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August 2-6, 1992 Annual Meeting of the Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles ( SSAR) University of Texas-El Paso. October, 1992 Midwest Herpetological Symposium Milwaukee, WI November 14 & 15, 1992 Reptile and Amphibian Show and Sale r Bing Crosby .Hall at the Del Mar Fairgronds, Del Marl ·California.

The purpose of the Nlinnesota Herpetological Society 1S: to further the education of the

rnembership and the general public in care and captive propaga.tion of reptiles and atnphibilli'1S; to educate u~e membership and the general public in the ecological role of reptiles and amphibians: and to prOlnote the study and cotiservation of reptiles and amphibians.


Connie Delles IVHchcie Stillinger 1vhuilvn Brooks

(612) (612) (612) (612) (i) 12)


Julie Chenrenv




Rand v Blasus' Denms Daly Nanc)-' Haig.

MEr~1BER·/\ T·

GrcgK vanbek

(612) (()12} (612) 12) Ud2)

688 .. 7709 6.i3-8370 789-46 :'··7723 263-7880


f MJvl ED tATE

Glen Jacobsen Bill t\1oss


757-8268 1383 374-5422 588·-4613 ') 39-0276


Next Meeting Date: Friday, July 10, 1992 Time: 7:00 PM

Place: Borlaug Hall St. Paul Campus U of M

PROGRAM: 1992 I.H.S. Review SPEAKER: M.H.S. Members Various M.H.S. members attending the 1992 International Herptelogical Symposium in St. Louis will share valuable information as presented at the I.H.S. CRITTER OF THE MONTH: Your International Herps

UPCOMING MEETINGS August 7: John Kramer - Paleontologist September: ??? October: ??? HELP A HAPLESS HERP At July's meeting there will be a Painted Turtle going up for adoption. Anyone with animals to go up for adoption, should contact Glen Jacobsen at (612) 757-8268 prior to the meeting.



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June Meeting Summary done by Michele Stillinger June's speaker was Monty Krizan of Monty's Traveling Reptile Show. Monty started by showing us a delightful videQ, with a behind the scenes look at his incredible reptile rig. He takes it around the country and into Canada for shows. His trailer is equipped with all the comforts of home and specially designed to house and maintain his collection. All of the reptiles can be viewed from six large viewing windows on the outside of the trailer. The windows are double paned to hold in heat. All these cages can easily be accessed and cleaned from the inside. Monty is a stickler for cleanliness and this is made simpler with removable mats an even a special water filter for his alligator snapping turtle and Albert, the hand tamed alligat9r. The video carried uS~,through an average day of setting up, maintenance, and the trials of life on the road. Of course there are also plenty of joys in the reptile show business and Monty shared a few stories with us. After the video, Monty spoke extensively on the importance of proper reptile husbandry. Preventing the spread of infectious diseases is extremely important and he offered some quick tips on cleaning and hosing. One obvious but often disregarded preventative measure was cross contamination through containers. Monty pointed out that turtles carry highly infectious bacteria and parasites in their gut and other reptiles should never be placed in containers these animals have been in. Monty has individual buckets and containers for each of his reptiles an they are never switched around, even for brief trips out of their permanent homes. This is a great tip for hands-on volunteers. To Monty, cleanliness is next to Godliness and should always have top priority. Monty also brought along some of his traveling companions to introduce to us. These included three beautiful Heloderma, one from each species, a large and friendly three year old reticulate python,and his long time buddy TeBeau, a humongous Rhino Iguana. TeBeauu made a special appearance from retirement and everyone had the pleasure of coming up and giving him a pat on the back. Monty is an intelligent, animated, witty individual who loves what he does and in this writers opinion, could sell ice to Eskimos! Of course this means everyone enjoys him and he has the unique ability to captivate any audience'on the subject of reptiles. Monty also graciously donated his appearance fee of $100, to the society. Thanks Monty! This turned out to be one of the most enjoyable programs we've had and we hope Monty will come see us again. Be sure and catch Monty's show at the Minnesota State Fair this fall. .

