Page 1



JULY 1994





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 263-7880 John or Connie Levell 374-5422 Amphibians John Meltzer Greg Kvanbek Jeff LeClere Education Contact DavLydon

Terrestrial turtles and tortoises John Moriarty 647-1334 AnnPorwoll 489-7853 Glen (Jake) Jacobsen 757-8268 Aquatic Turtles Michele Stillinger 224-7212 Dennis Daly 331-8606

263-7880 533-7723 488-6388

Lizards Nancy Haig Bill Moss

789-4637 488-1383


Crocodilians Jeff Lang

(701) 772-0227

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 and 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.


(612) 488-1383 (612) 374-5422 (612) 623-7620 (612) 925-4237 (612) 925-4237 (612) 224-7212 (612) 753-0218 (612) 757-8268 (612) 488-6388 (612) 291-1132 (612) 757-8268

Bill Moss John Levell George Richard Randy Blasus Marilyn Brooks Michele Stillinger Gary Ash Donna Calander Jeff LeClere Barb Radanke Glen Jacobsen


(612) 347路3141 .


(612) 221路2113


(800) 222路 1222

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



Table of Contents ... MHS Upcoming Meeting Highlights MHS Business MHS Meeting Review HFYI Dime-Store Turtles by Roger B. Swain Classified Ads

page 3 page 4 page 5 page 8 page 9 page 10 .cF

From the Editor... One new feature to note for this month is the addition of a listing of new members in the MHS Business section. Only those new members requesting that their names be added to the White Pages will be listed here. This is included to help members update their White Pages throughout the year. IN ADDITION, you will find a survey enclosed this month, please fill out and return to the August or September General Meeting. This survey will help the Board serve MHS membership better.

Corrections: Pg.2 June issue, November meeting date is the 4th, page 5 June issue, proposed changes to the constitution will be held September 9th, not the 2nd due to the holiday weekend. - ed.

Next Newsletter Deadline: August 5, 1994 Send all articles, ads, & inquiries directly to the newsletter editor at: MHSEDITOR 234 West George St. st. Paul, MN 55107


MHS Newsletter Volume XIV Number 7

Welcome! Welcome to the Minnesota Herpetological Society! Meetings are presented on various topics, directly and indirectly, affecting reptiles and amphibians. Membership rates begin at $15.00; if you wish to join, please visit the Membership Secretary dUring the General Meeting held on the first friday of ev-ery month (except holiday weekends-see list below) at Borlaug Hall Room 335 on the University of Minnesota St. Paul Campus. Meeting begins at 7:00 sharp. You can also join by filling out the card on the back inside cover of this newsletter. MEETING DATES FOR 1994

August 5, 1994 September 9, 1994

October 7, 1994 November 4,1994

December 2, 1994 December 3, 1994 Holiday Party

MHS PURPOSE & BOARD OF DIRECTORS are listed on the inside front cover of this newsletter as well as the phone numbers of members who can ask specific animal related questions you may have. GENERAL MEETING AGENDA: Meeting begins at 7:00 sharp. If you are late, you can enter through the back door of the lecture room, around the corner to the right. The meeting consists of a brief address by the president on pertinent business followed by the introduction of the speaker or presentation, given by our Vice President. After the speaker there is a short break when you can purchase raffle tickets for an assortment of herp related prizes, buy books, tshirts, check out library books in our well stocked herp library and talk to a friend or meet someone new. -Following the break we have our "critter of the month", sort of a show-n-tell of your favorite herps, and the raffle drawing. Meeting ends BY 10:00 when we must leave the room, although it could end earlier allowing for more socializing. After the meeting, you may find many of our members at the local restaurants, still talking about herps! HELPFUL IDNT, board members and information people will try to answer your questions, just look for signs or members with yellow colored name tags. MEETING ETIQUETTE: We request that talking be kept to a minimum during the presentation or when board members are speaking. This is a general courtesy to the speaker as well as the other members present. If you need to leave after the meeting has begun, please enter and exit through the back doors. For the safety of all members and animals, please do not allow children to run up and down the stairs in the lecture room or in the halls. Because the University lets us use this lecture room at no charge, all children must be with parents when in the building, once again, please don't let children run around in the halls. Treats are donated by a member(s) for all, please take one to allow everyone to enjoy! Sales other than MHS merchandise, are NOT allowed in the meeting room, transactions may be performed in the hall. Animals brought for critter of the month must stay in their cages, bags, etc., before and after critter of the month. This is for the safety of the animal, too many fingers in the pot... No venomous animals are allowed without permission from the Vice President.

