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Chat Week 98 Transcript
12/13/98 - Alan Moss and Shuto Tsuchimoto

JeffB -Good evening and welcome to the final night of chat week 98
JeffB -Our guests tonight are Alan Moss and Shuto Tsuchimoto, coming to us live from Japan

JeffB - Let me start off ..... When most westerners think of Japan they picture large bustling citys with lots of concrete and asphalt, where can one go herping in Japan
alan and shuto - There are many places off the main Island that are good places to go herping
alan and shuto - the borders between mountains and rice fields are very productive

joherp - Appx. how many species of herps do you have, and what are some of the major ones?
alan and shuto - Japanese or otherwise ?
joherp - japanese indigenous
alan and shuto - Species as follows
alan and shuto - Elaphe climacophora.Elaphe quadrivirgata,Elaphe conspicillata
alan and shuto - elaphe carinata.rhabdophis tigrinus
alan and shuto - sorry ,don't know the English names

sedgwic - to either: are there any snakes that are considered sacred in japan?
alan and shuto - Probably the albino Elaphe climacophora,but that was a long time ago
alan and shuto - there is a viable population of Albino climacophora in Iwakuni

beauL - do you breed goniurosurus? if so which species and how well do they breed-as good as the chinese species?
alan and shuto - don't breed any lizards

beauL - elaphe carinata is not native to japan is it?
alan and shuto - elaphe carinata yunnanensis is native to Japan
alan and shuto - Yonaguni Shuda in Japanese

docH - What laws does Japan have on collecting and/or keeping herps?
alan and shuto - Native species ?
docH - yes or large or venomous?
alan and shuto - no rules at all,except for the albino climacophora in Iwakuni which is consisidered a national treasure

GhostCorn - Are the leopard rats (elaphe situla) native to Japan? The Hundred Flower Snake?
alan and shuto - E.situla is European
alan and shuto - E. moellendorffi is not native to Japan

midy - could you say what is the most popular lizard to japan?
midy - sorry about the grammer again, just tired
alan and shuto - Probably small monitors and bearded dragons and uromastyx

RichH - Elaphe conspicillata, (Japanese forest ratsnake), what tempaerature gradients are needed for their proper care? IS it a very difficult herp to acclimate?
alan and shuto - not difficult to keep.they go off their food in Summer,but they are hardy
RichH - plentiful or rare?
alan and shuto - they don't like temps higher than 82degrees
alan and shuto - they are plentiful,but difficult to catch

jeffb - In the United States reptiles & Amphibians as a hobby has taken off ... do you see a similar thing happening in japan
alan and shuto - it is becoming more popular, but suffers from the image of snakes=food
jeffb - over here its snakers=fear

joherp - I've heard that the japanese are particularly fond of the leucistic snakes, such as the leucistic texas ratsnakes. Is this so?
alan and shuto - Very true,as well as alino morphs
alan and shuto - I mean albino morphs
joherp - is that a collectors preference, or a societal/religious thing?
alan and shuto - Because of the religious aspect.White snakes= God's animal
alan and shuto - They are supposed to bring good fortune

sedgwic - so, how bad do the E.carinatas stink?
alan and shuto - When you catch them,they stink,as does E. quadrivirgata
alan and shuto - the Japanese name is 'shuda' which means stink snake

beauL - i think you are breeding the albino climacophora, have you had wild caught or produced any other mutations?
beauL - have you had any onther mutations of elaphe clim?
alan and shuto - normal, Kunashiri and albino

docH - Does Japan have regs on exporting native snakes?
alan and shuto - None except W.C. albino climacophora

midy - do white lizards also bring good fortune?
alan and shuto - white animals in general are considered lucky

