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MINNESOTA HERPETOLOGICAL SOCIETY Newsletter Volume 18 Number 11 November 1998 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; • educate the members and the general public in the ecological role of reptiles and amphibians; • promote the study and conservation of reptiles and amphibians.

MHS Board of Directors George Richard Barbara Buzicky BruceHaig Amy Peterson Marilyn Blasus NancyHaig Fred Bosman Laurie Grassel Gordon Merck JaneJl Osborn, D.V.M. Sarah Richard

President Vice president Recording Secretary Membership Secretary Treasurer Newsletter Editor Member at Large Member at Large Member at Large Member at Large Member at Large

(612) (651) (612) (612) (612) (612) (612) (612) (612) (612) (612)

639-6368 291-1132 434-8684 922-4066 925-4237 434-8684 476-0306 428-4625 566-2001 455-6540 639-6326

Herp Assistance Specific questions concerning amphibians and reptiles are best answered by contacting the following individuals. Please be reasonable about the time of day and how frequently you call.

Amphibians Greg Kvanbeek john Meltzer Chameleons Vern & Laurie Grassel Lizards Nancy Haig

(612) 388-0305 (612) 263-7880

Amphibians and Reptiles in Minnesota Greg Kvanbeek (612) 388-0305 john Moriarty (651) 482-8109

(612) 428-4625

Crocodilians jeff Lang

(612) 434-8684

Big Lizards, Monitors Bill Moss (612) 488-1383

(701) 772-0227

Large Boas and Pythons Tina Cisewski (612) 856-2865

Other snakes jeff LeClere john Meltzer

(612) 488-6388 (612) 263-7880

Terrestrial Turtles Fred Bosman john Levell

Aquatic Turtles Gary Ash john Levell

(612) 753-0218 (507) 467-3076

Special Committees: Adoption Chair Sarah Richard

(612) 476-0306 (507) 467-3076

(612) 639-6326

Education Chair Sean Hewitt (612) 935-5845

UP NORTH (Bemidji) jeff Korbel (218) 586-2588

Snakebite Emergency

MHS Voice Mail (612) 624 - 7065

Hennepin Co. Regional Poison Center (612) 347 - 3141 Minnesota Poison Control System Local: (612) 221-2113 Out of State: (800) 222 - 1222

E-mail: Internet http://www.onrampinc.netjmhs/ The Minnesota HerpetolOgical Society Newsletter is published monthly by the Minnesota Herpetological Society to provide its members with information concerning the society's activities and a media for exchanging information,. opinions and resources.

Printed on recycled p~per.

© Copyright Minnesota Herpetological Society 1998. Contents may be reproduced for non-profit use proVided that all material is reproduced without change and proper credit is given authors and the w-IS Newsletter citing; volume, number, and date.


MRS Newsletter Volume 18 Number II


Upcoming Meeting Highlights The Vice-President's Report By Barb Buzicky December Program: The Galapagos Islands Speaker: Wayne Hill TItis will be an exciting evening,

as Wayne Hill will be here from Florida to share with us some information on his trip to the Galapagos Islands. These islands are located in the tropical Eastern Pacific Ocean, 900 km Northwest of South America. They are a rocky island group of volcanic origin with volcanoes up to 18,000 m. high, and some of the volcanoes are still active. There are twelve main islands, and several hundred smaller ones that have a relatively cool climate due to the discharge of the Humbold t Current close by. This cooler temperature is different than most people think would be normal since they are located in the located Pacific, and generally there must be very warm due to their equatorial location.


Wayne was there this past summer working at the Darwin Station for two weeks, and he will share with us some information from the scientific studies which were going on there at the time. The Holiday Banquet talk will be also with Wayne Hill on Saturday evening and the topic will be his trip to the rain forest of Ecuador. Both of these talks will be rich in herpetological information for all us. Hope you make both of these meetings for an exceptional evening! BAB

Date: December 4,1998 Location: Borlaug Hall, Room 335, U of M. St. Paul Campus 7:00pm

Holiday Banquet December 5, 1998 6:30-10:30 P.M.

Volunteers Needed Once again, Papa John's Pizza is willing to donate funds to any organization that volunteers to do pizza duty at the Mariucci Arena. Onr dates are Jan. 16 and Feb 13, from 5:45- 9 ish p.m. Contact Marilyn Blasus (612) 925-4237 if you are interested in he1ping out.

The evening will begin with a social hour at 6:30; followed by a potluck dinner at 7:30 P.M. Wayne Hill will cap off the evening with a presentation on the rain forest of Ecuador. The Banquet will be held at the Eagles Aerie #94, 13523 N. 60 th St, near Stillwater, MN 55082. TItis sounds far away but it is really only 6.5 miles east of Highway 694, south of Hwy 36. Cost is $5.00 per person; (there is no charge for pinkies-kids that sit on their parent's laps). Since no outside beverages are allowed, there will be a cash bar but soda (POp) will be paid for by the MHS. Contact Gordon Merck (5662001 evenings) by November 28th to register for the banquet and sign up your food dish or to help with set-up and clean up.

End of the Year Reports TItis is a reminder to all Chairpersons and Special Project people that their end of the year reports to the Board of Directors are coming due. Start compiling your lists of volunteer hours, activities, inventory and accounts. The reports should be submitted no later than the January jFebruary Board Meetings. A brief summary for the Newsletter would also be appreciated.



