Page 1


Upcoming Meeting Highlights May Program:

"A mazon Tree Boas: Natural History, Captive Husbandry and Complex Color Mutations" Guest Speaker: Steve Bostwick > Despite a well-deserved reputation for being somewhat "evil-tempered beasts," the Neotropical Tree Boas of the genus Corallus have long been of interest to reptile enthusiasts throughout the world. Readily displayed because of arboreal habits relatively large but still easil; manageable size (typically in the 3 to 6 ft. range) and often spectacular coloration, Tree Boas have certainly been exhibited, sometimes in beautifully designed "naturalistic" ~ncl.os~es, at zoological mstitutions for decades. Not surprisingly, and despite some truly formidable teeth, many herpetoculturists find these snakes particularly attractive as well. the featured Fortunately, speaker at the May general meeting of the MHS, Steve Bostwick of Des Moines, Iowa, is one of those relatively rare individuals who has fully succumbed to the Tree Boa ~ystiqu~. Steve's unwavering mterest m these animals dates back

Volume 19 Number 4 to 1986, when he obtained his first captive-born neonate Amazon Tree Boa, Corallus enydris (= C. hortulanus). In the intervening 13 years his collection has subsequently grown to include 4 different Corallus species and he has consistently produced anywhere from 24 to 65 baby Amazon Tree Boas annually in each year since 1989. Naturally, much of Steve's presentation will focus on the husbandry techniques necessary to successfully maintain and reproduce these animals in captivity. At the same time, Steve's program will also feature an extensive photographic review of the myriad of different color and pattern morphs typically exhibited by Corallus enydris, as well as some of the more unusual color "abnormalities" of this and other Tree Boa species. Steve has also promised to prOVide a complete overview of the natural history and relationships of all the species and subspecies in the genus CoraUus, including the stunningly beautilul Emerald Tree Boa, C. caninus. Steve's program promises to be an informative and enjoyable evening, so I'll just plan on seeing you there. "Nuff Said" (Thanks Stan) - JPL Date: May 7, 1999 Time: 7:00 PM. Location: Borlaug Hall, Room 335, U of M SI. Paul Campus

Signs of Spring The herpin' season has started in Minnesota. The small ponds and marshes are filled with the sounds of Spring Peepers (Pseudacris crucifer), Wood Frogs (Rana sylvatica), and Western Chorus Frogs (Pseudarcis triseria/a). Turtles have been sighted basking on muskrat nests and a DOR (dead on the road) Painted Turtle (Cllrysemys picta) has been reported. Salamanders are already on the so watch for them on rainy mghts and when cleaning up the winter leaves in the garden. American toads (Bufo americanus) can also be found in garden debris. ~ove

For more information check out the new Leaflet from the Bell Museum on Frogs and Toads of Minnesota.

Board of Directors President Bill Moss

(651) 488-1383

Vice President John Inell

(507) 467-3076

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

Recording Secretary Membership Secretary Mark Schmidtke (612) 481-0127

Voice Mail: (612) 624-7065

Treasurer Marilyn Blasus

(612) 925-4237

Newsletter Editor NancyHaig

(612) 434-ll684

Past President George Richard

(651) 639-6368

Members at large JodiAhems Nancy Hakomaki Gordon Merck Janel! Osborn

(612) 588-9329 (612) 631-1380 (612) 566-2001 (612) 455-6540

APRIL 1999

(612) 639-6326

Education Sean Hewitt

(612) 935-5845

Northern Minnesota Jeff Korbel

(218) 586-2588

Occasional Papers John Moriarty

(651) 482-8109

Rodent Sales Tina Cisewski

(612) 856-2865

Hem Assistance (612) 388-0305 (612) 236-7880 (651) 482-8109

Chameleons Vern & Lamie Grassel (612) 428-4625 Crocodilians Jeff lang

(701) 722-0227

lizards NancyHaig

(612) 434-ll684

Big lizards, Monitors Bill Moss

(612) 488-1383

Large boas, Pythons Tina Cisewski

(612) 856-2865

Other snakes Jeff LeOere John Meltzer

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

Aquatic Turtles Gary Ash John Levell

(612) 753-il218 (507) 467-3076

Terrestrial Turtles Fred Bosman John Levell

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

Volume 19, Number 4

The purpose of the Minnesota Herpetological Society is to

Adoption Sarah Richard

Amphibians Greg Kvanbek John Meltzer John Moriarty

Internet /



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.

