Page 1

MINNESOTA HERPETOLOGICAL SOCIETY NEWSLE11ER Vol. 18 No.4 April 1998


MINNESOTA HERPETOLOGICAL SOCIETY Newsletter Volume 18 Number 4 April 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 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

George Richard Barbara Buzicky BruceHaig Amy Anderson Marilyn Blasus NancyHaig Fred Bosman Laurie Grassel Gordon Merck Janell Osborn, D.V.M. Sarah Richard

(612) (612) (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 531-8256 599-5476 639-6326

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

Amphibians Greg Kvanbeck John Meltzer Chameleons Vern & Laurie Grassel

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

Amphibial15 and Reptiles in Minnesota Greg Kvanbeck (612) 388-0305 John Moriarty (612) 482-8109

(612) 428-4625

Crocodilians Jeff Lang

(612) 434-8684

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

Lizards Nancy Haig

(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: MinnHerps@aoLcom Internet: http://www.onrampinc.net/mhs/ The Minnesota Herpetological Society Newsletter is published monthly by the Minnesota Herpetological Society to provide its members with infonnation concerning the society's activities and a media for exchanging information,. opinions and resources. Printed on recycled poipU.

© 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 MHS Newsletter citing; volume, number, and date.


MRS Newsleller Volume 18 Number 4

NEWS, NOTES & ANNOUNCEMENTS Upcoming Meeting Highlights A Special Report By John Moriarty May Meeting: Blanding's Turtle Workshop Speakers: Panel Discussion At the Bell Museum The Blanding's Turtle Workshop was organized to bring Blanding's Turtle researcher's and managers together to share their information on and experience with Blanding's Turtles. There will be approximately 50 biologists from around the United States and Canada attending the meetings at the Bell Museum of Natural History. The meetings will be a mixture of papers (a list of titles is on page 10) and discussions on various Blanding's Turtle Ecology and Conservation topics. These sessions are open to all interested persons. Friday evening will be held in conjunction with the Minnesota Herpetological Society. The program will be a panel discussion on the Effects of Roads on Turtles and Other Wildlife. The panel will include Brad Kovach, Minnesota Department of Transportation, Suzie Fowle, Massachusetts Heritage Program, and John Moriarty, Hennepin Parks. other workshop participants will also contribute.

Reminder The May Meeting will be held one week later on May 8th, at 7:00 P.M. at the Bell Museum Of Natural History, 10 Church Street SE Minneapolis, MN.

Workshop Schedule Thursday - May 7 Presentations and discussion - Bell Museum (900-1700) 9:00 to 10:30 introductions and papers 10:30 to 10:45 break 10:45 to 12:15 papers 12:15 to 1:30 lunch 1:30 to 3:00 papers 3:00 to 3:15 break 3:15 to 5:00 papers and discussion

I

Friday - May 8 Presentations and discussion - Bell Museum (900-1700) 9:00 to 10:30 introductions and papers 10:30 to 10:45 break 10:45 to 12:15 papers 12:15 to 1:30 lunch 1:30 to 3:00 papers 3:00 to 3:15 break 3:15 to 5:00 papers and discussion 7:00 to 9:00 Minnesota Herpetological Society meeting: Turtles and roads (panel discussion with workshop participants)


MHS Newsletter Volume 18 Number 4

NEWS, NOTES & ANNOUNCEMENTS Presidential Pabulum By George Richard - MHS President Well, it looks as though spring is upon us once again and with the warmer weather the MHS is out in force. The Hands-On season is well underway, with at least. 15 people out at the Vet School Open House, Hands-On. It was a great opportunity to present our animals in a positive light to both the general public and the veterinary community. Along with the standard what is it? Where does it come from? What does it eat? (I only heard one is it poisonous?) There were some very good questions and quite a few interested observers. I took advantage of the opportunity of this Hands-On to display and distribute a new pamphlet I've been developing. This public education pamphlet had been approved at our board meeting and after a hectic rewrite and copy trip was ready for distribution. The one page tri-fold covers the responsibilities of herp ownership in a non-accusatory manner. Hopefully this will allow it to be distributed in any location where the general public is potentially purchasing herps. This ties in with another article you may have read elsewhere in this issue of our newsletter. Unfortunately the reason for the brochure was made quite clear even among the better than average, fairly well informed patrons at this Hands-On. One patron refused to believe that the little green Ig in the cage and the big grey one Dr. Osborn was holding were the same species. Had she known that she wouldn't have bought one for her son 2

months ago, will they take it back? Ecl And the beef goes on.

Teaching Specimens Wanted

In keeping with our position paper I believe our next step is to build bridges and consult with other societies and concerned individuals regarding cooperation in finding solutions to the pet trade problem. Along with other members of the Pet trade/Iguana problem Committee I will be attending the Chicago's Herpfest in May and meeting with their "Iguana Squad". Hopefully this is the type of communication and cooperation that will bring about the solution to this national problem.

Have you been building a large freezer collection? The Bell Museum of Natural History is looking for amphibian and reptile specimens for its herpetology teaching collection. Species of high interest are tropical species, especially lizards and frogs. Large constrictors and green iguanas are not needed. Persons interested in donating specimens should contact John Moriarty at 476-4663.

As Earth day approaches (as I write this column), I can't help but feel that our society is the sum of our actions and common deeds, unfortunately it is also the sum of our inaction. If we don't protect the things we love who will? George Richard

General Meeting Changes The May Meeting of the MHS will be held at the Bell Museum. Because of the change in meeting place, the following functions will not take place. The Library will not be available. There will be no adoptions presented. There will be no Critter of the Month. Please do not bring any live animals to the Bell Museum. Rodent orders ill!! be available for pick-up at the meeting.

