Criminals caught smuggling rare and exotic animals should face swingeing jail sentences in an attempt to stamp out an illicit trade that threatens the survival of endangered species, a minister said.
Cape Gopher Snake (Baja gopher snake, San Lucan Gopher Snake)
As its common name suggests, Pituophis catenifer vertebralis (Colubridae), Syn. Pituophis vertebralis, is a gopher snake endemic to the Baja California peninsula in Mexico, ranging from southern El Rosario southward to Cabo San Lucas.
Cape gopher snakes exhibit great individual variation in both color and pattern. The dorsal surface is typically blotched both anteriorly and posteriorly with blotching undergoing a dramatic color and shape change as one moves from the neck of the animal to the tail.
Photo credit: ©kkchome | Locality: Baja California Sur, Mexico
Small Pet Respect- Just how long can these guys live?
Next time you’re at the pet store and are thinking about taking home a new friend, keep in mind that this should be for life! But how long might that life be? Small mammals, like rats and mice, often have fairly short lifespans, with many of the pet trade’s rodents only living a year or two. Reptiles and amphibians, however, can have much longer lifespans. Here is a chart I made when looking at the reptiles and amphibians my local PetSmart had in stock.
Obviously this list is nothing close to complete, but take a good look! Just because a reptile is inexpensive doesn’t mean it’s going to live a short life; leopard geckos, for instance, can cost as little as fourteen dollars at the pet shop but can live a very long time. Some of the oldest have lived longer than twenty-five years! And then take a look at how long the Russian tortoise can live. If you buy a Russian tortoise as an adult, there’s a chance it can outlive you! Small pets deserve the same love and respect we give our dogs and cats; help your pet live out its full lifespan healthily and happily by making sure to know all you can about your pet’s species and its needs!
Bornean Keeled Green Pit Viper
Extreme close up of a Bornean Keeled Green Pit Viper, Tropidolaemus subannulatus (Viperidae), showing its heat-sensing pits (the two whitish pits aside each eye).
These heat-sensing pits are a infrared-detecting system that allows vipers to detect prey in total darkness without reliance on sight, olfaction or hearing, but perceiving infrared radiation.
In humans bites by these snakes are often minor, but may cause moderate to severe local effects, with shock, but generally not necrosis or coagulopathy (clotting problems).
Antivenom is the key treatment for the envenoming, and multiple doses may be required. However, in the absence of specific antivenom, treatment is generally supportive and symptomatic.
Photo credit: ©kkchome | Locality: Sarawak, Borneo, Malaysia
Bearded Dragon Care
There are nine different species of Bearded Dragon native to Australia but the most common is the Central Bearded Dragon, Pogona vitticeps. Due to their docile nature and fairly easy care they make good beginner reptiles.
Bearded Dragons can live between 10-15 years.
Bearded Dragons should be housed alone as they will fight for dominance and injuries can occur. Hatchling dragons can be kept in aquariums as small as 10 gallons but they grow quickly and will soon need a larger enclosure. The minimum size enclosure for an adult is a 55 gallon aquarium.
The easiest and safest substrate to use is reptile carpet. It comes in many colors, is easy to clean, and can be changed out quickly. Dragons cannot ingest carpet and so it prevents impaction as well. Sand can be used but it is important to know that in the wild, dragons do not come from huge Sahara like deserts. They are from arid scrub land that is mostly rocky soil with dried brush and so a large enclosure full of sand is not natural for them and it can cause problems with sand impaction.
The enclosure should have lots of branches and rocks for climbing as well as a few areas to hide. You can make hides out of rock caves, flower pots, or purchase ready made ones. Also provide a large water dish that is replenished with fresh water daily.
Lighting & Heating
UV light is necessary for dragons to metabolize calcium and they should be provided with it for 8-10 hours a day. You can purchase special UV lights that fit in long hoods that will go over the enclosure and provide UV rays as well as visible light. It is also necessary to provide a basking lamp at one end of the enclosure that provides a basking spot of about 100℉. The rest of the tank should be heated with an under tank heater attached to a thermostat and set to 80℉. A thermometer on each end of the enclosure is necessary to make sure temperatures are correct.
Dragons can be gently picked up and held in your hand and most of them will sit quietly. Do not keep them out of their enclosure for too long because they need to be able to thermoregulate and cannot do this if not in the proper environment.
Bearded dragons are omnivores but their diet changes slightly as they age. Young dragons are mostly insectivorous and should be fed mostly gut loaded insects, a diet of about 90% insects and 10% vegetables is a good range. As they age the diet should be slowly switched to about 30% insects and 70% vegetable matter by two years of age. Crickets, cockroaches, and silkworms are excellent feeder insects. Insects should be no bigger than the space between a dragon’s eyes. Avoid mealworms as they are not very nutritious and have lots of exoskeleton that can become impacted.
Vegetables and greens can be: Bell pepper, escarole, carrot tops, greens, romaine lettuce, parsley, mixed veggies, squash, hibiscus flowers, cactus pads (de-spined). An adult dragon should be fed 3-4 times a week and a quality calcium powder dusted on foods every few feedings.
Foods to Avoid
Avoid fruits, bread, dairy products, meat.
Signs Your Bearded Dragon is Sick
If you notice any of the following you need to bring your dragon to an experienced exotics veterinarian ASAP:
Aesculapian Snake (Aesculapian Ratsnake)
Zamenis longissimus (Colubridae) is better known with the common name of Aesculapian Snake, which refers to the classical god of healing (the Greek Asclepius and Roman Aesculapius), because this snake was encouraged around temples dedicated to him.