West of Stillwater 6.5 Mi east of 694 South of Hwy 36 13523 N. 60th St. Eagle Aire #94 Besl


MHS Newsletter Volume J8 Number JJ



November's "Critter of the Month" Amy Peterson

Treefrog (plant hi teh/liker)

Raffle Donors Items for the last few raffles were donated by: Tortoise Trust U.S.A Under Water World - Mall of America DavKaufman Marilyn Blasus Randy Blasus TIle Keylers Jody and Roger Statz Barb Buzicky Remains to be Seen And some unnamed donors. Thanks everyone for helping with the fun.

Help a Hapless Herp Ibis was a great month for adoptions! Finding homes were: 1 Common Boa 1 Red eared slider 2 Eastern Box Turtles 1 Tiger Salamander 1 Ball Python 1 African Hinge-back Tortoise 1 Bullsnake 1 Lg Nile Monitor 1 African spur thigh Tortoise 2 iguanas were euthanized Still needing homes: 11 iguanas 4 Burmese Pythons (Ig) 1 Common Boa

February 5, 1999 Clean out your herp rooms, closets, parents basements and local pet stores, it's time for

The Great White Snake Sale

March 5, 1999 The Minnesota Herpetological Society Annual Meeting & General Elections

Now is the time to come to the aid of your society as we donate herp related items for our annual silent auction. Cages, husbandry items, jewelry, artwork, clothing, toys, books, dry good items anything that might catch a herper's eye. One person's trash is another's treasure (as long as it's in working condition). TIlis is a major fund raiser for the MHS and a lot of fun. Bring your checkbook.

Once a year the MHS holds an annual meeting to report on the recognize society's activities; volunteer contributions; and present the Treasurer's report.

& Photo Contest

MHS Board of Directors

Start getting ready for the photo contest. Rules and categories are the same as last year. There are four categories: Herps in a Natural Setting Herps with People Photographs by Professionals Miscellaneous styles Entries must be: 4u X6", 5"x7 or B/lxlO", Mounted on cardboard no larger than 11"'x1411. Identified on the back with the entrants' name, address and category. Do not place names on the front of the prints. Members may submit up to five prints. Judging will be by popular ballot during the White Snake Sale. Contact Michele Hewitt (935-5845) for more information on the photo contest and bring you entries to the December and January General Meetings. f1



Part of the meeting is used to elect the Board of Directors for the next year. Nominations are now being sought for the following positions.

President Vice President Recording Secretary Membership Secretary Treasurer Newsletter Editor Members -at- Large (4 positions) If you would like to run for one of these positions or nominate someone else please contact Bruce Halg (612) 434-8684. If you would like more information concerning the duties involved please contact the board member holding the position (see listings on the inside of the newsletter cover).

The board members are putting together some comments concerning their jobs and what it's like to serve on the board. These will be printed in the newsletter as they are received.

MHS Newsletter Volullle 18 NUlllber 11

GENERAL MEETING REVIEW Conserving Crocodilians Speaker: Dr. Jeffery Lang Dr. Lang is a member of the MHS based in Grand Forks, North Dakota where he teaches at he University of North Dakota. He has just finished his third sununer studying the Blanding's turtles of Minnesota and produced the first book on the population at Camp Ripley. His presentation Friday night concentrated on the less frequently observed characteristics of American aligator and crocodile behavior. His interest in crocodilians started with studies of alligators at the Bell Museum at the U of M. He requested some live animals from Florida and got some small (20") ones in. They were housed in the men's room as there were no other facilities for them. When he went to south Florida to do some research on the possibility of warm-blooded dinosaurs, he met Cecil Clemens. Cecil is an alligator farmer and former poacher that started "Gatorama" with stocking American alligators and crocodiles in the 60's. By the time Dr. Lang got there, there was a healthy breeding stock of both that he was able to observe easily. These animals were so accustomed to being watched that they ignored the people and acted much like they would in the wild. A truly wild animal is always aware of intruders and will not "act natural" with people around, no matter how quiet and still they maybe. Dr. Lang was able to observe behavior that had never been described before. His slides of alligators bellowing showed that the low frequency vibrations were so strong that the water appeared to boil or dance along the sides of the alligators. The low frequency sound must carry for a

By Bruce Haig Recording Secretary

considerable distance under the water. He played a tape of several animals bellowing that I would have thought was faked if I had heard it in a Tarzan movie. Both the males and females bellowed and Dr. Lang was able to distinguish individuals by the characteristics of their bellowing. When a female is attracted by a bellowing male, she approaches him and touches him under the chin with her head. She then proceeds to stroke his head with hers and he displays a musk gland near the rear of his lower jaw. During mating, they both mount each other and exchange positions frequently. Cecil had a breeding group of 30 to 40 large American crocodiles that he collected some years before in Jamaica. Dr. Lang was able to document many previously undescribed behavior characteristics of them as well. Females will raise their heads and gape when approached by a male. This appears to indicate acceptance rather than be a defensive behavior. The males claim territories that they will defend. The boundary defensive posture consists of inflating their bodies and standing upright or arched parallel to each other, seemingly to impress intruders with their size. They rarely actually fight and if they do, they bite each other at the base of the tail where it won't do much harm. The presentation included some video tapes of crocodile behavior. In one courtship sequence, the female approached the male with her mouth agape and swam around him before approaching his head. He blew bubbles under the water and they proceeded to mate, mounting each other alternatively like the alligators. Males shown declaring their territories, arched 3

