Page 1


VOL. 16 NO.6


Giant Day Gecko Phelsuma madagascariensis grandis (see Tony Gamble's article on page 6)

Photo hy Tony Gamble

MINNESOTA HERPETOLOGICAL SOCIETY Newsletter Volume 16 Number 6 June 1996

Contents News, Notes & Announcements....... ........... ............... ............. ......... ............... ......... .. General Meeting Review by Michelle Stephan...................... ..................................... Ecoviews: Lizards Eat More Spiders Than We 1hink by Whit Gibbons.................... Notes on Breeding the Giant Day Gecko by Tony Gamble.................... .................... Field Notes: Habitat Use by Randy Blasus ...................................... ;.......................... MHS Business.. .... ....... ........... .................... ........ ...................... ................................... Calendar of Events................ ....... ............... ............. ............... .................. .................. Classified Advertisements..........................................................................................

The Minnesota Herpetological Society is a nonprofit

organization associated with the: Jarres fum Bell l-ruseum of Natural History university of Minnesota

1 4 5 6 10 11 11 12

MHS VOICEMAIL:(612) 624-7065 E·mail:

President: Gloria Anton (612) 420·6158

Vice President: Michael Gaunt (612) 623·7620

MHS Statement of Purpose: 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.

George Richard (612) 623-7620

MHS Board of Directors

Education Chair:

President Vice President

Membership Secretary Recording Secretary Treasurer Editor Immediate Past President Member at Large Member at Large Member at Large Member at Large

Gloria Anton Michael Gaunt George Richard




Sean Hewitt (612) 935·5845 Adoption Chair:

G\enJacobsen (612) 757·8268

Michelle Stephan Marilyn Blasus John Levell Bill Moss Donna Gaunt Nancy Haig

Editor: John P. Levell (612) 374·5422

Hennepin Co. Regional Poison Center

Minnesota Herpetological Society Newsletter is published monthly by the Minnesota Herpetological Society Manu~ scripts and advertisements may be submitted in any fonnal, 3 112 inch IBM or Macintosh compatible disks preferred. The publication deadline farads is always the weekend of the "MRS general meeting. Submissions should be sent to: MHS Editor, do The Bell Museum of Natural History, 10

(612) 347-3141

Church St. SE, Minneapolis. MN 55455-0104.

Mark Schmidtke Vacant



Minnesota Poison Control System

Local: (612) 221·2113 Out of State:

(800) 222-1222

© Copyright Minnesota Herpetalogical Society 1996. Contents lllay be reproduced provided that al1 material is reproduced without change and proper credit is given authors and

MHS Newsletter VoullOne 16 Number 6

News, Notes & Announcements 1lJ!lD~速mmfiIID~ IMI速速(tfiIID~ Illifi~llnnfi~lln(t則

Reptile Palace Orchestra

The Vice - President's Report

Newly tenured associate professor Seth Blair and Zoology Department artist Bill Feeny have put together an unusual musical group called The Reptile Palace Orchestra. With one CD already released (Early Reptile on BoatRecords), and another in the making, they are creating quite a buzz in the national alternative folk scene. The Reptile Palace Orchestra will play music from any source. They are not afraid to jump from James Brown to Bulgarian dance tunes to Eric Satie. The unique instrumentation and arrangements make it possible for the band to coherently skip across many musical genres and styles. The lineup includes Anna Vogel on lead vocals, Seth Blair on cello and vocals, Bill Blumfumgagnge, fiddle, mandolin and vocals, Cathy Moore, dumbek, flute and zurna, and Bill Feeny on guitar and vocals. Watch for The Reptile Palace Orchestra at a venue near you or pick up a copy of their CD.

July Program: Arachnids.

Guest Speaker: Jim Gerholdt Andnow for something completely different. .. aman with a python up his nose. No, wait, wrong meeting. A short time back, I was cleaning out a monitor cage at home when I looked up to see (at least by my definition) a pretty large spider crawling down the wall beside me. Of course my first reaction is to reach over and squish his little arachnid guts out, but that was overshadowed by the dawning realization that my bearded dragon had seen it as well and would gladly get rid of it his own way. When all was said and done (and the dragon calmed with crickets) the beastly thing ended up outside in an oak tree to live out his days eating bugs. It was later that day that I spoke with Jim Gerholdt to confirm having him speak at the June meeting. He told me a little bit about some of the Arachnid species he would be showing in his slide presentation. They are the stuff of the arachniphobes nightmares; spiders with legs so long they would hang over the edges of a standard size dinner plate and some particularly interesting species that would make a quick lunch out of some of our smaller herps. For those of you that aren't very familiar with his work, Jim was one of the original members of the society those many years ago. He was the newsletter editor and a jack-ofall-trades in the society for the first six years of its existence. It was his work during this time that set up the adoption program ... so I guess it's his fault we've got all these iguanas floating around. Jim is also an avid photographer and has put together a collection of some of the best arachnid slides you'll ever see. Thanks are in order to Teri Schweiss for a very informative presentation at the last meeting. Veterinary care is something a lot of us don't take into consideration with herps and I hope that even if a lot of the jargon was over our heads we at least have the sense to seek out professional care when something is wrong with our animals. By the way, Teri, is there a book I can pick- up that lists all thosefun words you get to say? I also want to thank her for donating her speaker fee back to the society. I would like to point out that just because the upcoming meeting is featuring arachnids, that's no excuse not to bring your herps for "Critter of the Month." The turnout of critters for the last meeting was great and I was pleased to see an adoption animal return for display. Oh, and one more parting word, just because I can say it too ... dystocia. Michael D. Gaunt

Editor's Note: The preceding article, author unknown, has been reprinted from the Fall 1995 Zoology Annual Report of the University of Wisconsin in Madison, WI. JPL

June's Raffie Donors F.R.A.W.G. M.H.S. Randy Blasus Lizard of Oz/Bill Baker Twin Cities Reptiles Theresa Kollander

FRAWG T-shirt MHS T-shirt Pogs & Magazines Cage Liners & Medicines Assorted Cage Accessories Stuffed Frog

A portion of the proceeds from MHS raffle sales are allocated to the MHS Conservation Fund. Congratulations to all the winners and thank you to everyone who purchased tickets.

Amphibian Quiz #61 A Frog Xing is: A) A Szechuan dish made with froglegs and ginger B) Frog behaviour that cannot be talked about in front of minors C) Shorthand for frog crossing D) A French ilfunigrant of Chinese descent E) None of the above

Location: Borlaug Hall, U of M SI. Paul Campus Date and Time: 12 July 1996 - 7:00 p.m. (See map on the inside back cover)


