Page 1

NEWSLETTER OF THE

MINNESOTA HERPETOLOGICAL

SOCIETY

NOVEMBER 1992 BELL MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY

VOLUME XII 10 CHURCH STREET SOUTH EAST

NUMBER 11 MINNAPOLIS, MN 55455-0104


Do you ever have a question about one of your herps and wonder who might be able to provide an answer? Most people who keep pets of any kind have been is this situation at one time or another. A group of MHS members has volunteered to provide assistance. Listed below are the people and their specialties. Please be reasonable about the time of day and how frequently you call.

Large pythons and constrictors Glen (Jake) Jacobsen 757-8268 Vence Jimerson 869-8547

Other Snakes John Meltzer John Levell Connie Delles

263-7880 374-5422 374-5422

Lizards Nancy Haig 789-4637 Bill Moss 488-1383 Drew Newman (Iguana) 776-2116

Amphibians John Meltzer Greg Kvanbek Drew Newman

263-7880 533-7723 776-2116

Terrestrial turtles and tortoises John Moriarty 647-1334 Ann Porwoll 489-7853

Aquatic Turtles Michele Stilinger Dennis Daly

588-4613 633-8370

SNAKEBITE EMERGENCY

HENNEPIN REGIONAL POISON CENTER

(612) 347-3141

MINNESOTA POISON CONTROL SYSTEM LOCAL

(612) 221-2113

OUT OF STATE

(800) 222-1222

NEXT NEWSLETTER DEADLINE:

DECEMBER 4, 1992

Copyright Minnesota Herpetological Society. The contents of this newsletter may be reproduced for inclusion in the newsletters of other herpetological societies provided that the material is reproduced without change and proper credits are given to the MHS Newsletter, citing, volume, number, and date.


INNESOTA

ERPETOLOGICAL

OCIETY

TABLE OF CONTENTS

MRS BOARD OF DIRECTORS

The purpose of the Minnesota Herpetological Society is: to further the education of the membership and the general public in care and captive propagation of reptiles an amphibians; to educate the membership and the general public in the ecological role of reptiles and amphibians; and to promote the study and conservation of reptiles and amphibians.

PRESIDENT Glen Jacobsen VICE-PRESIDENT Bill Moss

Next meeting update

2

Nov. Board meeting

3

Nov. Speaker Review

4

MnDOT Correspondence

6

MHS meeting misc.

8

Article: Turtle bowl Uses

9

Article: Newsletter Review

10

MHS

14

(612) 757-8268 (612) 488-1383

MEMBERSHIP SECRETARY Connie Delles (612) 374-5422

Class~fied

Article: Reptile Class. II

15

Classified

21

RECORDI~G SECRETARY Michele $tillinger (612) 588-4613

l

TREASURER John Levell

(612) 374""""5422

NEWSLETTER EDITOR Julie Cherveny

(612) 774-6786

CALANDER OF EVENTS

December 5, 1992--MHS Holiday Banquet.

MEMBER-AT-LARGE Randy Blasus

(612) 688-7709

MEMBER-AT-LARGE Dennis Daly

(612) 633-8370

MEMBER-AT-LARGE Nancy Haig

(612) 789-4637

MEMBER-AT-LARGE Greg Kvanbek

(612) 533-7723

IMMEDIATE PAST PRESIDENT ( 612 ) 263-7880 John Meltzer

MRS NEWSLETTER

VOLUME XII

NUMBER 11

PAGEl


Next Meeting Date: Friday, December 4, 1992 Time: 7:00 PM

Place: Borlaug Hall St. Paul Campus U of M

PROGRAM: Monitors of the World - an Overview. SPEAKER: Pete Strimple Pete Srimple is the President of the Greater Cincinnati Herp Society as well as the owner of the Reptile Research and Breeding Facility. He has been actively researching an successfully breeding the Green Anaconda. He also has extensive experience with many species of monitor lizards. He is well known for his expertise fn both areas and will cover them both this upcoming bai1quet weekend. At Fridays regular meeting, Pete will present his monitor program. I have seen Pete speak at both the 1992 International Symposium and the 1992 Midwest Symposium. He has an incredible wealth of knowledge to share about monitor lizards as well as some fantastic slides. His talk will include fossil history, taxonomy, morphology, habitat-specific adaptations, behavior of monitor lizards. Asian, African and Australian monitors will be covered. He will also tell us about the recent birth of the baby Komodo monitors at the National Zoo in Washington D.C.

******************************************************************* Date: Saturday, December 5, 1992 Time: 7:00 P.M.

Place: Student Center St. Paul Campus U of M

PROGRAM: Natural History of the Green Anaconda SPEAKER: Pete Strimple At the Saturday night banquet, Pete will speak about his research expedition to Venezuela this past summer. He will talk about the natural history of the Green Anaconda from the Apure region of Venezuela. Included in this talk will be the capture and the implantation of radio telemetry equipment, marking and tracking these fantastic animals. Pete will present slides showing the work being done with the anacondas as well as other pictures of the natural flora and fauna of this area. CRITTER OF THE MONTH: Your Carnivorous lizards. (Friday Night Only) Please plan on attending these meetings, we are very fortunate to have someone of Pete Strimple's caliber come up here to do these programs. If you miss them you probably won't get another chance.