MHS Newsletter Volume XIV Number 7


Upcoming Meeting Highlights AUGUST PROGRAM:




As anyone who has ever attempted to photograph amphibians and reptiles can attest, obtaining decent quality photos of specimens, either in the wild or in captivity, can be one of the most frustrating aspects of herpetology. Each taxonomic group, from salamanders right on through snakes, possesses it's own unique set of photographic problems to challenge the patience of even the most dedicated and mild mannered amphibian and reptile enthusiast. Aside from the purely aesthetic value of producing quality photographs, photography is becoming an increasingly vital component in documenting species and/or identifying individual specimens encountered during the course of herpetological field research. with these thoughts in mind, the August general meeting of the Minnesota Herpetological society will feature an illustrated discussion on herp photography presented by MRS member and well known nature photographer Allen Blake Sheldon. AI's program will focus, no pun intended, on equipment, film, and techniques helpful in successfully photographing amphibians and reptiles. various "how to tips", including making photographs of captive specimens appear as if taken in the wild, will also be presented. Having been actively involved in professional nature photography for over 14 years, Al has a wealth of information to share on the subject. Usually credited to A. B. Sheldon, AI's photographs have been featured in numerous national publications including; Natural History, Wildlife Conservation, Sports Afield, Outdoor Life, Field & Stream, and Reptile & Amphibian Magazine. His photos have also appeared in several books and calendars. Al first became interested in reptiles, in particular turtles, while in the 4th grade and he still has fond memories of a snapper named "Elvis" which he kept as a pet during his grammar school years. Needless to say, Al Sheldon has been hooked on amphibians and reptiles ever since, and he recently spent a night in a Florida pond photographing frogs. Don't miss this meeting, as it will not only be educational but will provide an opportunity to view some of AI's exceptional photographs as well. JPL Upcoming Speakers September: October: November:

Jim Gerholdt Joseph T. Collins Dave Hoppe


MHS Newsletter Volume XI V Number 7

MHS Business July Board Meeting Highlights

tribute, see Marilyn Brooks, Treasurer, at the next meeting, or send a check to MHS at the address on the front

By Randy Blasus, Recording Secretary


The monthly meeting of the MHS Board of Directors was conducted July 9, 1994 at Michele Stillinger's home. A quorum of directors was present. The board took the following actions: Various topics discussed, but no actions taken.

Amphibialls 01/11 Reptiles Nalive 10 Mimlesola, written

IT'S COMING! The book you've been waiting for!

Presented and accepted were: Treasurer's Report, Membership Report and Board Meeting Minutes.

by two MHS members, Barney Oldfield and John Moriarty. This long awaited book, the only book in print on the herpetofauna of the upper Midwest states, is due out in October. Members will be able to purchase this fine book at a reduced cost through the society. Further Details fOllhcoming.

General Meeting Highlights

New Members for June


Total MHS membership: 235

Dan Bergquist, Randy Blasus, Virginia Larson and Karin Rea.

Julie Allen 3030 Holly Lane Plymouth, MN 55447

The raffle made $46 in July. See Other MHS Business below for more info. CRITTER OF THE MONTH: Robert Dawson - Nile monitor Mary Gruman - Amelanistic prairie king snakes John Levell- Red-footed tortoise Bill Moss - Nile monitor Dick Palmatier - Female Burmese python Derek Ulvenes - Moorish gecko See guidelines on page two for Critter of the Month.