MHS Newsletter Voulume 16 Number 6 of the expedition, the nine person team found the two specimens they describe in today's edition of the journal Science. Puny Brain One included a 5-foot-4-inch skull (in 350 pieces) that clearly belonged to Carcharodontosaurus, along with much of the enormous skeleton. The thin skull- which had many hollow sections to reduce weight stress on the neck - held only about 4 ounces of brain for the 8-ton animal. "We were stunned to discover" that its brain case is only half the size ofT. rex's, Sereno said, but "it was similar in size to predators we knew from the Jurassic." At any rate, it likely was the boss carnivore of the area, feeding off the numerous herbivores in what was then a lush river delta. About 5 percent longer than the largest known specimen of T. rex (which thrived 20 million years later), the new fossil skeleton shows how distinctly dinosaurs evolved after Africa became geographically isolated about 100 million years ago and yet how similar they were to the standard body plan of large theropods (bipedal, claw-footed carnivores) in other parts of the world. Sereno's team also found most of the skeleton of a previously unknown species of smaller carnivore they named Deltadromeus agilis ("agile delta-runner"). At about 25 feet long and weighing 3 to 4 tons, it was a slender, fast "pursuit predator," Sereno said, as opposed to the slower giant Carcharodontosaurus, a "sabotage attacker," and to the only other large predator from the area, Spinosaurus - a presumably less-nimble creature with a large, sail-like structure atop its back. Wide Distribution Deitadromeus, found by expedition member Gabrielle Lyon, is surprisingly similar to Asian Cretaceous predators such as Velociraptor (featured in the movie "Jurassic Park"), but about three times as large. The presence of such a creature in Africa may indicate that its type - and perhaps other familiar dinosaur lineages - were much more widely distributed than previously thought. Until the new find, that was a plausible, if poorly supported, hypothesis. During the Triassic period, when all the continents were combined into Pangaea, dinosaur types were similar. By the late Jurassic, Pangaea had split into two submasses: Laurasia, which would later divide further to producc modem-day Asia and North America; and Gondwana, which would cleave into South America, Africa, Antarctica and Australia. Paleontologists had long assumed that continental drift plus the rising of primitive seas effectively separated animals groups on each land mass fairly early. It also seemed logical that remains found in North America would bear little evolutionary resemblance to those from Africa. The new discoveries cast some doubt on tbat notion. Carcharodontosaurus, Sereno said, seems most closely related toAcrocanthosallflls, which flourished in North America in the early Cretaceous. This seems to indicate that dinosaur strains "were criss-crossing east to west as well as north and south," he said, and that the geographic isolation of Atrican fauna "lasted only a short time."

Tyrannosaurus rex Dethroned? Scientists Find Remains of 2 Dinosaurs: One Huge, One Quick. Dinosaur hunters led by University of Chicago paleontologist Paul Sereno have come out of Africa with two extraordinary trophies: a new species Of high-speed killer and the remains of a ferocious 45-foot-long carnivore with 5-inch knife-edged teeth that may have been larger than Tyrannosaurus rex. The 93 million-year-old fossils, unearthed last year from cliffs at the edge of the Sahara in Morocco, provide a long-sought "missing-link" in the history of dinosaur evolution, scientists say. "The most important thing about the discovery," said Mark Norell, associate curator of the American Museum of Natural History in New York, "is that it now appears that each of the continents around the world during the Cretaceous had one of these, incredibly large, bipedal carnivorous animals." Such behemoth predators of the Cretaceous - the period from 146 million to 65 million years ago - have been found in North America, Asia and South America. But no definitive fossil record of a similar titanic animal had been found in Africa. A few tantalizing bone fragments of what appeared to be a whopping meat-eater tentatively called Carcharodontosaurtls saharicus ("sharked-tooth dinosaur of the Sahara") were unearthed by German researchers 50 years ago, but they were destroyed during a bombing raid in World WarH. A Missing Link ThatIeft a "profound scientific question," Sereno told a news conference Thursday at the National Geographic Society, which funded the dig. A common dinosaur lineage was fairly well understood through the late Jurassic period, which ended about 150 million years ago as the present-day continents began to split from the original conglomerated "supercontinent" scientists call Pangaea. "But what happened to the dinosaurs that occupied all these (different) land surfaces during their subsequent breakapart?" Sereno said. "What happened to dinosaur evolution" after each of the land masses was isolated? Those questions have been hard to answer, he said, because "95 percent of our information about the late Cretaceous - the last 30 million years of dinosaur evolution -comes from North America and Mongolia and central Asia. ... Africa was in a large sense a missing link." So last year, Sereno's party, which included scientists from Morocco and France as well as U.S. students, began searching the arid hills of a region called Kem Kem. It "was the most brutal expedition I've everled," said Sereno, 38, who had investigated a nearby site in 1993 and is best known for trailblazing finds on other continents - including the 1991 discovery in the Andes of a small species called Eoraptor that proved to be 228 million years old. On the African trip, temperatures hit 120, and "I lost 25 pounds in the first month," Sereno said. In the last few days


MHS Newsletter Voulume 16 Number 6

A Means of Migrating

Official Notification

Sereno said, "Perhaps land bridges or shallow seas remained between Laurasia and Gondwana after they had split apart." If so, he writes in the June issue of National Geographic, this would have allowed migrating dinosaurs - and evolutionary change - to spread between both land masses. keeping dinosaur forms more or less similar worldwide. This will remain an extremely controversial speculation until much more fossil evidence surfaces. Meanwhile, said Michael Brett-Surman, museum specialist for dinosaurs at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History, "It seems that megasizes were attained very early on and not just restricted to one animal and one place. "There were probably super-predators during most of the age of dinosaurs," he added. "Now Tyrannosaurus rex is

Proposed Changes to the Bylaws of the Minnesota Herpetological Society Ratification Vote. Where: Room 335, Borlaug Hall, U of M St. Paul Campus. When: September 6, 1996 - 7:00 pm. Who: All Active MHS Members in Attendance.

It is the position of the MHS Board of Directors that the following revisions to the MHS Constitution should be adopted. These resolutions will establish a minimum age requirement for board members of at least eighteen (18) years of age and will help clarify who is able to hold office. In the proposed changes listed below deletions are designated by ,hike dnodgh type, while additions are designated by bold underline. The final decision regarding these proposed revisions resides with the membership of theMHS present at the September 1996 general meeting and all active members arc encouraged to attend.

just one of the guys. "

Editor's Note: The preceding article, credited to the Washingtnn Post author unknown, orginally appeared on the front page of the May 17, 1996 edition of the Mpls. Star Tribune.

ARTICLE II. MEMBERSHIP Section 2.06 Active Members Rights.


Current Constitution: Active members shall be entitled to vote, shall be eligible to hold office and committee posts, and shall be entitled to all benefits ofMHS.

The Minnesota Herpetological Society wishes a warm welcome to the following new members: Madelyn Bryce, Linette George Richard. Bentley, and Alvaro Garcia.

Proposed Change: Active members shall be entitled to vote, shall be eligible to holdoffiee a"dcommittee posts, and shall beentitled to all benefits ofthe MHS. Active members shall be entitied tn hold office provided that they are eighteen (18) years or age or older.

June's "Critter of the Month" Randy Blasus

Western Hognose Snake

Revised Constitution: Active members shall be entitled to vote, shall be eligible to hold committee posts, and shall be entitled to all benefits of the MHS. Active members shall be entitled to hold office provided that they are eighteen (18) years of age or older.

Heterodolt nasicus Jody Statz

African Spur-thighed Tortoise

Geochelone sulcara Eastern Box Turtle

ARTICLE Ill. BOARD OF DIRECTORS Section 3.0 I MHS Administration

Terrapene carolina Michael Gaunt

Savannah Monitor

Derek Vlvenes

Leopard Gecko (Hatchling)

Varanus exanthematicus

CUlTent Constitution: MRS shall be administered by a board of directors comprised of the elected officers, four active membersat-large and the immediate past president or the elected officers and five active members-at-Iarge. Determination will be dependent on the requirement that immediate past president be a one year term.