their bodies, wagged their tails from side to side and slapped the water with their heads. They would then blow bubbles under water. Dr. Lang feels that they communicate with acoustic signals with frequencies too low to be audible. Current distribution of American crocodiles in the U.S. is centered around Florida Bay at the southern tip of the Florida peninsula. They may have extended as far north as Ft. Meyer in the past but there is no evidence that they ever went past that. An extensive area surrounding the Everglades National Park has been declared a crocodile refuge and they seem to be doing well. Large numbers live in the cooling canals of the Turkey Point atomic power generation station. Dr. Lang also studied caiman in the Llanos region of Venezuela. The caiman live in the shallow ponds that dot the region and can be captured by wading into the ponds and noosing the caiman. The biggest problem is the armored catfish that cover the bottoms of the ponds and make footing precarious. As the ponds dry up during the dry season, some animals get entombed in the dry mud and wait for the rains to come again. Those that don't get buried run the risk of dehydrating. Dr. Lang and his fellow researchers set up a tent beside one pond to allow the animaJs to get used to their presence in hopes of observing their behavior. The biggest problem was the constant 1/

crunch" - squeak" as the caiInan 1/

ate the catfish during the night. There were over a hundred caiman in the pond when they arrived but when it started to rain they disbursed until there were less than 50 left.

MHS News/eller Volume 18 Number II

BEGINNINGS At seven years of age I was already fascinated by the wonders of the natural world, and by in reptiles and amphibians particular. The previous swnmer I had encountered (and caught) my first snapping turtle. When I saw the look of horror on my mother's face as I proudly hoisted the angry 10-pounder, I knew I was onto something good! One drizzling April afternoon, as I was returning from dutifully taking out the trash, I heard an unfamiliar sound. An eerie, yet pleasant high-pitched 'trill' seemed to be issuing from the drainage ditch in my front yard. Hoping to identify the source of this mysterious noise, I patrolled the bank until at length I spied what surely must have been one of the most amazing oddities of nature - a TWO-HEADED FROG! Deftly grabbing this freakishly mutated creature from its watery lair, I realized my error in identification. It was a TWO HEADED TOAD, warts and all! What kind of a face would Mom make when she saw this hideously deformed spawn of evil? "Mom! Mom! Look what I found!" I shouted as I. burst through the front door. "Okay, Honey, I'm looking. What is it this time?" "This!" I exclaimed as I thrust my prize in her face. UWhat is it?" "A two-headed toad!" I gleefully informed her. At this point I was expecting her to scream and flee in disgust or terror. To my immense disappointment, she merely rolled her eyes and held out her hand. fiLet me see it" What? She actually wanted to touch it? Wasn't she at least afraid of getting warts? What a bwnmer!

By Rick Marrs

Just when I think I've got something to really make her gag, she wants to hold it! Turning it over in her hands, she made a cursory inspection and declared, "It's not a two-headed toad." Huh? Sure looked like one. "Ricky, if you look carefully, you'll see it's really two toads. The littler one is on top, holding the bigger one very tightly." She informed me as she handed them back. Upon closer examination, I realized she was right. Confused I asked, "But what are they doing, Mom?" ''I'm not sure, but I think they're trying to make babies." She said. Now I was truly confused. Every seven-year-old knew that frogs and toads came from tadpoles and polliwogs, which were sort of fishtype things. I told my mother as much. "Well, yes, Dear, that's right. But where do the tadpoles come from?" I was stumped. How could this information have eluded me? "Change your clothes, Ricky. We're going to the library." While I was putting on clean clothes, my mom somehow acquired a ten-gallon aquarium from our neighbors, the Darrets. We filled it halfway, and put "Mr. And Mrs. Toad" into it. (Everyone knows you have to be married to make babies.) That evening found me reading every book I could find on frogs and toads. "Peterson's Field Guide and to Eastern Reptiles Amphibians" introduced me to the term' amplexus'. The following morning, I quickly dressed for school and paused on the porch to inspect my new pets. Wow! There must have been a thousand tiny black eggs all encased in some strands of clear

jelly-like stulf. .Brimming With excitement, I ran to the bus stop to tell my friends about the Blessed Event. Later that day, at. the insistence of my second grade teacher, I gave my first ever herpetological lecture in class. I began with a brief review of the differences between frogs and toads, emphasizing that neither can' give you warts. I then described the melodious love song of the male toad. After doing a rather fair imitation of a breeding call, I jumped right in with the details of their mating behavior. "Then, the boy toad grabs the girl toad and they have amplexus and copulate, and she squeezes eggs out of her butt and the boy toad squirts sperm all over them and then the sperm ..." "Rickey! That's quite enough!" screeched my distraught instructor. "But, Mrs. Williams, I have to tell how the sperm gets in the eggs, and there~ s mucous, and ... "You may take your seat now, Rickey." I guess herpetology is to deep for some people. If

The following weeks were filled with observing my captives. The eggs were deposited in the ditch, except for about ten, which I keep in an aerated one gallon pickle jar. The aquarium was transformed into a terrarium and I remember spending countless hours watching the adult toads eat ants, worms and grasshoppers. I marveled as the eggs hatched and became tadpoles; first growing hind legs then front ones. I frequently netted their wild siblings in the ditch to make comparisons on their growth rates. Weeks later, they completed their and became metamorphosis miniature replicas of their parents. (continued all page 7)


