Dec 10, 2001
Andy Price - Texas Parks and Wildlife
A Herpetoculturist as a State Herpetologist

jeffb Good evening and welcome to Chat week 2001. This is's 4th annual chat symposium and we have a variety of guests and topics this week. The moderator for these chats is Matt2 (or Bill Myers), I am Jeff Barringer webmaster of, and tonights guest is Andy Price. Andy is the State Herpetologist for Texas and works for Texas Parks and Wildlife. Welcome to Chat Week Andy.
andyprice thanks
andyprice I think
jeffb Before we get started I want to post the ground rules for this chat
jeffb This is a moderated guest chat.
jeffb Do not ask a question or post until the moderator tells you its your turn
jeffb Moderators have an @ in front of their names.
jeffb Please do not ask questions that are off topic or of a general herp nature. These are topic based chats please
jeffb be aware of the topic before entering the room. If you want to "general" chat please go to the HerpChat Chat
jeffb Room
jeffb Moderators will kick/ban users for violating posted rules.
jeffb No slanderous comments.
jeffb No obcenities or profanity.
jeffb Don't "JUMP NAMES" to better your position in the list.
jeffb Please have your question prepared before you are asked to post.
jeffb If you have no question type "PASS"
jeffb ok that sid.... let me start off ...

jeffb Andy what kind of herps do you keep?
andyprice lots - kings, rats, rosys, a few hots
jeffb personally, not at the office
andyprice right

matt2 andy; I'm very new to Texas; what new state lasw can we expect this coming yesr
matt2 sorry, laws
andyprice as regards herps? probabvly none -noithin'll change until FY 2003
matt2 and then?
matt2 followup, sorry
matt2 what is expected for 3002
andyprice most of the species for which a collecting permit is required will come off the list - if I remember right TPWD wants to concentrate on the top 10 or so of all nongame species exploited commercially
andyprice hunting liscence will still be required

DickBartlett Except to say Hi Andy, I'll pass; thanx.
dgb Hi Andy, Does the new TX law about
dgb dangerous animals
dgb affect reptilve owners?

GBartHGWT Are most herps legal if collected with a hunting license? And is road cruising legal in Texas?
herpinboy whats your most favorite herp?
andyprice the state law regarding dangerous animals leaves it to the counties to decide what they want to do - so, it depends on what county you live in.

Sulcatta everything is legal in texas

dgb So the law can include herps?
andyprice yep

JimiThing As far as native herps are concerned, for example, native Coral snakes, what are the specifics on collecting?
JimiThing permits and whatnot?
andyprice right now you'd need a hunting license and a collector's permit.

herpinboy ok whats your most favorite herp?
andyprice geez - that's tough. I'm very fond of european vipera at the moment, but I like my banana cal king as well

jordrod920 are there any herps that u can't collect even with a collection permit? like endangered species?
JimiThing again? :P
andyprice yes - TE species require a scientific collecting permit

NightCreatures With many States making and changing thier laws to be more diffcult for herpers, do you see in the near future, a blanket law to ban all herp activities regarding collecting, keeping and selling native reptiles and amphibians?

andyprice where am I?
ScottsReptiles repeat: I am always interested in learning what was the animal/reptile/person/event that really got you interested enough into this hobby to make it your lifestyle
ScottsReptiles I am, Bill
ScottsReptiles question is above :)

andyprice well, I've collected herps since I was about 4. I remember having a couple of eastern box turtles and a few DeKay's snakes back then. as far as keeping stuuf, I guess probably black rats

Tom1Snyder andy, what do you feel importation of reptiles will come to in the coming years, on a national level, and non native animals being kept on a state/local level?
andyprice I don't really know - importation is a tough one, and I really don't have a feel for it - my guess is captive-bred vs. wild-caught will be anissue there
andyprice as far as non-natives go at the state level, I don't see an issue in TX beyond what counties wish to do re "dangerous" animals

tonkashouse Sorry about jumping out of line. Texas Indigo populations, how are they doing? Are they T&E? Are they legal to collect in Texas (doubtful)?
andyprice Indigos are doing fine in the wild as far as I know. seen 'em regularly as have others, and there's lots of habitat out there for them. yes, it's a listed species in TX, requires a scientific permit

VenomousReptiles Do you keep any venomous?
andyprice I try to keep a collection of all the native venomous because I go around and give a lot of talks, etc., following up on the update to poisonous snakes in TX I wrote a couple of years ago. don't keep a coral, though
vettesherps If a person not form Texas came there on a herping expidition what is the best way to aquire the proper permits and where would be a good place to go herping? My main interest is venomous snakes.
andyprice you can write/call our permits folks - Rosie Roegner 1-800-792-1112 and the op. will patch you through to her. I have e-mail and all that so contact me later if you want. anyplace you can get access to in TX is a good place to go herping

whitelip hey andy im new here, my names peter and im 16, i live in canada and was wondering, what is the most coveted non poisonous snake that the texas wildlife department is working to protect or bring back?
LeoMan_14 white lip what part of canada are you from
andyprice both the Concho and Brazos watersnakes are probably at the top of that list

matt2 jeff passes; my turn; andy do ya think texas indigos will ever be taken off list
andyprice I don't really know - my guess is the law enforcement folks would rather keep it on for now. we don't really have any idea how much harvesting wild pops. can tolerate

