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Chat Week 2000 Transcript
12/13/00 - Bob Applegate
Gilas & Beaded Lizards

JeffB - what is the difference between the beaded and the gila?
Bob Applegate - I want you to understand that I have had quite a bit of luck breeding the heloderms over the years, but honestly, at this point there is more we don't know, than what we do. Many of you know what else I do so if you want to ask other ?? with JB's permission I am up for it
Bob Applegate - Gilas, pink and black, 20" Beadeds yellow and black, or all black, over 3 feet

matt2- Sir Bob, what special projects ya have lined up for 2001, or can ya say yet..other than coming back to Oregon
Bob Applegate - Hopefully more Heloderma (numbers) a hypo greeri, a striped sinaloan, more of my special pyros, and more vacations with fine folk like thoise in this room

amazoa - How many beaded lizards do you have? What is a typical diet for them?
Bob Applegate - about 12 at present with 16 eggs due to hatch jan-Feb, I feed exclusively rodents

BeckyB - How painful are gila bites? I chased one down in Arizona once and it got mad so we left it alone (and I'm hurt that I didnt get a kiss too!!)
Bob Applegate - Quick kiss, the bite is extremely painful, grown men cry, plus potentially fatal, good thing you quit while ahead
Bob Applegate - no antivenin, you suffer
Bob Applegate - A local zoo keeper was bitten by a gila a few years ago, within 20 minutes, unconcious and defecated all over himself

Herpo - Bob, when are you getting alvarezi? I expect a pair from you.
Bob Applegate - been trying to locate some, found two males, no females, so far

Kaytie - About how many eggs do Heloderma have in a clutch?
Bob Applegate - largest beaded clutch 22 largest gila 8 (for me)
Bob Applegate - of the 22 13 hatched

RonB- Bob, with new people in office in Mexico, will we ever see importation of Herps, i.e. Gilas and Beaded Lizards from Mexico in the future?
Bob Applegate - There are sounds coming from the south that the new President wants to make things pay for themselves, so there is hope, but nothing concrete that I know of yet

serpentarium1 - can you get Gila monsters into Canada and what do you need to know about Gila car
Bob Applegate - I can ship to canada
Bob Applegate - I have a complete article on my web site, way too much to type here.

SFgeckos - hi bob, you've been reducing the number of colubrids in your collection, how many breeders do you have at the moment? and will you be at the irba show in san francisco on june 16,17? exited)
Bob Applegate - About 150-200 and I plan on being there. The numbers of snakes produced was exceeding 1500, this was becoming like a job so I am trying to cut down production to about 500
Bob Applegate - I quit my main job 7 years ago because it was interferring with what I like to do
Bob Applegate - Didn't want herps to leave the enjoyable column

WormRaviv- how related are Helodermas to Varanids?
Bob Applegate - No idea worm, taxonomy is not my strong suit

JeffB - Bob what herps can you find on your property
Bob Applegate - About 10 species of snakes and about 8 lizards
Bob Applegate - a few amphibians, S Calif is a great place to herp

matt2- Bob, how long have ya been working w/beaded and gilas
Bob Applegate - Imported my first Gilas in the 60's
Bob Applegate - back then there were no laws or permits needed.
Bob Applegate - Beadeds almost as long, import and sell, but breeding in the early 80's

amazoa - Do you find with your pueblan milksnake variants (oreos, halloweens) breeding the sibblings together or breeding the offspring back to the parents produces better chances of getting more of the color morphs?
Bob Applegate - if it is a recessive trait, yes, but the one in my book, with 4 body bands never reproduced a variant over 10 years of back breeding to dad and later a son

BeckyB - What states are the gilas legal in?
Bob Applegate - As far as I know (and it changes frewquently) they are prohibited in all states they are found in
Bob Applegate - California, Arizona, Utah, Nevada and New Mexico
Bob Applegate - and legal in most others at the state level, but City and county ordinances prohibit a lot of stuff. Check with your state fish and game for your state

Bry - what would you say would be easier to keep? and the more venomous of the gilas or beadeds?
Bob Applegate - Gilas are smaller, but both are easy, venom potencies are unknown and react diff with individuals, but rat bones crunch when a beaded bites!

CB - your views on hybridization? and i`d like to know how many gila`s and beaded`s u produce yearly, and price on hatchlings or yearlings.
CB - hybrid colubrids that is*
Bob Applegate - I don't believe in hybrids, but for pets only, if they could be identified properly and accurately, no problem with, numbers vary, but this year 5 gilas and 12 beaded lizards
Bob Applegate - $1200 on beadeds $1250 on gilas

link12 - will there be a herp show in SF sooner than june or in san diago sooner than june??? and will any of u guys be at that one or the june one???
Bob Applegate - First IRBA is Pamona in may, But SF in June is the next, I don't attend any others. I try to go to all IRBAS
JeffB - show info for 2001 is at

ratrace - Could you tell us some of the does and don'ts on handling beaded and gila monsters???
Bob Applegate - They are loveable animals, don't get complacent, a quick sideways snap of the head and you have razor sharp teeth in your flesh, to the bone and painful saliva oozing into the wounds
Bob Applegate - Otherwise they are almost bullet proof if you get a clean healthy one

RonB- Usually when clutches of publeans hatch, at least for me, they all look alike in that clutch. Recently, I had six eggs hatch in one clutch, and all six hatchlings looked different. Orange and Black banded. White and black banded. Two that was unusally patterned, and the rest mostly normal. Is this unusal for a clutch?
Bob Applegate - A lot depends on parents Ron, if you select for a certain trait over generations, your results (excluding temperature extreme effects) are almost predictable, but mix lineages and pattern traits and anything can happen

TobyH- So, is it possible to cross breed Gilas and Beadeds? (CB allready asked my question on hybridization)
Bob Applegate - It is possible, but as far as I know it has never happened in the wild (their ranges overlap in one area) or in captivity

TomC - gilas come in banded and reticulated I believe, any other pattern/color anomolies we should know about?
Bob Applegate - Not yet, but with each egg I hope!!!