Ross Bagge 5101 Boarshead Road Apt 325 Minnetonka, MN 55345

Tina Cisewski 26489 E Timberhill Road Zimmerman, MN 55398 Tel: (612)856-2865 Anton Drexler 1522 University Ave. St. Paul, MN 55104 Tel: (612)644-6424

Other MHS Business Karen King 7030 Mid Oaks Ave N If you would like to donate a refreshment, such as cookStillwater, MN 55082 ies, for a meeting, contact Refreshment Chair Nanette Tel: (612)439-0373 Jimerson at 869-8547. Or, please make a donation in our Donation Frog on the table to help us purchase cofK-cee Lawrance fee and kool-aid. 9401 Parkside Circle *** MHS has started a new conservation fund at the re- Champlin, MN 55316 quest ofa past speaker, Madeleine Linck. Since April of Tel: (612)323-9977 1994, and through September, MHS will be donating 10% of the raffle money to the Madeleine Linck Turtle Tony Olson 387 Sterling Street S. and Tortoise Conservation Fund. Madeleine Linck Maplewood, MN 55119 and Paul Buttenhoff also donated a portion of their Tel: (612)731-1444 speaker fees to this fund. If you would like to con-


MHS Newsletter Valllllle XIV NUII/ber 7

MRS General Meeting Review by Randy Blasus, Recording Secretary

This months meeting was the International Herpetological Symposium Wrapup. Our speakers were Ann porwoll, Gloria Anton and Eric Thiss. They gave us an overview of their observations from the talks and workshops at this annual event. The I.H.S. is a symposium unlike any other where one is-as liable to meet famous international researchers, amateur herpetologists as well as zoological personnel. It is a place where you can mingle with authors and publishers, people you wouldn't meet anywhere else. Definitely a meeting that everyone should attend at least once. This year was described as one of the worst organized of the last several years. A lot of the special events were timed badly such as closing the museum during the talks and not having an icebreaker because the bar was Closed. It was pointed out that next year should be better as the new Board of Directors will be led by a more detail oriented President. There was also some skepticism about the choice of topics. Instead of newly discovered species or captive propagation, more talks were directed towards natural history subjects. The emphasis is shifting because of a general belief that husbandry information is already out there. Therefore more information is needed about what is happening in the wild that can be applied to captive situations. Some of the talks highlighted were: Harold Cogger on Herp

Conservation and Threatened Species Treadmill, Don Middaugh on Elapid Husbandry, Roger Klingenberg on Herp Medicines; Kevin Wright on Infectious Diseases in Amphibians, Scott Stahl on Calcium and Ultraviolet light with Chameleon, Ernie Cooper on Appendix 1 & 2 of C.I.T.I.E.S. and lastly Ron Tremper on Reptile Ranching. Mr. Cogger, the Deputy Director of the Australian National Museum, informed the I.H.S. attendees of the sad state of his countries herpetofauna. It seems that of the herps lost, those taken for trade are only 10-15% of the animals taken by feral cats alone. Australia, however, is not willing to rid itself of its unnatural predators. Don Middaugh, Curator of Reptile Gardens, Showed some new techniques on handling venomous animals in his talk on Elapids. Roger Klingenberg briefed his audience on the basic types of medicine now on the market for treating parasites. Each of the drugs uses, toxicity and effectiveness was explained in detail. Kevin wright emphasized the need for environmental stability in amphibian housing. Things to watch for in that area include: too much dissolved oxygen in the water, a high bacteria count, chorine content and keeping the nitrogenous waste down by measuring and monitoring it. Another factor in amphibian care is vitamin use. Vitamins of the type used for most reptiles may actually cause Immune System suppression in these animals. Light quality, humidity and temperature also impact their health.


Scott Stahls' topic was on overcalcification in Chameleons. Using calcium with D-3 and a vitalight can cause calcium deposits in the joints of the lizards as well as kidney failure from D-3. Over supplementing with fat soluble vitamins can cause water retention. Using UV-A and UV-B light sources helps the animal more then overdosing on vitamins; however, natural sunlight cannot be substituted. Ernie Cooper, an Inspector for Canadian Fish and Wildlife, explained the C.I.T.I.E.S. Appendix 1 & 2 and talked about traffic in animal product. Appendix 1 is no trade whatsoever; number 2 is limited trade. The concern is controlling the illegal skin trade. Trade in pet animals is insignificant compared to the commercial trade in animal derived products. Ron Tremper explained his system for raising lizards like Bearded Dragons and veiled Chameleons. He also showed a caging system that he uses to maximize exposure to sunlight for his ranch operation. Various workshops were also offered where selected questions were fielded from the audience to a panel of experts. Attended by our speakers were workshops on Turtles and Tortoises led by A.C. Highfield and another session on Lizards led by Ron Tremper. The questions brought forward to the panels were on basic husbandry and care. The tortoise questions focused on determining if an animal is gravid and how to handle the eggs and laying process. One new item is the use of perlite instead of vermiculite in incubating eggs. It seems to allow more gaseous transfer and allows easier maintenance of the humidity and

