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Newsletter of






Februaty 2001

Up coming Meeting The Vice-presidents report By Tony Gamble March General Meeting - Friday, March 2,2001 White Snake Sale and Photo Contest Happy Birthday MHSI We are entering the twentieth year of the Minnesota Herpetological Society and its time to celebrate. This months' meeting, because of its relaxed atmosphere, will be a great time to commemorate this remarkable milestone. Old and new members alike, please come and help us start the anniversary year off right. I think it's quite fitting that we have also started the Chinese Year of the Snake. This is traditionally a time of reflection and preparation. Let's look back at twenty years of achievements and look ahead to many, many more. The main event of the March meeting is, of course, the Great White Snake Sale. This sale has, for the last fifteen years, been a great fund-raiser for MHS. The proceeds keep the organization running smoothly and help fund items in the budget. It's also a great place to pick up cages, books, and herp related knickknacks (among other things). Bid high! Finally, the photo contest. Every year I'm amazed by the quality of photos that are entered by MHS members. If you have a great photo in one of the three categories (Herps in a natural setting, herps with people, and Miscellaneous), please enter it in the competition. If you don't enter, at least come and view all


Herpetological e t y Volume 21 Number 2

of the entries. Think of it as a free photo gallery where you actually like the pictures! So, in summary: Come to the March meeting; bid large amounts of money at the Great White Snake Sale; enter the No matter what a freezing Minnesota photo contest. See you therel winters bring, the people bring warmth, as Dr. Britton discovered Friday February 9th. A record of 204 people filled the auditorium to see the Austrialian zoologist. The crowds enthusiasm helped fuel Dr. Adam Britton talk. April 6, 2001 - Lyle Puente: Care of At the end of the talk a raflfe was held for one of Dr. Britton's Cybachrome Chameleons prints. At a dollar a ticket, $280 dollars May 4, 2001 - Dr. Dan Keyler: was raised for the Chinese Alligator Venomous Snake Bites and Remedies Fund. Dr. Britton also brought several extra prints for sale and all sold but Over ihe Miliennia one. If you missed the boat and would June 1, 2001 - Geoff Hall: Dart Frog like to buy a print go to Husbandry Needless to say Dr. Britton was very happy with the MHS support and hopes to be back ... in the summer.

Minnesota Nice!

Upcoming Meetings:

Phantastic Phenological Phind The days on which the animals were found were both warm (mid Thirties) with the first sighting being at beginning of a January thaw after a December of below freezing temps and the later durAn opening in the ice next to shore ing the same where a small creek enters the lake warm-up. was investigated. A large adult frog REBlasus jumped into the opening from the sandy shore, then another was spotted sitting on the lake bottom of the opening. This frog, when captured, was very lethargic. On January 14, 2000, 1 live and 2 dead leopard frogs were seen in the water at the same location by Shawn and Kyle.

January 7, 2001, two leopard frogs, Rana pipiens, were seen in Fountain Lake, near Delano, MN by Shawn and Kyle Keinholz.

Board of Directors

nell Museum ofNaturnl History, 10 Church Street South Eas~ Minneapolis Minnesota 55455-0104


Bill Moss

651.488.1383 mngatorguy@qwes\,net

Vice President

Tony Gamble


Voice :Mail: 612.62,1.7065

Recording Secretary

Julie Beauvais

The Mirmesota Herpetological • S o C 1 e t y


http://,,,\~v.onrampinc .net/mlls/ Membership Secretary

Nancy Haig


Treasurer Marilyn Blasus

Fcbruary 2001

Volumc 21 Number 2

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.


Newsletter Editor

Heather Matson

Email: MiullHel1)s@aol.colll

612.554.8446 geckoloco@qwesl.nel

Members at Large

Jodi L. Aherns Nancy Hakomaki

612.588.9329 651.631.1380

John Hog,(on


Melissa 612.812.6146 Keith Tucker


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.