Barry--4 will The State of Texas stop the rattlesnakes round-ups that the State unfornately has become known for?
andyprice not a chance - best hope is to regulate them, treat the western diamondback as a game species, etc.

croc1 how do you feel about hobbyists keeping venomous?
andyprice as do others, I feel it's something that requires skill, training and attention to detail

dgb How long will TX couties have to decide whether or not to either regulate or ban "dangerous animals?" How much leeway does each county have in defining what is dangerous?
dgb that's "counties"
dgb not cooties
andyprice I don't keep up on that stuff as far as the time limit goes. each county has as much leeway as they want.

DickBartlett Andy, I need pix of the new paedomorphic sallys alive. Any Idea who besides Paul C. & Van Devender I could contact?
andyprice dave hillis and some of his lab folks - Lisa O'Donnell, Dee AnnChamberlain. I have a few, but they're ones that paul and dave took
DickBartlett thanx

GBartHGWT I herped around Laredo for about 3 months in 1996. The Western Diamondback Rattler was by far the most prevalent snake, the only other herp even coming close was the Texas Toad. Are WDB Rattlers the prevalent snake species throughout the state, or are their populations in decline in areas that host rattlesnake round ups?
andyprice WDB's are by far the most widespread and abundant crotalus in TX. no one knows how roundups have affected pops. bec. the baseline data doesn't exist and there is currently no research going on to address that.
GBartHGWT if they are made a game species what would you recommend setting as a limit?
GBartHGWT thanks in advance
andyprice that's gonna require some research and some thinking by a number of folks. Lee Fitzgerald and Charlie Painter published a real good piece in the Wildl. Soc. Bull. last year which addresses that issue - let me know if you'd like a copy
GBartHGWT I would like that copy if possible
andyprice give me an address
GBartHGWT if it can be emailed I am at
GBartHGWT or I can give a snail mail if you send me an email first
GBartHGWT thanks very much
andyprice too big - e-mail me later
GBartHGWT ok thanks

jordrod920 what requirements are needed to obtain a collection permit?Must u have alot of experience with herp handling?
GlennB How are the reticulated Collard lizards doing?
andyprice no requirements for a collector's permit - simply an application.
jordrod920 thanx

LeoMan_14 Have you ever been bitten by a venomous reptile before, If so was it life threatening I know that sounds corny
andyprice reticulated collared lizards are in the same boat as indigos - lots of habitat but no idea what's going on out there - as most of you may know, TX is 97% privately owned, and access can be a problem
GlennB thanks andy
andyprice never been bitten by venomous - luck, since I did some foolish things as a kid
LeoMan_14 lol ok thanks

Mark03 Have you ever found Necturus beyeri (the Gulf Coast waterdog)?
matt2 (have your questions typed and ready folks)
andyprice nope, but never looked
Mark03 ok, thanks anyway

NightCreatures Why is it some speices of Herps are protected? It seems there is no research to back it up?
andyprice it's a long story - evolutionary biologists would call it historical constraints. most of the herps protected now are either there because of concernss over commercial take, bec. of limited ranges and/or threatened habitats, or bec. there actually is some info - like Tx. horned liz. and concho ws.
NightCreatures I remember when TX protected anything that was "popluar". That was throw out. Now, it seems, species are being protected with out "research" to back it up, per se
andyprice there's some truth to that. the herps on the current list have been there for some time. there are some listings I don't agree with, such as species that just get into so. TX and trimorphodon. but "I'm" working on it.

Ralphine Do all states have a state herpetologist? Or is TX the only one? Qualifications for the job? Pay? LOL! Thanks!
matt2 oops, sorry any
matt2 andy'
andyprice keep in mind that a lot of things, like amphibians, are much better known than most snakes.
andyprice I think most states at least have someone who they can turn to for herp info on staff, quality notwoithstanding. I make $2.95 an hour
NickAsher 2 95 an hour
NickAsher lol

ScottsReptiles (you work for parks and wildlife.. this is fitting, right?)Fishing question.. I do alot of fishing on the gulf coast of florida (central area) is the big game fishing there similar to Florida's gulf fishing (tarpon, snook, bonefish..etc..) I remember hearing that striped marlin was hitting near texas. but haven't heard much about it recently
NightCreatures If I may (Indiana does not, Kentucky does not, Ohio does not)
NickAsher yea cus indiana sucks
andyprice sorry - don't do fish (at least game species)
NickAsher i should know i live there
ScottsReptiles no problem.. just wondering

Tom1Snyder what is the status of released crocodylian in the state, and have you seen or heard of any calls for nile crocs since they are now being found in the pet trade?
andyprice nile crocs no. I have heard of caimans in the Guadalupe and San Antonio rivers, but that was 10 years ago. I think it probably gets too cold (yep, that's right) for most species to survive for very long
Tom1Snyder what are your feelings on crocs/caimans in the pet trade?
andyprice well, it seems to me that if you're going to keep one you need to be respoinsible about it and know what's coming; but you know all that I'm sure.