AlHS Newslelter Volume .XlV Number 7

water weight in the chamber. Concerns for turtles were mainly on shell rot prevention and cures. Prevention is removal of rough surfaces within the aquarium, while cures are the old standby scrape and Betadine or a new cloro type paste. The lizard questions pertained mainly to Iguana husbandry and Metabolic Bone Disease. Again the importance of natural sunlight was stressed in prevention of disease and general animal health. New was the idea that Saran wrap wrapped in a double pane style around a frame that is then inserted into the screen window can be used to facilitate natural basking. It seems that the wrap possesses insulating qualities and is uv transparent. It would be nice if all of the information given could be written on these pages for your perusal; however space and time limit the amount of information we can condense from four days of informative talks. We owe thanks to our Society's members who took their time to take notes and to assemble them for our benefit into an evening packed full of information. Good job!

MINNESOTA HERPETOLOGICAL SOCIETY SURVEY/QUESTIONNAIRE This is an anonymous survey, but please put your name on it if you want to participate in making your society stronger through activities listed or volunteer programs. Or, contact President Bill Moss at (612)488-1383.

The Society 1. What do you fmd most attractive about the society in general? Check all that apply. Level of member's expertise Meeting/learning from others with similar interests Opportunity for buying books, t-shirts and other MRS merchandise Opportunity for buying frozen food items Commitment/cooperation ofthe board members Information regarding current legislation affecting animal husbandry Educational focus Family oriented Monthly newsletter Animal adoption Specialized herp library Other


What additional services could the Society provide for you?


What would you like to see added or changed in the Society to make it better for all?


List three fund raising ideas you think would be successful for the Society.

a. b. c. 5.

What could you do for the Society? List all that apply. , Attend meetings Become a board member Deliver a presentation at a meeting Submit an article for the newsletter contact new sources about events/meetings Assist in fund raising events Lobby legislation pertaining to herps Other _______________________________________________________________


Have you ever participated in any educational programs (Hands-on)? Yes


If no, why not?

Would you be interested in ¡participating in the future? _ _ Ifno, why?



If you've participated in the past but have stopped, please tell us why?

7. Would you consider being listed in the MHS White Pages or Newsletter as a Herp Assistance Person helping with questions from members about certain animals? Yes


If yes, what category?_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __

8. Would you be interested in a progressive dinner? _ _ Yes No Suggestions? _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _~ 9.

Would you be interested in going on a field trip with the society? Yes

If yes, how? Where?


No Carpool

Charter bus Out of state Wetlands

MN Zoo

Meet at site Wildlife Refuges

Out of state Zoos


Would you be interested in seeing other members collections and set-ups? Yes


No The Meetings


Do you regularly attend meetings? Yes


No,whynot?_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _~

What do you like best about the herp meetings? Announcements Guest Speaker Meeting locale/enviromnent "Critter of the Month" (show and tell) Socializinglbreak time Raffle tickets for herp paraphernalia Animal Adoption Other _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __

13. a. b. c.

List three topics you would like presented at future meetings.


Are there any topics YOU could present at a future meeting?


b. The Library 15.

Do you utilize the MHS Library at meetings? Yes

No, why not? _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __

16. Are you aware of the newsletter exchange the MHS with other societies around the country that is available in the MHS Library? Yes



Any books or magazines you would like to see available in the Library?


Do you have any suggestions or comments how the Library can be improved?

The Newsletter 19.

Are you satisfied with the newsletter? Yes

No,whynot?_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __

What do you like about the newsletter?

What do you dislike about the newsletter?


Any article or feature suggestions?


Would you write an article for the newsletter? _ _ Yes

No, why not?

22. Given that it costs over $18 per year to provide members with a newsletter, would you be willing to pay $20 per year for the basic membership? Yes No why? _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _~_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __

Projects 23. with?

Are there any conservation projects that interest you that you feel the society should become involved


Would you be interested in participating in a local mini-breeders expo? Yes




Have you participated in the MRS Frog Survey? Yes




Are there any surveys that would interest you?


