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Reptile and Amphibian News


Herp Photo of the Day: Parrot snake
kingsnake.com - Wednesday, Apr 01, 2015

This parrot snake (Leptophis ahaetulla) is glad it's "Hump Day" and looking forward to the weekend in our herp photo of the day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user Herpetologia!



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North Carolina volunteer program looking for herping help
kingsnake.com - Wednesday, Apr 01, 2015

A North Carolina aquarium is training people to help with FrogWatch USA.

From Star News Online:

FrogWatch USA, a citizen science program, is now recruiting trained volunteers to collect data about the calls of local frogs and toads at local wetlands sites now through August and submit the data online.

“Amphibians are important species to keep an eye on because they are very sensitive to changes in their environment,” said Andy Gould, aquarium outreach coordinator. “If we see them in our area, it means that our habitats are healthy and thriving. If we notice their absence, we may want to look further into potential causes.”

No scientific background is required to volunteer, and those who want to participate will receive a free, four-hour training session that includes hands-on demonstrations and other educational activities to help them get acquainted with the native amphibian species they might encounter in Southeastern North Carolina.


Read more here.

Featured Contributor - click here for more

Night of the siren
Leiren McKenzie - Wednesday, Apr 01, 2015

A few weeks ago, a group of us set out on a journey to a particular lake in North Florida in hopes of being able to see an extremely unusual looking salamander.

A close friend had invited us along because he knew the area well and knew that we had a good chance of seeing one in that area. It was dark by the time we arrived at the location, which was perfect, and it didn't take long to spot the first of many of our target species, the greater siren!

The greater siren, Siren lacertina, is a large aquatic salamander that can reach lengths of over three feet long and in many ways looks more like an eel than an actual salamander. However, sirens have two front limbs with tiny fingers and large feathery gills.

Sirens are nocturnal and typically spend the day hidden among aquatic vegetation, under rocks or simply buried the mud. Greater sirens feed on a wide variety of aquatic invertebrates, including insect larvae , crayfish and worms.

We eventually saw so many greater sirens that we lost count, but it was amazing to see them all. We also saw a common snapping turtle, a lone amphiuma that kept playing hide and seek with us by sliding under a rock every time we approached, and a fairly attractive banded water snake as well.

It was a great herping experience and a trip that we will soon make again!

I do want to give a shout out to a close friend of ours that does not like to be named, and thank him for guiding us around at his personal spot.



USFWS seeks immediate ban on Mediterranean Geckos
Jeff Barringer - Wednesday, Apr 01, 2015


In a surprising move this morning USFWS Director Dan Ashe has announced that the federal government will seek an immediate ban on the importation, interstate transport, and possession, of the Mediterranean House Gecko, Hemidactylus turcicus, an invasive species that has taken over in many states in the Southern U.S.

"Thousands of these geckos have been released over the years by pet owners into the everglades, and climate change will only hasten their spread. Without a multi-billion dollar taxpayer funded effort to eradicate these invaders, millions of American insects will be at risk, including the endangered Alabama blue nosed fly, and the Daytona bar hopper. That said I have instructed the service to add this species to the invasive species list and we shall immediately seek to ban their importation and ownership under the Lacey act statutes" said Director Dan Ashe. "Additionally we have instructed the service to draw up a multi-decade eradication plan that will use techniques used and successfully developed to combat other invasive reptiles such as the Burmese Python and Brown Tree Snake."

USFWS plans are said to include setting up an invasive gecko task force to bring together the many state and federal agencies working to resolve the issue, airdrops of millions of bait insects from helicopters across the U.S., as well as the issuance of powerful flash lights to all field agents over 5 feet in height. Homeowners across the U.S. are being asked to help in this fight, the service requesting that they immediately check the eaves and overhangs of their dwellings at night for the invasive geckos, and reporting any they find to their USFWS regional office. Homeowners found to be harboring geckos after the ban has been implemented face fines up to $250,000 under the current Lacey act statutes.