Eublepharis macularius John Levell

Alligator Snapping TurUe

Macroc/emys temminckii Gloria Anton

Jalisco Milksnake

Lampropeltis triangulum arcifera

Thanks for the Goodies

Proposed Change: MHS shall be administered by a board of directors comprised of the elected officers, four active membersat-large and the immediate past president or the elected officers and five active members-at-large. all of whom are eighteen (18) years orage or older and who shall be members of the MHS in good standing. Determination will be dependent on the requirement that inmIediate past president be a one year term.

For bringing refreshments to the June meeting the MHS says thanks to the Rea family for the ice creanl sandwiches and to Dave and Kathy Boron for the cookies. This month's refreshments were fantastic. No one signed up for next month, so if you'd like to donate refreshments please call (612) 869-8547. Thank You. Nannette Jimerson.

Revised Constitution: MHS shall be administered by a board of directors comprised of the elected officers, four active membersat-large mId the inmIediate past president or the elected officers and five active members-at-large, all of whom are eighteen (18) years of age or older and who shall be members of the MHS in good standing. Determination will be dependent on the requirement that inmIediate past president be a one year term.

Dr. Teri Schweiss

Ball Python

Python reg ius


MRS Newsletter Voulume 16 Number 6

This month's speaker was Dr. Terri Schweiss from All About Pets Veterinary Clinic. She grew up in South Dakota with absolutely no love for reptiles. It took a summer internship, where she was put in charge of the reptile displays, for her to really learn to love these beautiful animals. TetTi is a member of the Association of Reptiles and Amphibian Veterinarians. This is the first step towards unifying veterinarians to help them learn more about the specialized care these animals need. Especially, since there is no certification for specializing in reptile veterinary care and there is only about 4 books on reptile medicine on the market. Most of the infonnation that Terri has obtained came from other vets, or personal experience. The most common reptile Dr. Schweiss sees is the iguana, which is what she concentrated most of her wonderful talk on. There are two books she says ALL iguana owners need to own; Dr. Frye's Iguana, Iguana (the revised edition), and General Maintenance of the Green Iguana by Philippe de Vosjoli. There are still a few things in these books that Terry does not agree with; for instance thc diets. Terri says that it has been found that no iguana of any age needs animal protein, in fact all protein should come trom vegetable proteins like beans and not mice or crickets. Terry stressed in her talk that most people should not be buying iguanas as their first reptile. In her store, very few people buy these animals because the staff has been trained by the vets to teach a prospective owner all about the new pet. If an iguana is sold (which does not happen often), $200 of equipment is sold with it, including a book. The caging requirements she reconnnends for iguanas include; cage carpets or newspaper (no barks, gravel, or peat moss), logs that have been sterilized, a large rock or two, eeramic heater (the animal should not be able to come in contact with it), a Vita-lite, possibly a black light, and absolutely no hot rock. Another important thing to do in the summer is to take advantage of the nice weather and sun bathe the lizards. Dr. Schweiss stressed that there is no substitute for natural sunlight. In California, the iguanas reach gigantic proportions and do not have as many problems with metabolic bone disease as the iguanas in Minnesota. Terri believes this is because iguanas are kept outside there. People in Minnesota do not have this option, so when summer comes, take the lizards outside. The right amount of water and humidity are also important in maintaining the health of any animal especially the iguana which should have a humidity of 80% to 90%. In

order to do this: spray water into the cage two times per day (let the cage dry out completely) and two baths should be given per week (supervised). At about 5 years, many iguanas are suffering from chronic long tenn dehydration due to improper humidity levels over time. The diet for iguanas should be varied and can consist of fresh fruits and vegetables, flowers, and commercial iguana foods. No one food should be given exclusively, variety is the key. Vitamin and calcium combined in a 2: I ratio (for juveniles, adults differ) should be put on the fresh foods about every other feeding, but never on commercial foods, and not every day. Things that are NOT food: dog and cat food (yes the animal will get big fast, but is not healthy), and Tetra land turtle and iguana food. The most frequently seen medical problems Dr. Schweiss sees, aside from broken tails, are metabolic bone disease caused by improper temperatures andlor lack of Vita-lite. Common sign of this disease are: "rubber jaw" where the jaw actually can be bent due to the lack of calcium in the bones, swollen timbs, swollen eyes, andlor bladder stones in very thin animals. Other problems Terri sees in lizards are egg binding, rectal prolapse, mites, bites from prey items like mice or crickets, and worms. Another big problem Dr. Schweiss has to deal with is people who are unwilling to pay vet bills on an animal that they paid very little for. She believes if the animal costs $\00 dollars instead of $20, a) less people will impulsively buy them, b) more people will stop thinking of them as a "disposable" pe~ and c) if the animal does get sick, more will be willing to get the necessary care for it. Some of the common problems Dr. Schweiss sees with turtles are compounded by the fact that most of their body is covered by an impenetrable shell. Over grown beaks are trimmed with a dremmel tool and split shells are sealed with epoxy. Snakes most commonly have mouth rot, bad sheds, or prey bites. Other common problems are injured tear ducts or neurological diseases. Overall, the most important thing to remember is prevention. If one follows the recommended diets, cage set ups, water, and lighting requirements, there should not be a problem. Terri emphasized two other points: NEVER feed your animals live rodents or more insects than it can eat in one sitting, AND make sure to do yearly veterinary examinations. GREAT TALK TERRI. Very infonnative. I hope you will do more talks for our society. Thank you.


MHS NelVs(eller Vou(wne 16 Number 6

ECOVIEWS By Whit Gibbons LIZARDS EAT MORE SPIDERS THAN WE THINK "Will you walk into my parlor?' said the Spider to the Fly." That 19th路century rhyme's underlying premise, predator-prey relationships, was the focus of a recent ecological study with far-reaching implications. In this case, however, island-dwelling spiders were the prey. Lizards were the predatory hosts. A fairly reliable ecological principle is that the number of species inhabiting islands varies with island size. Small islands generally have fewer species of a particular group of animals than larger islands in the vicinity. Relative to this phenomenon, Tom Schoener and David Spiller of the University of California at Davis conducted a difficult but informative experiment. They wanted to determine how factors other than habitat size influence success or failure of species colonizing a new area. In particular, they sought to answer which had more influence on invasion success, island size or the presence of predators. Such questions are of increasing interest because of the high level of worldwide travel by humans and the likelihood that small organisms might be transported to new areas. Understanding the ecological principles involved can only serve to our advantage. Several common species of orb spiders that build silk webs on the ground occur on a chain of islands in the Bahamas. The chain is about a dozen miles long and includes more than a hundred islands that range from the size of a backyard to the size of a football field. The larger the island, the more likely spiders are to occur, but some of the smaller islands have spider populations. Lizards were present on some of the larger islands and absent on others; none were present on the smallest islands. To test the effect of lizard predation on spiders, the scientists selected fifteen islands. Five were large islands with lizards; five were large ones without lizards; five were small islands, which had no lizards. One of the most common species of orb spiders in the Bahamas was chosen for artificial colonization ofislands. A selected number of male and female spiders was released on each of the fifteen islands. The following year, three times as many of ,'ach sex were released on each island. After the simulated colonization, the researchers checked how many spiders remained after various intervals of time. Even the larger islands were small enough to allow an arachnologist (someone who studies spiders) to find individuals because of their characteristic webs. If lizards were present, the bleakest time for spiders was four days after they were introduced to the island, when