The Minnesota Herpetological Society is a non-profit, tax-exempt organization. Membership is open to all individuals with an interest in amphibians and reptiles. The Minnesota Herpetological Society Newsletter is published monthly to provide its members with information concerning the society's activities and a media for exchanging information, opinions and resources, General Meetings are held at Borlaug Hall, Room 335 on the Sl Paul Campus of the University of Minnesota, on the first Friday of each month (unless there is a holiday conflict). The meeting starts at 7:00 pm and lasts about three hours. Please check the MHS Voicemail for changes in schedules or cancellations. Submissions to the Newsletter Ads or Notices must be submitted no later than the night of the General Meeting to be included in the next issue. Longer articles will be printed as time and space allows. All active members are allowed a classified ad, run free of charge as space permits. Business cards are run for $5.00 per month. Items may be sent to: or Emailed to: The Minnesota Herpetological Society Attn: Newsletter Editor Bell Museum of Natural History 10 Church St, SE Minneapolis, MN. 55455-0104

Snakebite Emergency Hennepin Co. Regional Poison Center (612) 347-3141 Minnesota Poison Control System Local (612) 221-2113 Out of Slate: (800) 222-1222 Copyright Minnesota Herpetological Society 1999. 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.


MHS Newsleller Volume 19 Number 4

NEWS, NOTES & ANNOUNCEMENTS Critter of the Month

John P. Levell

Spotted Turtle

(Clemmys guttatta) Caitlin Moriarty

Three-toed Box Turtle

Terraepene carolina trillnguis Tina (Rat Girl)

Nile Monitor

Varanus niloties Craig Renier

"Postal Issue" Correction

June 4 - MHS Program

Giant Day Gecko

Phelsuma grandis

Help a Hapless Herp Thanks to members who adopted:

Field Herpetology- Observing Amphibians and Reptiles in the Natural Environment. This presentation by a variety of speakers will kick off an MHS Field Trip to Fillmore County in southeastern Minnesota on June 56, 1999 to participate in an ongoing county wide herpetological survey. Reasonably priced camping sites are available at a wide variety of nearby state and municipal parks and private campgrounds and these will be reserved as needed on a first come first served basis. For those less inclined towards roughing it/' an assortment of hotel and Bed & Breakfast lodging options are also available in the Lanesboro area but these generally fill-up fast so early advanced reservations are strongly recommended. Family and group participation is not only welcome but encouraged as well. For additional information contact John or Connie Levell (507) 467-3076

The Snake pictured on a postage stamp in the 5<moran Desert sheet was misidentified in the article "Postal Issues" in the March 1999 MRS Newsletter. Rather than being a Mojave rattlesnake, Crotalus scutuantus, the rattlesnake is a Western Diamondback, Crotalus


Vita-Mortem Report By Dr. Janel! Osborn Just a short note this month ....


2 Ball Pythons 2Ratsnakes 1 Ornate Box Turtle 1 Corn Snake 1 Albino IGngsnake 1 White throat Monitor 2 Common Boas 1 TeguMonitor 11g. Burmese Python 1 Milksnake

Renfest Sewfest

for a total of 13 animals saved Still needing homes are:

We've decided to hold a sewfest on a monthly basis. The next session will be Sunday, April 25, starting around 10:00arn. Contact Nancy Hakomaki (651) 631-1380 for more information.

6 Iguanas 1 Argentine Boa 2 Common Boas 1 med. Burmese Python

Tortoise keepers- Check your yard for Japanese Yew (an evergreen-like ornamental shrub planted around houses) & Black Nightshade (black berries and

"moth eaten" leaves. These are acutely lethal (cause of death in short time), also wean the tortoises into that rich grass to avoid colicstomach problems. Mites are back out of dormancy, watch for "black spots" on the snakes and "red spots" on lizards. And by the way, take the fireflies out of the field catch. They can be poisonous to your lizard.

JODI L. AHERMS Ground Gecko freak English Spot


African Fat- Tailed Gecko Lellcistic Leopard Gecko 5 Other Morphs of Leopards Homonota Horrida

Jim's Rabbit Shack "Where Spots Are Tops路 JIM DALUGE (612) 295-2818

Proud Member M.H.S. G.G.A. J.G.S.