Videos Wanted Anyone who video or audio-taped any or all of the "1997 Midwest Herpetological Symposium" in Shakopee, MN. Please call: John Levell at (507) 467 -3076 PM (507) 467-8733 2

Request for Amphibian and Reptile Distribution Records In an effort to maintain up-todate distribution records of Minnesota's amphibians and reptiles, new county records from 1996 and 1997 are being requested. Records should be new or updates for the maps in Oldfield and Moriarty 1994, Amphibians and Reptiles Native to Minnesota, or Moriarty 1996 - MHS Newsletter. Reports and photos can be mailed to: John Moriarty, 3261 Victoria St., Shoreview, MN 55126. Persons with specimens can contact John at 476-4663 to arrange pick up

April's "Critter of the Month Joy Nordquist Shakespearean actor - George Garter Snake Thamnophis sirtalis

Help A Hapless Herp 1 Fat-tailed Gecko 2 Spur-thighed Tortoises 1 South American Wood

Turtle 1 Mexican Mud Turtle 1 Painted Turtle 1 Ball Python 1 Nile Monitor a total of 8 animals found good homes


MHS Newsleller Volume 18 Number 4

Genera 1Meeting Review Cold Blooded Species Management Speaker: Bob Hay - Wisconsin DNR Bob Hay is the Cold Blooded Species Manager for the Wisconsin Deparbnent of Resources - Bureau of Endangered Species. He manages several programs for maintaining or increasing the populations of endangered and threatened cold blooded species other than fish in Wisconsin which were described and well illustrated in his presentation to theMHS. The ornate box turtle project was initiated in 1992 with the objective of translocating turtles from small "pocket" populations to a larger site where they would form a more viable breeding population. Their historic and current range is limited to the dry sand prairie associated with the flood plains of the Wisconsin River in the south west of Wisconsin and the Sugar River on the southern border. This has become very fragmented by development and farming with a resulting decline of the population into small isolated groups. It took two years before all the animals were imprinted with the new site as their home. After the first year, half of the turtles released from their holding enclosures left but everyone stayed after the second year. They have also enjoyed success in head-starting box turtles with quite high survival rates. One experiment involved the importation of turtles from northern Texas, Kansas, and Nebraska to see if there might be an alternative source for repopulating the areas in Wisconsin if the attempts to recover the native population failed. The "imports" survived for two years but all of then except the Nebraska natives died of respiratory infections in the third year. The surviving Nebraska turtles have never bred in Wisconsin. The路 Eastern Massasauga rattlesnake is in serious shape in Wisconsin and is probably extirpated in Minnesota. Ranges recorded in the mid-1800s were much larger than those recorded when the last survey

was made in 1974 and have probably shrunk further since then. Telemetry work by the DNR is limited to upland areas because they are too hard to find in the wetlands, their preferred habitat. One gravid female moved 70 meters after being fitted with a transmitter and then spent the entire summer in a single clump of bluestem grass. Birds of prey appear to be the primary predators, one owl pellet yielded evidence of four snakes; three transmitters from juveniles and a rattle from a mature snake. The effort to obtain protected status for timber rattlesnakes has been met with such hostility from the public that Bob describes it as "a living nightmare". Facts regarding the actual number of injuries or deaths caused by the snakes have absolutely no effect on some people's opinions that they should all be killed. A considerable amount of public education will be necessary before it will be possible to legally protect them The timber rattlesnake's situation is slightly different from that of the massasauga; not only is their habitat being fragmented by development, it is disappearing due to natural ecological progression. The Native Americans had burned the areas along the Mississippi River for centuries to encourage grass growth. Now that this is no longer done, the oak forest is taking over the region, making it too cool for the timber rattlesnakes to survive. Bob and his staff did not find a single blue racer and only found 3 black rat snakes while searching for the rattlesnakes that share the same environment. The majority of sites where the snakes were found probably do not harbor viable populations of 30 to 40 snakes including 8 to 12 reproducing females. They visited 34 sites, 3 on DNR land and 31 on private land and found 57 snakes of which 35 were on the DNR land and 22 on private land. This is despite offers by the public to 3

By Bruce Haig Recording Secretary demonstrate the abundance of the animals at certain sites. Contrary to Bob's experience on the timber rattlesnake project, the public has been very cooperative in the creation of new turtle harvest regulations that went into effect in March 1997. Even the turtle "fishermen" were happy to work to establish realistic bag limits for selfsustaining populations. When there were no limits, harvests such as 500 spiny softshells per day, principally by people hom outside the area, would decimate the populations. Bob has confidence that most populations can now recover. Several practices by the DNR have been changes to preserve and improve turtle habitats. Reservoirs are often "drawn down" or drained to reduce noxious weeds and rough fish. This was formally done in the winter so they reservoirs would be full in the fall for waterfowl hunting. Turtles, particularly Blandings, that overwinter on the bottoms of the reservoirs would be frozen to death. These drawdowns now take place in the summer while the turtles are more terrestrial. The practice of removing alder thickets along streams essential for wood turtles and replacing them with reed canary grass to make it easier for fishermen has also been reduced or stopped. The use of "rip rap" (large boulders) to stabilize sandy banks used by nesting turtles has also been reduced. It seems that the turtles simply cannot climb over them to lay their eggs. Another practice that shows promise is the use of barriers along roads to encourage turtles to go under bridges or use other under-passes rather than cross roads. Bob watched one Blanding's turtle cross a road 7 times in search of a good nesting site, greatly increasing the probability of her being squashed. Turtle-car collisions have been practically eliminated where the long barriers have been installed.


