Photo of the author in Baja California

About the Author

Nearly 14 years ago I collected my first snake: a beautiful hatchling eastern milk snake (L. t. triangulum) from outside of Chicago, Illinois. From that day on, my life has never been the same. I have always expressed interest in herpetology, but my involvement had been limited to the amphibians up until that point. In the time since, though many may see it as brief, my experience with snakes has been intense, to say the least.

Fortunately, my cousin, having earned a masters in herpetology, nurtured this fascination of mine by taking me on numerous field trips. Some of these adventures occurred close to home, others not so close. Thus my field experience with herps has been extensive. But the most important knowledge I gained on these trips was not taught by word of mouth, but rather by example; it was a sort of a conservationist philosophy. It was a deep love and respect for nature that manifested itself through commitment to preservation: to uphold the quality of the enviroment by taking measures in preventing its degradation.

To date, I do not maintain a large collection of reptiles. And it really wasn't until 1991, when I hatched out my first clutch of eggs, that I became aware of the merits and rewards of captive breeding. Since then I have found my collection in a rate of continual growth, especially as I venture into new breeding programs. I have bred and/or kept numerous boids and colubrids, but my interest has always returned to the mountain kingsnakes. Their astonishing beauty, vibrant colors, and mellow demeanor have captivated many, including myself.

Matthew J. Ingrasci
February 11, 1998


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