RichH - I am interested in knowing how much variation in color exists between mainland and island morphs of elaphe climacophora. Is there that much of a difference in color in the Kunashiri?
alan and shuto - the Kunashiri is much prettier,more of a light tourquoise with some yellow flecks
RichH - is there much dif. in size?
alan and shuto - the normal are dirty greyish colour,with black flecking

jeffb - Are there many amphibians native to japan?
alan and shuto - yes,lots
alan and shuto - frogs,newts,toads and giant salamanders
jeffb - your fauna sounds relatively diverse

joherp - does Japan still allow the export of the giant salamanders?
alan and shuto - oh yeah,forgot,the Giant salamander is CITES1 listed
joherp - can it be kept and bred?
alan and shuto - no,only institutions such as zoos are allowed to keep and breed it

beauL - what would be the most common snake in the wild there in japan? do you(shuto and alan) have a favorite native snake?
alan and shuto - E. quarivirgata and climacophora
alan and shuto - Fav. snake is E. conspicillata

midy - you mentioned that the herps were most pleantiful by the rice fields and mountians
midy - do any species live primarilary off of the rice from the fields?
alan and shuto - mice and rats
alan and shuto - most of the snakes here can be found around rice fields preying on the rodents

RichH - size dif. between mainland and island climacophora?
alan and shuto - Kunashiri are smaller

t-rick - Are there any Monitors or other large lizards native to Japan?
alan and shuto - no

Chris K - What does Japan have in the way of native lizard 1species?
alan and shuto - Japanese leopard geckoes(2 species),Grass lizards,and skinks
alan and shuto - and night geckoes

jeffb - what venomous snakes are native to japan?
jeffb - isnt there a japanese agkistrodon as well?
alan and shuto - yes,it's called the mamushi
alan and shuto - a lot !
alan and shuto - mamushi, habu (5 species),yamakagashi are the main ones

beauL - there is several albino giant salamanders caught in china every season, has there been any albinos seen or caught of the japanese species there in japan(of the giant salamander)??
alan and shuto - We have never heard anything so far about that

docH - I know Japan as a number of mountain salamander/newt species. Do many people keep these?
alan and shuto - they are not popular as pets
docH - Herpers like yourselves?
alan and shuto - however,the red bellied newt is often fried and eaten much the same way as peanuts
alan and shuto - I (and Shuto too) don't keep any amphibians

RichH - Question 1, Average egg clutch sizes for Kunashiri and conspicillata? Question 2Would you be ineterested in trading any hatchlings by the way for some "Balck Angus Beef"?
alan and shuto - 1)Kunashiri> usually 5-10,conspicillata usually 1-5
alan and shuto - pass on the trade for beef
RichH - Beef???

jeffb - pythons to the left of you pythons to the night... japan =no pythons?
alan and shuto - no pythons native to Japan
jeffb - too far north?
alan and shuto - yup

sedgwic - you fellows keeping any of the candoia species? (are they at all popular there?)
sedgwic - (pacific boas for anyone wondering)
alan and shuto - None of us have any,Pretty ones are popular,going for around $200-$500 each

beauL - how many snakes do you currently keep-for both of you- and how many babies do you produce a year?
alan and shuto - I(Alan) have 16,produce about 30 hatchlings a year
alan and shuto - Shuto has over 100,production varies usually about 200 eggs per year

docH - Does cooking really destroy the newt toxin? Or is it a "high" the eaters are looking for?
alan and shuto - Have no idea !!!!!!
alan and shuto - hang on,Shuto is answering..
alan and shuto - Sorry,both of us don't know the answer to that

RichH - Do Kunashiri and Conspicillata hatchlings easily accept nestling rodents in their diets?
alan and shuto - climacophora is easy to start
alan and shuto - conspicillata are real fussy,95% refuse everything for a long time

Syspila - are milk snakes popular there?
alan and shuto - not really,too nervy.Most popular are alb. ruthveni and cal. kings
alan and shuto - Lampropeltis that is

jeffb - alan/shuto will either of you be attending any expos in the US this year?
alan and shuto - Shuto will be at Orlando, maybe San Diego,I am undecided
sedgwic - alan you gotta go to orlando !!!! do you have many herp shows in japan?
alan and shuto - very rarely
alan and shuto - Ok, Shuto has to go,I can hear his wife yelling in background
jeffb - thanx shuto/alan

jeffb - well thanks to everyone who has attended chat week 98


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