VenomousReptiles What do you think of the whole baning of the reptile thging?
andyprice meaning what?
VenomousReptiles Do you think this will happen eventually?
andyprice that all reptiles will be banned from hobbyists? no
VenomousReptiles Ok thanks

Tom1Snyder andy, I believe he is talkign about an online petition by humane society
Tom1Snyder to ban reptiles as pets and importation of them
VenomousReptiles Yes

vettesherps It is my belief that eventually the only way most people will be albe to see many of the herp species now available is to view captive collections. With the current rate we are destroying habit many wild versions will have disappeared. What is your opinion on this?
andyprice I thought that might be part of it. I think it's a rather extreme position, not one that will get very far at the national level - think of pet trade lobbyists and the like. like I said before, maybe wild-caught could be an issue.
andyprice no question about habitat destruction. I don't see most reptiles, 3except turtles, being affected; amphibians are another story
vettesherps The US humane society has sited collectors as a major cause of herp depletion. Do you feel this is valid
andyprice not in most cases.
vettesherps thank you andy

matt2 jeff passes and we have comeup on the hour; andy would you like to continue on for an extra hal-hour
andyprice sure
andyprice or I could come back another slot this week
matt2 okies; appreciate: my question: We had a fella, jeff Hubbard
matt2 curator from kansas zoo who was a Guest for this week
matt2 who had to drop out due to a death in family
matt2 he is very intertested in Tx amphibs; which I know nothing of, really, could ya help him w/infi?
matt2 sorry fort long w

Barry--4 Is there a sizable Mojave rattlesnake population, and do they truely intergrade with Atrox, and if they do are they classified as?
Barry--4 ( in Texas)
andyprice mojaves in TX are founbd only in the deep big bend and northward west of the Davis mts. to nm. hybrids occur from time to time but not prevalent enough to invalidate either taxon as a good species.

croc1 what is the most challenging aspect of your job?
andyprice staying sane

GBartHGWT I am hoping to visit Texas again in the not too distant future possibly around El Paso. My dream has been to follow in the steps of Kauffeld and find myself a Trans Pecos Ratsnake or two? Do they require a permit or only a hunting license, and generally what area would I need to look in? In general I was thinking of around Langtry or the Big Bend Area (but only where legal to herp).
andyprice they're not listed, but until the regs. are revised you'll need a collector's permit as well as a hunting licence. both of those areas are good places to look.

TimJ seeing as noone is asking, done much herping outside of the US andy?
NightCreatures oops, I have a question, what does Andy mean, you need a collectors permit and a liscence to hunt Trans Pecos Rats?
matt2 jeffb passes; so I'll post my e-addy here:

NickAsher andy do you think is should be requird for people how handle or keep vonomous snake to have the anitvenom there in the hoouse or what ever just in case they get biten????
matt2 andy if ya can I'd like to hook ya up w/the curator in kansas
matt2 re: tx amphibs
andyprice a hunting licence is required to take any species of animal from the wild. in addition, a collector's permit is required to take any species of non-game wildlife, at least until the regs. get amended in a year (hopefully).

NightCreatures I was told I had only to purchase the five day out of state non game hunting license for $35. No one said I need to collectors permit

croc1 ever kept copperheads?
andyprice nick that's a good question. I don't know how one could require it before the fact, and taking antivenin w/o training can cause as much trouble as the bite itself. but certtainly responsibility matters.

herpinboy wheres the best place to go herping in tx?
andyprice nightcreatures - call our permits folks and ask them for the definitive answer 1-800-792-1112

herpinboy other then bills house
andyprice I have 4 copperhead right now.
andyprice depends - east TX for amphib. and some snakes, west TX for lizards and snakes, so. TX for both, etc.

NightCreatures Any, I am looking for another Albino Trans Pecos, any ideas where to look?
NightCreatures andy
andyprice haven't a clue

NickAsher Andy since i am a beginer herp what tip can you give me about finding snakes turtles and lizards???
ratrace for more reptile talk please type /join #kingsnake or /join #herpchat

andyprice y'all are welcome it was fun feel free to contact me directly if you want

matt2 and on behalf of, Jeffb and myself, I would like to thank Mr. Andy Price for taking of his time to be w/us tonight
ratrace for more reptile talk please type /join #kingsnake or /join #herpchat
herpinboy i cant get into herpchat...........
NickAsher i cant get into kingsnake or herpchat
herpinboy lol
ratrace for more reptile talk please type /join #kingsnake or /join #herpchat
matt2 sorry, I misstyped my e-adyy, andy its: txwmeyers@prodigy,net

matt2 welp, this room is hereby closed..and Merry Christmas to ya all
matt2 adios