fewer than 40% of the spiders survived. In the absence of lizards, more than 65% of the spiders survived. To determine the long-term persistence of colonizing spiders, the investigators sampled all fifteen islands each year. Most of the small islands bad more than a dozen spiders remaining. Most of the large, lizard-free islands had more than 200 spiders. But only one of the islands where lizards lived had any spiders at all: two. By the end of the five-year experiment, the introduced orb spiders were extinct on all the islands on which lizards were present. One small island still had spiders, and three of"the large, lizardless islands had enormous orb spider populations. One conclusion drawn from the study is that the presence of predators had a stronger influence on survival success and persistence of spiders than did the size of the island. Tbe investigators suggest that from a conservation ecology perspective more emphasis should be given to studying predation effects on islands. Another point to be gained from the study is that subtle ecological phenomena, sucb as control of a prey species by a small, natural predator like a lizard, can have dramatic and long-lasting effects on the ecology of a region. Lizards and spiders may seem like insignificant creatures. But the interaction of predators and prey - and its ecological effects - is far from insignificant. Though mostly unrecognized by us, such interactions are in constant progress in natural habitats among thousands of species. Studies such as this one add to our understanding of the complexities of the natural world. And the more we understand about the environmental mosaic around us, the more we can appreciate the significance of the diversity of life. Editor's Note: Dr. J. Whitfield Gibbons is professor of ecology at the University of Georgia and is the division head at the Savannah River Ecology Laboratory in Aiken, South Carolina. Probably best known as author or coauthor of numerous books including; Keeping all the Pieces, Their Blood Runs Cold: Adventures with Reptiles and Amphibians, Poisonous Plants and Venomous Animals of Alabama and Adjoining States and The Life History and Ecology of the Slider Turtle, Dr. Gibbons also writes a weekly syndicated column for the New York Times Regional News. The preceding article is one installment of this column and has been provided for publication in the MHS Newsletter through the kindness and consideration of Dr. Gibbons. 0000000000000000000000000000000000000000


MHS Newsletter Voulume 16 Number 6

NOTES ON BREEDING THE GIANT DAY GECKO (Phelsuma madagascarensis grandis). By Tony Gamble the next, all wbile the geckos are still in the cage. This eliminates the need to physically remove them. Day Geckos kept in large cages also seem to know that tbey have the space to escape the "Giant Hands" if they need to and are less skittish when routine cage maintenance is performed. The cages in which I'm currently housing my adultP. m. grandis are two foot cubes made of melamine-coated wood. There is a one foot high dam along the front bottom of the cage with a screen door on top of the dam. This design allows the geckos plenty of privacy, but still allows good ventilation and easy access. The cages are illuminated with 18" florescent Vita-lites速. Heat is supplied by a 25W incandescent bulb mounted on the ceiling that keep each cage at about 84-88'F (2931'C) during the day. The room the cages are in is kept at about 7585'F(24-29"C) for most ofthe year (more information on temperature cycling is provided in the section on breeding). Cypress mulch is used as a substrate in the cages as it is easy to Male Photo by Tony Gamble clean and helps keep up the humidity in the cage. Several different types of live plants are used for NATURAL HISTORY Giant Day Geckos, Pilelsuma decoration, hiding and egg-laying. Pathos, Sallsevieria, and Dracaena are all good choices and seem to be fairly hardy in madagascarensis, are one of the most common species of a vivarimn situation. Along with the live plants, several gecko in Madagascar. They occur virtually everywhere on the branches and pieces of cork bark are placed in the cage for island, with tbe P. m. grandis subspecies occupying the basking and hiding areas. northernmost part of the range. They are one of the few Clean water is provided in a shallow dish on tbe floor indigenous species that does not seem affected by the deforesof the cage. Most Giant Day Geckos will drink from this, the tation and environmental degradation that is occurring on the only exceptions that I have found are newly imported animals island and they are conunonly found in and around human and young hatchlings, all others will drink from a bowl. The dwellings. This hardiness and adaptability to a wide range of cages are sprayed with water twice a week to provide a little habitats and conditions in the wild contributes to their vigor extra hmnidity for the lizards and the plants. and ease of breeding in captivity. Giant Day Geckos are large, active and almost perpetually hungry lizards. To successfully breed they need a CAPTIVE CARE I have kept and bred GiantDay Geckos fruit, all in large quantities. GiantDay varieddietofinsectsand in a variety of different styles and sizes of enclosures and I've Geckos are also very prone to obesity. There is a very fine line found that generally, bigger is better. Large cages offer more between a well-fed breeder and an over-weight, non-producroom for natural behaviors and can also get cleaned in stages, ing lump. My adults are fed large crickets twice per week and i.e. cleaning one half ofthe enclosure one day and the other half superworms an additional two times per week. This is suppleMadagascar, the World's fourth largest island, floats in the Indian Ocean like a jewel. While its landscapes and people are unique in their own right, the flora and fauna are wbat make the island famous. Eighty percent of its plants, 90 percent ofits reptiles and all of its mammals are found nowhere else on earth! Among the more interesting reptiles on the island are the Day Geckos of the genus Pllelsuma. Brigh~ almost florescent colors and the unusual habit (for a gecko) of being active during the day make them a fascinating tbread in Madagascar's biological tapestry. It's no wonder that they're so popular as pets. Beginning in the late 1980' s one of the largest varieties of Day Gecko, tbe Giant Day Phelsuma Gecko, madagascarensisgrandis, became available in the U.S. The first time I saw one I was hooked and quickly thereafter acquired two pairs of wildcaught adults. Over the next few years I bought one more wild-caught male and a couple of captive-born females. With this group as a nucleus I went on to keep and eventually breed some ofthese fascinating lizards from Giant Day Gecko Adult the magical island of Madagascar.


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Minnesota Herpetogical Society Annual Picnic Saturday, July 20th, 1996 Locke Park 400 71stAvenue NE Fridley, Anoka County, MN General Info: The MHS picnic will be held Saturday, July 20th. We will be located at shelter 2, at the end of the park road. The park opens 9:00 am and closes 9:00 pm. The grills will be fired up around noon, and as requested thereafter. MHS will be providing charcoal, plates, napkins, utensils, and condiments. Please bring your own beverages (no kegs or hard liquor allowed), grilling meats, and something to share. Amenities: There is running water, restrooms, adequate parking, grills, and picnic tables. A small play area is available for children. The park also has a regional trail system which runs through the woods along Rice Creek. Local Attractions: Locke park is located about two miles south of Springbrook Nature Center, which has a large display of reptiles and amphibians, as well as many walking trails.

Any questions should be directed to the picnic chairpersons, Jody & Roger, at 424-8816.

1'urlle I'Sces will be held mid-aflernoon. and pdJreg will be 8WlH'dedi

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,:i ,Plan To Attend! "'


The THIRD Annual Conference




Holiday Inn Bush Gardens, Tampa, FL

24-27 August 19,?6~ i "


Scientific Program The Most Current Information Incb,lding:

Nutrition Basic Veterinary Care & Husbandry Advanced Medicine; diagnostics & therapeutics Practice Building Tips! -HANDS ON-

Wet Labs/Workshops These May Fill Up Quickly So Register Early!