Would you be interested in any field collecting for re-location of animals? Yes


If yes, which animals?

Tell us about yourself! 28.

List other herpetological organizations you belong to.

a. b. c.


What is your main herpetological interest? List in order ofpreference 1 being greatest. General husbandry Education Other Other


Conservation Veterinarian medicine

Captive breeding Research

What herps are your preferences (P) or general interests (I)? Snakes Tortoises Others

Lizards Salamanders

Frogs Crocodilians


31. Are you breeding any species now or plan to in the future? Yes No Types ___________________________________________________________________ 32.

What herpetological publications do you subscribe to? Reptile & Amphibian Magazine

Vivarium Captive Breeding Reptiles Others _____________________________________________________________

Thank you sincerely for your participation in this survey!! Please feel free to attach further comments. Surveys will be collected at the August and September General Meetings or may be mailed to the Society at the address on the front cover of the newsletter. Compiled by: Donna Calander, Barb Radanke, & Glen Jacobsen

Minnesota Herpetological Society Annual Picnic August 6th, 1994 Battle Creek Regional Park Ramsey County, St. Paul General Info: The MH8 picnic will be held the Saturday after the general meeting in August. We will be located in the smaller shelter on the hill as you enter the park. The park opens 1/2 hour before sunrise and closes 1/2 hour after sundown. We will be firing up the grills around noon. MH8 will provide: charcoal, plates, napkins, silverware and condiments. Please bring your own beverages (no kegs or hard liquor allowed), meats and something to share.

Amenities: There is running water, modern bathrooms, adequate parking, grills and tables. The park contains many walking trails which wander around lakes, marshes and large forested sections. There is also a small creek (Battle Creek) that flows to the Mississippi through the park.

Other attractions: Battle Creek is also close to a historic area named Mounds Park (located on Mounds Blvd. across the river from the 81. Paul Airport). This small park is located on a bluff overlooking 8t. Paul and boasts of having a number of ancient Native American burial mounds and was once the site of Carvers Cave. Turtle races will be held mid-afternoon when the participants are ready.

Any questions about rules (etc.) should be directed to the Picnic Chairperson: Randy at 925-4237.




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IvIHS Newsletter Volume XIV Number 7

MHS and Pet Store Herps Rave you ever visited a pet shop to look at their herp set-ups, only to discover a bunch of dead or dying animals? Did you walk away in disgust? Or did you patiently try to explain reptile and amphibian husbandry to an employee who didn't really seem to care? . Because herp keeping is becoming so popular, they are seen in more and more pet stores. Many of these pet stores do a very good job of keeping their herps healthy; many do not. I have seen large crickets sold to people with anoles too small to possibly eat them, dried-up newts in the bottom of a dried-up aquarium, a marine toad in a fully aquatic tank, box turtles with watering dishes two inches in diameter, and many other situations so ridiculous that they would almost be funny if they weren't so depressing. This might be your chance to help change that. The MRS is exploring ways to encourage pet stores that carry reptiles and amphibians to improve the way they maintain their animals. There are some very good reasons to do this. By keeping the critters healthy, and providing customers with proper husbandry advice, a pet store will help increase enthusiasm for herps among it's customers and the public in general. The animals will be better off, and the pet stores themselves will be more successful (hopefully). We're looking for ideas. The goal is to have some sort of a plan that will help the herps, the hobbyist, the pet stores and the MRS. At this point, we don't even know if pet stores will cooperate. We don't know if the current problems are caused by apathy, ignorance, economics, or something else. A few things have already been suggested, but we'd like your input so we can determine how (or if) we can address this situation. If you would like to share your thoughts on this subject, call one of the herpers listed below, or any board member, if you prefer. Greg Kvanbek Dan Berquist

533-7723 489-8396


MHS Newsletter Volume XIV Number 7

HFYI (Herpetology For Your Information) A listing of Herp relatetllzmuls-Oll events, shmvs, conferences, semillars, etc.