Featured Articles

Feature articles are written just for kingsnake.com readers by noted herpetologists and herpetoculturists from around the world and represent a variety of aspects of the herp community. Field observation, captive breeding, laws and regulations, conservation, and herp rescue are just some of the topics covered. With more reptile and amphibian writers being added to our blog, there is always something new and interesting to check out so stay tuned!

Check out the latest reptile and amphibian feature articles from our featured contributors!

Jeff Barringer(left) Photo by Gary Miller; used with permission.Jeff Barringer
Publisher - Featured Contributor
Founder and publisher of kingsnake.com, Jeff is a veteran breeder and field hobbyist with almost three decades of experience roaming the thorn-scrub desert of Texas in search of native reptiles and amphibians.

  - USFWS seeks immediate ban on Mediterranean Geckos
  - Bullets, bombs, and snake bites: Military duty is hazar...
  - USFWS: Reticulated pythons, anacondas added to list; bo...
  - Report: USFWS to add boas, reticulated pythons, anacond...
  - kingsnake.com launches new Classified Vendor Directory
  - More...

Richard Bartlett (left) Photo by Jake Scott; used with permission.Richard D. Bartlett
Featured Contributor
One of the most prolific writers and photographers on herpetological subjects in the 20th century, Richard spent over four decades documenting reptiles in the field and captivity and authored hundreds of herp titles.

  - Bright spot: beautiful Mexican wood turtles
  - Somewhere and back again
  - Letting sleeping terrapins lie
  - Beautiful in sight and sound
  - The little frogs with big voices
  - More...

Tony Jones (left)Tony Jones
Featured Contributor
Tony Jones is a UK based writer and herp professional with field experience ranging from Madagascar, New Zealand, Hungary, The Canaries, West Africa, Mauritius, Round Island, Saharan Africa and America.

  - Should reptile shows be legal in the U.K.?
  - New European animal laws worry UK hobbyists
  - Courier no longer ships reptiles in UK
  - Challenges ahead for the UK reptile hobby
  - More...

Sachin Mamgai (left)Sachin Mamgai
Featured Contributor
A reptile hobbyist and rescuer living in Pune, Maharashtra, India. Sachin began rescuing India's snakes and amphibians when he was 15 and is part of the new generation of reptile hobbyists in India.

  - Common sand boa: The fat-belly constrictor
  - Saw-scaled viper: The quick tiny striker
  - Common krait: The silent killer
  - Green keelback: The nightmare of toads
  - Ornate Flying Snake: The wingless flying beauty
  - More...

Leiren McKenzie (left)Leiren McKenzie
Featured Contributor
At home in the forests and swamps of the southeastern United States, Leiren spends most of her free time looking for herps, when she's not breeding axolotls, salamanders, and other reptiles and amphibians.

  - Night of the siren
  - Eastern hognoses: Best actor in the reptile world
  - 'Faster than the crack of any whip': The coachwhip
  - As spring approaches, herpers need to change gears
  - That underrated amphibian, the infamous caecilian
  - More...

Cindy Steinle (left)Cindy Steinle
Featured Contributor
A volunteer with several organizations including her own herp rescue, Cindy works with a number of local shelters, agencies, and organizations to provide rescue services for her community.

  - We need you to help giant snakes in need!
  - The problem with 'heroes in a half-shell'
  - 'Eaten Alive' creates problems for reptile rescuers
  - Is LA's albino cobra 'domesticated'?
  - In Memoriam: Carl Koch
  - More...



We will be adding more featured contributors in 2015 so check back for more updates and changes!


More Herp News...

kingsnake.com has been blogging about reptile and amphibian news since 2006! Check out these reptile and amphibian news articles from our blog archives you may have missed!