Basic Veterinary Procedures Surgical Techniques Pathology and Gross Necropsy Techniques Anesthesia & Restraint Amphibian Medicine Get two conferences in one week! Stay for the AAV annual conference at the Saddlebrook Resort immediately following the ARAV! For conference registration information contact: . Wilbur Amand, VMD, EO. Box 605, 1 Smithbridge Rd., Chester Heights. PA, 19017, USA Fax (610) 892-4813 For manuscript submission contact: (deadline April 15) Kevin Wright, DVM, President-electARAV, Philadelphia Zoological Garden, 3400 W. Girard Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19104 Fax (215) 243-0219

MHS White Pages Update The following names, addresses and phone numbers represent additions or corrections to the current MHS membership" directory, These changes should be added by "cut & paste" or . otherwise noted in your copy of the MHS White Pages, Linette Bentley and Madeline Bryce 6821 Quantico Lane Maple Grove, MN 55311 (612) 557-0964 Russ Tess 127'/2 S. Sixth Street River Falls, WI 54022-2602 Phone: (715) 426-1962 "Interest" - Crocodilians, croc collectibles, and stamps depicting reptiles. PLEASE NOTE: JOHN MORIARTY'S PHONE NUMBER IS INCORRECTLY LISTED UNDER HERP ASSISTANCE IN THE CURRENTMHS WHITE PAGES, THIS NUMBER SHOULD READ (612) 482-8109. A NOTATION OF THIS CHANGE WOULD BE MOST APPRECIATED.

MHS Rodent Sales As most of you are aware, Terry Scheiber has had to resign as Rodent Sales Chairman, Fortunately, a new chairperson, Tina Cisewski, has been found to fill this position andMHS Rodent Sales can continue as usual, Rodent orders can be placed with Tina at the phone number listed below. Thanks are also in order for Terry for ajob well done and to Tinaforvolunteering to take on this task. Way to go Guys, Thanks! JPL, Mice:

pinkies $6.00 dozen fuzzies $6,00 dozen adults . $9.00 dozen


pups adults

$10.00 dozen $12,00 six $24.00 dozen

All proceeds from MHS rodent and merchandise sales go toward the operating costs of the society such as: speaker fees, library purchases, charitable donations, etc. The MHS is a completely volunteer run, non-profit organization.

MINNESOTA HERPETOLOGICAL SOCIETY Membership Application Name(s): _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __ Adfuess: __________________________________________________________________ City: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ State: _ _ Zip Code: _ _ _ _ _~_ Ph(me: _--'_____________ Fax: _________________ E-Mail: ___________--'-_________ Herpetological Interests: ___________________________________________

Include above information in the annual MHS Phone Directory: Yes _ Membership Level: Sustaining $60 _ Membership Type: New _

Contributing $30 _

No _

Date of Birth: _____________

Institutional $25 _

Family $15


$15 _

Renewal_ Driver's License Number: ____________________________

Are you currently or soon to be a University of Minnesota Student? _

(check if yes)

Mail application (please enclose payment) to: Minnesota Herpetological Society; Attn. Membership Secertary; Bell Museum of Natural History; 10 Church SI. SE; Minneapolis. MN; 55455-0104, PLEASE MAKE ALL CHECKS OR MONEY ORDERS PAY ABLE TO: MinnesotaHerpetological.Society. Memberships run for twelve months from date ofjoining. Receipts provided upon request only. Please allow 6-8 weeks for processing.

MRS Newsletter Voulume 16 Number 6 men ted with fruit and fruit babyfood a couple of times per month (chopped fresh papaya and apricot babyfood seem to be

favorites). Waxworms, mealworms, Brazilian cockroaches, and live pinkie mice are also occasionally fed. All the insects are coated with a multi-vitamin; i.e., Reptivite®, Herptivite®, or Nekton®, one feeding per week. A calcium/mineral supplement; i.e., Repcal® or Minerall®, is also used once per week. All the food is placed in a wide-mouthed glassjar (Newman's Own® Salsa jars work great). Since Day Geckos can climb glass, they can easily get into the jar to get the food but the bugs can't get out. A small amount of calcium (in the form of Repcal®) is placed in the bottom of the jar. Like most geckos, the Giant Day Gecko has mannmoth calcium requirements, particularly breeding females, and will actually eat the calcium right out of the jar. This allows the animal itself to control the amount of calcium it's getting and will hopefully eliminate the risk of over or under supplementing the geckos with this minera!. You can tell if your females have adequate calcium in their diet by the presence of "chalk sacs" on the neck. These sacs are where Day Geckos store excess calcium. Formore in-depth information on feeding insect-eating lizardsseeDeVosjoli,1994. Cleaning was touched on briefly before, but I'll go through it again for clarity. The cages are cleaned one half at a time, that is; the cage furnishings from one half of the cage are removed, the bedding scooped out, and the area is scrubbed with A Pair of Giant Day Gecko bleach and water. Fresh bedding is put back, the cage furnishings replaced and a repeat performance on the other cage half is done later. The geckos meanwhile are watching from the unaffected side of the cage, no worse for wear. I've found that while a bit more time consuming, the reduced stress on the animals and keeper is well worth the effort (if you've ever grabbed a Giant Day Gecko and had large chunks ofits delicate skin tear offin your hand, you know what I mean).


GiantDay Geckosare sexually matureat 1218 months of age. Sexually mature males can be very aggressive towards other males and therefore must be kept in separate cages from each other. Females also can behave aggressively towards other females. In breeding groups with multiple females, a hierarchy seems to be formed with the most dominant female doing most of the egg-laying. For these reasons, I'vefound it's best to keep them in pairs consisting of one male and one female.


Detennining the sex of Giant Day Geckos is very easy. Adult males can be recognized by their enlarged hemipenile bulges and by the presence of pronounced femoral pores. Females lack the well-developed femoral pores and, obviously, hemipenile bulges. Females in breeding condition will also have the enlarged "chalk sacs" on their necks. Many of the books listed in the bibliography of this article have detailed photos of these traits, and these should be referenced if you're not quite sure what to look for. In northern Madagascar, where Phelsuma m. grandis occurs, seasonal variation is limited. There is a short dry season of one to four months along with a slight decrease in temperature. SimiJlating this seasonal change in captivity is very easy here in Minnesota. The temperature in the room were the geckos are kept naturally drops by about 5-IO'F(3'-6'C) during tbe winter (December through March) and therefore so does the cage temperature. Along with this, the ambient humidity drops (the air in winter is more dry than the air in the summer). I cut down the misting of the cage with water to once per week and with almost zero effort I've recreated a Madagascan dry season. The problem is that my animals don't seem to follow this logic. I have eggs laid throughout the whole year except for a short hiatus in late August, September, and early October, roughly the same months as the Madagascan dry seaThe geckos, deEggs Photo by Tony Gamble son. spite my climatic tinkering, still seem to be using their old Madagascan calendar (further proof that the best laid plans of mice and men are ...just about equa!.). Many other breeders also comment on how their geckos quit breeding for one to three months out of the year regardless of when any external cycling occurs and that this period may be different each year! It's obvious that there are factors other than just temperature manipulation that take partin the determination of when breeding starts and stops. Sometime in November, my geckos begin courtship and copulation. Courtship consists of the male gecko approaching the female in a very obvious manner, usually from above. For example, if the female is on a low branch near the floor of the cage the male will usually start his approach from up near the cage ceiling in such a way that the female has an unobstructed view of him. He will movc toward her in short bursts moving his head from side to side during his pauses. If the female is responsive she usually sits still and allows the male to approach her. The closer the malc gets to the female the more frequent the side to side head movements become.