MHS Newsletter Volume 18 Number 4

The Meaning of Minnesota Herptile Names: Discovering the Spotted Bind-around Snake

By G.S. Casper

First published in the MHS Newsletter Volume 3, Number 1, 1983

Do you ever wonder what those sometimes-unpronounceable scientific names we attach to animals mean? Scientific names can be translated into plain English, and doing so often reveals descriptive and informative names for animals. Most scientific names are derived from Greek and Latin two "dead" languages: i.e. they are no longer spoken and thus are no longer changing with use. Static, unchanging languages were chosen for scientific names to eliminate confusion which might result if word meanings changed with time. (All spoken languages are constantly evolving new words and new meanings for old words.) All organisms are given a formal scientific name at the time of their discovery. The system for naming new organisms is called "binomial Which was nomenclature". founded by Carolus Linnaeus in the 1700's. This system assigns two names to each organism - one identifying the species and the other the genus to which the species belongs. The genus is always listed first and capitalized, then comes the species (which is never capitalized), and this is usually followed in parentheses by the name of the person who named the species. Genus and species names are always written in either italics or underlined. For example, Gopherus Polyphemus (Daudin) is the name given to the Gopher Tortoise by Daudin. This name means "many-voiced burrower". Scientific names, once formally assigned, never change unless new information merits a change in taxonomic status. This single scientific name is used worldwide in all languages to describe the organism. By contrast, common names often change and vary

widely from place to place. For example, the term rat snake" can refer to at least tluee different genera of snakes - Eiaphe, Spilotes, and Ptyas. Pituophis melanoleucus is known variously as the "Bulisnake, "Gopher Snake", and flPine Snake" in Minnesota; while Mergus merganser is called the "Goosander" in Britian and the "Common Merganser" in North America. With all this confusion over common names, we are lucky indeed to have a universal scientific name; otherwise we might never be sure exactly what we are talking about! Many groups of anirnaIs now have official standard common names, but these are not always used in all localities. II

With this understanding of what a scientific name is, one can usually discover the literal meaning of those funny looking words from their Latin and Greek roots. I say usually because it's not always that simple. Scientific names may be "Iatinized" proper names of people or places, mythological names, geographical localities, or even nonsense" nrunes which were arbitrarily made up! It can take quite a bit of detective work to discover the true meaning of some names. 1/

I have attempted a translation for all of the reptile and amphibian species found in Minnesota. The following list gives the scientific name followed by my best effort at a literal meaning. I make no guarantees as to accuracy, however. To aid readers in finding any mistakes I follow each species with the root words from which my English translation was

4

derived. ( If anyone out there can come up with a better meaning for Elaphe please let me know!) This kind of work can be fun and rewarding (though time consuming) so I have included a bibliography at the end to aid readers in finding the meanings of other curious names. Abbreviations: Gr. =- Greek; L.=Latini ML.= modem Latini NL.~new Latin; genit.~genitive; fem.=feminine; ppr.=present participle.

Chelydria sepentina

water serpent chelydros - Gr., a water serpent serpentis -L., a serpent

Clemmys insculpta

engraved turtle klemmys- Gr., a tortoise insculpo -L., to cut in, engrave, inprint

Graptemys pseudgeographica false map turtle graptos- Gr., inscribed, painted emydos - Gr., a freshwater tortoise pseudes- Gr., false geo- Gr., land graphe- Gr., a drawing, painting, representation Graptemys geographica

map turtle See G. pseudogeographica

Graptemys ouachitensis Ouachita inscribed turtle graptemys- see preceding entry ouachita - a river in Louisiana ensis - L., suffix meaning belonging to


MHS Newsleller Volume 18 Number 4

The Meaning of Minnesota Herptile Names By Gary S. Casper Chrysemys picta painted golden turtle chryseos- Gr., golden, rich, superb emydos- Gr., a freshwater tortoise pictusL., painted embroidered Emydoidea blandingi Blanding's Emys- like* one emydos- Gr., a freshwater tortoise oidios - Gr., suffix meaning form of, type of blandingii - proper name, W. Blanding -emys- is the genus Emydoidea was derived from Trionyx muticus curtailed three-clawed one tri- L., three onychos- Gr., nail, talon, claw muticus- L., curtailed, cut off Trionyx spiniferus spine-bearing three-clawed one Trionyx- see preceding entry spinula- L., thorn, spine fero- L., to bear Eumecesseptenbionalis northern long one eu- Gr., prefix meaning good, well, true, nice mekos- Gr., length, height septentrionalis- L., northern Eumeces fasciatus bundled long one Eumeces- see preceding entry fascisatus- L., bundled Cnemidophorus sexlineatus six-lined one-with-leggings kemidophorus- Gr., equipped with leggings sex-I., six lineatus- L., streaked, marked with lines

Stureria occipitomaculata Storer's one-with-spotted-back-of-head storeria- a proper name, D.H. Storer occipitis- L., the back part of the head maculatus- L., spotted Storeria dekayi Storer's and Dekay's storeria- a proper name, D.H. Storer dekayi- a proper name, James E. Dekay (1792? -1851), American naturalist Nerodia sipedon -swimming earth neros- Gr., humid, fluid, as in swimming -od -NL., form seio- Gr., to wave, move to and fro pedon- Gr., ground, earth Tharnnophis radix root shrub-snake tharnnos- Gr., a shrub ophis- Gr., a snake radix- L., a root Tharnnophis sirtalis garter-like shrub-snake Tharnnophis- see preceding entry Sirtalis- NL., like a garter Heterodon nasicus other-toothed pointy-nosed one Heteros- Gr., other, different Odontos- Gr., tooth Nasica- NL., with a large or pointed nose Heterodon playyrhinos other-toothed broadnosed one Heterodon- see preceding entry platys- Gr., flat, broad, wide rhis-- Gr., a nose

