Page 1

Board of Directors President Randy BJasus

Bell Museum of Natural History, 10 Church Street Southeast, Minneapolis Minnesota 55455-0104 952.925.4237


Vice President Tony Gamble

763.424.2803 tgamble@attbLcom



Minnesota o


Herpetological • 1




Recording Secretary

Barb Buzlcky


Membership Secretary Nancy Hakomaki Treasurer Marilyn BJasus


MHS We bpage: http.// MHS Group Email: Voice Mail, 612.624.7065

952.925.4237 ..........._ ...._ ...................._ ......................................_ _.........................._ _•

September 2003

Newsletter Editor Bill Moss

651.488.1383 Members at Large Heather Clayton heelhuh@aoLcom Brian lngbretson Philip Woulat Heather Ingbretson

612.788.4664 763.572.0487 952.924.9128 763.572.0487

immediate Past President Jodi l. Ahems 612.588.9329

Committees Adoption Sarah Richard


EillLCiiJiQn Jan Larson

Volume 23

Number 9

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. 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 SI. 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.


Northern MInnesota Jeff Korbel


Li!lli!J:y Beth Girard


Webmaster Anke ReInders

Herp Assistance Amphibians Greg Kvanbek John Meltzer John Moriarty

651.388.0305 763.263.7880 651.4B2.B109

Chameleons Vern & Laurie Grassel


Crocodilians Jell Lang Bill Moss

701.772.0227 651.488.1383

Lizards Nancy Halg Heather Matson

763.434.8684 612.554.8446

Large Boas P¥lhoJ::§ Tina Cisewski


Other Snakes Jeff Leclere John Meltzer

651.488.6388 763.263.7880

Aquatic Turtles Gary Ash John Levell

763.753.0218 507.467.3076

Terrestrial IlJdle:s 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 and should be in electronic file format if possible. The business card rate is $5/month. Submissions may be sent to: -orBill Moss The Minnesota Herpetological Society Attn: Newsletter Editor 75 Geranium Ave East Bell museum of Natural History Saint Paul, MN 55117 -or10 Church SI. SE. Minneapolis, MN 55455.0104

Copyright 2003, Minnesota Herpetological Society. Except where noted, contents may be reproduced for nonprofit, non·commerdaf use only. All material must be reproduced without change. Proper credit will be given including the author/photographer and the MHS Newsletter citing: volume, number and date.

The Newsletter of the rvlinncsota Herpetological Society

The Vice-presidents report By Tony Gamble

September General Meeting Friday, September 5th, 2003, 7:00 PM Program:

September 2003

Volume 23

rated on a comprehensive

study of the ecology and evolution of rear-

Buffalo wallows, tidal mudflats, and rice paddys: The ecology and evolution of rear-fanged water snakes in Southeast Asia

Number 9

fanged water snakes in southeast Asia. He has used a variety of techniques (from trapping to radio telemetry) to study the ecology of these snakes in Malaysia, Thailand and Singapore. Homalopsines are a relatively small group (approx. 34 species currently recognized), but are quite diverse ecologically and morphologically. His talk will provide an overview of his ecological studies and provide comments on recent phylogenetic and biogeographic work as well.

Rear-fanged water snakes (Subfamily Homalopsinae) live in both freshwater and marine habitats from south Asia to northern Australia. These semi-terrestrial snakes eat fish and frogs and one species even eats (Fordonia crabs leucoba/ia). All species are venomous (rearfanged snakes deliver venom to their prey through grooves on teeth in the back of their mouth) but most are not considered dangerous to humans. Like North American watersnakes, they give birth to live young.

Daryl Karns is a professor and chair of Biology at Hanover College in Indiana and a research associate at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago. His research interests are in ecology, evolution and conservation of amphibians and reptiles. Daryl is no stranger here in Minnesota. He completed his PhD in ecology, behavior and evolution at the University of Minnesota and is author of the classic "Field Herpetology: Methods for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles in Minnesota." This will be Daryl's fifth lecture for the Minnesota Herpetological Society (his last was in 1984!) so don't miss a great talk and a returning friend.

For the last 10 years, September's Erpeton tentaculatum or tentacled speaker Daryl Karns, has coli abo- snake, a Homalopsine snake from

Upcoming Meetings: Friday, October 3rd, 2003 - TBA

Guest Speaker: Daryl Karns

Cover: Common (blond) Snapping Turtle photo by Bill Moss

Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam."

ยง Page 3

'Il1C Ncwslellcr of l.he Minnesota Hcq)("to}ogical Society

September 2003

Volumc 23

Number 9

News, Notes & Announcements Well Done, Tony!

Critter of the Month

Congratulations to MHS vice-president and University of Minnesota Conservation Biology graduate student Tony Gamble winner of the 2003 Stoye Award in Conservation.

The following critters made it to the August meeting.