8700 Jaber Ave. NE Monticello, MN 55362


2946 Thomas Ave. N. Mpls .. MN 55411 612-588-9329

MHS Newsletter Volume 19 Number 4

InternetlVuggets By G. W. Richard In case some of you missed them or are not connected to the net, over the last couple months there have been

several interesting articles over the internet, news groups and gleaned from some of the more conventional media. Here's some of the more interesting ones.

Winter heat kills last Ice Age frog 1HE TIMES (London UK) 14 January 99 A whole species was declared extinct yesterday after the death of Lucky the Pool frog at the weekend. No other native example of Rana lessonae, believed to have survived in Britain since the last Ice Age 10,000 years ago, has been seen in the wild since Lucky was captured in 1993, and experts believe it was the last of a line. It means that Britain has now only one species of native frog. the Conunon frog or Rana temporaria. Charles SnelL an amphibian expert at Greenwich University who was looking after Lucky, which is believed to have died of old age, said that the wann winter had been a disaster for the male Pool frog. nWann winters are not good for hibernating frogs and he kept waking up, which was very bad news/' he said. The Pool frog is fairly common on the Continent Over the past 150 years its only stronghold in Britain has been small pools in Norfolk left over from glaciation. Lucky was captured by a Norfolk naturalist. who managed to breed it with European females. One hope is to try to breed back the British pool frog from continental offspring. "All is not lost I do have Pool frogs with British genes in thern,u Dr Snell said. Lucky Lizard BBC NEWS (London. UK) 12 January 99 A student on her first ever field trip has discovered a species of lizard which is new to science. Julia Jones, who is a student at

Cambridge University in the East of England, found the animal in New Caledonia, an island in the southwestern pacific ocean. Julia1s expedition took her to Mont Ignambi in the north-east of the island, an area rarely visited by biologists.

She discovered the creature tucked deep into a crevice in the rocks. lilt was a gecko of the genus which is endemic to New Caledonia and it had a much bigger head and very strange toes," she told the BBC. "So I was very excited and took it back to camp and looked through all the papers and sure enough it was definitely not described in any of the scientific papers I had." The greybrown gecko is 16 cm in length from the snout to the tip of its tail and has a very distinctive toe structure. Herpetologists Ross Sadlier of the Australian Museum in Sydney, an expert on the reptiles of New Caledonia, has confirmed that the gecko is a newly discovered species in the Bavayia genus Snake theft ends up as big can of worms 1HE RECORD (Bergen. New Jersey) 16 January 99 Madrid, Spain (AO): Ifs hard to sell hot snakes. At least, thafs what the Madrid zoo reckoned after 15 of them turned up in a trash can outside the front gate Thursday, a day and a hall after being stolen. The booty was made up of eight rattlers, a viper, a water moccasin, and seven non-poisonous snakes, plus a turtle. They were removed by a thief who scaled a fence and forced a lock to reach an exhibit area. The heist got extensive play in the Spanish press. The culprit or culprits probably had planned to sell the loot. "But all the press coverage probably made them change their mind,n said biologist Enrique Saez. On Thursday, an anonymous caller told a television station where to look for the missing reptiles. Demand for pythons rising in Vietnam 1HE BALTIMORE SUN (Maryland) 17 January 99 (AP): Demand for pythons is rising in the Mekong Delta because they have proved effective in killing and frightening off rats that are devastating crops, a Vietnamese official said last month. The official said the price for a month-<>ld python has shot up to $4 from 70 cents several months ago. An adult python can go for $21, a large


sum for poor farmers. Officials said 81 million rats had been killed by the middle of December by traps, poisons or other methods compared with 55 million rats for all of 1997. TI,e central government launched an anti-rat campaign last year. Rat numbers have been growing in recent years because of increased

availability of food and the shrinking number of predators, such as cats or snakes, which have been served as

meat or sold to China for traditional medicines. Officiafs estimate that rats are causing $5 million to $6 million in damage a year to crops. The government last year decided to close restaurants that served cat It also banned exports of cats and snakes and encouraged people to raise cats.