5

Diadophis punctatus spotted bind-around snake Diadeo- Gr., to bind around Ophis- Gr., a snake Punctatus- L., spotted as with punctures Coluber constrictor constricting serpent Coluber- L., a serpent Con- L., prefix meaning with Strictura- L., a contraction Opheodrys vernalis spring oak-snake Opheo- NL., a snake Drys- Gr., a tree, especially oak Vernalis- L., belonging to spring Pituophis melanoleucus black-and-white pine snake Pitys- Gr., the pine Ophis- Gr., a snake Melas-Gr., black Leukos- Gr., white Elaphe vulpina fox-like deer-like one* Elaphos- Gr., a deer, stag* Vulpinus- L., of or belonging to a fox ( probably refers to the head color resembling a red fox) * - this interpetation of Elaphe doesn't seem to make sense; I know of no deer-like characters in the genus Elaphe obsoleta indistinct deer-like one Elaphe- see preceding entry Obsoletus- L., indistinct, without clear markings, effaced, worn out Lampropeltis triangulum three-angled beautifully shielded one lampros- Gr., shining, beautiful pelte- Gr., a small shield tri- L., three angulus- L., angle, comer


MHS Newsletter Volume 18 Number 4

The Meaning of Minnesota Herptile Names By Gary S. Casper Sistrurus catenatus chained rattle-tailed one sistrurn- L., a rattle oura- Gr., the tail catenatus- L., chained, connected by chains Crotalus horridurn one with projecting rattle krotalon- Gr., a rattle horridus- L., standing on end, projecting, rough, prickly Tropidoclonion lineaturn keeled-twig lined one tropis- Gr., (late genit.= tropidos), a keel klonion- Gr., (dim.) a branch, twig lineatus- L., streaked, marked with lines Necturus maculosus Swimming-tail mottled one nektos- Gr., swimming oura- Gr., the tail maculosus- L., speckled, mottled, full of spots, blotted, stained Notophthalmus viridiscens green back-eyed one notus- Gr., the back opthalmos- Gr., the eye viridis- L., green Ambystoma tigrinum. . round~outh tiger-like one ambyx- Gr., a cup, the rounded top of a cup stoma- Gr., mouth tigrinus- L., striped like a tiger, tiger-like Ambystoma laterale round-mouth flanked one ambystoma- see preceding entry lateris- L., side, flank Plethodon cinerus full toothed ashy one pletho- Gr., to be full, to become full, complete odonos- Gr., (genit.), tooth cinerus- L., (genit.), ashes

Rana palustris

Bufo hemiophrys half-brow toad bufo- L., toad hemi- Gr., half ophrys- Gr., brow, eyebrow Bufo americanus American toad bufo- L., toad americanus- proper name, America Bufo cognatus related toad bufo- L., toad cognatus- L., related Hyla crucifer cross-bearer of the woods Hyle- Gr., a wood Hylaios- Gr., belonging to the forest Crucis- L., a cross Fero- L., to bear Hyla chrysoscelis gold stain of the woods Hyla- see preceding entry Chrysos- Gr., gold Kelis- Gr, a spot, stain Hyla versicolor one turned the hue of the woods Hyla- see preceding entry Versus- L., turned Color- L., tint, hue Acris crepitans clattering locust Akris- Gr., a locust Crepito- L., to rattle, to clatter Pseudacris triseriata three-rowed false locust Pseudes- Gr., false Akris- Gr., a locust Tri- L., three Seriatus- ML., to arrange in a series Series- L. t a row

6

marsh frog Rana- L., a frog Palustris- L., (fern.), marshy Rana septentrionalis northern frog Rana- L., a frog Septentrionalis- L., northern Rana pipiens peeping frog Rana- L., a frog Pipiens- L., peeping Rana c1amitans loud-calling frog Rana- L., a frog Clamitans- L., (ppr) , loud calling Rana sylvatica frog among the trees Rana- L., a frog Sylvaticus- L., growing among the trees Rana catesbeiana Cates by's frog Rana- L., a frog Catesbeiana- proper name, Mark Catesby (1679? -1749) English naturalist Bibliography: Choate, E.A. The Dictionary of American Bird Names Gambit, Boston, 1973 Ernst, c.H. and Barbour, R.W. Turtles of the United States see glossary of scientific names pp. 292-294, University of Kentucky, 1972 Gotch, A.F. Marnmals- Their Latin Names Explained. A Guide to Animal Classification. Sterling Publications /Blandfoer Press, 1979 Gruson, E.5. Words for Birds, Quadrangle Books, New York , 1972 Jaeger, E.C. A Source Book of Biological Names and Terms. 3,d edition, 6th printing, Charles C. Thomas, Illinois, 1978


MHS Newsletter Volume 18 Number 4

MRS ADOPTION ANlMALSBYNanCYIla;g I Because the May General Meeting is being held at the Bell Museum, there will be no adoption animals presented at the meeting. This does not mean there are no animals needing homes. On the contrary, there are many. At the April Meeting, 8 out of 26 animals were adopted, leaving 18 animals still in need of a home. Where do they all come from? Most of these have come from animal control agencies that have contacted the MHS for help. They were either confiscated from or abandoned by their previous owners. The MHS is their last chance. The March 1998 Survey asked the membership for their opinions concerning our adoptions. Out of 83 returns, 35 said they have adopted animals and 15 people responded with comments. These will be reviewed by the Board, but one comment struck me as strange.

"More variety." These critters

come to us as abandoned animals in need of homes. They are not preselected for appeal to the membership. We have no way of ,knowing what will tum up next But they all have the same need, a home that will care for them. The following is the current lIst of animals available for adoption. Please contact the MHS Voicemail (612) 624-7065, press 2 for the Adoption Line and leave a message if you can adopt any of these animals.

Members who live out of town and cannot attend the meetings, can still adopt any of the animals lIsted in the newsletter. Send in the adoption request form below or have the information available when you call the Adoption Line. You must be a current MHS member and, if you are under 18 years of age, have your guardian's written pennission.