June Board Meeting Called to order at 7:30 PM. Glen Jacobsen, Bill Moss, John and Ruth Meltzer, Marilyn Brooks, Michele Stillinger, Connie Delles, Julie and Todd Cherveny, Greg Kvanbek, Randy Blasus, and John Levell attending. Dennis Daly and Nancy Haig were not present. PRESIDENT'S REPORT Membership report reviewed. There were five new members in April and nine in May. Current ,membership is 199. VICE-PRESIDENT'S REPORT A list of programs from 1981 to 1984 was given to Bill. These will help give us ideas for future programs. SECRETARY'S REPORT Not Given OLD BUSINESS MRS will be donating $100 to the University of Kansas' book on the Timber Rattlesnake. MRS will be listed on the back cover as a contributor. No one has volunteered their expertise (or any brainpower for that matter) on the care sheets. These were to be printed out for pet store and veterinarian general use and would have MHS as a reference. Michele will make out basic ones am review with the Board for their input. If anyone is still interested, please contact Michele at 588-4613 with your id~as. The computer is still having the bugs worked out. We would like to purchase or acquire a printer and mouse. Donations or ideas appreciated. State Fair time is coming soon. If you would like to volunteer please contact John Moriarty at 647-1334. ROUNDTABLE Marilyn suggested we print a deliver by date on the newsletters, so ~embers will get their newsletters on time. She also will have an article on tax deductible items for tax purposes. MEETING ADJOURNED: 9:32

From the President by Jake Jacobsen Many thanks to MontYl our June speaker. It was an excellent program, both fun and informative. For all of you who missed it, it was one of the best programs in a long time. It was almost embarrassing to see cages in a trailer that looked as clean or cleaner than mine. For all of you other Society organizers out there, Monty Krizan of Monty's Traveling Reptile Show is a program well worth booking. RAFFLE RESULTS Thanks to RJ Reptiles, Candy and anonymous donors for donating raffle items. The winners are listed below: Michele Stillenger Bill Moss Donna Calander Ben Ness Brian Grussing

Vence Jimerson Tim Mornard Marla Wilber George Richard Karl Hermann

Thanks to all that purchased tickets. REFRESHMENTS For May's meeting Toni Jesmer brought sweet rolls and the Rea Family brought ice cream sandwiches. For June's meeting Toni Jesmer brought cookies. Thank you/ Toni and the Rea Family. The Donation Frog received $14.35 in May and another $6.89 in June. A special thanks also goes out to John Levell for fixing the Refreshment Box, THANKS! If you'd like to help provide treats for a meeting please talk to Candy Ashbach or Nanette Jimerson at the meeting to find out about what's needed.

SPECIAL REMINDER This month's meeting WILL NOT, I repeat WILL NOT be on Friday, July ~, 1992, because of the holiday. Instead it WILL BE ON FRIDAY, JULY 10, 1992.


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The Minnesota Herpetological Society will once again be providing animals and maintaining the Herp display at the DNR Building. The display will be moved to the wall with the fish aquariums. This will move the display away from the electrical panels which was a problem last year. There will be a need to reconstruct part of the exhibit and help will be needed with the carpentry. Any interested members should contact John Moriarty. The construction will be done during July and early August. There is a need for the following animals for display. They are the Bullsnake, Fox Snake, Blue Racer, Timber Rattlesnake, Massasauga, Western and Eastern Hognose, Black Ratsnake, Garter Snake, Eastern Milksnake, Wood Turtle, Blanding's Turtle/ Western Painted Turtle, Spiny Softshell, Common Snapping Turtle, Common Map Turtle, Bullfrog, Leopard Frog and Tiger Salamander. These animals should be large individuals so that tl1ey make a good display. Sign-up sheets for display animals and volunteer cage cleaners will be at the July and August Meetings. Anyone having questions about helping with the State Fair Exhibit can contact John Moriarty at 647-1334. CORRESPONDENCE WITH THE NEW ENGLAND HERPETOLOGICAL SOCIETY Allison McNeill President PO Box 1082 Boston MA 02103 condensed version 1

Dear Herp Society, Enclosed is information regarding proposed federal legislation that c~d take away or rights to keep herps, birds and fish. I am also enclosing some further materials you can use in fighting this legislation. The handout gives a brief outline of the legislation and what is bad about it! and it can be used as a guide for writing letters to your representatives. It also tells individuals what they can do to help fight this bill. I am also enclosing a copy of the text we are using in a postcard campaign. The text of the postcard is based on the advice of the legislative consultant of the American Federation of Aviculture. I am also enclosing a list of the members of the Hose subcommittee that is pushing this legislation. In addition to writing to your own representative, telling the representative that you feel very strongly about this issue, and that you will campaign against him or her in the next election. You can get a list of the addresses and phone numbers for the representatives from your state from the League of Women voters. Their office is probably