Committees Adoption Sarah Richard


General Meetings are held at Borlaug Hall, Room 335 on the St. Paul Campus of the University of Minnesota, on the first Friday of each month (unless there is a holiday conflict). The meeting starts at 7:00pm and lasts about three hours. Please check the MHS Voice mail for changes in schedules or cancellations. Education Jan Larson


Northern Minnesota Jeff Korbel


Library 8eth Girard


Herp Assistance Amphibians Greg Kvanbek John Meltzer John Moriarty

651.388.0305 763.263.7880 651.482.8109

Chameleons Vern & Laurie Grassel


Crocodilians Jeff Lang Bill Moss

701.772.0227 651.488.1383

Lizards Nancy Haig Heather Matson

763.434.8684 612.554.8446

Large Boas, Pythons Tina Cisewski


Other Snakes Jeff Leclere John Mellzer

651.488.6388 763.263.7880

Aquatic Turtles Gary Ash John Levell

763.753.0218 507.467.3076

Terrestial Turtles Fred Bosman John Levell

763.476.0306 507.467.3076

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 business cards are run for $5Imonth. Items may be sent to: The Minnesota Herpetological Society Attn: Newsletter Editor Bell museum of Natural History 10 Church St. SE. Minneapolis. MN 55455.0104

Snake Bite Emergency Hennepin Regional Poison Center


Copyright Minnesota Herpetological Society 2001. Contents may be reproduced for non-profit use provided that all material is reproduced without change and proper credit is given author and the MHS Newsletter citing: volume, number and date.

:Milmesota Herpetological Society Newsletter

Fcbmary 2001

Volume 21 Number 2

News, Notes & Announcements Help a Hapless Herp 24 animals were adopted at the February meeting: 1 Turtle 2 Ball Pythons 1 Pueblan Milk Snake 1 King Snake 1 Corn Snake 1 Boa 2 Iguanas 13 Anoles 1 Three Toed Box Turtle 1 Ornate Box Turtle

Photo Contest! There are three categories: Herps in a Natural Setting Herps with People Miscellaneous styles These are the Rules: 1. 4x6, 5x7, 8x10 mounted and matted, not exceeding 11x14. 2. Identified on the back with entrants' name, address and category. Do not place names on the front of the prints. 3. Members may submit up to five prints.

Still Available: 4 Iguanas 3 Caimens 2 Alligators 1 Turtle 2 Albino Burmese 1 Burmese 1 Leopard Tortoise -(Under Observation) If you are interested in adopting any of these animals please contact Sarah Richard at 612.781.9544

Grant Report:

In 2000 MHS provided the sole financial support to MHS members Kimberly Fuller and Dr. Dan Keyler for a study of Bring submissions to the March Timber Rattlesnakes, Crotalus General Meeting. Winners will be horridus, in an ecologically sensitive selected by the members during the area of southeastern Minnesota. The White Snake Sale. study area is unique in that it is also significantly impacted by human activity. The 2000 season provided the


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snakes, and will be studied further in

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Happy Valentine's Day


is anticipated that the following two years of this study will yield data on movement, evidence of possible gene flow, population status and viability, and the extent of resource usage conflict to timber rattlesnakes. Importantly, the information obtained from this threeyear study will be helpful for developing management strategies to protect timber rattlesnakes and their habitat in a region of high human recreational use. The support of MHS in this effort is a Significant contribution to the conservation of this Minnesota threatened species. Dr. Dan Keyler, submitted by REBlasus

G\ •.. . . . . . . . . . '. . . .... _:"":= - ,

\ t. . . '..•. ' . . . :. . . .!. . •. . . t.he future twodata study seasons. In addi~0·~'V2:-~lion, from public sightings ...."O~-_ .. were collected and recorded. It



Minllesota He1lletological Society l'vlonthly Newslelter

FebnlaJY 2001

Volume 21 Number 2

Swamp White Oak Preserved, Maintained by the Nature Conservancy. In 1997, the Minnesota Herpetological Society initiated a wonderful grant program to assist projects and field studies conducted in the upper midwest. The program provided many Minnesota studies additional funding. Projects in Wisconsin and Louisiana have benefited from our grant program in the past, and herein I report the first Iowa project to receive funding from the MHS. I thank the 2000 MHS board for the grant award! Here are some of the results of the work I conducted.

