Dec 12, 2001
Bill Love
Herping Madagascar

jeffb that looks like bill now
matt2 welc Bill
Reptiluvr alright
bigjimx hey Bill
jeffb Im psyc hic
SnakesAndStuff Randal_B: I saw you on the tube, but missed the gaboon... how did everything go?
Reptiluvr welcome Bill
leokid My wbsite url is please excuss the spellingf and I need to work on the care sheets

Hi All. Kathy just couldn't turn Steve Irwin off the TV, so I'm a minute or so late!
jeffb Ok lets go ahead and get started ....

jeffb Good eveneing and welcome to night number 3 of's annula chat week symposium
MsTT Randall, no particular problem on the small adult cotton, but not a large one.
GlennB my old handle was moloch
leokid Hey Bill..
jeffb tonight we have intrepid explorer writer and photgrapher Bill Love to chat with us about herping Madagascar
jeffb This is a real treat as Bill is usually IN madagascar right about now
jeffb godd evening Bill Love and welcome....
jeffb Before we start I would like to go ahead and remind everyone of the rules....
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 From time to time I will post these rules for the benefit of new arrivals...
jeffb As always our Chat Moderator tonight is Bill Meyers and Bill you get the first question

How big of an area do you tour?
Bill Good evening to everyone, and thanx for the large turn-out tonight! I tour the whole country over usually 2-3 weeks in one trip.

Howdy Bill, how much has terrorism affected your overhead in flying folks to Africa?
Bill It's made folks cautious of flying, but then it's always tough to find six or more adventurers for a tour.

I have seen and heard about some of you beatiful leopard geckos, how and were would I go about to purches one from you (special phases)?
Bill I don't work with leopard geckos at all. I DO photo them sometimes, though.

What rarer Madagascan species have you found on your trips? Preferably frogs or Geckos
Bill I found a pair of Uroplatus phantasticus last January, which was a first for me in nature. The male played dead leaf while I took pics.
Bill I'd say the Platypelis frogs that breed in tree holes full of water have been the coolest amphibs so far. Next
herpinboy do you get bit alot on these tours?
Bill Only if I let something bite me. I'm no croc hunter; I'd prefer to avoid unnecessary blood loss in the tropics.

How much does it cost to go on one of your vac. in Madagascar, and do I need any vaccinations or special considerations before I pack my bags?
Bill The current trip is the highest priced yet because it spans the holidays .... about $6800.00. No vacs needed, but malaria pills are advised.
Bill I have a whole list of other prep ideas on my website.

Erik_AFK which is?
matt2 KyleH1:
KyleH1 you take great pictures, what kind of camera do you use?
Bill I use Nikon F90Xs.

Bill how many herp species are on Madagascar? I think they should make it illegal to destory their habaits. Aloso how do you get a post in reptiles I tried once but it did`t work. I really admire your pics of reptiles! Also how many reptiles do you own?I would really love it if you signed my guest book at Adams World Herp Galore( Thanks For your help!
leokid Sort of long winded

Bill Seems there's ABOUT 300 herp species, but I don't keep count.
Bill For my HQ column, send an interesting question that the world wouild enjoy hearing the answer to.
leokid Thats a lot on just an Island
Bill It's not an island, it's a mini- continent!
leokid ok such as?
leokid Sory Bill I`m only 13

Your asking him to name the 300 some species on the island?
Bill A specialized, in-depth question on some aspect of herping that's NOT basic beginner care or something that fits the other columnists' areas.

Bill, what's your take on the story that in order to obtain one of the sub-species of Spider tortoises an offering was made to the "local tribe" on this particular coastal island where the species is found in the form of a cow to be butchered by the person wanting the species for export?!?! Any actual truth to that one? Also, what do you see for the future of Spider tortoise export? Ending soon and indefinitely?
Mattmorelia p.s. - I'm the guy that had the Anerythristic Tomato frog you saw a picture of years ago at the Orlando Expo if you recall.

How many guests are there on average on your trips? Ive been considering taking one of your tours in the next couple of years as a honeymoon adventure. :-)pops
Bill I missed the spider tort story, sorry. There's lots of them left, and no one there uses or eats them. When this wave of exports is over, no one will notice those few (1000s ???) missing.

got any red blood pythons for sale??? and do chameleons tast like chicken?
Bill I average 6-8 people per trip.