Some animals, because of their abundance are available to nonIf you know MHS members. someone who would like an Iguana or Burmese Python or of a nature center or classroom that would like to have a herp, have them contact the Adoption Line.

Currently Available: 1 baby Common Boa 1 adult Common Boa 2 Burmese pythons 1 small Caiman 1 medium Caiman (Caimans can reach up to 8' + ft)

5 small Iguanas 6 medium Iguanas 1 large Iguana

Request for Adoption

Name _______________________________________________________________________ Address ____________________~--~----~----------~~~~----~~~--------Telephone ____-,-_________ Membership number __________ When did you jOin MHS?___________ What animal are you applying for? __________~_c__:_----~----__:___c_,_:_--__::__:__--_,_--------What is your husbandry and breeding experience with this or similar species? (please elaborate) What types of amphibians or reptiles are you keeping now?_____________________________________ What have you adopted from the MHS in the past? When? How are the animals doing now? I agree that if I acquire this animal, I will retain full possession of it for a period of one year, at which time it will become mine. I will also maintain my membership in MHS for the entire one year period. If the animal dies within the one year period I may, at the discretion of the adoption committre, be required to provide a necropsy of the animal or the body of the animal itself. If I decide to part with this animal during the next year, I agree to return it to the MHS. I will not trade, sell or dispose of this animal in any other manner. I agree to provide adequate food, housing and veterinary care during the one year period. I agree that MHS is not responsible for the legality of this animal in my community.

Signature _______________________________

Date _____________________ 7


MHS Newsletter Volume 18 Number 4

The Herpin' Lifestyle By Greg K vanbek

Frog Season Starts In most areas of Minnesota, the first frog call of the season that you are likely to hear will be that of the western chorus frog, Pseudacris triseriata. Chorus frogs usually begin calling around the last week of March or the first week of April. They prefer smaller bodies of water, often breeding in road ditches. Their call is sort of a rapid clicking sound. This is undoubtedly the most commonly heard Minnesota frog, which I guess would also make it the most abundant. Enjoy them now, because once their breeding season is over, they become very difficult to find.

Another early breeder in the northern leopard frog, Rana pipiens. They often breed in the same waters as the chorus frog, but seem to avoid the srnaIIest ponds. While chorus frogs usually conceal themselves in or around vegetation while calling, the leopard frog is much more bold. The males can often be seen floating on the surface of the water, in a sexually confident manner, with their legs outstretched, right in the open. Their call sounds kind of like a balloon stretching as it is blown up. In fact, if you were to make a balloon out of stretchy frog skin, it would sound identical to a leopard frog call. Most non-herp people, as far as I can tell, refer to all of the early frogs as spring peepers. Actually some of them are. The spring peeper, Pseudacris crndfer, usually begins breeding shortly after the chorus frogs and leopard frogs. Their shrill peeping whistle can be heard throughout eastern

Minnesota in wooded areas and willow swamps. (Everyone has seen the picture of a spring peeper calling from a pussy willow.) Spring peepers can be difficult to locate, as they are skilled at concealing themselves within clumps of grass. If you go out looking for them- you will find that their call, which is earsplitting, is strangely difficult to pinpoint. I've even had difficulty in locating individuals that were calling on branches, in the open, right in front of me. Pretty weird. The wood frog, Rana sylvatica, is one of my favorites. They bred early, in the Jesus water of wooded ponds and willow swamps. My herpin' buddies Jeff LeClere and Dan Berquist were somewhat unfamiliar with Jesus water at one time. A couple of seasons ago, the three of us spent an early spring day catching and photographing herps at various spots in western Minnesota. At the time, I did a frog survey route north of Alexandria, and we all decided that running the frog route would be a good way to end the day. I then proposed that the three of us reveal our voyeuristic natures, go out into the Jesus water and watch wood frogs breed. Jeff and Dan asked what I meant by Jesus water, I explained that, despite the name, it had no religious meaning. Jesus water is simply water that is so cold that when you walk into it, you gasp "Oh Jesus!". Maybe it is somewhat spiritual. Anyway, they doubted me, which is somewhat normal. So after running the frog route, we returned to a large willow swamp where we had heard the

8

clacking of wood frogs earlier in the evening We threw on our sixdollar tennies, gathered up camera gear and flashlights, and struck out across the cornfield. As we neared the willows, the calling frogs became louder. We quletly made our way through the willows to an open patch of water that was alive with wood frogs. One by one, we entered the icy water. I have to admit, both Dan and Jeff did a very good job at not saying "Oh Jesus!" right away. Obviously they had to prove me wrong. But they did both quletly and enthusiastically say /JGeez!" or "Cheez!" or something. That water was beyond cold. All we felt was a strange burning sensation on our numb feet and legs. The water temperature had to have been well below freezing. The worst part was, the frogs had qult calling. As we stood there quletly, in the darkness, within a few feet of each other, waiting for the frogs to begin calling again, a single thought gelled in our collective minds. Each of us wanted to break away and run, screaming, from the swamp. But none of us wanted to be the first to weaken. So we stood there, in the icy water, listening to each other breathe, for what seemed like many hours, waiting for the wood frogs to continue calling. We eventually began looking around with our flashlights, and found several individuals and amplexing (which means dom it) pairs hiding under the water. Thus accomplishing what we set out to do, we qulckly left the swamp. Our red feet were so numb that we could hardly walk back to the car. It will just bulld up tolerance for the next time.