located in your state capital or another large city. In addition, please try to contact fish and bird clubs in your area, to spread information, and to find out what they are doing to fight this legislation. We need to work together and let the government know that there are a lot of us, and we are watching them. SUBCOMMITTEE ON FISHERIES AND WILDLIFE CONSERVATION AND THE ENVIRONMENT H2-543 FORD HOB (ZIP: 20515-6232) .......................... 226-35,33 Gerry E. Studds, MA, Chairman William J. Hughes, NJ Earl Hutto, FL Thomas R. Carper, DE Robin Tallon, SC Solomon P. Ortiz, TX Thomas J. Manton, NY George J. Hochbrueckner, NY Stephen J. Solarz. NY Frank Pallone, Jr., NJ Jolene Unsoeld, WA Greg Laughlin, TX Nita M. Lowey, NY Glenn M. Anderson, CA Jack Reed, RI William J. Jefferson, LA Eni F. H. Faleomavaega, AS (Vacancy) Walter 8. Jones, NC (Ex Officio)

Don Young, AK Jim Saxton, NJ Howard Coble, NC Curt Weldon, PA Wally Herger, CA Porter J. Goss, FL Arthur Ravenel, Jr., SC Wayne Gt1chresl, MD John Doolittle, CA Robert W. Davis, MI (Ex Officio)



Dear sir/madam; I am writing to ask you not to support H.R. 5013. the 路Wild Bird ConS9Nation Act of 1992.路 It is a poorly written bill, which would not achieve its stated objective. It does not adequately support captive breeding as a substitute for the imported birds it would ban. In fact, this bill, as it is written, would doom captive breeding in its infancy. Without the availability of captive bred animals, smuggling would be rampant, defeating the purpose of the bill. The language of the bill also seems to extend its effects to other types of animals. This would be unacceptable. Its conclusions and provisions are not applicable to other types of animals. Furthermore, it makes no mention of how the Act would be enforced or how one would tell a legal animal from an illegal one.



City, State, ZIP:


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IF YOU KEEP BIRDS, FISH, OR REPTILES AND AMPHIBIANS, READ THIS NOWI!! The House of Representatives wants to take away your rights to keep these animals. On June 16, hearings begin on HR 5013. If this bill passes, any imported birds, and all reptiles and fish, would be subject to seizure, and captive breeding would be difficult or impossible. WRITE TO YOUR REPRESENTATIVE NOW, AND TELL RIM/HER THAT YOU DON'T WANT THIS BILL. Mention the following. 1) THIS BILL WILL NOT PROTECf WILD BIRDS. Their habitat is being destroyed, and they are often destroyed as agricultural pests in their native lands. If they have no economic value, there will be no incentive to save them. A bill that promotes captive breeding and limited importation from their native lands would be more beneficial. 2) OTHER FLORA AND FAUNA HAVE THEIR OWN SPECIAL CONSIDERATIONS, AND THEIR LEGISLATION SHOULD NOT BE SNUCI( IN ON A BIRD BILL. This bill could, and probably will, be interpreted as giving the Secretary of the Interior the power to ban ALL non-domesticated animals (everything but farm animals, dogs, and cats). Birds are the only afected animals for which there is a method of marking captive bred individuals. 3) THIS BILL HAS NO PROVISIONS TO PROTECT LEGALLY IMPORTED ANIMALS FROM SEIZURE. It will cause needless trauma and harm to legal animals, and needless economic damage to their owners. 4) THE BILL DOES NOT OFFER ADEQUATE SUPPORT TO CAPTIVE BREEDING AND WOULD THEREFORE INCREASE SMUGGLING. It would greatly hamper bird breeding. Reptiles and fish cannot be marked, and a ban on wild reptiles or fish would outlaw captive breeding, because there is no way to prove that an animal is captive bred. 5) THE BILL DOES NOT MENTION HOW IT WOULD BE ENFORCED. It does not state what is accepted as proof of legality, and it is based on a bill that features unconstitutional search and seizure, a "guilty until proven innocent" approach to those accused with violations, and a system of paid informants who can turn in anyone they want, in hopes that those they turn in will not be able to prove that their animals are legal. THIS IS UN-AMERICAN! Write to your representative now~ and tell him/her that this issue is important to you, and will be a major factor in your decision at election time. If you breed these animals, be sure to tell your representative that this bill will cause you economic hardship. We're in a recession, and this is an election year!