Swamp White Oak is a preserve located in Muscatine County, Iowa and is maintained by the Nature Conservancy. In an attempt to document the floral and faunal species present on the preserve, the Nature Conservancy needed volunteers to sample different categories of plants and animals. I volunteered to perform a preliminary survey of the amphibians and reptiles, simply keeping track of what I found on the preserve. This also included a brief period of turtle trapping in May and June. This is the first season of sampling amphibians and reptiles at Swamp White Oak. Nineteen species of amphibians and reptiles were documented from the preserve in 2000. There are a number of rare species that could be found on the preserve with continued effort. Specimens were located by search and seizure, homemade underwater amphibian traps, minnow traps, and turtle traps. None of the specimens found in 2000 were taken from the preserve; they were photographed, marked (turtles), measured, and released. Frogs were abundant on the preserve indicating that predatory reptiles may fare well. Chorus frogs, Pseudacris tris4

eriata, were heard calling in the woodland pools in spring and also at the oxbow pond in June. A single specimen was seen on the ground along the edge of a woodland pool covered with marsh marigolds. Cricket frogs, ACris crepitans, were seen only on a few occasions along the first oxbow pond at the entrance and other various open pools. They were not seen in the woodland pools. Eastern gray treefrogs, Hyla versicolor, appeared in May and June calling sportily during the day from trees near pools. During May, the woodland pools were pretty dry, and the tree frogs called from trees near the wettest areas. While trapping at the oxbow pond, I observed a treefrog calling about 25 feet off the ground in a tree. In June, the rains had flooded the preserve causing the frogs to spread and call from nearly anywhere. Two plains leopard frogs, Rana blairi, were recorded. Of the true frogs, Rana, bullfrogs, Rana catesbiana, were by far the most abundant. They were found in every pool in the preserve. Size classes corresponded with pool size. In small pools, mostly small bullfrogs were found with few or no large specimens. Medium sized pools held intermittent sizes of bullfrogs. The largest pools (oxbow ponds) contained the highest number of large bullfrogs. These adults chose territories within the ponds and the same bullfrogs were observed in the same spots every day. Large specimens were never found in close proximity to one another, though smaller specimens and other species moved freely about the pond. The two exceptions to the size class were at the entrance to the preserve in two small pools. However, these pools are only a few meters from a large oxbow pond, thus explaining the number of large bullfrogs present. Green frogs, Rana clamitans, were found only in the stream from Pike Creek feeding into an oxbow pond along the western edge of

the preserve. Northern leopard frogs, Rana pipiens, were found infrequently along the larger open pools and even less so in the woodland pools. The open grassy areas, which made up the flood plain area of Pike Creek, held some wandering specimens. This is probably the only way these frogs are able to avoid competition with the bull and green frogs, which are more aquatic. In March, a single leopard frog was heard calling from a backwater located on the east side of the parking area. Two species of toads were heard calling while checking turtle traps at the oxbow pond. They began calling at dusk, but were quiet during the day. The American toad, Bufo americanius, and the Fowler's toad, Bufo woodhouseii fowleri, called from the oxbow ponds and from the edge of Pike Creek. Both species were heard calling separately the Fowler'S toad being the more abundant of the two. Turtle trapping was performed at the end of May in the oxbow pond along the western edge of the preserve. Turtles were marked, measured and released. Marking was accomplished by notching the marginals with a serrated blade. Snapping turtles, Chelydra serpentina, were present in small numbers in the pond. Specimens ranged from 10 to over 13 inches in carapace length. Painted turtles, Chrysemys picta, were, by far, the most abundant chelonian in the pond. About 61 specimens were marked, the majority of these were males. Thirteen specimens were recaptured during the trapping period. The single Blanding's turtle, Emydoidea blandingii was trapped in the stream from Pike Creek feeding into the oxbow pond. The stream was greatly flooded due to recent rain. A single red-eared slider, Trachemys scripta, was trapped in the middle of the oxbow pond. It was an adult female missing the right front foot.

Minnesota Herpetological Society Monthly Newsletter

Fox snakes, Elaphe vulpina, were seen on a couple of occasions. An intern saw one on the rocks bordering the bridge and the oxbow pond along the parking area. Another was road killed on the bridge over the pond. A single adult eastern hognose snake, Heterodon platyrhinos, was observed crossing the road at about 10:00 am on the southwest edge of the preserve. Northern water snake, Nerodia sipedon, numbers were extremely low this season. The first one was observed on 23 May while turtle trapping along the oxbow pond. others were seen, but only near the bridge or along Pike Creek, even when the water was high. Two brown snakes, Storeria dekayi, were recorded. One was under a piece of bark along the bank of Pike Creek and another was crossing the "trail" next to an old corral. A single western ribbon snake, Thamnophis proximus, was found foraging along the edge of Pike Creek. Eastern garter snakes, Thamnophis sirtalis, were the most common snake this field season on the preserve. Specimens could be found on nearly every trip to the preserve and were seen from late March to late September. During March and April, I placed minnow traps in many of the small pools to sample amphibians. Among the leeches, water beetles, and (in one pool) catfish, numerous tadpoles were caught, mostly northern leopard and bullfrog. An underwater version of an amphibian trap was developed by myself, tested and used successfully during this survey. Regular minnow traps were used, as well as modified versions in which the opening was increased to the size of a silver dollar. These traps often yielded moderately sized bullfrogs, crayfish, and catfish. Turtle trapping proved to be quite successful and two turtle species that would have been otherwise difficult to document from the preserve were secured. Sunfish, northern pike (including a 24" pike), and dogfish were caught in the traps as well. All fish and turtles were unharmed while in