MRS NEWSLETTER

VOLUME XII

NUMBER 11

PAGE 2


NOVEMBER BOARD MEETING Called to order at 7:30 PM at Randy Blasus's house. Glen Jacobsen, Marilyn Brooks, Connie Delles, Greg Kvanbek, John Levell, Dennis Daly, Nancy Haig, Drew Newman, Randy Blasus, and Julie Cherveny were present. John Meltzer was absent. PRESIDENT'S REPORT The letters to send to veterinarians about our society were completed and Nancy will address and mail them. 97 people attended the general meeting. Thanks to speaker Dan Keyler for a great program and for donating his speaker fee to a worthy cause, the Timber Rattlesnake Project. VICE-PRESIDENT'S REPORT January: Mike Mossman. SECRETARY'S REPORT Given and accepted. OLD BUSINESS Greg has started to design new business cards and will be given to us, completed product at the next meeting. We would also like to redesign the blue MHS information flyers. Any ideas? Contact Michele. Final cage sizes were agreed upon. Custom orders will be taken separately. Contact Nancy Haig. NEW BUSINESS Holiday banquet was discussed. It will be the same as last year. Michele brought up the idea to have door prizes this year. Motion was approved. John expressed the need to have more funds available for speaker fees. This brings up an important point to mention to all members, especially new ones. MHS is a nonprofit organization. All membership dues and donations go towards operating costs, printing, speaker fees and supplies. We would also like to have extra money to donate to herp related projects in our 60mmunity. Any ideas for fund raising, grants and donations would be apprecia ted.路 One herp related project members can get involved in is the annual frog surveys with the Society. Our Jan. speaker will be addressing this issue. If anyone is interested in participating, contact Bill Moss or John Moriarty.

MEETING ADJOURNED: 10:30 P.M.

MRS NEWSLETTER

VOLUME XII

NUMBER 11

PAGE 3


NOVEMBER SPEAKER REVIEW by Michele Stillinger The speaker for November was Dan Keyler. The program was a slide presentation on venomous snakebites,facts, precautions and .treatments. He showed us snakebite statistics and put a great deal of stress on the misinformation the general public has about these incidents and their treatments. Following are some of the highlights from his talk you may find interesting. Approximately 15% of the snakes in the world are venomous. There are twenty different species of venomous sriakes in the U.S., not including their various sub-species. Annually there are approx. 45,000 reported snake bites. Of these, 8,000 are poisonous and result in 9 to 15 fatalities. Most incidents of snake bites in the U.S. happen with cottonmouths, copperheads and rattlesnakes. 65% of these bites are from rattlesnakes. Strangely enough, the states with the highest incidents of snakebites and fatalities are not the southwestern states, where most rattle snakes are found, but are the southeastern states. North Carolina has the highest number of incidents per year, followed by Texas, Arkansas, Alabama, an Georgia. The most common victims of snake bites are children between the ages of one and nine years. This is because children usually run around in the woods and brush somewhat unaware of where they're sticking their hands and feet. Interestingly, aside from children the most numerous incidents come from intoxicated men in their twenties usually handling a "pet" rattlesnake or another venomous snake with their bare hands! Snake venom is'compose of various proteins (enzymes) and inorganic substances. For the snake, venom is used for defensive an offensive measures as well as an aid in digestion. Some snakes can even regulate the amount of venom they inject by sensing the sIze of their prey. This helps them conserve it for later use. Once in humans, snake venom spreads throughout our circulatory and lymph systems an causes various effects depending on the dose and type of snak~. Even the persons health, size and age can be a deciding factor on the severity of symptoms. Bites from some species, like the pit vipers, cause pain, swelling and even. bleeding from the wound site. This can be followed by nausea and numbness in the mouth 路and tongue. Other species venom may not cause such violent symptoms but instead slowly effect the central nervous system. Victims may have trouble keeping their eyelids open or moving and then their respiratory system shuts down. Luckily in this country 95% of the victims of snakebite are within one hour of a medical facility by car. This'leads us to the most important part of Dan's talk, quick an effective treatment. If you are bitten by a snake, the first thing to do is remain calm and if possible apply a tourniquet of some sort above the bite. Dan suggested that an ace bandage, the type used for wrapping sprains, makes an excellent tourniquet. It should be wrapped the same tightness as a sprained ankle. Elevating the wound site to heart level was also suggested if possible.

MRS NEWSLETTER

VOLUME XII

NUMBER 11

PAGE 4


NOVEMBER SPEAKER REVIEW CONTINUED

Treatment with antivenin should be given within 4 hours of the bite so the victim should be taken to the hospital immediately. Antivenin is given intravenously. Depending on the bite and species the average person can use from 5 to 40 vials. At $140 a vial, this is not cheap and obviously the average person won't be able to carry a few vials around for emergences. Surgical intervention is rarely needed and most patients recover with no noticeable scarring. Unfortunately there are still people who believe in the old路 practices of snake venom removal. The "cut and suck" method use in movies and generations past, may only remove 20% of the venom if one properly. Dan showed us a ghastly assortment of slides of people who tried to remove the venom themselves and only managed to cases the self inflicted injuries and delay in getting to a medical facility were so severed the patient lost their hand or foot entirely. There are just too many risks involved with this procedure to waste time with it. . Luckily, there is a product on the market for venomous snakebites. It's a small yellow kit that includes a tourniquet and a device called the Extractor. The Extractor looks like a large syringe and plunger. It's placed directly over the site of the bite and sucks on to the skin, much like sticking a vacuum hose to your arm. This devise then slowly and evenly extracts the venom into the tube. You can leave it on while you are going to the hospital. The Extractor can pullout as much as 33% of the venom if applied within the first 3 minutes of being bitten. Dan has given this program to our society before but this was the first time I had ever hear it. I was impressed with all the information and think it is very important for any reptile enthusiast who keeps venomous animals. Another important point; know your animals and keep a list on hand to take to the hospital if bitten. This will assist medical staff on the proper antivenin to use. Also keep a list of the numbers on your phone to call for help. If you're bitten youma be somewhat weak and delirious to find this information. Below is a list of numbers you may fin valuable and may help your doctor if this an unusual situation. Remember time is lif~. Just last year a young woman died in Wisconsin because the medical staff didn't know who to call for the right antivenin and where to find it. BE PREPARED!!!