our


MHS News/eller Volume /8 Number 4

LET'TERS TO MHS An indirect measure of the

iguana problem showed up in the February issue of the MHS Newsletter. The statistics are not very encouraging: One iguana successfully adopted, no less than 13 awaiting adoption. Why are large numbers of these herps put up for adoption and why do they remain unadopted month after month? What is wrong with iguanas? I've been keeping turtles for more than 45 year and have been an MHS member路 for a dozen years. H I couldn't tell you why so many iguana owners tire of their pets, how is the general public supposed to know that iguanas may not be the best choice for tile beginning hew路keeper. MHS has asked pet stores not to sell iguanas, but we haven't clearly explained to the public why they shouldn't buy them. Mindlessly saying, "Just don't do itl" is not enough. We who already have herps sound all too much like people who move to a nice neighborhood or town and then show up at public meetings to loudly protest against further development that would make it possible for more people to live there. Did that cute little lizard you brought home from the pet store grow and grow until it became a monster that requires a huge enclosure or even its own bedroom, heated to tropical warmth year round, whether in the depths of winter or the peaks of the airconditioning season? Do iguanas screech at night, bite the hand that feeds them, or consume large

quantities of expensive, hard-toobtain food? (1 told you I don't know what the problem is with iguanas.) Years ago, a maker of luxury automobiles used the slogan, "Ask the man who owns one." We should base our campaign on a variation on that "Ask someone who ~ to own one." Perhaps there already is a well-written article or brochure that expIruns the problems with iguanas. H so, then MHS should get permission to reprint it. If not, the one or more MHS members should put such a publication together and MHS should circulate it as widely as possible. We could also try to get local newspapers and regional magazines to publicize the problem. Perhaps we could even arrange for some MHS members (and a few of their "critters") to appear on some local TV shows. Unfortunately, a big part of the problem is that people sometimes pass up the easy to care for anirnaIs in favor of the more exotic ones, as described in Greg Kvanbek's column in the February issue. I don' t have the slightest idea of how to deal with that peculiarity of human nature. We can try to keep it in mind when setting up our public education campaign. There will always be some people who wouldn't get a kitten, but would live to get a herp big enough to eat a kitten. At least, we can try to encourage people who want something a little different or who need a non-allergenic pet to make a more appropriate choice. David Norman

9

Editors note: "The position of the Minnesota Herpetological Society is that a problem this complex will have no single sinlple solution. Beginning with the continued education of our members, those of other societies and the general public. we will expand our education efforts to include responsible reactions to animal care inappropriate conditions. We will advocate for responsible Pet Trade Practices that encourage and promote good animal husbandry and ecologically responsible trade. We will strive to coordinate our actions with those of other societies, groups, and organizations to promote public mininlize awareness and irresponsible pet care." Pet Trade/lguann Position Paper, MHS Board of Directors, Nov. 1997 As part of the public awareness and education efforts, George Richard (MHS President) has put together a brochure for would-be herp owners, based on the format "So you think you want to own a reptile?/f It is intended to be a general view on selecting and caring for reptiles and had its debut at the Veterinary School Open House Hands-On (April 5th). Hopefully we will have some feedback on it in a future newsletter.

MHS would like to create a series of brochures concerning specific anirnaIs to be distributed at Hands-Ons, nature centers, schools and maybe even pet stores. H you would like to be involved路 in the creation of these brochures, or have some opinions and/or pointers to share, please contact George Richard (612) 639-6368 or any of the other Board members.


MHS Newsletter Volume 18 Number 4

Blanding's Turtle Workshop May 7-8, 1998, At the Bell Museum Papers to be presented A MOLECULAR APPROACH TO TIlli sruDY OF BLANDING'S TURlLEIN NOVA SCOTIA Steve Mockfordl, Tom Herman2, Marlene Snyd.,.2 and

HABITAT USE AND HOME RANGE OF JUVENILE AND ADULT BLANDING'S TURTLES IN NORTHEASf INDIANA du'istine Barlow and Bruce Kingsbury.

Jonathan Wright1

CONSERVATION AND MANAGEMENT OF LONG-UVED ORGANISMS: LESSONS FROM BLANDING'S lURlLE DEMOGRAPHICS Justin D. Congdon" Arthur E. Dunham', R C. van 1.ohen 5ols',

SITE FJDEUTY AND TIlli LACK THERE OF IN BLANDING'S lURTLES:RESULTS OF A FIVE-YEAR 1ELEMEfRy STUDY JohnJ. Moriarty and Madeleine Unck BLANDING'S lURlLE USE OF A RESTORED PRAIRIE AND WEILAND COMFLEX IN CROW-HASSAN PARK RESERVE, MINNESOTA John}. Moriarty and Madeleine Unck

SfATUS AND CONSERVATION OF BLANDING'S TURTLES IN MMBACHUSErTS Suzanne C. Fowle and Scott M Melvin

MOVEMENTSANDHABITATSELECTIONOFHEADSfARTED HATCHIlNGS IN A TIffiEATENED POPULATION OF BLANDING'S TURTLES (EMYOOlDEA BLANDINGI!) IN KEjIMKUJlK NATIONAL PARK, NOVA SCOTIA. Ian Morrison1, Tom Hertnan2 and Lorraine Standing2

GROWIH AND DEMOGRAPHICS OF A POPULATION OF EMYDDlDEA BLANDINGII FROM WESTERN NEBRASKA DavidJ. R Bruce Bury',andMaryJennIngs'

Germano"

IMPACTS OF A CONIROLLED WEILAND DRAWDOWN ON BLANDING'S 1URTLES Carol Hall

TIlli BLANDING'S lURTLES OF WEAVER DUNES,MINNESOTA Micheal Pappas and Bruce Brede

CONSERVATION OF BLANDING'S 1URTLES AT A NATURE CONSERVANCY PRESERVE IN DVTCHE.55COUNIY, NEW YORK Christopher Hannon! and Alvin Breisch2

SEASONAL MOVEMENTS, HOME RANGES AND WEILAND HABITATS OF A CENTRAL MINNESOTA POPULATION OF BLANDING'S TURTLES Steve Piepgras,Todd Sajwa~ and Jeffrey W. Lang