Fehl1laJY 2001

the nets and were released. One day in June, I set a couple turtle traps the day before some inters were scheduled to arrive to do some brush clearing on the preserve. The water was extremely high and turtle trapping is notoriously unsuccessful during periods of high water. The entrance to the preserve was underwater, but the interns wanted to check the traps anyway. All of us waded through chest deep water to get to the traps. We checked them, and, as predicted, there were no turtles. Disappointment, to say the least, was felt by all, but we continued to "herp" in the preserve and came up with tadpoles, frogs, and snakes.

The first field season has documented many of the common species and held a couple of surprises. There are still about a half dozen species, all are rare or uncommon, that we are hoping to

document on the preserve. Minnesota Thanks to the Herpetological Society for additional funding toward this project Special thanks to Randy and Marilyn Blasus for their assistance and support. Jeff LeClere.

response that will result in a sort of accidental feeding. This is a specialized technique, restricted almost entirely to getting juvenile arboreal vipers to eat pinkies. It is usually called tap teasing or slap teasing. In a previous post I distinguished this form of teasing from attempts to stimulate a true feeding response. Some comments (much appreciated) that followed caused me to realize that there are gray areas surrounding this distinction. For example, some snakes seem to combine both defense and hunger in their reactions. It is also the case that some terrestrial snakes will strike a food item defensively, then later decide to eat it. Is this provocation? The snake certainly sees it as such. But it probably doesn't count as teasing if you didn't have to do anything to get the defensive strike. These behaviors that fali Into "gray areas" are interesting and sometimes useful to ponder. But I think the distinction between generating a defensive vs. a feeding response is still valuable for those who are inexperienced at teasing. A middle-of-the-road approach Is likely to be too strong to get a feeding bite, yet not aggressive enough to provoke the multiple strikes necessary to trick a little tree viper into eating.

Some preparation. First, all other aspects of husbandry must be correct. If the snake is dehydrated, stressed by too much heat, etc., tease feeding will be more difficult and might ultimately be rendered pointless. The cage should be By Ian Long sparsely furnished. You don't want the snake to be able to hide from you, and Note: This originally appeared in the you don't want to fight through leaves venomous forum at and branches when approaching the and is reprinted with author permission. snake from different directions. Although the references are to venomous snakes, the same principles Have some equipment ready. I use 10" apply to many other snakes. Bill Moss hemostats. The 18" ones are too unwieldy. You might want a small hook in case the snake gets out. The hemostats will do the job with these tiny critThis installment will focus on teasing ters, though. Have a cup of water at that is designed to provoke a defensive hand. It is useful to drop the pinky part

A Tease Feeding Treatise, Part 2


_",~(/HEII:~r\<al ;l.