MN Poison Control System: 612-221-2113 or 800-222-1222 Hennepin Regional Poison Center: 612-347-3141 Sn~kebite kits: 813-725-1177 Antivenin Index: 602-626-6016 (this service will give you the locations of different antivenin supplies in the country)

MRS NEWSLETTER

VOLUME XII

NUMBER 11

PAGES


MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION CORRESPONDENCE

Dear Minnesota Herpetological Society Members: The State Aid Division of the Minnesota Department of Transportation is in the final stages of implementing a new category of design standards for County State Aid Highways called Natural Preservation Routes (NPR). A Natural Preservation Route is a roadway that possesses sensitive or unique scenic, environmental, or historic characteristics such as roads along lakes, rivers, wetlands, flood plains, or through forests or hilly terrain. The NPR standards were developed by a task force, with representatives from environmental groups and the transportation profession. The standards were designed to maintain the safety of the motorist while minimizing impacts to valuable roadside features. The legislation that established Natural Preservation Routes requires that before a route can be designated, it must be approved by an Advisory Committee. That Committee will consist of seven members, one of whom must be a representative of a recognized environmental organization. Your organization was selected from selected from the "Minnesota Environmenta路l Directory". There will be one committee formed in each of the eight Mn/DOT districts (a map is attached). Committees will meet at a location in the District, and may meet as frequently as once every three months, although the same individual need not serve at every meeting. State Aid. will reimburse committee members for their travel and meal expenses. I am asking for 'your assistance in identifying individuals who are members of your organization and who would be interested in serving on one of these committees. Please indicate in which District or Districts they would be willing to serve. If you have any questions, please call Mark Gieseke at (612) 296-9877. Thank you for your cooperation. In reply refer to: NPR Advisory Committees

Editor's Note:

Please contact Glen (Jake) Jacpbsen at (612) 757-8268, if you would like to volunteer, and he will then contact Mark Gieseke.

coni tuned to the next page ...

MRS NEWSLETIER

VOLUME XII

NUMBER 11

PAGE 6


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PAGE 7


RAFFLE RESULTS Thanks to Hans Paulson, Jake Jacobsen, the Jimersons, TCR, Becky Helgesen, for donating raffle items. The winners are listed below: Matt Hoppe Alan Kwong Sarah Richard Gary Ash Toni Jesmer Nick Gidmark Dan Vellrus Rachel Hoppe Drew Newman

Jodi Ahevns Ted路Meissner Michele Stillinger Bill Moss Dan Kallhof John Jesmer Brian Irwin Jeff Ackerman Marilyn Brooks Chase Delles

Thanks to all that purchased tickets. ,Reminder: PLEASE print your name, because I have a hard time reading the names. Thank You .

. REFRESHMENTS Thanks to Toni and John Jesmer Jr for bringing refreshments. 'If you'd like to help路 provide treats for a meeting please talk to Candy Ashbach or Nanette Jimerson at the meeting to find out about what's needed. CRITTER OF THE MONTH The cri tter of the month was "Your Venomous-mimicking Herp". critters and their keepers are listed below.

'The

Toni & John Jesmer

Western Hognose (Heteroon n. nasicus)

John Gidmark

Bullsnake (Pituophis melanoleucus sayi)

UPCOMING MEETINGS January: Mike Mossmen ~ Amphibians February: ??? March: White Snake Sale

HELP A HAPLESS HERP Anyone with animals to go up for adoption, should contact Glen Jacobsen at (612) 757-8268 prior to the meeting.

MRS NEWSLETTER

VOLUME XII

NUMBER 11

PAGE 8


Turtle Bowl Uses By Drew Newman Remember the plastic turtle bowls (coffins) that were so popular some years back? The ones that claimed they were all that was needed for the proper care(death) of your newly acquired red-eared slider. MHS, through the efforts of Bill Moss, has been blessed (cursed) with the donation of some of these bowls for raffle items. Since Bill has a few extra (garage full) a lot of-people have been getting bowls at our monthly raffles (last item on table). So if your lucky enough (saddled with) one of these prizes let me suggest a few uses other than the usual (throwaway). 1. Small one (minus palm tree) makes good iguana food dish. 2. Small one also makes good water dish for snakes kept in sweater boxes (palm tree optional). 3. Large one with another inverted on top makes nlce display for hylid frogs, rubberbands can be use to adhere the top and ventilation accomplished by use of a heated nail (palm tree trimmed down looks nice and fits well) . 4. Coin Bank.

Bank is full when trunk of palm tree is covered.

5. Mouse\Rat Defrost Tank. No one will ever yell at you again for using the Tupperware. 6. Visual Aid for your talk, The Dark Ages of Herpetociulture. 7. Shield for when cleaning the Chondropython cage. palm tree and water container).

(Grasp by

8. Gifts. This works especially well since most people can't get baby turtles and is environmentally correct because this is an item that is sure to be recycled next holiday season. 9. Storage bin for all the stuff you took out of the sweater boxes when you realized they were good to keep snakes in. 10. An item to keep on hand when preparing your taxes and may be apt to throw something.

MRS NEWSLETTER

VOLUME XII

NUMBER 11

PAGE 9


NEWSLETTER REVIEW Compiled by Donna Calander The Desert Monitor (Ariz. ):

San Diego HerR Soc.:

October/November 1992 Volume 22 Number 5. an intro article on the chuckwalla. an FYI article on the Black Headed Snake. article on the Relict Leopard Frog. care & breeding of the Solomon Island Prehensile-Tailed Skink.