MRS Newsletter Voulume 16 NlImber 6 for Day Gecko eggs, but for all hard-shelled gecko eggs. "Chameleon Meister," Joel DuBay developed this method of incubating Veiled Chameleon eggs several years ago (pers. Corron.). Veiled Chameleon eggs need an environment that is fairly humid, but the eggs themselves cannot come into direct contact with moisture. This is exactly the environment needed by Day Gecko eggs. Here is what to do: In a half-pint deli-cup, about two tablespoons of water are mixed with enough perlite to half fill the cup. This combination is thoroughly mixed and more dry perlite is added so as to almost fill the deli-cup to the top. Perlite is a chalky, white pelleted material that is used in horticulture similarly to vermiculite. Unlike vermiculite, however, Perlite when mixed with water doesn't soak thoroughly through. So, you can have a layer of damp perlite on the bottom of a container to provide humidity and a layer of dry perlite on the top to support the eggs so they won't get wet. I add a clear lid and two or three small holes near the top of the cup for ventilation and it's ready for eggs. The sex of Day Geckos is thought to be determined by the temperature at which rate, as it's more in line you incubate the eggs. with the latency periods This is known as TDSD or Temperature Depenofother gecko species (it's a shame T.F.H. doesn't dentSexDeterrnination. include bibliographies in IincubatemyGiantDay Gecko eggs at 82-86'F mostoftheirpublications, (28-30"C). I have not as it would be interesting to see where this new data raised up many of my came from.). The period own babies, but the three of egg-laying lasts from that! have kept to adultNovember through Auhood have all been fegust and tlle time period males. lIooked through between clutches ranges asmuch ofthe literature from 13 to 60 days. When as I had access to and the time between clutches the only information I is shorter the likelihood could find regarding of a single-egg clutch what temperatures proOne Day Old Hatchling Photo by Tony Gamble seems greater. Most eggs duces which sex was in are laid inside the curled leaves of Sansievera , but some are Mattison, 1991. He states that incubating the eggs at 29-30'C occasionally laid on the cage floor. (84-86'F) produces mostly males, while "lower" temperatures Female P. m. grandis have the interesting habit of produce mostly females. This is clearly an area that needs laying on their back and holding the eggs with their hind feet further study. as they are laid. It's thought that this allows time for the soft, The average incubation time for Phelsl/ma m. grandis new eggs to harden into the proper shape before they are finally eggs is about 54-55 days at 82-86'F (28-30'C). I have had it deposited. I have only witnessed this behavior twice and it's take as little as 52 days and as long as 59 days. This is figured perhaps one of the most odd things I've ever seen a reptile do! from 18 clutches over a year and a half time period. Incubating Day Gecko eggs is not very difftcult , but When the babies hatch they shed almost right away. it took me several years to perfect and was, for a long time, a The hatchlings are reared in 5-gallon, Smallworld速 plastic major stumbling block. I have tried ahuost every method terrariums with vented tops. These cages are then placed possible to incubate them, but most of the procedures menunder Vita-lites速. A few plastic plants, some branches, a tioned in the literature resulted in the eggs becoming too wet food bowl, and a water bowl are placed in the cage. Cypress or too dry, which caused the eggs to go bad. Another common mulch is again used as a substrate. Basically a smaller version problem was eggs that would go full term but fail to hatch. of the adult set-up. The babies are fed every other day small Upon opening these eggs, I would find a fully formed, dead crickets and small meal worms. Fruit is given every week. baby inside. The method I eventually settled upon was initially Because they don't always drink from a water bowl immediused to hatch Veiled Chameleons, Chamaeleo calyplratlls , ately, and because they dehydrate very quickly the babies are and with a little modification, it works perfectly we'll not only sprayed with water every day. With an adequate diet and good

When he reaches the female the male will push her around with his head a bit, although she doesn't always move, and attempt to grip her neck with his jaws. The male will also "lick" the female a lot, in an effort to smell/taste her. Once the male adjusts the female to his liking copulation ensues; with the male biting the female's neck through most of it. The majority of copulations which I've observed have occurred on the walls of the cage near the ground. During this time occasional, quiet "clicking" sounds are made. Copulation itself only lasts about 5-10 minutes and after the couple parts, both animals will lick their vent areas for several minutes. Giant Day Geckos usually lay two eggs per clutch. The time between copulation and the laying of the first clutch is, at this time, difftcult for me to determine. Rundquist, 1979, states that at the Oklahoma City Zoo he observed, (in only one instance) the period from copulation to egg-laying (in the closely related, Phelsuma m. kochi) to be 52-54days. Rundquis~ 1994, states this period for PheislIma madagascarensisis to be 28 days. I tend to think that this second figure from Mr. Rundquist is more accu-


MHS News/errer Vou/lIIne 16 Number 6 Miller, Michae!. 1982. Phelsumas: A Case of Monotypic Care of a Polytypic Genus. In: Marcellini, D. (Ed.) Proceedings 5th Annual Reptile Symposium on Captive Propagation and Husbandry: 103-108. Zoological Consortium, Thurmont, MD.

husbandry the young geckos will rapidly outgrow their small home and graduate into larger and larger enclosures, and within a year and a half the whole process can begin again.

CONCLUSION As you can see, Giant Day Geckos are fascinating lizards that are just starting to let us in on the secrets of their day to day lives. It's a vital challenge that for every question you answer there are ten to take its place. This article will hopefully provide you with the basic building blocks of knowledge and curiosity that you will need to get started keepijlg and breeding Madagascar's living jewels.

Preston-Mafham, K. 1991. Madagascar: A Natural Histor)'. Facts on File Pub!. New York, NY. 224 pp. Rundquis~

E. 1979 Reproduction and Captive Maintenance of Koch's Day Gecko (Phelsuma madagascariensis kochi), In: Hahn, Richard (ed.) 3rd Annual Symposium on Captive Propagation and Husbandry Aug. 10 & 11, 1979, Knoxville, Zoological Park, Knoxville, TN. lHS Pub!'.


1995, DayGeckos. T.F.H.Pub!.,Inc. Neptune,


Reptivite® Reptile Vitamins-Zoo Med Labs, Inc. San Luis Obispo, CA. Herptivite®-Rep-Cal Research Labs. Los Gatos, CA. Rep-Cal®-Rep-Cal Research Labs. Los Gatos, CA. Nekton-Rep®-Nekton USA, Inc. Clearwater FL. Minerall I-Sticky Tongue Farms. Menifee, CA. Perlite-Hyponex Corp. Marysville, OH. Smallworld® Nursery(5 gallon plastic tank)-Penn Plax Plastics, Inc. Garden City, NJ. Vita-Lite®-Durotest Corp. North Bergen, NJ. Newman's Own® Salsa-Newman's Own, Inc. Westport, CT.

Taylor, R. 1995. Keeping and Breeding the Larger Day Geckos. Reptiles Magazine, August, 1995.


Zimmerman,E. 1986. BreedingTerrariumAnimals, T.F.H. Pub!., Inc. Neptune, NJ. 384 pp.

Seufer, H. 1991. Keeping and Breeding Geckos. T,F.H. Pub!., Inc. Neptune NJ. 189 pp.

TytJe, T. 1989. Day Geckos: Phe/suma; the Captive Maintenance and Propagation of Day Geckos. The Vivarium 5(5).

De Vosjoli,Philippe. 1994. The Lizard Keepers Handbook. Advanced Vivarium Systems, Inc. Lakeside, CA. 175 pp.


Du Bay, Joe\. Personal Communication. Glaw, F. and M. Vences. 1992. A Fieldguide To The Amphibians And Reptiles Of Madagascar. Privately Published. Koin, Gennany. 331 pp.