Snakes, turtles given new lease of life TIMES OF INDIA 19 January 99 Bangalore:

It was the sweet taste of

freedom, after what must have seemed like eons of captivity, for the snakes and turlles that were released into their

natural habitat by the animal welfare CUPA - Compassion Unlimited Plus Action. The reptile and rehabilitation wing of CUPA has over the last year rescued and rehabilitated over 500 snakes. organization

HThese snakes are mostly confiscated

from snake-channers,1I said Arthi Devraj, a member of CUPA. Once the snakes are caught. they are brought to the rehabilitation centre and given

treatment for a period of up to seven months. liThe snakes often have ticks on their scales besides suffering from

oral infections caused by unsterilized equipment used for defanging. There are also injuries on the body as the snake is cramped within the snakecharmer!s small basket/' noted adphotographer Salim, who also has a

passion for these reptiles. CUPA is also concerned about !uriles and the illegal trade of turiles. "Out of the five turtles that we are releasing today, three of them-the starbacked turtles and the soft shelled one were picked up from a pet store in the city.

MHS Newsletter Volume 18 Number 4

FROM OUR MEMBERS Looking down By Laurie Mahling

My mother wasn't especially fond of crawly things but she was careful not to pass her prejudices on to me, so I grew up loving anything I could catch. My father, having been the "typical boy" always encouraged my tomboy interests and so I came to earn the nickname "Eagle Eye". That was when we lived in Heaven. I have no religion now, but I know there's a heaven because I lived there once. When I was seven we moved to "somewhere" Illinois. It must have been an Indian Village at one time because there were arrowheads all over the place. Though I was the only one who ever found them and amassed quite a collection, I don't think my eyesight was better than anyone else's as my nickname implied. I think, unlike other kids who were always looking where they were going, I was always looking down. Down was where the crawly, interesting things were, and once I discovered that arrowheads could be found there too, there was no reason to lookUp.

My enviable reputation was not based on my ability to find arrowheads however. I loved snakes and had a sixth sense about where to find them. My personal rule was that if it didn't have rattles it was fair game. Once caught, they were admired, talked to, kissed on the lips and releases. I never used them for scare, never carried them by the tail, and took great pride in my ability to handle them without being bitten. To this day I don't know if there were any venomous snakes in that part of Illinois. I was never bitten by anything other than an occasional cranky garter snake, but there were numerous species of snakes that crawled through my fingers and were forced to endure kisses from those salty, childy lips. Many years and miles have passed since those tomboy days in Illinois. I now live with my husband and many animals on forty acres of beautiful mixed terrain. I try to force myself to look ahead as I walk about our property in order to appreciate the diversity of our land and the visual richness that it offers up as

it changes subtly towards each new season. But childhood habits die hard. I still walk looking down. I rarely see the big stuff like the deer hiding in the leafy shadows or the watchful grouse perched silently in the branches above my head. I sometimes think that in my preoccupation with the wonders of the ground I might literally bump into a bear. All bushy and raspberry-smeared, itself preoccupied with its juicy harvest. What I don't miss are the intricate, lacy lichens, or the tiny orange and white crab spider. The babiest toad or most fragile mushroom never fall victim to the sales of my shoes. And Oh! what a delicious thrill; that sudden, subtle, presence, small and exquisite, winding its way, like liquid, through the lush limey ferns. I fight my childhood urge to pursue, catch, hold, possess. Instead, I linger at that holy place, amazed that the years have not diluted the magic and knowing with certainty that from heaven there is nowhere else to look but down.

The Douglas Robinson Marine Turtle Research Center needs your letters of support. Some hard times have fallen on this center that is dedicated to researching and protecting the three mile beach in Ostional,Costa Rica that is instrumental in the survival of the Olive Ridley Sea Turtle. This is a privately funded and constructed facility that was burnt down in a bureaucratic attempt to gain access to the land. After months of negotiations, the Costa Rican government has issued permits that will protect the center from those who would destroy it for financial gain. However, the Ministry of the Environment needs to know how much outside support exists in favor of the center. We need letters sent bye-mail telling the Ministry of just how important it is to protect this nursing beach, and how important it is for research to continue. Let them know of your concerns about the environment (especially herps) and why they need our further protection, and attention. Let them know just how many voices can be heard. You can e-mail direct to Anny Chaves or Leslie du Toit at or directly to Dr. Elizabeth Odio Benito, the Ministry of the Environment at For further information you can look up the center's web page at www.gema.comjostional Thank you for your support. Dav Kaufman 5