MRS Newsletter Volume 18 Number 11

The 14th Annual Midwest Herpetological Symposium October 16 -18, 1998 Hosted by The Hoosier Herpetological Society, Indianapolis, Indiana After tlleir 1991 bash, I looked fonvard to this year's Midwest Herpetological Symposium in Indiana. I had visions of Breeders and Dealers from the far ranges of tile cOUlltn) converging for a weekend of sales, talks and camaraderie. The Symposium was incredible, the organization, tlze speakers and the Sunday excursion to tlze Indianapolis Zoo all were wonderful. Wizat was surprising was tlze lack of sellers on Friday, the Vendor's Nigllt. Coming from ollr colder nortlz (they still had green trees), I was lInaware we (oere stepping into a hotbed of controverSl) that cOlild affect our ven) /ifesb)les. Roger Carter, tlze HHS president, presented tlze sib,ation beautifully in his opening speech, and with I,is pemzissioll I Izave reprinted it here. 1998 has been a difficult year for us because of new legislation. The Indiana Department of Natural Resources enacted an "emergency rule" that was prohibitive in what animals could be bought or sold or traded. The DNR originally banned sales of any reptile or amphibian native to Indiana, regardless of whether it is captive born or not. In their overzealousness at control, the prohibited animals were set at the species level (Elaphe -ratsnakes, Lampropeltis - Kingsnakes, etc.) instead of breaking the description to the tri-norunial level (Elaplze obsoleta obsoleta- black ratsnake,

Lamprope/tis calligaster calligaster prairie kingsnake). From that rule, it was illegal to buy, sell or trade something like Lampropeltis gentlus jIoridana- the florida kingsnake, which is not found anywhere near Other restrictions Indiana. included no dealing in any amphibians, no lizards over 6 feet,

no snake over 10 feet long, no crocodilians over 5 feet long, and no venomous snakes. The DNR had a sting operation in place for over a year with a "pet store" that would buy and sell animals. Some of our members received mysterious telephone calls that were supposedly from dealers from far out of state wanting to buy animals. Two undercover DNR officers tried to sell prohibited animals to some of our members during our regular at Butler general meetings University in Indianapolis. In June, at the Indianapolis reptile swap at the Indiana State fair grounds, dozens of and conservation officers Indianapolis police officers raided the reptile swap, herded everyone outside the building, and arrested several people who had sold them animals at their undercover store. They also arrested people at the swap for buying animals whether they knew about the emergency rule or not. Hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars have been spent for one felony arrest and dozens of class "C" misdemeanor arrests. Many of those arrested were told that they have a case for entrapment, and all of these arrests are going to have a jury trial. There are also many lawsuits pending against the DNR. By the way, there were four murders in Indianapolis that day. Not only has the DNR tried to have legislation passed, but Marion County, the City of Indianapolis, and many other cities in Indiana are all of a sudden coming up with laws covering reptiles and amphibians. Members of the Hoosier Herpetological Society, and several other groups, have spent a lot of time going to 5

meetings in central Indiana trying to minimize the damage. On a positive note, in a recent communication from the DNR, they plan to implement a permit system so that people in Indiana can breed, and sell herps native to Indiana. They have completely dropped the restrictions on amphibians and lizards. There are still some parts about the new proposal that we feel are not right. Such as the requirement that breeding stock if indigenous herps be micrO-Chipped for identification, The HHS and other concerned parties will continue to voice our concerns to the DNR to come up with legislation that we can all live with. On a happier note, 1998 marks our tenth year in existence, and an expansion of our membership. This year, we were contacted by other herpers in Lafayette, Indiana, a short distance from here and Evansville, Indiana, at the far southern tip of the state, about forming satellite chapters of the Hoosier Herpetological Society. We hope that herpers in other cities will be interested in forming chapters of the HHS. We could be on our way to truly becoming a statewide society. Roger Carter, President Hoosier Herpetological Society PO Box 40544 Indianapolis, Indiana 46240-0544

TIle HHS deserves to be complimented on tlzeir dedication to protecting our interests as well as their efforts to prOVide an excellent Symposium. TI,e next Midwest Herpetological Symposium will be in Des Moines, Iowa. Hope to see you there. - editor.

MHS Newsletter Volume 18 Number 11

BOOK REVIEW Herpetology by F.H. Pough, R.M. Andrews, J.E. Cadle, M.L. Crump, A.H Savitzky and K.D. Wells. 1998. Prentice-Hall, Inc. 577 pp. $72.00 Reviewed by: John P. Levell Textbooks designed specifically for college level herpetology classes, while certainly valuable and necessary contributions to the science, have for some unknown reason always been relatively few and far between. Indeed, the first such English language book on the subject, Goin and Goin's "Introduction to Herpetology" was not even published untill%2! This rather small volume, ultimately released in a total of 3 separate editions, was destined to remain the single most widely used herpetological" text for the better part of the next three decades until finally being superseded by Zug's "Herpetology: An excellent Introductory Biology of Amphibians and Reptiles" in 1993. Of the two additional herpetological textbooks released in the United States in the intervening 31 years between the previously mentioned titles, Kenneth Porter's "Herpetology" (1972) is by far the better known. Although superior in many aspects to Goin and Goin's publication, particularly in its coverage of extinct amphibians and reptiles, Porter's work simply never achieved the widespread popularity of the earlier title and no subsequent editions were ever produced. An English version of Terent'ev's Russian language review "Herpetology: A Manual on