October 1992 Volume 14 Issue 10 one writer suggests u~ing hay for herps; she tells why. a "how to" article on how to donate your dece?sed herps to a local natural history museum or university.

Behind BAARS (Palo Alto, CAl.:

No. Calif. HerR. Soc.:

VOLUMEXII

Volume 3 Number 2 1992 Article on hibernating turtle eggs; causes of "egg dropping".

October 7, 1992 Volume 5 Number 10 Speaker Review; Harry W. Greene did a presentation on Vipers & their evolution; long, detailed, & informative. "

Notes From Noah (No. OhioY:

MHS NEWS LEITER

1992 Volume 15 Number 10 a trouble-shooting article on reptiles that are refusing to eat; written by a vet. SPeaker Review;" Jan Peter gave a talk on keeping turtles.

August 1992 Volume 11 Number 8 Article on care & breeding of Carpet Pythons. Article on hibernating snakes.

NY Turtle & Tortoise Soc.:

Sonoran Herpetologist:

O~tober

NillABER 11

September 30, 1992 Volume 29 Number 12 Book Review of "Giant Lizards" by R. G. Sprack1and Review by Martin J. Rosenberg. The review itself is very informative, & may convince you to buy the book.

PAGE 10


NEWSLETTER REVIEW CONTINUED

Gainsville Herp Soc.

(FL)~

October 1, 1992 Volume 9 Number 2 "My Top Ten Herptile-Related Hurts" by Jeff Hewitt. A humorous account of how the unwary herpetologist can get nailed by their animals; also a gentle reminder not to be careless.

Tortuga Gazette (CAl:

October 1992 Volume 28 Number 10 Turtle of the Month--the Painted Turtle. Article with hints on hibernating chelonians (and that "hibernate" is inaccurate; it should be "brumate"). Article on how to hibernate desert tortoises during their first winter---hibernating hatchlings.

Pacific NW HerR Soc.:

October 1992 Volume 6 Number 10 A member's notes 'on the inadvertent breeding of Kenyan Sand Boas.

Sauria:

Volume 1 Number 1 1991 Technical article on--the True Anglehead Agamas. --the Hispaniolan Slider. --keeping/breeding the Malayan Moccasin. --Sphenomorphus aquaticus (new Forest Skink species). --Leopard Gecko.

Sauria:

Volume 1 Number 2 1991 Technical articles on--the Agamid Lizard. --captiv~ husbandry of 4 diet-specialized elapid snake species of the genus Bungarus (Kraits) . --an alternative substrate for the Terrarium, targeted towards the Giant Girdled lizard; can this be adapted to any of one's own herps? Read and decide. --A rare Gecko: Bunopus spatalurus hajarensis. --keeping/breeding of Ruthven's Kingsnake. --the Achat-snail, food source for skinks, etc.

Mich. Soc. of Herpetologists:

MRS NEWSLETTER

VOLUME XII

NUMBER 11

"Lesson from the Geese"--people should/could learn from these simple observations/habits of geese.

PAGE 11


NEWSLETTER REVIEW CONTINUED

The Forked Tongue (Cincinnati):

90uthwestern Herp Soc .. :

Vara-News:

Maryland Herp Soc.:

Texas Herp Soc.:

MRS NEWSLETTER

October, 1992 Volume 22 Number 10 Pros & cons of various cage sanitation methods; by a vet. Part III: a overview of the Endangered Species Act, followed by a re~capof both sides of the conviction of Tom Crutchfield.

October 1, 1992 Volume 2 Number 5 an intro to the publication of VaraNews, the newsletter of Varanix (Varanix is an organization that is "dedicated to the responsible captive care of monitor lizards through education and the open exchange of all information pertaining to Varanidae". extensive information on the diets of all African rrioni tor lizards. captive, care of the Bengal monitor.

Cold Blooded News (COL01:

T.E.A.M.

October 1992 Volume 17 (10) one account of a toilet-trained Southern Pine Snake.

October 1992 . Volume 19 Number 10 FYI--an update on the "Wild Bird Conservation Act of 1992 " by the President of the New England Her Soc.-in conjunction with the above Update, Dave McNeill, Editor of Herptales (New England Herp Soc. newsletter), has a proposal to make a national network safeguarding our interests in herps. Network to be called the Coalition of Amphibian & Reptile Enthusiasts, or C.A.R.E. for short. I think ALL MEMBERS should read, talk, debate, decide, discuss alternatives, on this issue. We sh~uld. try to be informed.

September 30, 1992 Volume 28 Number 3 Article with a new hypothesis on "shouldering" in Prairie Rattlesnakes. updated data on hatchling Mud Snakes. "A new chromospecies of snake (Pseudoleptodeira) from Mexico".

Fall, 1992 Volume 53 Number 2 "Why Scientific Collecting is Necessary".

(L.A. ;CA):

VOLUME XII

October 1992 Volume 5 Number 10 Article on Bell's Hingeback Tortoise.

NUMBER 11

PAGE 12


~11

NNESOT A HERPETOLOGICAL SOC I ETV 1992 HOLIDAY BANOUET

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 5, 1992

SOCIAL HOUR: 6:30 - 7:30 POTLUCK DINNER 7:30 SPEAKER: FOLLOWI NG DINNER

TERRACE CAFE, ST. PAUL STUDENT CENTER ST. PAUL CAr1PUS, UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA 6:30 Pr1 TO 10:30 PM