MHS Newsleller Volume 19 Number 4

Gator Hole As Swamp Lab SUN-SENTINAL (Ft. Lauderdale, Florida) 17 January 99. It is a place most people would make a point to avoid- a pocket of still open water about 13 yards across, walled in by tall cattail, with a ceiling of blue sky. Yet here is Matthew Chopp, sloshing around, knee-deep in this aperture within the grassy Everglades of Broward County, exploring an address in the marsh spelled out by nature's markers: Alligator hole. Nervous? Not Chopp. The reed-thin University of Florida biological technician has waded through 15 gator holes in central and southern Everglades to measure their dimensions and catalog their surrounding plant life. He plans to slog through 40 more before he's done. "I usually make a lot of noise to let them know I'm coming," said Chopp, 23, before slowly stretching white measuring tape across the hole with another technician, Phillip George, 26. "They just sty out of the way." In the Everglades, the muddy dens dug by alligators have virtually "legendary" status, long thought to serve as back up lifesupport systems for the watery wilderness.

During the dry months, as the marsh floor dries and cracks for want of rain, those Everglades potholes continue to cup water. Fish and shrimp concentrate there and wading birds and alligators hang out to chow, so the theory goes, said Frank Mazzotti, a University of Florida ecologist.

But researchers say they really know little about gator holes. Only one ever appears to be thoroughly studied - back in the 1970's, Mazzotti said. "How can something so important to the Everglades be so overlooked?" Mazzotti said. "We're just playing catch-up." Chopp's and George's forays are part of a broader, unfinished 2year-old study on alligator behavior led by the u.s. GeolOgical Survey and tied to the $7.8 billion Everglades restoration plan. Under that effort, scientists implanted battery-operated transmitters in 80 alligators to track their movements, said Ken Rice, a Geological Survey ecologist and coleader of the study with University of Florida Professor Franklin Percival. They hope to learn a number of things: How alligators use their swampy digs, how many holes they maintain, how far they roam from them, how water-level changes affect their behavior, and the size and shape of their home turf. The study, which began tagging alligators in November 1996, will cost about $500,000 and is underwritten by federal funds. Scientists also plan to study the alligators swimming through Everglade canals. Canals are dominated by males and prowled more often than the wet prairies because the offer a better buffet, including exotic fish, Rice said.


Researchers wonder whether their needs differ from the marsh dwellers. That question is important, Rice said, because the Everglades restoration blueprint released in mid-October will overhaul portions of the ecosystems's canal-and levee plumbing. Researchers are still crunching their study findings but will feed the results to 'modelers.' Scientists who develop tools to predict how tinkering with the Everglades' drainage system will affect its inhabitants. Much of Rice and Percival's data is being chirped back by 60 transmitters still working on animals in Western Broward and Miarni-Dades's wetlands. Their signals led Chopp to the gator hole he is exarning. In a separate, but intersecting study, Mazzotti and student researchers are mapping the location of Everglades holes.

Poring over aerial color photos from the mid-1990's they have already pinpointed 845 holes in a roughly 94O-square-rnile block of marshes north and south of Alligator Alley, Mazzotti said. "Were spending $8 billion and counting to restore the Everglades - wouldn't it be a tragedy if it failed because we really didn't understand how important alligator holes are?" said Mazzotti, whose research is financed by a cleanup tax on sugar growers and farmers. A bit of controversy girdles the gator hole.

MHS Newsletter Volume 19 Number 4

Gator Hole as Swamp Lab Some scientists do not buy into the time honored theory that they help restock the Everglades when the marsh starts to fill in again after a dry spell, Mazzotti said.

Gator holes have an anteroom: a cave tunneled into one of their waIls where they hide or wait out cold weather that slows down their metabolism and dulls their hunger.

They wonder instead if those indentations in the marsh floor are "death traps," serving up a biological soup that only benefits hungry alligators, Mazzotti said.

The shapes and lengths of their caves are a mystery, but Rice said he hopes at one point to slip a fiber optic camera into some holes to gauge their shapes.