Please copy this and give it to pet shops and anyone you know who keeps birds, fish and reptiles and amphibians. If you would like more information, call 617-789-5800 and leave your name and address, or write to NEHS, Attn: Legislation, PO Box 1082, Boston MA 02103. - ,\


Herp Deductions by Marilyn Brooks, Treasurer I bet you thought you were through with thinking about taxes and deductions, at least until next spring, right? Well, I have some info for you to help you plan ahead for next year~ As you know MHS became incorporated as a Not-for-Profit organization in May of 1990. The IRS approved us for Tax Exempt status on Jan. 21, 1992. Now what does all this have to do with you, as a member or a contributor to the Society? I t means some of what you give to the Society is deductible on your Federal Income Taxes. But there is a catch (or two). If you receive something of value on return for the money given, only a portion (or none) of the contribution is deductible. The amount of money greater than the fair market value of what you receive is deductible. If you receive something that has a greater value that what you spent, you can't deduct anything. If you receive nothing for the money you gave, MHS thanks you and it is 100% deductible. Let me give you a couple of examples: You drop some money in the donation frog at break totally deductible. You buy a set of note cards - not deductible. You buy some raffle tickets - if you don't win - 100% deductible; if you do win - you can deduct the amount you spent on the tickets that is greater than the raffle item you won. You pay your membership - if you have a basic membership-sorry, no part deductible; if you have a contributing or sustaining membership you can deducted the $15.00 or $45.00, respectively. If you have any questions as to what is and is not deductible, you can call or talk to me at the meeting. Also, I can give you a receipt for your tax records, if you need them. So not only can you help the Minnesota Herpetological Society to continue to grow, you can help yourself to a bigger tax return.

TORTOISE DIETS PART 2: CALCIUM-PHOSPHORUS RATIO AND PROTEIN BY WILLIAM A. NESS One of the more important aspects of a balanced tortoise diet is the calcium/phosphors ratio. In order for the tortoise to have proper bone and shell development the calcium/phosphorus ratio should be from 4:1 to 6:1. I had heard that a 2:1 ratio, but there is some current research which indicates that higher calcium levels are needed. With improper Ca/P ratios bone growth and development is impaired and the tortoise can develop bone disorders including soft shell, rickets, and underlying bone separation, resulting in pyramiding of the shell. When preparing a tortoise diet avoid foods with a negative Ca/P ratio as it is hard to supplement enough calcium to adjust the ratio. Some foods to watch out -for include: Calcium/Phosphorus ratio Sweet corn 1:10 1:2 Brussels sprouts Cooked cauliflower 1:3 Chicken 1:14 Cod 1:10 Crab 1:4 Beef 1:20 Peas 1:5 Potato 1:5 Rice 1:6 Tomato 1:2.5 Whole wheat bread 1:3 Bran 1:14 Asparagus 1:3 Bananas 1:3 Cauliflower 1:2 Yarns 1:3 Foods with a neutral Ca/P ratio or slightly positive can be supplemented with pure calcium lactate or calcium carbonate and a vitamin mineral supplement like 'Vionate' or 'Reptovite' (Vionate alone does not have a high enough calcium ratio and needs pure calcium added, and Reptovite appears to have only a 2:1 ratio also). Foods with a 1:1 or 2:1 ratio include: Apples, snapbeans, blackberries, blueberries, enriched white bread, broccoli, cabbage, cantelope, carrots, celery, cherries, cucumber, currents, endive figs, grapes, grapefruit, kohlrabi, lemons, lettuce, oranges, parsley, pears, pineapple, plums, prunes, raspberries, cooked rhubarb, rutabagas, strawberries, squash, zucchini, and watermelon. Foods with a high Ca/P ratio can benefit from vitamin supplements but do not require additional calcium. Some foods with high CA/P ratios include dandelion greens (pesticide free, 3:1), kale(4:1), mustard greens(6:1), l