  - North Carolina volunteer program looking for herping he...
  - New insights on mass amphibian extinction
  - Lizard venom helps create new medicines
  - Plastic bowls may save rainforest frogs
  - Irwin family under fire for their questionable conserva...
  - Conservation programs making things worse in Canberra?
  - The surprising similarities of eastern coral snakes
  - Relic leopard frog exposes challenges of conservation
  - Photographer of 'cowboy frog' image explains the stunni...
  - UK volunteers prepping to keep toads safe from cars
  - Trafficking ring that sold endangered species busted
  - Indian croc bank raises funds to expand, accommodate mo...
  - Flat-tailed horned lizard granted temporary protected s...
  - Men arrested using children's books to smuggle herps ou...
  - Key to fighting battlefield infections may be in alliga...
  - Nurseries for poison dart frogs dug by feral pigs
  - Premiere UK athletic training ground lodge put on hold ...
  - For lizards it's not what you say, it's when you say it
  - Ancient "dinosaur cousin" remains found in Israel
  - Inner workings of redtail coral venom finally discovere...
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  - Conjoined lizard twins found at German zoo
  - Australian police station doubles as lizard home
  - Hunting season could destabilize alligator population
  - Godzilla stolen, then returned
  - Kite surfer saves loggerhead turtle from plastic net
  - World's deadliest library being created in Australia
  - Rainbow boa stolen on school's snow day
  - Carpet python eats possum dinner hanging upside down
  - Fossilized mama reptile shown caring for babies
  - Snakebite victim saved by stormtrooper suit
  - Effort to make salamander Idaho's state amphibian fails
  - Sri Lankan snake's discovery in India suggests ancient ...
  - Western pond turtles disappearing from Oregon
  - Girl pushes for bill to name Idaho state amphibian
  - Vietnam home to new tree frog species
  - Canadian boy finds 300 million year old fossil
  - UK man finds snake in his shopping bag
  - Excessive rainfall harms tropical leaf litter frogs
  - Are venomous sea snakes overharvested?
  - Cambodia home to new legless amphibian
  - Scientists develop more powerful anti-venoms
  - Newly discovered frog species gives birth to live tadpo...
  - Radiated tortoises seized in Paris airport
  - Crocodiles and alligators live together in the Keys
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  - Georgian non-profit wants to become conservation leader
  - Detroit Zoo helps rescued lizards
  - Pit viper discovery in Sumatra
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  - Mangroves oil spill destroying herps, other wildlife
  - Backside-breathing turtle is critically endangered
  - Taliban attacks in Pakistan threaten crocodiles
  - Chinese giant salamander finds new home in UK
  - Eagle-faced dinosaur takes record as North America's ol...
  - Over 40 percent of amphibians in danger of extinction
  - Recently discovered frog needs conservation effort
  - Canadian court to determine fate of Blanding's turtles
  - Lower Keys crocs reclaiming traditional territory
  - Galapagos tortoises have astonishing recovery
  - Smithsonian exhibit features school bus sized snake
  - Sea turtles rescued from the cold
  - Fog is key ingredient to understanding iguana breathing
  - The incredible disappearing terrapin
  - Baby turtles given a helping hand
  - Tortoise taggers at Yuma Proving Grounds
  - Turtles more closely related to birds than snakes, liza...
  - Kids have play date with a python
  - Look for lizards crossing the road
  - Tortoise ribs evolved into shells
  - Why do snakes have two penises?
  - New fossil identifies largest known venomous snake
  - Croc killed by trappers receives special send off
  - DNA may take guess work out of diagnosing snake bites
  - What a difference a croak makes
  - Bearded dragon rescued from fire
  - Discovery Channel's new snake show makes us embarrassed...
  - One hundred years of incalculable loss
  - Egyptian sarcophagus fit for a snake
  - 12 year old newt lover to present studies in Edinburgh
  - Sea turtles are having a great year
  - Who's your daddy?
  - CSI: Madagascar
  - Invasive toads hit the ground running
  - Life sentence for dog-grabbing crocs
  - Some snakes have extraordinary bites
  - Economy transforms lizard populations
  - Lizard see, lizard do?
  - Herp community shows its generosity and compassion at N...
  - Dragon's-eye view
  - Rare frogs fly back to Caribbean home
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  - Climate change brings unusual turtle to Golden Gate
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  - More...