j\,iinIlcsota Herpetological Society Monthly Newsletter

FeblUCUY 2001

Volume 21 Number 2



(PP) into water and re-grip it from time to time so that it does not "bond" with the tongs. I like to think that a wet PP is more palatable to the snake because it feels more like a frog. If the substrate is something dirty, like mulch or fir bark, you will need to swish a dropped PP in water to clean it off. It's good to have a razor and spare pinky for when the PP you were using gets bashed into near pulp. About food: Some baby tree vipers can handle whole pinks, especially if they have eaten a few times already. But pinky parts are still generally going to work best. A snake that might be tempted to hold onto a PP is likely to find a whole pink too heavy and drop it. A snake that has no intention of holding onto anything needs something small enough that it can fit well back into its mouth, making it difficult to spit. I like pinky heads because you can point the nose end at the snake and more easily get it deep into the mouth. Some babies have been known to drop a head more quickly than a ham (rear quarter) because it is heavier. Try both. Your grip on the PP has to be just right. It can't be so loose that the PP dangles, or you will not be able to manipulate the PP well enough. But you can't grip too much of the PP or it will be difficult to release, plus the risk of the snake biting the tongs (can be very bad news for these fragile little guys) will be greater. Lighting. I don't have a definitive recommendation here. I used to think that nighttime and some muting of light were necessary, since these are arboreal snakes. They don't need low light to be provoked into striking, but nighttime and low light may help them decide to swallow. The problem is, you need to be able to see what's going on VERY well. A baby Eyelash Viper is about 5" long. The strikes you will be dealing with travel only a half-inch or so. The snake will mix 1/8" to 1'4" feints with real strikes. If you are new at this, it will be hard to tell what's happening even under bright light. I would say that if you can rig a strong red light, go with that.


Otherwise, experiment. But forget flashlights. They dim after awhile, and you will need all your concentration on the snake and your teasing hand. If I expect a protracted session I'll make a big production out of it. I'll set the cage on the coffee table in front of the couch, turn the TV off or block the snake's view of it with cardboard (at least if the content is unsuitable for young snakes), lay something over the heat vent by my feet (these snakes rarely pop out and run, but it can happen), have a drink and smokes next to me, make sure the answering machine is on, and so on. A teasing session may last an hour. If you are uncomfortable or otherwise distracted, your concentration and willingness to persevere will suffer. When the snake finally gets in a good chomp, you will have to remain virtually frozen while it decides what to do, then (hopefully) takes up to another 20 minutes to swallow. No need to suffer from thirst or whatever during that time. Finally we can begin. It COUldn't hurt to just offer the PP to see if the snake will eat it or pop it without provoking. When this doesn't work, tap the PP against the snake's tail, back where it is a different color. These are caudle-luring snakes, and their tails are particularly sensitive. If no reaction, tap harder. Tap a couple mid body spots, and then do multiple harder taps. Go back to the tail. Tap the neck, especially if it has formed a pre-strike "S". Do not tap the snake's head. I have heard of this working but have never seen it. It seems that when starting out everyone wants to bonk 'em on the head (I probably did it too). The snake will probably cower or run, which sets you back further than square one. If you must bonk, wait until other locations have proven ineffective. Hot-to-trot snakes will strike fairly quickly in response to these indignities. One tricky part of technique is the need to turn the tip of the PP toward the snake's head when you sense that a strike is about to occur. You don't want the

snake biting the rear, fatter, part of the PP and especially not the tongs. Yet, if you pause to turn the PP toward the snake's head after every tap or two, you will not generate many strikes. A typical baby will not strike so readily. You will have to increase its irritation level, while allowing it to maintain confidence that it can defend itself. Watch closely for small reactions. If it moves its tail out of the way when you tap it, it doesn't like that, which is good. If it gathers its body a bit, that's a positive as it might be getting into a better position for striking. Head turns are good. Even if it turns its head sharply away from the PP you should be encouraged, as it is expressing annoyance and vigor. When you get ahead turn, try tapping the far side of the neck to try to get a stronger head turn in the other direction, or try a variation of what got you the first turn. These are just suggestions. No single tap is likely to get a strike. You are trying to build a momentum of reactions by working with tap locations, intensity, and rhythm. Depending on the snake's position, you may want to turn the cage and approach from another direction. If the snake hides its tail, make it move until the tail is exposed. When you get a strike, that's great! Release the PP immediately. Maybe the snake will hold and swallow. More likely, you are about to discover a whole new set of problems. Here are some things that will happen. The snake bluffs a strike, and you drop the PP. It pops the PP lightly without grabbing it, and you drop the PP. It grabs nice and strong, but you are caught off guard and don't let go before the snake does. It grabs and you try to release, but the PP sticks to the tongs, and you wind up pulling the PP out of its mouth (it's truly absurd and horrifying, especially during a critical first session with a new snake, to find yourself involuntarily fighting with the snake over the PP and "winning"). The snake grabs the PP clean but spits it immediately. It grabs the PP and