MHS FUNCTIONS MHS Annual Picnic at Battle Creek Regional Park, August 6th, 1994. SEE INSERT FOR DETAILS! Come join the fun, a great way to meet new MHS members, eat, and race turtles! MHS HANDS-ON at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival, August 13th - September 25th, 1994. For the past several years, MHS and the Como Zoo Docent Society have educated and delighted the patrons of the MN Renn Fest. Come join the fun! Contact Gloria Anton to sign up for weekend shifts and get more information (861-8868 m-f Ipm-8pm or 420-6158) leave your name, phone number, and time your call can be returned (see June Newsletter for more details).

CONFERENCES All OHIO Herp Conference - celebrating NOAH's 20th anniversary, September 16-18, 1994. Icebreaker at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. Contact Steve Frantz, 599 Firehouse Drive, st. Louisville, Ohio 43071, Tel & Fax: (614)745-1262. American Association of Zoo Veterinarians-Association of Reptilian & Amphibian Veterinarians-Annual Conference, October 22-27,1994. Hosted by the Pittsburgh Zoo, Pennsylvania. Contact Dr. Wilbur Amand, Executive Director, AAZV, 3400 West Girard Ave, Philadelphia, Penn 19104-1196, Tel: (215)387-9094, Fax: (215)387-2165.

OTHER EVENTS National Reptile Breeders Expo, Orlando, Florida, August 13-14, 1994. Orlando Twin Towers Hotel and Convention Center. Lectures and slide shows by: Dr. Walter Auffenberg (USA), Dr. Bill Branch (South Africa), Dr. Peter Pritchard (USA), Dave Barker (USA), Brian Cantle (Australia), and Theo Henzen (Surinam). Hotel Res: 1-800-327-2110, Expo Info (813)294-2235. Avoid lines and send $10 to National Reptile Breeders Expo, P.O. Box 3277, Winter I-laven, Florida 33885. Mid Atlantic Reptile Show 94, Maryland State Fairgrounds, September 16-18, 1994. Proceeds to purchase rainforest through the Ecosystem Survival Plan. Contact Tim Hoen, Maryland Herp Society, 2643 N Charles St, Baltimore, MD 21218, Tel: (410)557-6879.


MHS Newsletter Volume XIV Number 7

Dime-Store Turtles by Roger B. Swain Of all the things you can't buy anymore, I miss turtles the most. Pet turtles were once as essential to summer as Popsicles and nearly as common. Every five-and-ten-cent store sold them. I remember the ones at the back of the F. W. Woolworth store- back past the hair curlers, the wrapping paper, the clothespins and cosmetics. They were the baby turtles, dark green silver dollars, each with a red spot on the side of it's head. I don't remember how much these red-eared pond sliders cost. Enough that you couldn't have one every time you asked, but cheap enough, too, that everybody could take one home sooner or later. You didn't buy just the turtle, of course. You also bought a clear plastic bowl that had an island in the center topped by a two-piece palm tree- brown trunk and green plastic fronds. Someday, these turtle bowls are going to be collector's items, and people are,going to have to guess what they were once used for, because since 1975 the interstate shipment and sale of baby turtles has been illegal. One might assume that the legislation was intended to protect the turtles. As pets, most of these baby turtles were short-lived. Had they been long-lived, the market would soon have been saturated. There were rumors about someone's keeping one of these turtles for years and years, but most of us were resigned to having our turtles expire after a few weeks or months. It was as natural as finding goldfish floating belly-up in the bowl. But it wasn't the well-being of the turtles that the law was intended to protect. It was the well-being of their owners. In 1962, baby turtles were discovered to be carriers of salmonella, soaking it up from the environment and remaining contaminated indefinitely. Children who put their pet turtles in their mouth while pretending to bite off the turtles' heads got salmonella. But you didn't have to mouth your turtle directly to become infected; often, all you had to do was change the water in your turtle's bowl. These were not isolated instances. An estimated 280,000 cases a year, or 14 percent of all human salmonella cases in the United States, were attributed to the keeping of pet turtles. Follow up studies have shown a significant reduction in childhood illness as a result of banning the sale of tUltles less than four inches long, the size most often kept as pets. But what was a step forward in public health has been a step backward in education. How can children who have never handled a turtle appreciate the fable of the tortoise and the hare? Or such expressions as "turtleneck" or "to turn turtle"? More critical, will they grow up to understand the need for wetland conservation without having had the chance to develop a fondness for turtles, one of the more attractive denizens of swamps? In our eagerness to be protected, once again we seem to have cut ourselves off from nature. This rational xenophobia will in the end, I fear, be the greater evil. This isn't a call for a return to the bad old days when we embraced turtles indiscriminately. Just a reminder that we might be better off if, now and then, we stuck our own necks out.