During a marsh-draining drought, "alligators would stay in the best hole and wait it out," Rice said.

On their forays into gator holes, Chopp and George make an effort to find those caves. It is a hit-ormiss proposition.

Here is what is known thus far about gator holes based on old and new findings:

"A lot of times I fall into it," Chopp said.

The holes can be inches deep to 6 feet or more. Many are adjacent to alligator nests and could have been dug as a hangout for females watching their young, Mazzotti said. An alligator can keep one or a few holes. Alligators create their holes ringed by sawgrass and cattails, duck potato, pickerel weed and other plants - by wallowing, Rice said. They simply wriggle and bump around to clear away the spongy muck under their bellies. In shallower water, gator holes have a hard bumpy limestone floor.

One morning last week, Chopp, George and Rice scrutinized a gator hole near Tower Island, 20 minutes north of Alligator Alley by boat, west of u.s. 27.In the cool morning air, they tramped into the home of one of their tagged anirnaIs, a 7footer they dubbed "54735."

A mound of mud, topped with a couple of brown-and white alligator eggs shells, flanked the hole. "You can see her tail drag," Chopp said, pointing out a lineshaped indent across the top. A receiver and hand-held antenna failed to pick up the animal's signal. George said her signal might not be picked up if she was hunkered in her cave or wandered too far away. Slowly Chopp and George plodded across the hole tapping two measuring poles onto the stony floor of the hole to measure water and muck depths at half-yard intervals. The poles were their only protection from the hole's owner if she decided to emerge. Rice said he and others who have visited alligator dens-even to collect eggs-have at most been hissed at or charged, but never attacked or injured. "A little rap or push on the nose and they'll go on," Rice said.

Reprint from Herpetofauna, tire journal of tire Long Island Herpetological Sodety, Vol. XlV, Number 1. Pgs 30-31. Contrilmted by Bill Moss


Dr. Janell Osborn, DVM


"Herpelocultural Housecalls"


(612) 599-5476


Veterinary Medicine for Reptiles and Amphibians



About 25 of the study's alligators are lugging around an additional device that logs their internal temperatures hourly, Rice said. It is supposed to tell scientists about their "thermoregulation"how hot they run, how high they must maintain their metabolism. Scientists think the energy expended by South Florida alligators, combined with "less groceries" - prey - could explain why anirnaIs here are thinner than those in north Florida, Rice said.

The signs told them they were in the right spot.


MHS Newsletter Volume 19 Number 4

Survey Says Once again we conducted a survey of the membership during the Annual Meeting of The Minnesota Herpetological Society. Of the % people attending, the March meeting, 84 elected the new Board of Directors and 77 turned in a response to the survey. When you consider that the MRS membership averages around 325, this means that 30% attended the Annual Meeting, 26% voted and 24% participated in the survey.

Who are these people and what do they want? The responses were divided between individuals (36), and families (31), with (10) being unidentified or other. The length of membership of those participating was as follows: joined 98-99 (14), 25 years (28), and over 5 years ( 35). This means the largest group that responded were individuals or families, who have been members for over five years, they attend 10 . 12 meetings a year. The October meeting; "Herpin' in New Mexico" by Jim Gerholdt and Dan Keyler (with guest appearances by Del Jones and canteen) rated the highest for the best liked meeting. Several members had specific requests for speakers and topics for future meetings. Combining the more general comments, the top choices were for educational talks on species or travelogue style talks. â&#x20AC;˘

The MRS membership expectations ran from "I don't know" or "not much" to II the path of enlightenment". More common was the desire for information and education from the monthly meetings as well as a place to get together with others for fellowship and advice. The most popular wish for future activities included some form of field trip, whether for field herpin', zoo trips, or a conservation related study. Other ideas included more Hands-On(s) with schools, research and organized support for local herp projects, and some family or children related activities. The change in newsletter format did not bother anyone answering the survey, in fact 10 like it as it is. Most members want more articles about herps, upcoming events (local and national) and what is happening internationally. They would also like more want ads. What do the members like best about the MRS? YOU ! ! Even though the leading membership expectation was for information or education, more than half the responses for what they liked best started with phrases such as: "Good people, the camaraderie, friends, being around people with shared interests, and the social interaction of hobbyists." After that comes the sharing of information, and the getting and giving of educational opportunities such as good speakers at the meetings and Hands-On(s).