$5.00 PER PERSON (except children who can sit on parent's lap) Inc 1udesone ticket for Door Pri zes

r fu:hit ){ e m\:r ~ ~ Q][ 1ij 1ij Jr J[!l:r:it Z ®:$ iWJ e llJt. (,3]. Q!i ® ~ n.1f ~~ 1C e :r l:it 1f :it Q: m\ 1® :$ Q][ (jJ) Th mt .~ re Q][ 1f :r Q]l m. V fl. Q!i mt :r TI uJJ J(iIl\ JPI e 1~(o l' iWJ :it:iTh (fl. tit ® ~ ~ ® , ffJJ. ® ~.y P ® H: Ce )iJd~ e :r r Jr fl. Q: (,3]J C(jJ) mr. Q: ® J[!ll ~ ~ 1ij fu nn :it :iTh ~ Q][ m\ ~ e r (,3]. Jr J(iIl\ (,3]. mr. Q][ Glil\ Jr Q][ ® Ji]..~ r Jr (jJ) , fl. Q: W (,3]. ~~ e f' ~,~ JYU:it Q][ iWJ e ~.~ r j[" (jJ) ~ fl. Q: m\ ~ tr ~:iTh 1[TI ITjI ® (,3]. Jr ffJ tm Th 1[/1 ]p ® 1~ .. .t\ ~ ~ 1ij tm fu Q]l Q]ll Q][ 1ij Th ®,. .~ ® Q][ Hn"f S® J[!l Jr ® Ji].l "~ rm\H.® .. MHS will be providing coffee, wine, beer, pop and water. Tableware will be provided. People attending are asked to bring a food item and it's necessary serv i ng utensi 1s. (0

i j,

(0

PLEASE MAKE RESERVATIONS BY DECEMBER 1,1992. CONTACT MARILYN BROOKS IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS. DETACH FORM AND SEND WITH A CHECK PAYABLE TO MINNESOTA HERPETOLOGICAL SOCIETY AT: Minnesota Herpetological Society Bell Museum Of Natural History 10 Chuch Street South East Mi nneapo 1is, MN 55455-0 104

NAME(S) __________________________________________________ PHONE NUMBER ____________________________ NUMBER OF CHILDREN _ _ (those who can sit on parent's lap are free) NUMBER ATTENDING _ __ TOT AL AMOUNT ENCLOSED $ _ _ _ _ _ __ F00 D YOU ARE BRI NGIN G: (C I RCLEO NE PER FAM I LY) AP PET I ZER

VEGET ABLE SALAD

MAIN DISH BREAD

DESSERT

LET ME KNOW WHAT I S NEEDED


You and your fami Iy are hereby invited to attend the Minnesota Herpeto I og i ca I Soc i ety 1992 Ho I i day Banquet on Saturday} December 5th from 6:30 pm to 10:30 pm. Featured wi I I be Pete Strimple} President on Greater Cincinnati Herpetological Society. Pete will talk about natural history & breeding of the Green Anaconda. He wi I I present sl ides taken during his most recent research trip to Uenezuala. Your presence is requested at Terrace Cafe at the St. Paul Student Center on the St. Paul Campus of the University on Minnesota. Please R.S.U.P. by December 1} 1992 to Minnesota Herpetological Society at Bel I Museum of Natural Hi st ory} 10 Church St reet Sout h East} Mi nneapo lis} Minnesota 55455.


NEWSLETTER REVIEW CONTINUED

Chicago Herp Soc.:

October 1992 Volume 27 Number 10 Article on the Marine File Snake--natural history; maintenance. "Undesirable Trends in Captive Management & Conservation of Reptiles"--the cons of albinoism & hybridization.

League of Florida Herp Societies:

The Vivarium:

November 1992 Article on causes of regurgitation or vomiting, (which are 2 different problems, technically) . ongoing research data on New World Tree Boas.

September/October 1992 Volume 4 Number 2 Article on surgical techniques on turtle & tortoises Article on the Indonesian Rat Snakes, Genus Elaphe. Article on a Ground Gecko (Paroedura pictus)-easy to keep & breed. Article on the Fox Snake. Article on regulating photoperiods easily & inexpensively. interview of Bill Haast, who has dedicated his to snake venoms.

Minn County Biological Survey:

1988 Herpetological Surveys--October 1988 booklet includes--background & preliminary research --summary of the 1988 survey --recommendations for future research --which museums & universities supplied info on MN herps --state .& county herp lists --priority species accounts ~-habitat matrices for priority species --documentation of herp records --site summary form & instructions --high quality site visited during th~ 1988 county biological survey--Herps --Amphibians & reptiles seen or collected during 1988 county biological survey by county

River Bend Nature CTR (Fairbault, MN):

MRS NEWSLETTER

VOL.UME XII

NUMBER 11

Fall 1992 Volume 13 Number 3. "Autumn - Window of Change"

PAGE 13


MRS CLASSIFIED RAT SALES

Orders will be taken by Terry Sch~iber only! and must be made at least one week before the general meeting. Phone! (612) 440-7482. PRICES

RATS

MICE

Pups-----$10.00 doz. Adults---$12.00 for six $24.00 doz.

Pinkies----$6.00 doz. Fuzzies----$6.00 doz. Adults-----$9.00 doz.

Mice and rats must be purchased by the dozen, except for adult rats, which can be purchased in allotments of six. Rat pinkies are unavailable at this time. CAGE SALES

The MHS will now be selling cages, there will be three basic sizes on display at the monthly meetings. A 50%, non-refundable, down payment will be required on all cages. Custom cages will also be available upon request. SPECIFICATIONS Small Cage 12" X 12" X 24"

1/2" sides, 1/4" back & ceiling an 1/4" melamine floor. Hinges and ~ockable latch. Door opens down. Glass is double strength. Cage will be unfinished. Price $40.00 Medium Cage 12"

X 12" X 36" 1/2" sides, 1/4" back & ceiling and 1/4" melamine. Hinges and lockable latch. Door opening to the side. Glass is double strength. Cage will be unfinished. Price $60.00

2nd Medium Cage 18" X 18" X 24" 1/2" sides, 1/4" backwall & ceiling and 1/4" melamine. Hinges and lockable latch. Door opening to the side. Glass is double strength. Cage will be unfinished. Price $60.00

Orders will be taken by Nancy Haig at the meetings. Cages will then' be delivered to the preceding meeting, except on custom orders. The MHS has dropped the large cage, to a custom cage and will be selling the 2nd model of medium cage instead.