Minnesota Herpetological Society Monurl)' Newsletter

freezes. You freeze, and internally you are screaming, "Pleeeaselll". But the snake starts flailing its head all over and racing around the cage and finally shakes or rubs the PP free. Are we having fun yet? Often the snake will swallow only after trying desperately to spit the PP. It's as if the snake has no other choice, thus the earlier use of the phrase "accidental feeding". I must comment on retrieving a dropped PP from the cage floor. You should not overlook the potential danger here. You are frustrated, distracted, in a hurry to resume teasing, and you are reaching down past and elevated venomous snake that is all worked up. You might want longer tongs ready just for this. Tap teasing is quite difficult at first. You may have to quit some of your early sessions without success, although the only reason to quit is if you can't get any more strikes. If that happens, try again after several days. Even pros (a group that does not include me) do not expect immediate success with all newborns. If you have no success over time, you can offer frogs, lizards, or fish. Some keepers will frown at all these shenanigans and suggest finding the snake something that it really wants to eat in the first place. That is a related and debated issue that I am not confident enough to discuss. Assist feeding can be a last resort. But your teasing probably will succeed, at least if the snake has eaten via this method before you got it. Once you get the hang of it you can approach later sessions with more confidence. Your next few sessions with a given snake may be just as arduous as the first. But sooner or later the snake will become more cooperative. It probably will reach an "in between" stage where it apparently reacts with both defensiveness and hunger, needing only the slightest stimulation as an "excuse" to eat.

FehrualY 200 I

me of play fighting with a dog or other animal, where the goals are to figure out how the animal wants it and to keep the fight completely even. If you overpower or under-stimulate the animal it won't want to play.

can find anything from news and articles to ecards and shopping.They have all sorts of MPG movies,4 live cams and even a slide show. Their vivariums are enough to make anyone jealous. Make sure and check articles, go to Dino's surgery. They have a neat x-ray This is not a game to the snake, of and a lot of cool pictures.lf that's not course. It's survival hangs in the bal- enough the surgery is on movie form ance. Tap teasing is stressful to the too. Warning graphic. snake and makes it use energy. I would think that a snake that is unsuccessful- World of Reptiles ly teased in this manner several times is http:// likely to die sooner than a snake that is Wowll Check this one out! This site left in peace and quiet. I would recom- has won many awards and it is easy to mend that a newcomer to arboreal see why.! also hope from the "counter" vipers start with one that is feeding vol- that I am not the last one to know about untarily, or at least nearly so. Save the this site. greater challenges for after you gain This site is filled with information.!t has general info on some experience. reptiles,snakes,crocodilians,etc .. lt also has caresheets, weird facts, downloadable videos,ecards and much more.!t even has arachnids.Take some time and visit this site. It is well worth it.

Herp Siting on the Web Jodi Patnoe It has been quite a while since I have submitted my article to the MHS.This year has found us with a lot of changes in our lives. The biggest, moving to rural S.W. Minnesota. The thing that has not changed however is how absolutely frustrating the internet can be. Link rot, under construction. Aggh!!I Anyway, here are the sites I have for you this month.

The Snapping Turtle Page turtle This site drives me crazy! It takes a long time to download. Things aren't there and I'm suddenly getting warnings.And if it weren't for the glitches this site would be awesome. It still is cool and worth writing about. This site is very informative. It covers most aspects of the turtles in the wild and in captivity. It has some very nice pictures. The thing I liked most about this website is something called the "Sightseeing Turtle Train". It is a fully automated slide show. It is 10 pages long. With each page taking about 1520 seconds. You can stop at anytime. It is very, very general information. It is still fun nonetheless. And at least it is something different.

The Global Herper An online newsletter/magazine definitely worth checking out. Articles on As always I am looking for new sites to wild and captive herps. There are also write about. If you surf the web and have some time maybe you could email articles from newspapers,etc.. me 1-3 of your favorite websites. I sure would appreciate it. Thank you. This site rocks (pun intended). It's not Jodi Patnoe. At some point you will begin to enjoy only for Rock Iguana fans though. You this fascinating little game. It reminds 7