RECOVERY OF A TIffiEATENED BLANDING'STURlLE POPULATION: IS HEADSfARTING A VIABLE CONSERVATION TOOL? Tom Hermant , Ian Morris0n2and Natalie McMasterl

CONSERVATION GENETICS OF BLANDING'S TURlLE POPULATIONS: GEOGRAPHIC ISOLATION, SMALL POPULATION SIZE, AND GENETIC DIVERSITY. eory5. Rubin, Richard E. Warner, and KenN. Paige

BLANDING'S 1URlLE IN MISSOURI Tom R Johnson

SEASONAL AND DAILY PATTERNS OF BODY TEMPERATURE AND1HERMAL BEHAVIOR IN A CENTRAL MINNESOTA POPULATION OF BLANDING'S TURTLES. Todd Sajwaj, Steve Piepgra" andJeffrey W. Lang

RESTORATION OFWEILAND AND UPLAND HABITATFOR BLANDING'S TURlLE Erik Kiviatl , Gretchen Stevensl , Robert Brawnan1 , Sven Hoegerl ,Peter J. Petokasl , and Garrett Hollands3

REPRODUCTION AND NEST SUCCESS IN A TIffiEATENED POPULATION OF BLANDING'S lURlLE IN NOVA SCOTIA: AN EVALUATION OFTIlli NESTSCREENlNG PROGRAMME. Lorraine Standing1, Ian Morris0n2 and Tom Hermanl

REPRODUCTIVE AND 0TIlER LIFEHISfORY FEATURES OF A CENTRAL MINNESOTA POPULATION OF BLANDING'S lURTLES Jeffrey W. Lang. Todd Sajwaj, and Steve Piepgras

BLANDING'STURTLE POPULATION STUDIES-SANDHILL WlLDUFE AREA, WOOD COUNIY, WISCONSIN JasonD. Tanckand RichardP. ThIel

COMMEROALEXPLOITATION OF BLANDING'S TURTLES, EMYDOIDEA BLANDINGlI, FOR TIlli LIVE ANIMAL TRADE JohnP. Levell

Workshop Sponsors

URBAN BLANDING'S TURlLEPOPULATIONS IN NOR1HEASfERN ILUNOIS Daniel R. Ludwig.

J.F. Bell Museum of Natural History Chelonian Research Foundation Minnesota Herpetological Society Minnesota Nongame Wildlife Program The Nature Conservancy USFWS University of North Dakota Advanced Telemetry Systems Serpent's Tale Natural History Book Distributors

MOVEMENT OF HATCHLING BLANDING'S TURTLES (EMYOOIDEA BLANDINGIl) IN RESPONSE TO VARYING PROXIMlTIES TO WATER Jennifer McNeil and Tom Herman

10


MHS Newsletter Volume 18 Number 4

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

Treasurer's Report of March 1998

By Bruce Haig, Recording Secretary

Prepared by Marilyn Brooks Blasus

The MHS Board of Directors met April 4, 1998 at the U of M Student Union. A quorum was present. The MHS treasury decreased by $237.62 due to the payment of two months of rodent bills and the purchase of FileMaker software for managing the membership files. There were 26 animals available for adoption at the general membership meeting of which 8 were adopted. The member opinion survey results were discussed and each board member was asked to analyze the suggestions for changes in club activities (library, adoptions, etc.) and recommend methods to . implement them at the May board meeting. The noise from people talking during meetings is becoming a problem again. The options of moving the adoption animals to another part of the meeting room and/or assigning members at large to ask offenders to shut up were discussed. The bottom line is that people have to be more considerate and not carry on ~ conversations anywhere in the room while people are trying to address the club from the front. The individual white pages revision sheets will be distributed in the April newsletter so members can make any changes to their listings in the 1998 White Pages. Presented and accepted: Recording Secretary Report and Treasurers Report

Beginning checkbook balance:

12,20256

Income: Membership: Raffle

Sales Rodent Sales Donations Fines

280.00 53.00 12.50 561.00 57.36 1.00 946.00

Total income: Expense: Newsletter Misc. prt. / post. Program Library Supplies Refreshments Sales costs Donation Other (mugs) Other (software)

450.00 75.00 111.00 0.00 0.00 49.75 264.00 0.00 125.40 127.33

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

1,202.48 (237.62) 11,964.94 200.00 11,764.94

MHS Coming Events May 8,1998 MHS General Meeting, Program: Blanding's Turtle Workshop, Speaker: Panel Discussion Bell Museum Of Natural History 10 Church st. SE Mpls., 7:00p.m May 9, 1998 MHS Board of Directors Meeting. Student Union, U of M, Sl Paul Campus, 7:00p.m June 5, 1998 MHS General Meeting, 335 Borlaug Hall, U of M, st. Paul Campus, 7:00p.m. July 10, 1998 MHS General Meeting, 335 Borlaug Hall, U of M, st. Paul Campus, 7:00p.m July 18, 1998 MHS Picnic, Locke Park,

Hands On April 25,1998 Saturday. Earth Day Festival. City of Chanhassen, 1:00 to 3:00pm May 30, 1998 Saturday. Scout Fair '98. This event is tentative. June 25-Aug 13, Thursdays only. MarketFEST. White Bear Lake, 6:00-9:00 pm Aug IS-Sept 27. Weekends Minnesota Renaissance Festival. Contact Dennis Daly (331-8606) Or Franke Forstner (235-3964) Contact Sean Hewitt (612) 935-5845 for further information of Hands On events. 11


MHS Newsletter Volume 18 Number 4

CLASSIFIED ADVERTISEMENTS For Sale: OassiRed 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: MHS Editor, Bell Museum of Natural History, 10 Church St., SE, Minneapolis, MN,55455