IvfHS NEWS LEITER

VOLUME XII

NUMBER 11

PAGE 14


REPTILE CLASSIFICATION PART TWO: NOMENCLATURE, CLASSIFICATION, AND A CHECKLIST OF LIVING AND EXTINCT REPTILIAN ORDERS By John P. Levell NOMENCLATURE:

Before we look at reptile classification in more depth, we probably should cover some rules of scientific nomenclature. During the course of numerous conversations, with just about about everybody interested in any aspect of biology, it is apparent that confusion and sometimes downright hostility exists about the continual changes scientific names undergo. While part one of this series helped clarify some of the reasons behind this constant flux, hopefully this brief look at some rules of nomenclature will clear up some other questions. GENERIC NAMES:

The first word of a scientific name is the Generic (Genus) name. This name always starts with a capital letter. A genus name may only be used once, in other words no two groups of animals can have the same generic name. When conflicts occur the group in which the name was first used takes precedence and a different generic name has to be adopted by the second group. Once generic names become firmly established they generally remain unchanged, but individual species of a genus may be reallocated to other existing genera as interpretations of their relationships are modified. In addition, a large genus may be sub-divided into two or more smaller genera, as is the case wi th the genus Natr.ix (water snakes) being spli t into two genera; Nerodia (new world species) and Natrix (old world species) . TRIVIAL NAMES:

The second word in a scientific name is the trivial name. Although this is the species name, it cannot properly be called the specific name as that term denotes ,the entire two part (genus + species) name. Thus Elaphe guttata is a specific name, while guttata is trivial. Unlike generic names, the species name always begins with a lower case letter. The same trivial name can be used for different species providing they belong to different genera. If two different names have been given to the same species the one used first takes precedence. The species name rarely changes. Exceptions include when a species is moved to another genus in which the name is allocated t6 another species or when a misidentification has occurred. Currently there is a trend among some taxonomists to change the spelling of certain species names to bring them into proper Latin. I personally think that the resulting confusion far outweighs any benefit this may have, but that's a subject for another time. The names of subspecies follow these same rules.

continued to the next page ...

MHS NEWSLETIER

VOLUME XII

NUMBER 11

PAGE 15


DESCRIBER(S): Often a name or names are included following the specific name of a species, Crotalus atrox Baird and Girard, for example. These are the names of the people who had originally described the species. When these names are in (), as in Crotalus molossus (Baird and Girard), it shows that some change has occurred in the nomenclature since the original description; i.e. the species has been moved to another genus, it is now recognize as a full species or as only a subspecies, etc. Usually the year the original description was published is included at the end, as in Crotalus molossus (Baird an Girard), 1853. This is important as it tells us who described the species, when, and if the species was previously known by another valid scientific name. It can easily be seen that this would be useful in tracking down old records of particular species. These are the basic rules of riomenclature that anyone working w~th animals should be familiar with. Numerous other rules exist, but these would basically only interest taxonomists and we don't have to concern ourselves with these. A code of rules, universally accepted in 1901, is enforced by a group called the International Commission of Zoological Nomenclature (ICZN). The ICZN arbitrates disputes, approves or disapproves proposed name changes reviews new species descriptions etc. Name changes are not valid till the ICZN says they are. Many published "purposed" name changes have not been accepted and many never will be. When in doubt use the older accepted name. CLASSIFICATION:

One of the problems with most biology and zoology courses is the way in which they portray reptiles, not only as some kind of an evolut~onary dead end but as only a stepping stone between the amphibia and the so called "higher vertebrates" as well. This tendency to regulate the reptiles to the "lower vertebrates" is unfortunate since in some ways, the reptiles are more closely related to the birds and mammals than to their amphibian ancestors. While it's true that just when the earliest fossil reptiles are in fact actually reptiles and not amphibians is unclear, it is also equally unclear when the earliest mammals are no longer reptiles. The relationship between birds and reptiles is even more obscure, with much debate on whether the fossil, Archaeopteryx, is a true bird or a feathered reptile. While there is debate about which early fossils represent true reptiles, the first unquestionable reptile fossils date from the early Pennsylvanian strata of the Carboniferous period, about 300 million ears ago. Already by this time at least two or three different phylogenetic lines are present, indicating that the origin of the group was sometime earlier. These early reptiles had well-developed limbs and were lizard-like in appearance. We will explore these animals more fully when we look at the individual reptile orders later.

continued to the next page ...

MRS NEWSLETTER VOLUME XII

NUMBER 11

PAGE 16


Besides the development of epidermal scales, creating a more water-tight skin, the other major advancement of reptiles was the development of a hard shelled amniotic egg, which could be laid on land. These were the first eggs to contain an amnion,a fluid-filled sac in which the developing'embryo is encased. Both birds and mammals share this feature of an amniotic sac with reptiles and the three groups are sometimes referred to as the amniotes. Needless to say, it is unfortunate that reptiles are so often referred to as "lower vertebrates", when neither amphibians or fish possess an amniotic membrane. These two advancements allowed the reptiles to fully colonize the land, thus allowing reptiles to take full advantage of habitats not available to the more water dependent amphibians. ' Other than obvious physical features, the shells of turtles for instance, scientists have relied heavily on various aspects of the skeletal structure of reptiles in helping to define their relationships. Of particular importance are the bones of the pelvis, shoulder girdle, and especially the skull. So much of an emphasis has been placed on skull structure that the various subclasses an orders of orders of the class Reptilia are organized on the basis of , skull morphology. This involves the absence or presence, placement, and number of temporal skull openings (holes on the skull thru which various jaw muscles etc. passed). This would probably best be illustrate by examining figure 1. Figure la illustrates the Anaspid type skull. This is the mos~ primitive type of reptilian skull in which there are no temporal openings. Modern turtles, as well as the,most primitive of all reptiles, posses an anaspid skull. The second type, Synapsid fig. lb, has a single laterally place temporal opening. This is the type of skull possessed by the ancestors of the mammals. Type three, Euryapsid fig. lc, is characterize by a single opening placed near the top of the skull. The fourth and final type, Diapsid fig. Id, with two temporal skull openings. This is the skull type of the Tuatara, crocodiles, dinosaurs, and in modified form, lizards and snakes.