Herpetoh)!,rical Society .Mouthly Newsletter

140 Alligator Deaths Recorded at Lake Griffin This Year

FebmaIY 2001

Volume 21 Number 2

Aquarium Workers Ate Rare Turtle

marily because the alligators do not Los Angles Times 6 February 2001 show typical symptoms of the toxins' MIAMI - Flesh from a protected species poisons. of sea turtle that died at the Miami LEESBURG - Biologists are searching Seaquarium was turned into stew and for clues to determine what is killing Of reptiles sampled from the lake, eaten by some of the facility's workers. scores of alligators, turtles and fish in researchers have found several with Lake Griffin, one of Florida's most pol- microscopic sores in one area of the luted lakes. brain, which may hold a key to unravel- No charges were filed because the ing the mystery of the deaths. The area, Seaquarium's permit to handle endanSo far this year, 140 alligators have about the size of a match head, controls gers species didn't specifically say how mysteriously died in Griffin, 30 miles the alligator's translation of visual sig- dead animals were to be disposed of, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation northwest of Orlando. The alligators nals into muscle movements. Commission Lt. John D. West said. began dying in around 1997. Since then, 312 alligators have died mysteri- The alligators can see and perhaps ously. Last year, 101 alligator deaths realize what is going on but can't make The leather back sea turtle had died of were recorded. their muscles respond because the injuries caused by a collision with a lesions are slowing the signals from the boat. Leatherbacks, one of the rarest sea turtle species, are protected under Almost all are mature alligators meas- brain to the limbs, biologists said. the Federal EndangeredSp!,!cies Act. uring 10 feet or more. Biologists say the animals mysteriously become lethargic, Biologists are now beginning to see floating in the water for days without other mysterious wildlife deaths that Seaquarium general manager Robert moving or eating. may share some similarities with the Martinez sent workers a memo after the large reptiles. Among Lake Griffin's dif- incident last april warning them to propThe corpses remain on top of the water ferent types of turtles, members of the erly dispose of animal carcasses or for days after death. Normally, alligators soft-shelled species are also turning up face disciplinary action or termination. "This is the absolute height of stupidity," live to be 80 years or older, and dead dead. said Dolphin Freedom Foundation and adult alligators rarely are seen. Seaquarium critic Russ Rector. "We're A total of 38 soft-shelled turtles were changing the name to the Miami Biologists first ruled out viral infection. found dead in 1999. So far, 28 have Seaquarium and Barbeque." Pesticide poisoning and even botulism, been found dead this year. a common problem among ducks, were investigated, said biologist Dwayne Although no figures are available, Two workers - Dr. Maya Dougherty, the Carbonneau of the Florida Fish and Carbonneau said another species on veternarian who conducted the necropWildlife Conservation Commission. death watch is the long-nose gar. He sy, and Chris Plante, the animal care said the typically hearty fish, which has supervisor - had letters put in their perSo far, the prime suspect is Lake occasional die-offs each year, is show- sonnel files saying they used poor Griffin's water. About 94 percent of the ing up dead in even larger numbers judgement for allowing a park worker to take some of the turtle's meat home for lake's algae content is an exotic toxic than usual. a stew, Seaquarium officials said. algae Cylindrospermopsis, which has News-Journal wire services 26 December 00

been linked to illnesses in Australia.

Submitted by Bill Moss.

Submitted by Becky Heglesen

Lake Griffin's much less prominent toxic algae, Microcystis, also can be deadly. After three years, however, biologists have yet to confirm a positive link between the algae and the deaths, pri- _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __


i\.Iinllesota Herpetological Society I'vlonthly Newsletter

Febn"u), 200 I

Volume 21 Number 2

Hands - on in the Future Monday March 19th - Eden Prairie Middle School 6:30pm - 8 pm Sunday April 8 th - Vet School 11 am - 5 pm If you'd like to volunteer please contact Jan at:

Treasurer's Report Marilyn's computer is feeling better yet still needs time to recover. Hope to have December and January's reports in a future newsletter.

2000 Holiday Banquet Report Gordan Merck Income: Heather C Matson

2000's People Choice Award winning Photo goes into retirement as March will bring in 2001 's Peoples Choice Award winning photo..... Who will it be? Will it be you? Be sure to bring your best Herp photos to the March 2nd meeting. Prepare to vote!!!

1 a. From reservations and payments received: 43 adults and kids, and no free lap sitting kids. $215 received. b. From reservations received from Marilyn Blasus with no payments. Marilyn has collected the money: 20 adults and kids, 2 free lap sitters. $100 received 2 Totals: 63 adults and kids, 2 free lap sitters. $315 total from reservations 3 Raffle money received: $64 + $315 = $379 Expenses: Deposit on hall $100 Final payment on hall rent $100 MHS Cost for free soda $48 ...$ÂŁlL Bartender tip Total expense: $268 Profit: $111


j\1iullcsola HClllctological Society Newsletter

February 2001

Volume 21 Number 2

Classified Advertisements Classified ads are free to the member shIp. Deadline is the nIght of the general meeting to be included in the next 1.0.0:: male, 0.1.0 '" female, 0.0.1 :: unsexed, cb :: captive bred, obo = or best offer, + '" limes runt ads are run only 3x unless requested to continue).