What they didn't like were the feelings of apathy towards the working end of the society; the noise level during the meetings ("you would think the 'adults' would know better") when someone is addressing the group; and the cliquish attitude among certain groups in the club or the tendency of some people to be less than patient with new or less involved members. As for running for the Boardmost people felt the time commitment was too much. After that came the apathy of the general membership, ''Too many people want to be entertained and not contribute" or had a "fear of commitment". Some felt they didn't know enough about the duties or were not qualified for the positions.

This is, of course, only a brief summary of the survey. The board will review a full accounting of the comments and a copy will be placed in the Members Handbook in the library. If you have any ideas or comments you would like to address to the board, please feel free to send your opinions to the MRS mailing address or drop them in the comments box at the General Meeting. Mail-in surveys will be reviewed in the June newsletter. To all who participate in the survey thank you for your time and interest For those who volunteered their help, your offers are appreciated and we will be contacting you in the future. -NH


MHS Newsletter Volume 19 Number 4



April General Meeting Review

Treasurer's Report of March 1999

By Jodi L. Aherns

Prepared by Marilyn Brooks Blasus

Speaker: Tony Gamble Subject: The Wide World of Geckos.

Beginning checkbook balance:


Income: Membership: 415.00 Raflle 0.00 Sales 70.00 567.00 Rodent Sales 4.86. Donations Adoption/ placement 140.00 Newsletter ads 30.00 Misc. (rt. ck.) 19.00

Tony talked about the wide range of Geckos and some of their habits and environments. There are three families of Geckos and he explained where they were located and some of the captive care they needed. The New Caladonia Crested Geckos eat baby food and crickets in captivity. The leg-less geckos were very cool. The Tokay Geckos are believed to possess unusual properties and are dried on a stick and used in teas for medical purposes by the local people.

Total income:


Expense: Newsletter Misc. prt./post. Program Library Supplies Refresiunents Sales costs Misc. (rt. check) Misc. (grants) Misc. (vol. awards)

He showed us some of the best slides I have ever seen and covered many, many species of Geckos. He explained how the geckos can adhere themselves to glass surfaces by the fine growths on their feet (like tiny hairs) and how female geckos roll their soft eggs in their feet until they are formed into hard little balls. And he showed several different cage set-ups for geckos. He also tried to explain the Leopard Gecko's variations on color and patterns and how breeders are trying to understand what causes them.

0.00 9.02 0.00 54.00 0.00 0.00 440.00 19.00 1063.00 137.00

Total Expense: Net income/(Ioss) Ending checkbook balance: Funds allocated to unpaid expenses (grants) (newsletter) (phone) Funds available

Tony did a great job and I had a great time listening to him. In my opinion, Tony is one of the best Gecko people in the Midwest.

1.722.02 (476.16) 14,137.21 1,775.00 300.00 324.60 11,737.61

MHS Coming Events May 7, 1999 MHS General Meeting. Speaker: Steve Bostwick, Topic: Amazon Tree Boas 335 Boriaug Hall, U of M, SI. Paul Campus, 7:00p.m May 8, 1999 MHS Board of Directors. Student Union, U of M, St Paul Campus, 6:00p.m. June 4, 1999 MHS General Meeting. Panel: Field Herpetology: Observing Amphibians and Reptiles in the Natural Environment

Hands-On Contact Sean Hewitt (612) 935-5845 for further information of Hands- On events.


MHS Newsletter Volume 19 Number 4

CLASSIFIED ADVERTISEMENTS dassified ads are free to the membership. Deadline is the night of the general meeting to be included in the next newsletter. Mail to: MHS Editor, Bell Museum of Natural History, 10 Church St., SE, Minneapolis.. !\.1N, 554-55 1.0.0= male, 0.1.0'" female, 0.0.1 = unsexed, cb"'" captive bred, obo = or best offer, += times run. ( ads are run only 3x unless requested to continue.)