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  - North Carolina volunteer program looking for herping he...
  - New insights on mass amphibian extinction
  - Lizard venom helps create new medicines
  - Plastic bowls may save rainforest frogs
  - Irwin family under fire for their questionable conserva...
  - Conservation programs making things worse in Canberra?
  - The surprising similarities of eastern coral snakes
  - Relic leopard frog exposes challenges of conservation
  - Photographer of 'cowboy frog' image explains the stunni...
  - UK volunteers prepping to keep toads safe from cars
  - More...

Jeff Barringer(left) Photo by Gary Miller; used with permission.Jeff Barringer
Publisher - Featured Contributor
Founder of kingsnake.com, Jeff is a veteran breeder and field hobbyist with almost three decades of experience roaming the thorn-scrub of Texas is search of reptiles and amphibians.
  - USFWS seeks immediate ban on Mediterranean Geckos
  - Bullets, bombs, and snake bites: Military duty is hazar...
  - USFWS: Reticulated pythons, anacondas added to list; bo...
  - Report: USFWS to add boas, reticulated pythons, anacond...
  - kingsnake.com launches new Classified Vendor Directory
  - More...

Richard Bartlett (left) Photo by Jake Scott; used with permission.Richard D. Bartlett
Featured Contributor
One of the most prolific writers and photographers on herpetological subjects in the 20th century, Richard spent over four decades documenting reptiles in the field and captivity.
  - Bright spot: beautiful Mexican wood turtles
  - Somewhere and back again
  - Letting sleeping terrapins lie
  - Beautiful in sight and sound
  - The little frogs with big voices
  - More...

Tony Jones (left)Tony Jones
Featured Contributor
Tony Jones is a UK based writer and herp professional with field experience ranging from Madagascar, New Zealand, Hungary, The Canaries, Mauritius, Round Island, Africa, and America. .
  - Should reptile shows be legal in the U.K.?
  - New European animal laws worry UK hobbyists
  - Courier no longer ships reptiles in UK
  - Challenges ahead for the UK reptile hobby
  - More...

Sachin Mamgai (left)Sachin Mamgai
Featured Contributor
A reptile hobbyist and rescuer living in Pune, Maharashtra, India. Sachin began rescuing India's snakes and amphibians when he was 15 and is part of the new generation of reptile hobbyists in India.
  - Common sand boa: The fat-belly constrictor
  - Saw-scaled viper: The quick tiny striker
  - Common krait: The silent killer
  - Green keelback: The nightmare of toads
  - Ornate Flying Snake: The wingless flying beauty
  - More...

Leiren McKenzie (left)Leiren McKenzie
Featured Contributor
At home in the forests and swamps of the southeastern United States, Leiren spends most of her free time looking for herps, when she's not breeding axolotls and other salamanders.
  - Night of the siren
  - Eastern hognoses: Best actor in the reptile world
  - 'Faster than the crack of any whip': The coachwhip
  - As spring approaches, herpers need to change gears
  - That underrated amphibian, the infamous caecilian
  - More...

Cindy Steinle (left)Cindy Steinle
Featured Contributor
A volunteer with several organizations including her own herp rescue, Cindy works with a number of local shelters, agencies, and organizations to provide rescue services for her community.
  - We need you to help giant snakes in need!
  - The problem with 'heroes in a half-shell'
  - 'Eaten Alive' creates problems for reptile rescuers
  - Is LA's albino cobra 'domesticated'?
  - In Memoriam: Carl Koch
  - More...

snake crossing signLegal Updates
News stories, press releases, and updates from the world of reptile and amphibian laws and law enforcement.
  - USFWS seeks immediate ban on Mediterranean Geckos
  - USFWS: Reticulated pythons, anacondas added to list; bo...
  - Should reptile shows be legal in the U.K.?
  - Lizard politics cost USFW agent his job
  - HSUS and dangerous wild animal laws
  - More...

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