Photo credit: ©Vittorio Ricci | Locality: Italy
Meet the Common, But Beautiful Scarlet Kingsnake
by Richard Bartlett
The first time I ever saw a scarlet kingsnake, Lampropeltis (triangulum) elapsoides, I was in northern Georgia herping with Gordy Johnston.
On our way to Florida, we had stopped at a small patch of recently burned pine woodlands as much as for a break in the driving as for actually herping. We checked the environs of a small soot-edged pond, seeing only a southern leopard frog or two. Along the way we rolled a log now and again, finding first a slimy salamander and then absolutely nothing under the next several…
(read more: Kingsnake.com)
photos by Richard Bartlett
A bustling airport would hardly seem the place to find a new species of reclusive animal, but a team of California biologists recently found a shy new species of legless lizard living at the end of a runway at Los Angeles International Airport.
What’s more, the same team discovered three additional new species of these distinctive, snake-like lizards that are also living in some inhospitable-sounding places for wildlife: at a vacant lot in downtown Bakersfield, among oil derricks in the lower San Joaquin Valley and on the margins of the Mojave desert.
Galapagos Giant Tortoises have good hearing and communicate during courtship and mating
For a long time there was a general belief among herpetologists that turtles and tortoises lack a functional sense of hearing. However, at present we know from many studies that a number of species have a considerable auditory sensitivity that no doubt enables the animal to perceive many acoustic signals both on land and in water.
In fact, the elaborate courtship and copulatory behavior of the chelonia is based on a multiple signalling system involving visual, olfactory, and acoustic signals. Particularly interesting are the vocalizations associated with mounting, as this is the predominant – or for some species the only – behavior during which turtles vocalize.
According to a review of the courtship behavior in chelonians published in 2005, mounting-calls have been reported for 35 species belonging to the families Testudinidae (29 species), Trionychidae (3 species), Emydidae (2 species) and Bataguridae (1 species).
The fact that most Testudinidae species vocalize during mating therefore suggests that mounting-calls provide receivers with some useful information to assess signaler qualities. Signalers in turn, may gain some selective advantages, ranging from being preferred as sexual partners by females, as documented by their mounting success, to avoiding sexual interferences from other males.
So, the explanation proposed by many authors that their vocalizations are simple “noises” involuntarily produced by copulatory movements is quite inaccurate.
Particularly, in the Galapagos Giant Tortoise (pictured), Chelonoidis nigra (Testudinidae), males emit mounting vocalizations consisting of roars and bellows, repeated at regular intervals.
Photo credit: ©Vittorio Ricci | Locality: Galapagos Islands
Knysna Dwarf Chameleon
Within the Bradypodion genus of dwarf chameleons, Bradypodion damaranum (Chamaeleonidae) is one of the larger species, reaching a maximum length to over 18 cm. Ant it is also one of the most colorful chameleon species.
These forest dwellers chameleons are endemic to the Cape Province in South Africa.
also I promise this will be the last I say on the subject but if you have a question about what the best snake for beginners is or how to care for a certain snake (I mean like every tiny general care detail) google should be your friend rather than my ask box like damn son
questions about care for more uncommon species like burms and chondros are totally welcome because there isn’t nearly as much good info out there and it’s usually best to hear tips directly from a keeper BUT any further questions about general, nonspecific corn snake or ball python care will be answered with a link to the “just fucking google it” page
#I have at least 20 asks in my inbox currently along the lines of#how do I care for a corn snake??#how do I care for a ball python??#i love that people are interested and I’m super flattered to be asked#but I’d much rather save space in my ask box for interesting or important questions#the general rule of thumb is that if something can be easily found on Google#and it’s not a matter of dispute in the herp community#you’re probably safe trusting the source#there are entire blogs dedicated to providing care information#mine is not one of them#i just want to put up pictures of my babies and reblog shitty text posts#please and thank#this has been a post#there are also great sources out there for chondro and burm care and unless it’s something super specific I’d rather not be asked about care for those species either#I’m happy to help with important issues but wading through dozens of repetitive questions makes it hard for me to do that so
I feel this feel. I try so hard guys, but sometimes.
especially when I get an ask asking about uncommon snakes I do not own and never have owned
sometime google really is the best resource
Brown House Snake
Boaedon capensis (Colubridae), better known as Cape House Snake, is a non-venomous species endemic to Southern Africa, inhabiting a wide range of habitats.
This species varies greatly in appearance and size throughout it’s range, and there are also several morphs in the pet trade. They are sexually dimorphic, males attain an overall length of around 60 cm and females as large as 120 cm.
Photo credit: ©Tyrone Ping | Locality: Vaalwater, Limpopo, South Africa
The melanistic Western Rock Skink
Trachylepis sulcata (Scincidae), better known as Western Rock Skink, is a rock-dwelling species of skink with a range extending from southwestern South Africa into Angola.
Molecular analyses of the melanistic subspecies Trachylepis sulcata nigra (in the photo) have shown that population of T. s. nigra is not genetically isolated or distinct to the subspecies T. s. sulcata.
It has been suggested that melanism along the coastline in the population of Trachylepis sulcata nigra is a high number of fog days per year, a finding consistent with studies of melanism in cordylid lizards in southern Africa.
Photo credit: ©Tyrone Ping | Locality: Price Albert, Western Cape, South Africa
Asked by Anonymous
These species are very easy to tell apart.
The frenal stripe of P. madagascariensis extends beyond the eye, almost to the ear, whereas that of P. grandis extends just to the posterior edge of the eye.
Note: when googling P. madagascariensis, 90% of the google results are actually P. grandis, because Google is blissfully unaware that P. grandis is no longer considered a subspecies of P. madagascariensis.
A third species, Phelsuma kochi, is very similar to P. grandis (and also used to be a subspecies of P. madagascariensis), but is smaller and a duller green than P. grandis, often with mottled light spots.