By John P. Levell

Amphibians and Reptiles" (1961), amazingly the very first herpetological textbook ever published, was also released by the U.S. Department of Commerce way back in 1965. It has always been a rather obscure publication, however, and is now one of the more scarce and sought after volumes for amphibian and reptile libraries. Considering the limited number of herpetological textbooks that have historically been produced, it was somewhat of a surprise when Herpetology by Pough, Andrews, Cadle, Crump, Savitzky and Wells appeared a scant 5 years after the release of Zug's well done and still readily available review. Like its this newest predecessors, herpetology text seeks to synthesize and condense what is currently known regarding this truly multi-faceted subject into a single comprehensive, yet still useable volume. As should be expected, the authors (easily 6 of the more preeminent herpetologists of their generation) have all freely drawn upon their varying backgrounds, experiences and major research interests in attempting to accomplish this daunting if not impossible task. In many instances Pough and Company have succeeded admirably in their goal of producing a modern and up-todate review of tl,e world's amphibians and reptiles. Each of this comparatively attractive volume's 15 chapters incorporate a wealth of recent theories and research findings that collectively provide a diverse mixture of and important interesting herpetological information and facts. The inclusion of well over 200

quality photographs and line illustrations (unfortunately all in b/w) as well as numerous maps, graphs and sonograms also add much to the book's overall attractiveness and appearance. For the most part these text figures, whether originally published here or extracted from other sources, function adequately to illustrate more pertinent aspects or difficult to grasp concepts of each chapter. At the same time, however, numerous aspects of this newest herpetological textbook remain puzzling and disappointing to say the least. For starters, the coverage of individual topics is surprisingly uneven and inconsistent despite (or perhaps because of) the presence of so many quality authors. For example, while the taxonomic philosophy of cladistics or is phylogenetic systematics exhaustively explained and the merits of this classification system are repeatedly extolled, the subject of hibernation, brummation, aestivation or dormancy is allotted only. a single brief paragraph. In fact, the only one of the four previously mentioned terms to even appear in this volume's subject index (there is no glossary) is hibernation! Similar discrepancies occur elsewhere in the book as well and are particularly evident in the chapters on extant amphibians and reptiles where certain families or groups are covered much more extensively than other equally diverse and important families. While much of this criticism may simply be attributable to personal preference, otl,er negative aspects of the book are not so easily explained away. Contradictory and (continued on page 7)


MHS Newsletter Volume J8 Number I I

Book Review inaccurate statements, as well as more typical typographical errors, are rampant throughout the text and reflect poorly on the editorial effort expended on the authors' behalf during this volume's final production stages. Again in the chapters covering living amphibians and reptiles, the 97 pages of the book of most interest to this reviewer, such problems are particularly apparent and range or from simple misspelled outdated scientific names right on through plainly obvious factual errors.

As a more glaring example of the latter, on page 121 the mono typic North American genera Lichanura and Charina, two snakes well known to even beginning reptile hobbyists, are included in the list of boids occurring in the "arid areas of northern Africa, and southern Europe, southwestern Asia." Although possible to cite additional examples as well, it is well beyond the intention of this reviewer to do so.

By John P. Levell

It is unrealistic, however, to view the presence of numerous factual inaccuracies as anything other than highly undesirable in a volume designed as the primary, technical introduction to amphibians and reptiles, quite possibly for individuals who know absolutely nothing about these animals.

While Herpetology is certainly useable in collegiate zoological curricula, doing so will never the less require careful attention directed toward correcting its numerous mistakes and at least some effort to plug more conspicuous and important gaps. Hopefully, the publisher will take any and all steps necessary to rectify the current edition's shortcomings just as soon as possible, otherwise the authors will have labored long and hard for nothing.

Gain, Coleman J. and Goin, Olive B. 1971. Introduction to Herpetoloi5'j, 2nd edition. W.H. Freeman & Co. San Francisco, CA. Gain, Coleman J., Gain, Olive B., and Zug, George R. 1978. Introduction to Herpetoloi5'j, 3rd edition. W.H. Freeman & Co. San Francisco, CA. Porter,




Herpetology. W.B. Sawlders Co. Philadelphia, PA. Terent'ev, Herpetology:


Paul V. 1965. A Manual 011




Department of Commerce Translation. Washington, D.C. Zug, George Herpetology: All



Introductonj Bioloi5'j of Amphibians and Reptiles.

Academic Press. San Diego, CA.

Beginnings They say' nothing lasts for ever' and I learned this unhappy truth one morning after heavy thunderstorms had raged all night. My pickle jar had overturned, and the terrarium was flooded and vacant I consoled myself with the fact that I planned on releasing them soon anyway. I could always find more toads next spring. Meanwhile, I had a new net, a pickle jar, and a ten gallon aquarium just begging to be put to good use. A world of opportunities beckoned me.

Literature Cited: Gain, Coleman J. and Gain, Olive B. 1962. Introduction to Herpetoloi5'j. W.H. Freeman & Co. San Francisco, CA.

By Rick Marrs

I began this article with the intention to write about our native toad species (genus Bulo), but I somehow became sidetracked as I recall my first encounter with my now familiar friend, Bufo americallus. It seems that in everybody's life there comes a defining moment where the direction of one's life is decided. For me, those weeks in the spring of my seventh year of existence were crucial in forming my fascination with the natural world. I was fortunate to have a mother who understood and encouraged my inquisitiveness 7

One night last SUlllffier, I visited myoid neighborhood. Beneath the street light in front of my former house, a huge female toad squatted, gorging herself on moths and June bugs. Part of me will always be seven years old.