From SAVING GRACES: SOJOURNS OF A BACKYARD BIOLOGIST by Roger Swain. Copyright (c) 1991 by Roger B. Swain. By permission of Little, Brown and Company.


MRS Newsletter Volume XIV Number 7

Classified Ads 1.0.0 = male, 0.1.0 - female, 0.0.1

= unknown, ad rates on inside back cover of newsletter

For Sale


Boa, $100; ball python, $85; eastern foxsnake, $35;

All the shed snake skins in the world, always, to use at hands-on programs. Bob Duerr 541-9417.

burmese pythons, $125; savannah monitors, $75. Call (612)388-2872 after Iprn. 1994 hatchlings, avail now! Western hognose, feeding on pinks, going fast, $30; exceptional Pueblan milksnakes, $50-75; ghost and creamsickle corns, $30; amelanistic and anerythristic corns, $20; uintermontana" Emoryi, $75; mex.mex., exceptionally bright, $50; Mexican black kingsnakes, most pure black, $35; graybanded kingsnakes, light, bright, Blairs, $75-100; leopard geckos, $20; surplus adult snakes avail. Quantity discounts avail. All calls returned. Joel (814)724-8351. 3.4 Carpet pythons, handpicked '93 breeders expo, unrelated, $175-200. Pager 643-8778, hm 774-6786.


Oet involved with your herp society! Meet new and exciting people! MHS is ALWAYS looking for volunteers for different events and MHS committees such as Hands-on and Newsletter foldings. Cun'ently we are looking for individuals interested in helping out the adoption committee. Please contact President Bill Moss for more info on these opportunities. Thanks for your support!

Misc. Snake skins tanned. Call Jane for more info at 7247437.

BOA SURVEY: Please write for my questionnaire on boa constrictor reproduction. Even if your animals have not reproduced, please respond if they are at least 4 years old and have had the opportunity. In return for a Baby ball pythons, $55; baby green water dragons, $40; completed survey you will receive a chart showing the 1.0.0 northern pinesnake, black & white, $90; 0.0.1 subspecies, their scale counts and range. William Joy, black pine, 3 ft, $90. Contact Mike at (507)289-9833. P.O. Box 300703, Arlington, TX 76007, USA. INTERNET: 7223.220@COMPUSERVE.COM 1.0.0 Common boas, juv. 3 ft, male dark, female light tan, both captive born, $175 pr, $100 ea; 1.0.0 ball python,3 ft, $75; 1.0.0 Bimini boa, very long term captive, wild caught on Bimini, needs vertical cage, current cage avail, $125, $200 w/cage. All snakes feeding on frozen rats. Cuban cockroaches also for sale. Contact Jake or Donna at (612)757-8268.

Baby Burmese pythons, captive born, $50 each. Contact Jay Whitesel at (507)367-2470.

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Captive bred children's pythons, $125; Brazilian rainbow boas, $250; Columbian rainbow boas, $85; Hogg Island boas, $350. Due May/June, can deliver to Twin Cities. Contact Mark Wendling (319)857-4787.

1.1 Ouyanan red-tailed boas, $650 for pair. Contact Fred or Liz (612)476-0306.

The Ophidian Herpetological BBS

(602) 837-7305 Multiple Message Bases, New Files Weekly, On Line Hap Vet.

Breeders ListS. Herp Society Information, Hap Hunting ReJXIrts. Classified Ads. and Offline Readers for Long Distance Callers.


MHS Newsletter Volume XIV Number 7

Classified Ads Continued•.. MHS Merchandise For Sale or Petting Zoos Parties or Promotions



Pinkies - $6.00 doz. Fuzzies- $6.00 doz. Adults - $9.00 doz. Pups - $10.00 doz. Adults - $12.00 six $24.00 doz.

