actuality they (and most other chorus frogs, of which the peeper is one, are winter peepers.

Peepers are capable of limited metachrosis. They are usually darker when cold than when warm. And a darker, often imperfect, X (the crucifix from which the species name crucifer, is derived) is usually visible on their back. This little frog, a hylid (treefrog), has tiny toetip discs that allow it to climb, even if haltingly, and is adult at a SVL of 1.5” or less.

For the most part, our chorus frogs are done vocalizing until next autumn. Now with the advent of warmer weather it’s treefrog time, with the green treefrog often leading the other choristers. It’s nice to have frog voices year round.
Continue reading "Peeper Time"
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