17lis article, submitted btj Jeff LeClere, was reprillted from the Hoosier Herpetological Sodet1j Newsletter, 171ÂŁ Monitor, with penllissioll from Rick Marrs.-editor

MHS Newsleller Volume 18 Number 11

COMMENTS FROM THE BOARD New Student Chapter Officers Officers for the MHS Student chapter are as follows: PresidentKeith Tucker Vice President- Laney LeClere TreasurerJosie Rea Full time students of a Minnesota University or College are eligible as members of the Student Chapter. Contact one of the officers for more information.

Membership Secretary I jumped into the Membership Secretary position last year, after only having been a member of MHS for two months. Needless to say I was a little leery of what I was getting into. I had never donated this much time an effort to an organization before. I was afraid I wouldn't have enough time .. " I soon learned that you find the time and it's easy and fun. This position was a quick way for me to learn about the people, history and future of MHS. Unfortunately I will not be able to run for the 99-00 election because I will be moving out of the cities. So please think about running for office - volunteering your time will give you a wonderful feeling inside. Amy Peterson

Treasurer Being the treasure is much like having 'your' checking account. That is: if you balance your every month to the penny; if you keep fantastic records; create a report of your spending and income on a monthly basis; and review the results with your family! Now, for me, this all comes easy as I am a detail fanatic and an accountant by career.

In addition to paying MHS's bills and recording and depositing MHS's money, there is the job of creating the monthly Treasurer's Report. There is also the job of attending the general meeting to collect money from chairpeople and other monetary issues. Plus attending the board meeting to have the report presented and accepted (and give input and vote on issues).

Not counting the time spent at the two meetings, it generally takes about 10 -15 hours on the average month to do the treasurer related stuff. On an annual basis, there is the required audit and budget to complete. Lastly no job description would be complete without saying that there are other duties as assigned (or gullted into doing) and this is where you can spend a lot of time over the year. Marilyn Blasus


Newsletter Editor The Minnesota Herpetological Society publishes a monthly newsletter as a service to its members and interested organizations that exchange information. We currently distribute about 340 newsletters a month. The job of the editor is to compile and publish information about the society's activities, the Board of Directors reports, and other items of interest. The editor starts by creating a format to present this information. Some items can be typed ahead of time and others need to be created after the general and board meetings to be timely for the next issue. The newsletter usually goes to the printer one week after the general meeting. Depending on how the articles are handed in, retyping and formatting take up the most time. I am not really a typist so it takes me 20 -30 hours to set up a full length newsletter (12 pages). Emailed articles are really appreciated. Beyond the newsletter duties, the Newsletter Editor is an officer of the MHS Board of Directors, attending the montluy meetings and voting on MHS issues. The MHS Newsletter is an important means of getting information to the members since usually only a third of our numbers attend the general meeting. It can be a rewarding experience for someone who enjoys a creative challenge. NancyHaig

MHS Newsletter Volume 18 Number 11

WANT SOME MONEY? Once again the MHS Board of Directors is planning on donating funds for various herpetologically related projects or needs. Last year we dedicated 75% of the net proceeds form the Midwest Herpetological Symposium to a variety of conservation, education and research orientated projects. In the coming months we hope to hear how. the donations of $7650.00 were put to use. In the meantime, if you know of areas where our funding could be helpful, please send a description of the . project or organization to our mailing address:

The Minnesota Herpetological Society The Bell Museum of Natural History 10 Church Street, SE Minneapolis, MN 55455-0104

What did our dollars do? After the amazing success of the 13th Annual Midwest Symposium, the MHS Board of Directors evaluated many worthy causes, organizations and projects to determine where our dollars would have the most impact. Conservation of our Native Species and habitat protection were major concerns but we wanted to make sure the programs would have lasting effects. The Minnesota Chapter of the Nature Conservancy has a long established policy of land purchase and stewardship. Using donations and matching fund grants, it has established several preserves throughout the state of Minnesota. One of these is the Weaver Dunes Preserve adjacent to the McCarthy Lake Wildlife Management Area. These areas are critical to the Blanding's Turtle with its need for large land usage in its migrations from the wetlands to the sand dunes to lay eggs. The MHS decided to donate $2,500.00 directly to the Weaver DWles Preserve to help with land acquisition. At the same time we donated $1,000.00 towards a Blanding's Turtle Workshop organized by John Moriarty to be held at the Bell Museum in May. This national conference and workshop brought together experts from across the country and Canada and focussed on the Blanding's Turtle's conservation and status. A highlight of the workshop was a field trip to the Weaver Dunes Preserve. Several MHS members went on the field trip. We met up with MNC representatives who were escorting members of the Bush Foundation around the Preselve. Perhaps the enthusiasm of tile "national experts" about the welfare of the Blanding's Turtle and tlle need for land acquisition in order to protect their habitat use had a positive effect. In June, the Board of Directors of the Bush Foundation approved a $200,000.00 grant to the Nature Conservancy" to purchase and preserve the Weaver DWles-DuBray tract in southeastern Minnesota." The DuBray tract, 102.2 acres is a key addition because it is part of the main migration route for the Blanding's Tmtles. Pretty good return for our investment.