WormRaviv- what is the range in which Helodermas live, and what kinda enviorment do they prefer? (rocky/dunes?)
Bob Applegate - Mostly rocky desert for Gilas, Beadeds are more brush plains type from what I have seen. Most of the time I was in Beaded country it was dark
Bob Applegate - I hated Mexico, bugs, heat, and you always felt someone was going to try to rob (or worse) you. It was always a relief to get back into the USA (even if we came in through Texas!)

JeffB - Bob when I was at your place you had a most imprseeive modular caging system... could you describe it?
Bob Applegate - Jeff a picture is worth a thousand words, so you want me to use 1000 words??
JeffB - he he No, but 20 will do
Bob Applegate - Several levels, tubes going from one floor to another, with three drawers under two glass fronted doors on each of two levels. Trying to get them to exercise more because when I take them for walks the collars keep slipping off the snakes

amazoa - During gestation in the gilas does their diet drop off ? Is the thickening tail one of the indicators that a breeding was successful?
Bob Applegate - There are two great things about collecting in mexico. The anticipation of the trip and what you are going to catch, and the stories you tell when you return, everything inbetween can be hell
Bob Applegate - My Gilas and beadeds often eat right up until egg disposition.
Bob Applegate - It is very tough to be sure when heloderma are ready to lay. I usually check my records on each animal to see what she did the last year, and when, but set up egg laying areas just in case

BeckyB - Do you see the price of your Applegate Arizona Mountain King going down anytime soon?
Bob Applegate - I hope not MsB, but realistically, there are only so many that will pay $2000 for a snake. But the pyros grow slow and are not real prolific so I hope the price holds a while

CB - maybe i`m wrong, did uou say u breed 10 species of colubrid? if so what are they?
Bob Applegate - More than that CB check my web site for all
Bob Applegate - There are quite a few articles about care of heloderma and Colubrids on my web site if needed

durissus - I've heard tell of an albino gila out there in a private collection. Any idea about the validity of this animal?
Bob Applegate - There was one with no pink found in AZ and transfered to the San Diego zoo, but no albino I am aware of

TomC - Do both gilas and beadeds produce yearly and what is average clutch size?
Bob Applegate - I have had both produce for several years in a row, but the production is iffy (we are close, but still missing something) and each time is an event we are thankful for. For instance, a beaded layed 14 eggs last year all fertile, 16 this year, all bad, why, no idea?
Bob Applegate - 5 for gilas,12-15 for beadeds

wolfhyd - what is your take on feeding full grown columbian boas rabbits all the time as a total food source?
Bob Applegate - If the rabbits are fed a well balanced meal I see no problem with it
Bob Applegate - I have fed burms and boas only rabbits as adults and had good successes and long lives

EricW - Bob could you explain the venom characteristics of Heloderma for us. and how toxic is it to the average adult?
Bob Applegate - It is supposed to be neurotixic, but somehow it causes great pain. There are recorded deaths, and from what I have seen it has the potential to be fatal if a bad bite, bad reaction, and no treatment further complicated by no antivenin

CB - wow, i want to congrat you on the spotted annualata, looks alot like (but better) than the bullseye,.... umm, what species was named bullseye?,with a similar pattern?
JeffB - tired fingers
Bob Applegate - I have heard of bullseye Nelsons Milks, some of my Mex Milks have stripes along the sides, some without.

EricW - Are breeders of Heloderma increasing? are they having comparible results with you? I don't necessarily see the demand as being the same for other herps, probably money (as in my case). Is the demand for Heloderma high?
Bob Applegate - The demand is high, beaded lizards, last year, of all 42 private and public institutions trying to breed beadeds (AZa stud book listing) two private people were the only producers. harder to tell with Gilas, but there are more being produced

JeffB - Herpo go ahead ( no car questions)
Herpo - bob, what brumation temps for gilas, and for how long, and do you want to buy another Mark VIII?
Bob Applegate - A good example if you are ever pressed to give an example where the private sector is contributing to threatened and endangered species
Bob Applegate - They stopped making them John (who does a wonderful job putting my web site up), and the gas tank is almost empty, what am I to do!!!
Herpo - you could answer the Q on brumation.
Bob Applegate - Just like Colubrids for the Gilas, low 50's Nov thru feb, same time for beadeds but if the temp drops below 60 I have a little heat come on, although they usually stay away from it

Jules - How long do you brumate your colubrids? And are there any that you don't put down for winter? And when will you be heading East again?
Bob Applegate - Nov thru feb, all I plan to breed are put down, and when invited

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