continued to the next page ...

MHS NEWSLETTER

VOLUME XII

NUMBER 11

PAGE 17


Naturally not all of the various reptile~groups fit neatly into one of the above mentioned categories. Some orders, for example the Ichthyosauriai whil~possessing skull morphology similar to one of the four skull types, appear to have evolved this trait independently. We will look at this more closely when we cover the individual reptilian orders in future installments of this article. Also, as pointed out in part 1 of this series, not all researchers interpret things the same. This has led to some variation in the number of subclasses, orders etc. included in the various published classifications. Most of the following references are based upon the pioneering work of Williston (1925), who recognized 5 subclasses and 19 orders of the class Reptilia. Romer (1956) recognized 7 subclasses, 16 orders, and numerous suborders etc. Goin and Goin (1962) interpreted their classification as containing 6 subclasses and 16 orders. Porter (1972) included 6 subclasses, 17 orders, and numerous suborders etc. The Goin's position was modified to agree with Porter's arrangement in Goin, Gain, and Zug (1978) . All the above publications figured greatly in the preparation of this manuscript and parties interested in pursuing this subject in more depth are referred to them. Romer, in particular, provides a wealth of information on the historical as~ects of reptile classification. In addition, Steel and Harvey's "Encyclopedia of Prehistoric Life", proved invaluable in writing this article. Full citations are included below for these publications. For the remainder of this' series an in the checklist, the arrangement of Porter is followed, with modifications base upon the work of other researchers. Aspects of the more complex classification of the various reptile groups will be covered in more depth when we look at each order individually. The evolutionary history an some of the controversies concerning the relationships of certain reptilian orders to other vertebrate groups will be reviewed there also. LITERATURE CITED:

Gain, C.J., and O.B. Goin. 1962. Introduction to Herpetology. San Francisco, CA: W.H. Freeman an Co. Gain, C.J., O.B. Goin, and G.R. Zug. 1978. Introduction to Herpetology. 3rd edition. San Francisco, CA: W.H. Freeman and Co." Porter, K.R. 1972. Co.

Herpetology.

Philadelphia, FA: W.B. Saunders

Romer, A.S. 1956. Osteology of the Reptiles. University of Chicago Press.

Chicago, IL:

Steel, R. and A.P. Harvey. 1979. 1he Encyclopedia of Prehistoric Life. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Book Co. Webb, J.E., J.A. Wallwork, and J.H. Elgood. 1978. Reptiles. London, Eng.: Macmillian Press LTD. Williston, S.W. 1925. Osteology of the Reptiles. Harvard University Press.

Gtiide to Living Cambridge, MA:

continued to the next page ...

MHS NEWSLETTER

VOLUME XII

NUMBER 11

PAGE 18


CHECKLIST:

SUBCLASSES AND ORDERS OF THE CLASS REPTILIA. LIVING AND EXTINCT.

SKULL TYPE: I.

ANAPSIDA

SUBCLASS:

ANAPSIDA

1.

ORDER: COTYLOSAURIA - COTYLOSAURS (STEM REPTILES) Ancestral to all later reptiles. Appeared during the Pennsylvanian period. Extinct by the end of the Triassic.

2.

ORDER: MESOSAURIA - MESOSAURS (MIDDLE LIZARD) * Appeared in the late Carboniferous period. Extinct by the middle Permian period.

3.

ORDER: CHELONIA (TESTUDINATA) - CHELONIANS (TURTLES) Most ancient order of surviving reptiles. Appeared during the Triassic period. 12 families survive today.

SKULL TYPE: SYNAPSID II.

SUBCLASS: SYNAPSIDA 4.

ORDER: PELYCOSAURIA - PELYCOSAURS (PELVIS LIZARD) Appeared during the Carboniferous period. Extinct by the early Triassic period.

5.

ORDER: THERAPSIDA - THERAPSIDS (MAMMAL-LIKE REPTILES) Ancestral to the mammals. Appeared during the mid Permian period. Extinct by the early Jurassic period.

SKULL TYPE: EURYAPSIDA III. SUBCLASS: EURYAPSIDA 6.

ORDER: ARAEOSCELIDA

(PROTOROSAURIAj. --- PROTOROSAURS

Appeared during the Permian period. Jurassic.

*

(FIRST LIZARD) Extinct by the

7.

ORDER: SAUROPTERYGIA - PLESIOSAURS (NEAR LIZARD) Appeared during the mid Triassic period. Extinct by the Cretaceous period.

8.

ORDER: PLACODONTIA - PLACOONTS (FLAT TOOTHS) Extinct by the beginning Appeared during the Triassic. of the Jurrassic period.

IV. SUBCLASS: ICHTHYOPTERYGIA 9.

*

ORDER: ICHTHYOSAURIA - ICHTYOSAURS (FISH LIZARDS) Appeared in the early Triassic period. Extinct by the late Cretaceous period.

continued to the next page ...