For Sale: Many variable Kingsnakes (tlzayeri) at dirt cheap prices. Also beautiful proven 1.1 altema phase Greybands. Mark (320) 202-9871 or email +

Geckos from G.G.F. '99 baby Leopard Geckos. Hi-Yellow Jungle $25., Jungle $15., IiYellow $20., 1 maIe Paroedurn pictus $15. CaII Jodi L. Ahems (612) 588-9329 +


1.1 Bullsnakes, 4 year old breeder, purchased fron J. LeClrer and J Meltzer as hatchlings. In good health but require more attention than I can afford them. $65 for the pair obo. CaII Alan at (651) 642-1702 or write alankwongÂŤJ)

Sandfire Bearded Dragon Hatchlings $60. Each; Veiled Chameleons babys $40. each, adults $75. Each; Complete Chameleon Set-ups (24"w x 18"d x 36"h screen cage, heat lamps, Repti-<lun 5.0 Fluorescent lamps & Bio-vines) $125.00 each. CaII or email Vern (612) 4284625.

Items for the Newsletter-

1.0.0 adult BalI Python, normal pattern $65. with/ 20' x2? x 33"h cage including bottom heat and overhead lights $100. 1.0.0 adult Mali uromastyx (spiny tail lizard) $125., 55 galIon aquarium with/ black wooden top (partially screened) including vita-light and heat lights on timers $75. Free black metal stand. Gerbils pets $2. each, breeders or young, many unique colors. Medium to adult feeders $15/ dz frozen" limited supply. 10 gallon aquariums with/ screen tops, wheels, water bottles, food dishes, $20. Each set. CaII Kathy (612) 753- 4509 ++


Due in June: Third generation Bob Sear's strain Hog Island Boas. Selectively bred for light, clean backgrounds with muted saddles and bright orange tails. None better at any price, $125. Brazilian rainbow boas from bright, iridescent orange adults, $125. Jungle carpet pythons from 4 Y2 foot bright gold and black adults, $200. Contact Mark Wendling, (319) 857-4787. ++ Leopard Tortoises, 10" maIe 5 yrs old $125. Small female $50. Contact Fred (612) 476-0306 ++

0.2 Leopard Tortoises 13" & 13

'12 " Big, Beautiful, Healthy. $425.00 each. Call Mark at (612) 822-7996++

Pueblan Milksnakes, cb 98, $40.00 each Call Ann Porwoll (651) 489-7853 +++

All the shed snake skins in the world. Needed for giveaways at educational programs contact Bob Duerr 541-m62

More articles about Herps Lists of upcoming events/ symposiums/ national events More want ads Husbandry tips and Breeding notes How to stuff- building cages, raising food items, sale heating systems Stories from members Places to herp and what to see Listing of breeders Upcoming legistlation/ current events Cartoons

Centerfold Member spotlight Herp websites Photographs A Question and answer column More articles on local animaIs More articles on Geckos

Frozen Rabbits - all sizes. Prices very reasonable- pinkies to adults. Jim Daluge (612) 2952818

Herp time tables Summary of previous meeting More articles on turtles and tortoises Articles submitted to the newsletter earn volunteer hours see inside front rover for su~on details.


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 cliscretion of the Newsletter Editor. Due to space limitations, unpaid and complimentary advertisements are subject to occasional omission.

MRS Rodent Sales

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 1f.t 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. 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

Minnesota Herpetolo ical Socie New


Membershi #

Mice Pinkies Fuzzies Hoppers Adults

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


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

Sm. Pups LgPups ]uvn Rats. Adults

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 MHS is a completely volunteer run, non-profit organization.

Membership Application T

Check #

Name ______________________________________________________________________________ Addr~


City,_________________________________________ State Phone ___________________.-..:email

Zip _____________ List in MHS Directory? ____yes ____No

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

____ Silver Commercial ($75Iyr 2112 pg. ____ Basic Commercial ($25Iyr 2 Bus cards)

Required check info Drivers Lic # State DOB ________ 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 St. SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455. Please allow 6 - 8 weeks for pr~ing.


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Next Meeting:




/0 Snelling~




May 7, 1999


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.rr= ~I=I~=ER=I~;: !: : = = ~ =S~ ~, ~ ...... BUFORD

Rrn. 335 Borlaug Hall, U of M St. Paul Campus Start time: 7:00 p.m. MHS Voicemail: (612) 624 - 7065






Non-Profit Rate U.S. Postage PAID


Mpls.MN Pennit No. 2275







Vol. 19 (1999), No. 4  

Minnesota Herpetological Society Newsletter