Wanted English Spot

Items for Great White Snake Sale - Don't forget to collect your items for the Great White Snake Sale and get your photos ready for the Photo contest. This year the Sale and Show will take place in March. Be sure to bring your items then.


Jim's Rabbit Shack "Where Spots Are Tops' JIM DALUGE (763) 295路2818

All the shed snake skins in the world. Needed for giveaways at educational programs. Contact Bob Duerr 612.541.0362

8700 Jaber Ave. NE Monticello, MN 55362

Wanted: Pair of Green Tree Pythons, would consider adults or subadults. Also wanted Uromastyx and select female Amazon Tree Boas. Mark Hauge 320.202.9871 or email

For Sale Neodesha cages, used, $25 each. Contact Mark Hauge 320.202.9871 Or email +++ 1,2 Pallernless Leopard Geckos 1,1 Standings Day Geckos 612.554.8446+

Female Gulf Coast Box Turtle. Looking for a girl to keep my fella company. Or a pair for breeding. Contact Heather Matson 612.871.7334 or

$300. $250.

Viper Geckos CB 2000 babies $40 each. r. roborowskii CB 4.7.00 stub tailed $50. r. roborowskil CB 6.28.00 $50 Jodi L Aherns 612.588.9329+ Frozen Rabbits - all sizes. Prices very reasonable - pinkies to adults. Jim Daluge 763.295.2818 Flightless FruitFlies - Excellent food for dart frogs, mantellas, hatchling geckos, baby chameleons, spiderlings, and other small herps. Two species available Drosophila (small) and D. hydei (large). $5/culture or $25/6 cultures. Each culture contains 30 to 50 adult flies and has the potentail to produce to several hundred young. Also, Mealworms - Two sizes available - regular and mini. $5/1000. Can be delivered to MHS meetings. Cal Tony Gamble 612.818.6861 or email

MHS Rodent Sales Mice

Pinkies Fuzzies

Hoppers Adults

$7Idz. $7/dz. $8/dz. $10/dz


Sm Pups Lg Pups Juvn Rats Adults

$12/dz. $18/dz. $24/dz. 6@$15 or $30/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 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.




You could Advertise Here for just $10 per Month or $120 per year.

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. Classlfled Ads: AU active members are aHowed a classified ad, run free of charge as space permits. Ads may be ran three consecutive months, after which lime they may be resubmitted. Cor,p.sponding members are aUowed a complimentary business card advertisement monthly as space permits. Due to federal restrictions on Non-profit malting permits, we are not allowed to run ads for travel, credit or insurance agencies. Business card advertisements may be purchased at $5/ad, per month. For other rates please inquire. Submissions: All advertisements should be submitted to the MHS Editor, Bell Museum of

~~~!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!§i1§l~I) Natural History, 10 Church St. SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455. Deadline is Ihe night of the


General Meeting for inctusion in the next newsletter. Make checks payable 10: Minnesota Herpetological Society.

r-----------------------------------------------, Minnesota Herpetological Society Membership Application New Renewal Membership# Type Check #

Name Address City, State, Zip, Phone


List in MHS Directory?



Herp related interests

Active Memberships: Sustaining ($60/yr)

Contributing ($30/yr)

Basic ($15/yr)

Bronze ($50/yr 2 1/4 pg ads) Gold ($100/yr 2 Full pg Ads) 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 Sf. SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455. Please allow 6·8 weeks for r·~ncessing. L_ . ____________________________________________ Corresponding Memberships:

Basic Commercial ($25/yr 2 Bus Cards) Silver ($75/yr 2 1/2 pg Ads)



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Next IVleeting: March 2, 2001 Room 335 Borlaug Hall, U of M St. Paul Campus @7pm

MHS Voice mail: 612.624.7065

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Non-Profit Rate U.S. Postage PAID Mpls, MN Permit No. 2275

Vol. 21 (2001), No. 2  

Minnesota Herpetological Society Newsletter