1.0.0 - maie, W\SeXed, cb offer

=

0.1.0 - female, captive bred, obo

=

0.0.1or best

1.0.0 adult striped Prairie Kingsnake, $55; 0.1.0 adult amelenistic normal pattern Prairie Kingsnake, $125; 'l: Ball Python $80; Prices decent feeder, negotiable. Can deliver to MHS meeting. Call Randy 925-4237 Breeding pairs of Sinaloan, Andean, Mexican and Pueblan Milksnakes, California Banded, Thayeri, Greei, Ruthvins (1.0 hetero for albinism) and Grey Banded Kingsnakes. Beautiful animals, great prices. AIl hibernated and ready to breed. Call Claude Riedel at (612) 824-5308. 1.1 Irian Jaya Blue Tongued Skinks. Many Thayeri Kings, Wholesale prices. Call Mark Hauge (302) 202-9871 or Whitneywee@ aol.com Baby Common Boas, c.b. 98,. Shed

Baby Giant Day Geckos, Pizelsullla grandis, $25.00 Call Craig 9347239 III.

0.1.0 Bearded Dragon: June '95 hatch, very healthy, good temperament. $150 or offer. Michael 754-8241 Brazilian Rainbow Boas, Epicrates c. cenchria, born 21 November 1997, well-started babies with pink, purple & orange highlights. $175. Steph Porter (612) 690-2589 1.0 adult black ratsnake, $40.; 1.0 adult amenanistic bullsnake, $100.; 1.1 adult amelanistic cornsnakes, $100. Pair; 1.1 adult het. for amelanism cornsnakes, $80. Pair; 1.2 adult Colombian rainbow boas, $300. Trio; 1.2 adult Brazilian rainbow boas, $750. Trio; 1.2 adult Hogg Island boas, $900. Trio; AIl are proven breeders. 1.2 CD 96 bullsnakes- male is amelanistic, females are unrelated "high yellow" hets, $200. Trio; 1.3 CB 95 Argentine rainbow boas, $600. Group; 0.2 CD 96 Dumeril's boas $600. For both; 0.0.9 Giant Day Geckos, $20. Each. Mark. Wendling, (319)- 857 -4787 Frozen Rabbits - all sizes. Prices very reasonable- pinkies to adults. Jim Daluge (612) 295-2818

& fed, $65.00 each. Call Tina (612) 856-2865

..

,."

..

Pinkies Fuzzies Hoppers Adults Sm. Pups Lg Pups Adults

Wanted: Breeding age Albino male Boa constrictor for mutual breeding project. I have an 8ft+ adult female boa (anerythristic) with very little yellow which should produce beautiful Snow Boas. Contact Darleena at (612) 497-4419 or Jerry (218) 728-6789 EmplQYIDent looking for a local teenager, Highland or MacalasterGroveland neighborhood in St. Paul or surrounding area, interested in regular weekly employment assisting with the care of reptile collection. Steph Porter 690-2589

..r:~':'.路/ ' .. ,'

Dutch

Engllall Spol

~erp9focutfuiaIHouSec8I1s路 ." . . (612)~$9;.s476 '

$6.00 dozen $6.00 dozen $7.50 dozen $9.00 dozen $\0.00 dz. Rats $15.00 dz. $12.00 six S24.00 dz. For pick up at monthly meetings only. Orders must 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. All proceeds go toward the operating costs of the society. The MRS is a completely volunteer run, non-profit organlzation. Mice

. ~

~ .. !>r. Ja",11 o."'i"n, DVM . .

"

MRS Rodent Sales

Jim'. Rabbit SllIIIllck Wher. Spots Are Tops

've~ ~leine for

Replll!ls ~ . Am/1Iiibians

POlish

12

JIM DALUGE 6700 Jabo, Ave. N.E. Monllcollo. MN 55362 (612) 295路2818


Advertising Policies MHS Ad Policy: The MRS assumes NO RESPONSIBILITY regarding the health or legality of any animal, or the quality or legality of any product or service advertised in the MRS 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

UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA- ST. PAUL CAMPUS ,.. 10 HÂťy36

~II -+= =-

LARPENTEUR

FOLWELL

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 1f4 page $10.00 1/2 page $20.00 full page $40.00 Business card advertisements may be purchased at $5.00 per ad, per month.

I

aORLAUG -.....::::

~ ~

~

~

UJ

G

-

?'

cam. ~

Membershi #

[l

G)

!5

~

......-

-

... ...... ........... -.. ,...... .... • ""i':*,

I

II

0

D~I

,~ E

EZl

\ BUFORD

IrU C --

...... N

-"-

'r--

Meetings are the 1" Friday of the month. Rrn. 335 Borlaug Hall, U of M St. Paul Campus Start time: 7:00 p.rn. MRS Voicernail: (612) 624 - 7065 Internet: http://www.onrampinc.netlmhs/

Membership A Renewal

:::J HAll

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

New

loSnelJing_

Tye

lication Check #

Name _______________________________________________________________________________ Address _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __ City_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ State Phone ________________________---.email

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

Herp related interests _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _-,-_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __ Active Memberships: _ _ _ Sustaining ($6alyr) ___ Contributing ($30Iyr) ___B,asic ($15Iyr) Corresponding Memberships: ___ Gold Commercial ($100Iyr 2 full pg. ads) ads) ____ Bronze Commercial ($50Iyr 2 1/4pg ads)

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

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


Non-Profit Rate U.s. Postage

MINNESOTA HERPETOLOGICAL SOCIETY

PAID Mpls,MN Permit No. 2275"

BELL MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY· 10 CHURCH STREET SE, MINNEAPOLIS, MN 55455-0104

ADDRESS SERVICE REQUESTED

+

+

+

+ POSTMASTER: DATED MATERIAL

... •••

Vol. 18 (1998), No. 4  

Minnesota Herpetological Society Newsletter