MRS NEWSLETTER

VOLUME XII

NUMBER 11

PAGE 19


SKULL' TYPE: V.

DIAPSID

SUBCLASS: LEPIDOSAURIA (DAWN HIP) Extinct by the early

10.

ORDER: EOSUCHIA - EOSUCHIANS Appeared during the Permian. Tertiary.

11.

ORDER: RHYNCHOCEPHALIA - RHYNCOCEPHALIANS (BEAK-HEADED REPTILES) Appeared during the Triassic period. One species survives today, Sphenodon punctatus, the Tuatara.

12.

ORDER: SQUAMATA - SQUAMATES (LIZARDS AND SNAKES) Appeared during the Jurassic period (lizards). About 30 famili~s arranged in 3 suborders; Sauria or Lacertilia (lizards), Serpentes or Ophidia (snakes) and Amphisbaenia (worm lizards), exist today.

VI. SUBCLASS: ARCHOSAURIA - RULING REPTILES 13 .

ORDER:' THECODONITA - THECODONTS (CASE TOOTHS) Ancestral to the Dinosaurs, crocodilians, pterosaurs and birds. Appeared during the Triassic period. Extinct by the Jurassic period.

14 .

ORDER: CROCODILIA - CROCODILIANS Appeared in the late Triassic. 2 families and about 25 species exist today.

15 .

ORDER: PTEROSAURIA - PTEROSAURS (FLYING REPTILES) Appeared during 'the late Triassic. Extinct by the end of the Cretaceous.

16.

ORDER: SAURISCHIA - SAURISCHIANS

(LIZARD HIP DINOSAURS) Appeared during the Triassic period. Extinct by the end of the Cretaceous.

17.

ORDER:

(BIRD HIP DINOSAURS) Extinct by the end of

ORNITHISCHIA - ORNITHISCHIANS

Appeared during the Jurassic. the Cretaceous period.

Author's Note: I have tried to provide accepted common names for the reptilian orders above. Where such names do not exist; Mesosaur, Pelycosaur, Protorosaur, Plesiosaur, Placodont, Eosuchian, and Thecodont, literal translations from the Latin or Greek are used, provided by the World Book Dictionary 1985 edition. It should be pointed out here, that the Pelycosaurs are sometimes referred to as the Sail-fin or Ship lizards (in reference to the large dorsal fin presumably possessed by some forms). Since not all Pelycosaurs had this ornamentation, I've used the translation instead.

* -

the exact placement of these groups uncertain.

MRS NEWS LEITER VOLUME XII

NUMBER 11

PAGE 20


CLASSIFIED ADS 1.0.0 = male; 0.1.0 = female; 0.0.1 = unknown FOR SALE: Two sub-adult prehensile-tailed skinks (Corucia zebrata) C.B. 1991, $150 each or $275 for both. Call Sally at 647-0661. FOR SALE: Rats and mice - pinkies to adults. Live or frozen. Prices upon request. Don's Rodents - (612) 462-8973. FOR SALE: Speckled Kingsnake Hatchlings, $20 each; Black Ratsnake .Hatchlings,· $15. Contact D. K. Compton at 872-7266 days and weekends. FOR SALE: HUGE cage, 6' X 5' X 4', will consider trades. Drew (612) 776-2116. FOR SALE: 12 Banded California Kingsnakes, black and white, $25.00 each. Call Claude at (612) 824-5308. FOR SALE: "So Excellent A Fishe" by Archie Carr, 1st ed. H/DJ exc. condo $15.00. "Field Book of Snakes" by K.P. Schmidt + D.L>. Davis, good condo hard· $15.00. "Our Snake Friends And Foes" by Doris Cochran wi t·h paintings by W. Weber, exc. condo complete in Sept. 1954 Nat. Geo. MAG. $10.00 Call John (612) 374-5422. FOR HIRE: Will build your reptile and/or rodent rooms, your design or ours. Also rack systems and cages including walk in. All types of carpenter work. Reasonable. Call John at 374-5422. WANTED: Looking for· a male, California Coastal Rosy Boa. Claude at (612) 824-5308 .

Call

. WANTED: The Long Lake Conservation Center ~ould like to acquire a snake skeleton for our recently developed snake program. Contact Denise M. Gerdes, at (218) 768-4653. WANTED: Four to five foot long dead snake--for display, for the Bell Museum. Please contact one of the Board members if you would like to donate one. WANTED: I need all the snake skins in the world - always - to give away at reptile programs and the MN State Fair. Please bring to the State Fair or contact Bob Duerr at (612) 541-9417. WANTED: The MHS would like to get ·some better software for the production of this newsletter and other items. Unfortunately this can cost a great deal of money. We are looking for a basic desktop publishing program that is IBM compatible. Please contact a Board Member if you would like to donate something.

VIRS NEWSLETTER

VOLUME XI I

NUlw1BER 11

PAGE 21


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MHS NEWSLETTER

VOLUME XII

NUMBER 11

PAGE 22


CLASSIFIED AD INSTRUCTIONS: Ads are run as a free service to paid members. Ads for venomous species, illegal species, or sick animals will not be run. MHS takes NO responsibility for legality or health of animal advertised here. Ads may be run for three consecutive months at which time ads may be re-submitted. The editor reserves the right to omit ads when space is limited so as to allow all members a chance to advertise. Size of ad is limited to four (4) typed lines or one (1) standard size business card. DEADLINE for all newsletter items is the date of the general meeting. Send all newsletter items to: Minnesota Herpetological Society, Attn: Newsletter Editor, Bell Museum of Natural History, 10 Church Street South East, Minneapolis, MN 55455-0104.

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Vol. 12 (1992), No. 11  

Minnesota Herpetological Society Newsletter

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