Thanks to failles Rea for the articles from tlte Minnesota Chapter News, the Newsletter of tlte Minnesota Chaper of the Nahtre Conservancy. -editor 9·

TT USA Membership Form


We thank you for your interest. To join Tortoise Trust USA, please print this page and send the form below to:

Tortoise Trust USA 204 North Oak Avenue #292 Owatonna, MN 55060 TORTOISE TRUST USA MEMBERSHIP APPLICATION Please enroll me as a member of Tortoise Trust USA: MEMBERSHIP

li~B~a~s;,,;;iCd(W~it;,,;;hi~n,,;:U;,;;;S:;,;A~)*=======~;~$2~0~.0~0~.'" 1~lo;;;,v~e:;;,r;:;se;;,;a;;;s~*==c===========,i~$~3;,;:0,;;.0~0~iU !Contributing *§ (Sustaining *§

'$50.00 $100.00


IIF-L~ife~*§~:====:==:::==:==:::c==:===:=:=;====""i!i~$3~0~0~.0,;;0==i'l.J IReduced Rate (Seniors, Students)* iAdditional charitable donation** iTotal Enclosed



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• Anything over $8.00 may be tax deductible - please consult your accountant. .. This amount may be tax deductable - please Consult your accountant. § Members who choose this option will be listed on our web site as "Friends of the Trusf'.

PIease PRINT vourname an d a ddress beow: I

Name Address ,City :State iZip Code 'Country ;Email address (if applicable) Web site address (if applicable) PLEASE MAKE CHECKS, ETC. PAYABLE TO TORTOISE TRUST USA



MHS Newsletter Volume 18 Number 11

M.H.S. BUSINESS November Board of Directors Meeting

Treasurer's Report of October 1998 Prepared by Marilyn Brooks Blasus

By Bruce Haig, Recording Secretary


Beginning checkbook balance:

The MHS Board of Directors met November 7, at the st. Paul Campus Student Union. A quorum was present. Sarah Richard is very grateful to the people that attended the General Meeting for taking all the adoption animals that she brought off her hands. She and George are changing houses this month and this will make it a little easier. Michael Hewitt has volunteered to chair the photo contest again in 1999. The MHS budget for 1999 was discussed and passed. Despite the board's best efforts to trim it as much as possible, it is projected that expenditures will exceed income next year. Grants to be distributed by the MHS in 1999 were not included in the budget. Submissions for herpetological related grants will be requested by the MHS to be considered in the new year. It was decided to send a donation of $200 to the Tortoise Trust USA to help them get started. This is a new organization associated with the Tortoise Trust based in England. Tortoise Trust USA was responsible for managing the box turtle assistance program that many MHS members participated in during the summer. Presented and accepted: Membership Report, Recording Secretary Report and Treasurers Report.

Income: Membership: Raffle Sales Rodent Sales Donations Fines Misc. (rtd deposit)

400.00 88.50 690.00 521.00 55.00 4.00 50.00

Total income:


Expense: 202.00 Newsletter 0.00 Misc. prt/post. Program 50.00 24.00 Library 0.00 Supplies Refreshments 0.00 Sales costs 1,100.60 Donation 0.00 Other ( Hands-Ons) 307.28

Total Expense: Net income/{loss) Ending checkbook balance: Funds allocated to unpaid expenses Funds available

1,683.88 124.62 12,633.88 781.40 11,851.77

MHS Coming Events Dec. 4,1998, MHS General Meeting, Speaker: Wayne Hill. TopiC: Conserving Crocodilians. 335 Borlaug Hall, U of M, st. Paul Campus, 7:00p.m Dec. 5,1998 Holiday Banquet 6:30 - 10:30 P.M. Eagles Airie #94, 13523 N. 60 th St. Stillwater. Contac Gordon Merck (566-2001 evenings) for more information Jan 8, 1999, MHS General Meeting, Speaker: Dr. Dan Keyler. Topic: Rattlesnake DNA Project. 335 Borlaug Hall, U of M, St. Paul Campus, 7:00p.m Jan. 9,1999 MHS Board of Directors Meeting. Student Union, U of M, st. Paul Campus, 7:00p.m.

Hands-On As of yet there are no Hands-On(s) scheduled for November or December. Contact Sean Hewitt (612) 935-5845 for further information of Hands- On(s) events. 11

MHS Newsleller Volume 18 Number 11

CLASSIFIED ADVERTISEMENTS For Sale: Oassified ads are free to the membership. Deadline is the night of the general meeting to - be included in the next newsletter. Contact Nancy Haig 434-8684 to leave ad or mail to: MRS Editor, Bell Museum of Natural History, 10 Church St., SE, Minneapolis, .MN,55455 1.0.0= male, 0.1.0:= female, 0.0.1 = unsexed, cb = captive bred, oro = or best offer, += times run. ( ads are run only 3x unless requested to continue.)

Geckos: 1.2.0 Lined Day Gecko PllelslIwa lineata; 1.1.0 Peacock Day Gecko Pllelsuwa quadriacellata; 0.1.0 Gold Dust Day Gecko phelsllwa laticallda; 0.1.0 Leopard Gecko Ellblepharis macularus; 1.0.0 Flying Gecko Pl1jc//Ozoon kullli; 1.0.0 Skunk Gecko Gekka vittattls; 2.3.0 Micro land Geckos Stelladactylus sp. $15 / each. 0.0.2 Chinese Tiger Gecko GOlllliraSallniS liclltenfelderi $90. 0.0.12 Panther Gecko Paroedllra pictlls $20-50. Heather C Matson (612) 871-7334 Email- + 1:3 Brazilian Rainbow Boas, cb 4/13/98, $175., 1.1 subadult Queensland Carpet Pythons; one striped, one yellow, $225., 1.0 juvenile White-lipped Python, $300., Chelsea or Tyler DeArmond, 776-5216. Leave message. ++ Baby Corn Snakes, CB Aug. 98, red, black and buff varities. $10., Rubbermaid Stock Tank- 100 gal. $30., Galvanized Stock Tank- 100 gal. $30. Ann PorwoIl489-7853+++