Parsonii Whats the status of Parson's chameleons and will we ever see them available in the trade again? would you happen to know where i could obtain a pair?
Bill Parsonii aren't nearly as rare as certain folks are leading us to believe. Some efforts are underway to CB them in Mad. I'm not current on who's still got colonies going stateside yet.

I want to keep shameleons and was wonderin what size enclosure and bedding would be good for a pair of adult veiled. AS well as what various diets can be given?
Parsonii thats the most hopeful info i have had in years , thx
peterd Follow up?
peterd How many eggs would healthy female lay?
peterd thanks
Bill I'd keep ALL larger chameleon species in a minimum 6 cubic foot pen. Ground substrate isn't so important; it's the branches overhead that should be numerous.
Bill I thought I've heard of parsonii laying 30+ eggs at a time, but I don't keep any live chams now.
peterd thaanks
Bill Ooops, I meant 6' x 6' x 6' pen, not 6 cu. ft.

Hiya Bill! How's Kathy? Just wanted to touch base with ya and tell ya I'm still plugging away on the book with Jennie Smith!I hope it will be out before we both (you and I) are 60!
Bill Best of luck, Randal!
Reptiluvr Hi Bill, I'm doing a caresheet on U. phantasticus (and U. sikorae which i will question on later). I need information on where their ranges are, locale info, etc.
Bill U. phantasticus are from the upper forests of the east, between Tana (the capitol) and the east coast.

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"

U. sikorae are from the same, including many other medium elevation rain forests.
ScottsReptiles Is there a particular species that you would like to find more than any other?
Bill Yes, the "other" Langaha species --- alluaudi.

Bill, how much sun light are uroplatus (esp.phantasticus) exposed to in the wild? Do you feel it is necessary to provide them UVB light in captivity? Also, what is the best method to stimulate breeding?
Bill U. phantasticus are from DENSELY wooded forests where direct sunlight only filters through in little patches.
Bill I'd guess it's nice off in one corner, but probably shouldn't be too intense. Again, I do not keep any Malagasy herps now.

TimJ i notice there are quite a few species of herps available in the US pet trade from Madagascar. Are these wild collected? If so, do you personally approve of the harvesting of wild populations for sale in the pet trade? Personally i am glad to live in a country where this practice is prohibited (Australia).
Steve19 thanks
Bill I personally would like to see quotas on nearly all Malagasy herps, as most are too difficult for beginners to learn on.
Bill The few "weeds", like pardalis, can probably be shipped out in vast numbers and bounce back well, though.

have you encountered Erymnocehlys madagascariensis on any of your Madagascan visits?Also do know know where someone could possably obtain some nice photos of them(besides Dr.Pritchards book)
TimJ would you say that most exports are dying in captivity then bill?
TimJ the high percentage i mean
Bill I've not seen erymnochelys in the wild yet, though I've been where they live. I have nice pics of captives that you'd never know were captive.
turtletown how would i be able to see these pics?
Bill Sadly, I agree that most imports don't last the year as the Humane Society fanatics claim, but that's not to shut down imports completely like they wish to do.
TimJ yep, sad
TimJ thanks
Bill On that last issue, I'm 100% against the HSUS proposal to ban imports, exports, and sales of herps, but they DO have some legitimate gripes with our record on imports as pets.

usually in the past you have been unable to attend chat week because you were in madagascar
jeffb this year you were able to attend...
Bill I'm leaving on Dec. 18, the tour just came later this season.
jeffb did you not have a trip planned for this time peroid or di the sept 11 events affect your travel
jeffb ok thanks
Bill I'll be there till Jan. 31, the last 3 weeks on my own exploring.

my turn, Bill: do you forsee many more herps being discovered on Mad. or no?
Bill Absolutely!!!!
Bill There are dozens, maybe 100s awaiting formal description right now. Maybe I'll add one myself someday!

Hi Bill. Nile crocodiles - do you ever visit areas containing them, and if so which regions have you seen them in (or heard reports of their presence)? If not, do you still see many "products" (badly tanned skins, heads, etc) being sold in markets in Tana, etc?
Bill I've seen them in the pond near the famous (infamous?) angonoka tort farm - Lake Ravelobe - and also killed along the road north of Ambanja.
Bill The number of croc products seems to be fading, though some in the markets now have tags from croc farms.
arcb Thanks Bill

interestingly, all of the "Erymnochelys" shipped to the USA that I have tracked down have actually been a Pelusios. Have river turtles actually come in, Bill?
Bill I haven't seem 'em, but I thought a few came into Oklahoma. I've found Pelomedusa there many times, but not Pelusios yet.
dickbartlett thanx.