ANIMALS OF WALTON'S HOLLOW Exotic & Farm Animals Bill & Jean Walton 5425 Peterson Road White Bear Lake, MN 55127-6713 (612)426-8163

Orders taken by Terry Scheiber only. Must be at least one week in advance of general meeting where they will be delivered. Tel: (612)440-7482. MISC .. MRS also offers an assortment of other herp related items for sale at the general meetings including: books magazines posters notecards t-shirts

buttons stickers bumper stickers patches

Look for sales of merchandise at the far right hand side of the meeting room. Transactions can be handled before the meeting, during the break and after the meeting ends if time allows. All proceeds

from the sale of MRS merchandise goes towards the costs of running the society such as: Speaker fees, library books, charitable donations, etc. MRS is a nonprofit organization and is volunteer run.

Featuring .. .IAMS ... Natural Life... Science Diet Tetra... Toppers ... Other Specialty Foods

VIVARIUM PETS A Full Line of Pet Supplies & Unusual Pets Gloria Anton 612-861 -8868

6519 Nicollet Ave. S. Richfield, MN 55423

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

M·F 10-8 Sat 10·6 Sun, 12-5 6519 Nicollet Ave. So. Richfield, MN 55423



MHS Newsletter ValumeXlV Number 7


BILLY SECORD - (612)920-1987


JOHN & RUTH MELTZER (612) 263-7880



BREEDING INVENTORY SURVEY: Everyone keeping live reptiles and amphibians is asked to contribute to this annual report. Please submit the following information current January 1st of each year. (1) inventory or your collection, list numbers and sex, (2) list all species bred during the previous year, (3) any longevity records, (4) please print clearly, your name, address, and telephone number as you want them listed, (5) please do respond. Send all information to: Frank Slavens, P.O. Box 30744, Seattle, WA 98103, Fax: 206-546-2912.

TIMBER RATTLESNAKE - LIMITED EDITION PRINT BY DAN KEYLER This print is from an original pen & ink drawing and is limited to an edition of 141 signed and numbered prints. Each print will cost $15 and can be personalized upon request. MRS members interested in purchasing a print should contact the artist at MRS meetings or by calling (612)347-8760 (W) or (612)933-2055 (R). Proceeds will be used to recover printing costs and further Timber Rattlesnake research in Minnesota. So place your order soon they won't last long!


r I

CLASSIFIED AD INSTRUCfIONS: Ads are run as a free service to paid members. 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 one week before the general meeting. NON MEMBER & EXPANDED SIZE ADS: Line ads:$.10 per word. Business Cards: $5.00 per month. Three or more months One month only $7.50 per month Quarter page ads: $10.00 per month Half page ads: $20.00 per month $15.00 per month Full page ads: $40.00 per month $25.00 per month

Six or more months $5.00 per month $10.00 per month $15.00 per month

Send all newsletter items to: Minnesota Herpetological Society Newsletter Editor, 234 West George Street, St. Paul, MN 55107.

MEMBERSHIP AND T路SHIRT ORDER FORM MINNESOT A HERPETOLOGICAL SOCIETY NAME(S) ________________________________________________________________ ADDRESS _____________________________________________________________________ CITY ____________________________ PHONE ____________________________

STATE ________



NO ____


HERP RELATED INTERESTS: ______________________________________________________


NEW ____ RENEWAL ____ _--"SUSTAINING ..... $60.00

----INSTITUTION .... $25.00

____CONTRIBUTING..... $30.00

_---"BASIC .... $15.00

Are you currently (or will be) a University of Minnesota student? _ _(check if yes) HOW DID YOU HEAR OF MHS? _______________________________________________________

Newest T-Shirts

Two Designs

($17.00 includes postage)


($14.00 postage included)

Circle Choice

North American Turtles

Iguana (Head Shot)

Indicate how many of each size SMALL___ LARGE ___ ADULTS; MEDlUM ___ X-LARGE___


Indicate how many of each size KlDS ___






Please enclose payment. MAKE CHECKS PA YABLE TO: Minnesota Herpetological Society. Membership is for 12 months from date of joining. A receipt will be sent only on request. Allow 6-8 weeks for processing. MAlL TO: Minnesota Herpetological Society, Bell Museum Of Natural History, 10 Church Street South East, Minneapclis, MN 55455-0104

Non-Profit Rate U. S. Postage


PAID Mpls.MN Pennit No. 2275






Vol. 14 (1994), No. 7  

Minnesota Herpetological Society Newsletter