1.1 Albino Prairie Kingsnakes, Normal Pattern, proven adult breeding pair. Gorgeous light tan and cream colored. They have been bred in '97 & '98. $65. Ea./120 pr., 1.0 Striped Prairie Kingsnake. Adult, dark black stripes on greenish gray background. $45., 0.1 Black Pinesnake. '96 John Meltzer beauty, dark shiny black, $60., 0.1 Pacific Gopher Snake, Adult, striped with very pretty highlights, great feeder, $60., Ball Python 2 W appears to be male, nice docile, feeds on hoppers. $60. Randy Blasus (612) 925-4237+++

Need to reduce our rab bit population. Live or - $4.99/each Southside Farm Store, 1534 E. 38 th St., Minneapolis MN, 55407, 7212761

Wanted: All the shed snake skins in the world. Needed for giveaways at educational programs contact Bob Duerr 541-0362 Freezer collection items for Bell Museum. Contact John Moriarity (612) 476-4663'

MRS Rodent Sales

Snakes. Hatchling Corn Amerethrystic $10., Normal $10., Snow $20., Ghost $25., also Adults, Normal $40., Snow $60., Breeding pair of Everglades Rat Snakes $100. Call Mark 481-0127+++ 1.0.0 Everglades Ratsnake cb Adult, bright orange, almost patternless $35., 0.1.0 Ball Python cb 98 voracious feeder $30. Call Mike Burpee 894-8722 ++


Pinkies Fuzzies Hoppers Adults

$7.00 dozen $7.00 dozen $8.00 dozen $10.00 dozen


Sm. Pups Lg Pups Juvn Rats. Adults

$12.00 dz. $18.00 dz. $24.00 dz. $15.00 six $30.00 dz.

For pick up at monthly meetings only. Orders rhust be placed at least one week in advance of date of meeting at which the frozen rodents are to be delivered. Place orders with Tina (Rat Girl) Cisewski at (612) 856-2865.

For Sale: Leaf Tailed Geckos: 0.2.0 cb. Uroplahls henkeli, $150/both; 1.1.0 cb Uroplatus sikorae, $175./pair; 1.2.0 wc (long term captives) Uroplatus sikorae $225/trio; Veiled Chameleons, $35. to $45./each Call Vern, 4284625+

All proceeds go toward the operating costs of the society. The MHS is a completely volunteer run, non-profit organization.

Frozen Rabbits - all sizes. Prices very reasonable- pinkies to adults. Jim Daluge(612) 295-2818


Dr. Janell Osborn, DVM "Herpetocultural Housecalls"

Jim's Rabbit Shack

(612) 599-5476 Veterinary Medicine for Reptiles and Amphibians


English Spot

Where Spots Are Tops JIM DALUGE 8700 Jaber Ave. N,E. Monticello, MN 55362

12 Polish

(612) 295路2818

Advertising Policies MHS Ad Policy: The MHS assumes NO RESPONSIBILITY regarding the health or legality of any animal, or the quality or legality of any product or service advertised in the MHS Newsletter. Any ad may be rejected at the discretion of the Newsletter Editor. Due to space limitations, unpaid and complimentary advertisements are subject to occasional omission.

MHS Meeting Location


... to Hwy 36

~ II


~ ~


Classified Ads: All active members are allowed a classified ad, run free of charge as space permits. Ads may be run (3) consecutive months, after which time they may be resubmitted. Corresponding members are allowed a complimentary business card advertisement monthly as space permits. Display Ad Rates: Ad Size per Month % page $10.00 '12 page $20.00 full page $40.00 Business card advertisements may be purchased at $5.00 per ad, per month.



:::J BORLAUG -.....::::


~ :'i







--, I

Submissions: All advertisements should be submitted to the MHS Editor, Bell Museum of Natural History, 10 Church St. SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455. Deadline is the night of the General Meeting for inclusion in the next newsletter. Make checks payable to: Minnesota Herpetological Society




7/ I

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Meetings are the 1" Friday of the month. RID. 335 Borlaug Hall, U of M St Paul Campus Start time: 7:00 p.m. MHS VoicemaiI: (612) 624 - 7065 Internet: http://www.onrampinc.netimhs/

Minnesota Herpetological Society Membership Application New


Membership #


Check #

Name _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ ___ Address ____________________________________________________________________ City_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ State Phone _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _email

Zip _ _ _ _ _ _ __ List in MHS Directory? _ _Yes _ _No

Herp related interests _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __ Active Memberships: _____ Sustaining ($60/yr) _ _ Contributing ($30/yr) _ _Basic ($15Iyr) Corresponding Memberships: ___ Gold Commercial ($100/yr 2 full pg. ads) ads) ___ Bronze Commercial ($50Iyr 2 1/4pg ads)

___ Silver Commercial ($75/yr 2 1/2 pg. ___ Basic Commercial ($25/yr 2 Bus cards)

State DOB Required check info Drivers Lic # Please enclose the proper payment with your <;Ipplication. MAKE CHECKS PAYABLE TO: MINNESOTA - - - - HERPETOLOGICAL SOCIETY. Membership ill for 12 months from the date of approval, a receipt will be sent only upon request. MAIL TO: Minnesota Herpetologicallilociety, Bell Museum of Natural History, 10 Church SI. SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455. Please allow 6 - 8 week& for procaasing.

Non-Profit Rate U.s. Postage


PAID Mpls,MN Permit No. 2275









Vol. 18 (1998), No. 11  

Minnesota Herpetological Society Newsletter

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