turnip greens(5:1), alfalfa(8:1), carrot tops(10:1) and cactus pads (about 15+:1). In addition to dietary calcium being provided we must also insure that the tortoise is able to utilize the calcium. If vitamin D3 is not available the calcium is not utilized. There are a number of multivitamins on the market for reptiles and those containing 1500 IU of vitamin D3 per kilo and dosed at 4% weight to the food should prevent problems. Natural sunlight路 or full spectrum artificial lights (such as 'vitalite') will aid in natural vitamin D utilization. Whenever the weather is favorable it is a good idea to give your tortoise some basking time outside, but make certain that there is adequate shade and drinking water available. With some reptiles there is some evidence that they can store up enough D3 in the summer to last through the winter, but I prefer to provide full spectrum light in the winter also. While beet, chard, and spinach greens all have very high Ca/P ratios and appear to be good calcium sources, the calcium is combined with oxalic acid an forms calcium oxalate that makes the calcium unavailable for metabolism and may lead to other problems. There are a number of sources of calcium to supplement the diet but, as it turns out, not all calcium supplements are created equal. Calcium phosphate has too much phosphorus to be a valuable supplement and even the old standby bone meal has a 2:1 Ca/P ratio. Using bone meal with a diet that has a good Ca/P ratio can actually decrease the ratio. On the other hand calcium carbonate and calcium lactate are good sources of calcium (calcium carbonate has about twice the percentage as calcium lactate) and neither one contains phosphorus. One aspect of tortoise nutrition that may not be well understood is the role of protein. Most tortoise in the wild consume very little protein but in captivity we ten to give tortoises much more protein than they should have. Too high of protein levels in the diet interfere with calcium metabolism and cause rapid growth which actually increases the demand for calcium. Tortoises with adequate dietary calcium may develop bumpy shells and other . symptoms of calcium if fed too much protein. Such things as dog, cat, and monkey chow (16%) are relatively high in protein, and some also have high fat contents. A diet that is about 4% protein should be o.k. About 0.20 9 per Kg is about right for a growing tortoise. It is easy for a tortoise to get plenty of protein in their diet without adding meat products. One head of lettuce contains over 5 grams of protein, one cup of broccoli contains 5 grams, a cup of kale contains 4 grams, one pond of endive contains 7 grams, and a cup of dandelion greens contains about 5 grams. In summary, avoid foods with a negative Ca/P ratio and supplement other foods with a good vitamin/mineral supplement and possibly additional calcium.

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FOR SALE: Gerbils, all sizes, all colors. Call Chris at 457-4635. WANTED: Male Eastern Box Turtle - (very orange) small, young. Call Brian Grussing 944-7633. WANTED: Any information about conehead lizards (laemanctus). Ex. Their natural life span and where in the world they are found in? Contact Lewis Smallwood at (817) 572-7412.

"'L 4()56 Central,~venue N E .....l~'t\:-~ .., ~IIIC r I &a Columbia HHiyhts, MN 5b421 :~~~'J:~' i C nCei'i:) CL __ ____ ._


Largest Selection of Reptiles & Amphibians in Minnesota Cages, Books, Feed & Supplies

PETS & SUPPLIES Tropical and Marine Aquana Garden pools and Avianes Food and Supp:ies for all Pets

(612) 781-0805


540 Winnetka Ave. No. Golden Valley, Mn 55427

l.N~iTl~lLC_TJQ.N_S.; Ads are run as a free service to paid members.

Bruce Oelles

(612) 593-0298

Ads for venomous species,

illegal species. or sick animals will not be run. MHS takes no responsibility for legality or health of any aninlal advertised here. Ads may be run for three consecutive months at which time ads may be rc-su bmitted. The editor reserves the right to omit ads when space is limited so as to allow all members a chance to advertise. Size of ads is limited to 4 typed lines or 1 standard size business card. P~~dJiI!~ for all newsletter items is the date of the general meeting. Send all newslett~r items to : ATIN: Newsletter Editor, Minnesota Herpetological Society, Bell fv1useum of Natural History, 10 Church 5t. S.E., Minneapolis, MN 55455-0104.











: Do you ever have a question about one of your herps and wonder who might be able to provide an an.c;\ver? Most people \vho keep pets of any kind have been in this situation at one tinle or another. " A group of MHS nlelnhers 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. Larg'c pythons and constrictors Glen (Jake) Jacobsen 757~8268 Vence Jimerson 86Y-8547

Other Snakes




'Del Jones 938-8555 John Meltzer 263-7880





Amphibians John Meltzer

Nancy Haig 789-4637 Billl\/loss 488-1383

263·7880 Greg Kvanbek 533-7723



Terrestrial turtles and tortoises


Aquatic Turtles

John Moriarty 647-1334 Ann POlWoli 489-7853


Michele Stillinger 588-4613 633-8370 Dennis Daly


Ii II Greg Kvanbek 533-7723 II John Moriarty 647-1334 II ============11

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CITY ________.. _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _.__ PHONE

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__.___ SUST1\.lNING ___ . ___ .$60.00 _.~ ____ .


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BASIC ____ ............ $l5.00

$7 .. 00 ineiudes post.age (indicate how many of each)


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CONTRIBU1TNG._ ... $30.00

OFF lClAL (i.'JRiGINAL) :fV1HS T ·SHIRT Adult:

U of MN STUDENT __._____ (check. if yes)


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Mpls. MN Permit No.2275






Vol. 12 (1992), No. 6  

Minnesota Herpetological Society Newsletter

Vol. 12 (1992), No. 6  

Minnesota Herpetological Society Newsletter