ERIC THISS (612) 470-5008 FAX (612) 470-5013

Henkel, F.W. and W. Schmidt. 1991. Geckos: Biologie, Ha!tung Vnd Zucht. Verlag Eugen Ulmer. Stuttgart, Germany. 224 pp. Heselhaus, Ralf. 1986. Taggeckos. Reimer Hobbing GmbH. Essen, Germany. 112 pp.

464 Second Street. Excelsior, MN 55331

Kirkpatrick, D. 1994. Notes on Breeding the Giant Day Gecko Phelsuma madagascarensis gralldis. Reptile and Amphibian Magazine, May/June, 1994. Mattison, Chris. 1991. Keeping and Breeding Lizards. Blanford Pub!. London, UK. 224 pp. McKeown, Sean. 1993. The General Care and Maintenance of Day Geckos. Advanced Vivarium Systems, Inc., Lakeside, CA. 143 pp.

P.O. Box 5818


MHS Newsletter Voulume 16 Nwnber 6

Field Notes:

HABITAT USE by Randy Blasus

Frogs, Rona pall/stris. On a later trip to the same location, however, Pickerels were absent while juvenile Green Frogs, Rana clamitans, were caught. Further downstream, a pool of still water hosted one lone American Toad, Bufo americanus, calling and many schooling B. americanus tadpoles. The preceding items prove, if nothing else, that one can expect the unexpected. Behavior, in herp species, is still open ground and much more study is needed.

When people talk about herps the first question usually is "where does it live?" Therefore, biologists have spent a great deal of time describing the habitat a particular species uses in order to determine where they occur. Animals inhabit an area based on its suitability for their hibernation, reproduction and foraging activities. The type of cover that holds the most and healthiest creatures is generally considered to be "ideal." However, marginal habitat will still be used and specific foliage types will vary in grade throughout the species range. An "edge" area is formed wherever two dissimilar habitat types meet. All these areas have the possibility of attracting and keeping a population. Withn each species habitat, there are microhabitats, or "concentrators" that will attract one or more species. These can vary from a rocky hillside (ie. a rattlesnake den) to an old pile of junk or loose boards. These types of concentrators allow each individual animal to complete some portion or another of its life cycle. Whether hibernating, feeding, or basking, these areas are essential. This said, some local examples need to be mentioned. The fIrst involves intraspecific communal use of a hidingfthermoregulating spot. On a sunny mid-summer trip to Mankato, Minnesota, a stop near a train track produced an interesting fInd. Under one small rock, just off the shoulder of the road, two juvenile garter snakes were caught. One was an Eastern, I1lGmnophis sirtalis, the other a Plains, 11wmnophis radix. The habitat around the find consisted of upland hardwoods and cultivated fields. The immediate surroundings of the two garters was more moist. The railroad tracks were immediately bordered on both sides by a cattail swamp which was south of the road we were on. A small stream meandered through a line of trees just south and west of the cattail swamp. Now while this may not be a monumental find, it does prove interesting. Another item of interest involves the multiple species use of a concentrator, in this case an old piece of tin. The first encounter with this attractor resulted in the capture of a large adult female Bullsnake, Pituophis catenifer, coiled near an active mouse nest. Two days later, after photographing the snake, an attempt was made to return it to the same location. The same piece of tin, when flipped, yielded five Eastern Garters, Thamnophis sirtalis, a Redbelly Snake, Stare ria occipitomaculata and two Prairie Skinks, El/meces septentrionalis! So far this discussion has mainly covered snakes. Other herps, such as frogs, can also exhibit habitat sharing behavior. One such example is the different species encountered on two separate trips to Whitewater State Park in southern Minnesota. The initial trip involved the capture of Pickerel

This column's purpose is to present interesting observations, olher findings and reporls of amphibiam and reptiles from fellow MHS members. The timing and conlent of this column will depend 011 the 1Illtllber of contributions received and 011 personal experiences. Anyone interested in submitting material to Field Notes please contact Randy Blasus at (612) 925-4237. • Reptiles· Amphibians· Invertebrates· Small Mammals. Fish· Birds· Complete line of Cages, Food, Books & Supplies for ALL Animals

& 2363 University Ave. W., 81. Paul, MN 55114 (612) 647- 4479

For Sale or Petting Zoos Parties or Promotions ANIMALS OF WALTON'S HOLLOW

Exotic & Farm Animals Bill & Jean Walton 5425 Peterson Road White Bear Lake, MN 55127·6713 (612)426-8163

~"~" _ _ BloomIngton Veterinary


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8830 Lyndal\! Avenue South. Bloomington, MN 55-120 TEL: 884-3228 • FAX: 884-7357

l.A. Sweeney DVM

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lIospit,,} Hours M-T-W-T 8:00 AM TO 9:00 PM FRIDAY 8:00 AM TO 6:00 PM SATURDAY 8:00 AM TO 1:00 PM

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MRS Newsletter Voullllne 16 Number 6




June Board Meeting Highlights

June 1996 Treasurer's Report

By Michelle Stephan, Recording Secretary

Prepared by Marilyn Brooks Blasus 2,900.93

Beginning Checkbook Balance: The June meeting ofthe MHS Board of Directors was conducted on June 8th at Michelle Stephan's home. Aquorum was present. The board took the following actions: A hotel committee has already been fonned to find the appropriate site for the Midwest Symposium next year. Requests have been sent to prospective hotels, and a decision will be made by August. More committees need to be formed though for other duties. A rough draft of a possible Constitutional amendment addressing age limits of Board members was handed out. It needs to be slightly reworded, but a ratification vote by the general membership will be held at the September meeting. Barb Radanke was elected by the Board to the open Member-At-Large position. A committee will be formed to help classify and clarify the different types of memberships. The Board voted to get another cooler for the refreshment table. We discussed the copyright in the newsletter. Its wording will be changed slightly so articles can only be put in non-profit publications. Presented and accepted were: Treasurer's report,

Income: Membership Raffle Sales Donation Fines Other Total Income:

300.00 43.00 300.10 108.90 1.00 110.00 863.00


Newsletter Misc. PrintingiPostage Program Library Books Supplies Other Total Expense:

408.55 79.18 50.00 46.00 125.76 263.50

Net IncomelLoss: Ending Checkbook Balance: .Funds Allocated to Unpaid Expenses: Funds Available:

Membership report, and Board Meeting Minutes. Conservation Fund Balance:

996.36 (133.36) 2,767.57 333.00 2,434.57 152.73

Calendar of Events June 27-29,1996 20th Annual International Herpetological Symposium. Sheraton Fiesta Hotel, San Antonio, TX. Registra tion fee: $125 (does not include hotel room fees). For more info Contact: David Hulmes, 361 VanWinkle ASve., Hawthorne, NJ 07506 (201) 427-0768. Hotel reservations call: (800) 535-1980. July 12, 1996 MHS General Meeting. Guest Speaker: JIM GERHOLDT; Program: ARACHNIDS. Borlaug Hall, U of M St. Paul Campus. 7 pm. July 13-14, 1996 International Reptile Breeder's Convention. San Diego Concourse Plaza Hall, San Diego, CA. For more info Contact: Ray Busby (800) 497-3550. July 20, 1996 ANNUAL MHS PICNIC. At Locke Park, Fridley, MN. 9:00 am to ?, grills "fired-up" around noon. For more info Contact Roger or Jody Statz (612) 424-8816. July 24-29, 1996 39th Annual Meeting of the SSAR. University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS. For more info Contact: Cathy W. Dwigans, Academic & Professional Programs/Continuing Education Education, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS 66045 (9\3) 864-3284, fax (916) 864-5074. Aug. 2, 1996 MHS General Meeting. Guest Speaker: DAV KAUFMAN; Program: A ROAD TRIP TO SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA. Borlaug Hall, U ofM SI. Paul Campus. 7 pm. Aug. 17-18, 1996 National Reptile Breeder's Expo. Radisson Twin Towers Hotel & Convention Center, Orlando, FL. Contact: Wayne Hill, P.O. Box 3277, Winter Haven, FL 33885 (813) 294-2235. Aug. 24-27, 1996 3rd Annual Association of Reptilian and Amphibian Veterinarians Conference. Holiday Inn, Busch Gardens, Tampa, FL. For conference registration info Contact: Dr. Wilbur Amand, P.O. Box 605, 1 Smithbridge Rd., Chester Heights, PA 19017, fax: (610) 892-4813.