Mr. Love, do you believe that Mantellas and Phelsuma may "bounce back"? And would you happen to know the diet of mantellas, or other small frogs in the wild?
Bill I have little experience with the rarer southern Mantellas, so I can't say with authority.
FrankW Phelsuma?
BillOn the Phelsuma, the 4 "weeds" they export are doing fine, but I haven't seen all the rare ones yet. Many are off in small niches or otherwise hard-to-get-to places that I don't go on tours.
FrankW Thanks
Bill It's a huge country, and I haven't seen it all yet by any means.

Even with the loses of alot of imports don't you think that we have come along way in the last 20 years? How else are we to learn captive care for the animals we love if not given a chance? Just look at our favorite Aussie "the bearded dragon". 10 years ago we were having a hard time keeping them alive. Now they are thriving in captivity.
Bill We've come a long way, for sure, and now we don't need imports to experiment with as kids' first pets. But, yes, there needs to be a slow and constant flow of the rarer imports for the accomplished herpetoculturists to keep studying till we crack their recipes too.
FrankW Nice talking to you Mr. Love

I recently read in Reptiles magazine about a gecko that can literly crawl out of its skin, i belive it was from Madgascar, do you know the species? and how it can do that without killing itself?
Bill Geckolepis is the genus. There are a couple species, like maculata in my article.
Bill It's NOT a fatal escape strategy.

Are there any actual working "head-start" captive breeding programs over there for Radiated and Ploughshare Tortoises? (I know a number of them were stolen/returned years ago from a research center there) Also, any personal opinion on their status? Is Appendix-I (endangered) an "overboard" listing which offers little to no protection on Madagascar?! Myself, I'm not sold on the listing offering them any "real" protection.
Bill There are many places hatching radiata, but only one doing yniphora so far. AppI staus is only a hindrance to protecting these animals.
Bill I've seen radiata still plentiful WAY out away from cities, but transportation is improving and making it easier to get to the far out ones. I've never been to yniphora country yet.

Bill, have you found Pareodura masobe in nature? If so, what is their climate like and where have you found them (places they hide, forage, etc)?
ratrace Join Rob McInnes on guest chat at 9:00pm cst Just type /join #guestchat
matt2 (thanks rat)
Bill Not yet. Never been to that exact area. It's wet and jungly where they're from.

There has been recent discussions on the Global Gecko Association's Gecko Listserv regarding U. phantasticus and U. ebenaui. These discussions, if I remember correctly, were geared towards the disfferences/similarities of the 2. Do you think they could potentially be the same or given the subtle differences, still separate species?
Bill Non-taxonomist me thinks they're two variations of the same animal, like subspecies of the same species.
Bill They have very similar habits in nature. I've seen many ebenaui in nature.
peterd What is in ur opinion the most beautiful phase of the Green Tree python? As well what is the most important factor in keeping these boids
Bill Green tree PYTHON? I think you're on the wrong continent.

]i mean havent u seen one before
peterd or kept them
Bill Never been to green tree python country. Maybe some day....
dickbartlett join #guestchat
Bill BTW, Rob MacInnes is supposed to be doing his chat from my house, but he hasn't arrived yet.
matt2 we can continue on til he does if ok w/jeffB

Hi Bill. Have you encountered Homopholis sakalava in nature? If so, where and what ist he climate like in the area? The ones I have are vicious, mean suckers!
Bill As a former Gladesian, I'll try to fill in till he gets here if he's still running late in a few minutes.
matt2 (thanks Bill)
Bill I've found H. sakalava in the Kirindy Forest in the central west. They were nervous and hard to catch on film.
Bill The bigger ones - H. boivini - from the north are much nastier in my experience.
Reptiluvr I haven't seen them yet
Bill Oh, Rob's here now!
Steve19 ahh one more question please....What do you feel is the best method to stimulate uroplatus breeding in captivity?
hardcorereptilescg bill ,when is the best time of year to do a herp tour if brookesia and other chameleon were of most intrest?
matt2 wait til Moderator calls on you, folks
Bill Keep a pair together alone, no more than that.
Bill Dec +Nov + jan are best for herping.

Here's Rob.