MHS Newsletter Voulume 16 Nwnber 6

Classified Advertisements 1.0.0 = male, 0.1.0 = female, 0.0.1

=unsexed, c.b. =captive bred, o.b.o. =or best offer, @ =each.

For Sale:

C.b. 94-96 (or older if good tempered) Fox Snake, Elaphe vuipina, Black Rat Snake, E. obsoleta, or Eastern or Western Hognose, Heterodon piatirhinos, H. nasiclls. Please call Michelle or Chris (612) 578-9003.

Hatchling Leopard Tortoises, 1 available + 5 eggs $150 @. 3 112 yr. Leopard Tortoise 4" - 5", 2 available $200 @. 2 112 yr. Sulcata (African Spur-thighed) Tortoise 2 avialable $200 @. Call Jake or Donna (612) 757-8268.

Wanted: Hard cover copy ofMinn of the Mississippi. Will pay reasonable price. Call John at (612) 374-5422.

Hog Island Boas, c.b. 5/96 $200 - $275 @, yearling "Keeper Select Holdbacks" $325 @. Brazilian Rainbow Boas c. b. 4/96 from orange-red adults, $225 females only. Columbian Rainbow Boas c.b. 4/96, males $65 females $85. Albino Speckled Kings c.b. 7/96 $40. Albino & Hetero Corns $20. Hetero for albino Bulls $40. Will deliver to the Twin Cities. Call Mark Wendling (319) 857-4787 (Iowa).

Herp related news clippings, original articles, artwork, cartoons, etc. for publication in the MHS Newsletter. Authors and artists will receive compensation in the form of volunteer hrs, good towards one "priceless" MHS coffee mug. Send submissions to: MN Herp. Soc.! Editor, clo Bell Museum of Natural History, 10 Church St. SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455-0104.

Baby Boas, Boa constrictor, c.b. 4/30/96, fed & shed $50-75. Will deliver to MHS meetings. Call Sarah at (612) 223-0407.

My female Rough-scaled Sand Boa is ready to breed this year. Looking for a male as a breeding loan. Call Chase (612) 3745422.

Veiled Chameleons $45, Bearded Dragons $50, Water Dragons (males) $40, Brown Basilisks $20, Firebelly Toads $3, all species c.b. Also Monkeytail Skink $100. Contact Andy or Luanne (612) 221-9119.

Miscellaneous: BREEDING INVENTORY SURVEY: Everyone keeping live reptiles and amphibians is asked to contribute to this annual report. Please submit thefollowinginfocurrentJan. 1st of each year: (1) Inventory of collection,list numbers and sex, (2) list of 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 info to: Frank Slavens, P.O. Box 30744, Seattle, WA 98103. Fax: (206) 546-2912.

2.1 Dumeril' sBoas,Acrantophis dumerill, c.b. 10/95. Feeding well on small mice. $250 @ or $400 pr. Call Connie orJohn (612) 374-5422. Mice & Rats. Call Little Critters (612) 421-0097. Rabbits - Fryer size, current listed market price. Discounts for orders of 6 or more. Rat size $1.50 @ or 6 for $7.50. Adults $2 @ when available. All sizes currently available. Call Jim Deluge (612) 295-2818.

SEA TURTLE SURVIVALLEAGUE, announces its' line of eeo-promoting sea turtle merchandise, for a free catalog write: Sea Turtle Survival League, P.O. Box 2866, Gainesville, FL 32602-2866 or call (800) 678-7853.

Wanted: ALL THE SHED SNAKE SKINS IN THE WORLD, ALWAYS, to use at hands-on programs to give tokids. Bob Duerr (612) 541-0362.


,,' c.'" !~t VZ ::!,~",,:c

Mild tempered Milk Snake, Lampropeltis triangulum, Fox Snake, Elaphevulpina, or BlackRatSnake, E. obsoleta, for use for "hands-on" presentations at the Eastman Nature Center in Elm Creek Park Reserve. Calm, easily handled specimens a must. Contact Vicki (612) 4204300.


English Spot

Jim's Rabbit Shack Where Spots Are Tops

Wanted: Day Geckos (Phelsll/na). CallDeanR. Montour (612) 257-2462.



JIM DALUGE 8700 Jaber Ave. N.E. Monticello. MN 55362 (612) 295路2818

Advertising Rates and Instructions

Amphibian & Reptile Information

Classified Ads: Pue run free of charge to paid members. Non-member rates are ten cents per word, per month. Ads may run three (3) consecutive months, after which time they may be fe-submitted. Business Cards: Institutional members may nm one standard sized business card free of charge. Non-rnemberrate for standard sized business cards is $5.00 per month. Display and Expanded Size Ad Rates: Ad Size Month 3+ Months 6+ Months $5.00 1'4 Page $10.00 $7.50 $10.00 1'2 Page $20.00 $15.00 Page $40.00 $25.00 $15.00 (All prices are per month) Submissions: All advertisements should be submitted to the; MRS Editor, Bell Museum of Natural History, 10 Church st. SEt Minneapolis, MN 55455. MAKE CHECKS PAYABLE TO: Minnesota Herpetological Society. MHS Ad Policy: The MHS assumes NO RESPONSIBILITY regarding the legality or health of any animal, or the quality or legality of any product or service advertised in the MHS Newsletter. Any admay be rejected at the discretion of the Newsletter Editor. Due to space limitations Unpaid and Complimentary advertisements are subject to occasional omission.

Specific questions concerning amphibians and reptiles are best answered by contacting the following individuals at the numbers provided. Please remember to be reasonable about the time of day and how frequently you call.

Amphibians & Reptiles in Minnesota Greg Kvanbeck (612) 533-7723 John Moriarty (612) 647-1334 Large Boas & Pythons

Other Snakes

Karl Hermann (612) 730-6265 Glen Jacobsen (612) 757-8268

John Meltzer (612) 263-7880 Jeff LeC1ere (612) 488-6388

Terrestrial Turtles

Aquatic Turtles

John Moriarty (612) 482-8109 Glen Jacobsen (612) 757-8268

Gary Ash (612) 753-0218 John Levell (612) 374-5422



Greg Kvanbeck (612)533-7723 John Meltzer (612) 263-7880

Nancy Haig (612) 434-868 Bill Moss (612) 488-1383

Crocodilians Jeff Lang (701) 772-0227


36 La,melltelJr A v.


Location of MRS Monthly Meetings




Non-Profit Rate U. S. Postage



PAID Penni! No. 2275







I, .., ~

Vol. 16 (1996), No. 6  

Minnesota Herpetological Society Newsletter

Vol. 16 (1996), No. 6  

Minnesota Herpetological Society Newsletter