The American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists (ASIH) presents the Stoye Award in recognition of the best student oral

Jodi L. Aherns Various Dwarf Reticulated Pythons Jeff LeClere Green Vine Snakes Joe Jackobsen Taiwan Beauty Snakes Elaphe Taeniura

... and one great little fellow who's name I didn't get who showed us his "bald" python.

Adoption Report


by Sarah Richard, Adoption Chair

Such a quiet month! Several factors contributed to making this the quietest month in several years. We had a glitch in the system so the adoption day as reported on the website was 8/7. Add to that the fact that there were only three weeks between meetings and we should be back to normal by September. I already have a ten pound sulcata in the back yard that will be coming up for adoption next month . The following animals were placed at this months meeting:

Raffle Donors This month's raffle brought in almost $100. Thanks to the following donors. Christina Larson (2) humidifiers Tony a young American River Turtle at a turtle and fish farm outside of Manaus, Brazil.

presentation in one of several categories. Tony's presentation "The Impact of Commercial Harvest on Painted Turtles (Chrysemys picta)" was given at the 2003 Joint Meeting of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists held in Manaus, Brazil in June.

Mike Howard bedding block iguana food (4) Cricket food Ominisoar (?) Dan Monson - Blue Lagoon Vitamins


NOTICE * * Elections will be held at the November general membership meeting. Please contact Recording Secretary Barb Buzicky if you are interested in running for a position on the 2004 MHS board. Page 4

Sulcata Painted turtle Gray band king snake hybrid Anole Bull Frog Iguana We actually had more Iguanas go out than come inl This is the first month that I can remember that we did not take in a single Iguana. Special thanks to my fosters for all their help. We still have lots of Iguanas that are looking for homes so feel free to talk to Liz or Jamie about those mid month.

The Newslettcr of the IVlinnesota HCIl}ctological Sociely

Seplcmber 2003

Volume 23


The 19th Annual Midwest Herpetological Symposium Friday October 17th Through Sunday October 19th, 2003 Red Lion Hotel Omaha, Nebraska SPEAKERS

James D. Fawcett Ph.D. ConselVation in the 21 st Century: New Zealand Perspective Robert Sprackland, Ph.D. : History of Monitors in Herpetoculture Daniel D. Fogell Dept. of Biology,University of Nebraska at Omaha: The Status and Distribution of Southeast Nebraska's Pit Vipers Thomas G. Curro, DVM, MS: The Challenges of Medically Managing a Large Herpetological Collection in a Zoological Selling Steve A. Seifert, MD, FACMT, FACEP: Preparing For and Managing Exotic and Indigenous Reptile Envenomations Jessi Krebs, Cryptobranchid Interest Group: Research, ConselVation, and HUSbandry of Hellbenders and Giant Salamanders Robyn Markland, Pro Exotics Reptile: Evolution of Change in Reptile Husbandry Andrew Koraleski, Omaha Zoo: Husbandry Changes For Uroplatus Species At Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo Marcia Bradley, Private Breeder: No More Disposable Pets: An Introduction to the Mountain Horned Dragon Dean Alessandrini, Private Breeder: Limiting Factors and Recovery Efforts of the Eastern Indigo Snakes

Agenda Friday, October 17th, 2003 4pm - 9pm: Registrations, receive symposium packet 6pm - 10pm: Icebreakers at the Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo: behind the scenes tours of reptile areas (map to zoo provided) 8pm - ???: Hospitality suite with complimentary food, beer, soda, and snacks (Red Lion Hotel) Saturday, October 18th, 2003 7am: Registrations, receive symposium packet 8am - 5pm: Speakers presentations (listed above) Noon: Lunch on your own 6pm: Cocktails 7pm: Buffet dinner with 3 entrees Featured Speaker: Dr. James D. Fawcell, ConselVation in the 21 st Century: New Zealand Perspective 9pm - 11 pm: Auctions 10pm - ???: Hospitality suite with complimentary beer, soda, and snacks Sunday October 19th, 2003

1Dam - 5pm: Nebraska Reptile Breeders Expo and Sale Nebraska's Largest Captive Born Reptile Show 50 tables of vendors with 1000's of reptiles and supplies 9am - 11 pm Native Reptile Exhibit with Photography stage and conselVation discussions 11 pm - 5pm Native Reptile Exhibit with Photography stage For more information visit or you can call1email Glenn E. Eisel, President Nebraska Herpetological Society 402-210-7485 H, 402-734-6734 W Note: Early registration ends September 15th. Red Lion Hotel: 402-397-4545 - mention the symposium to get the special rates. PageS

The Newslettcr of the IHinnesota HClvctoIogical Society

September 2003

Volume 23

Number 9

been released into the wild after MHS BOARD MEETING being kept as pets, or the roaming REVIEW TRAP GIANT LIZARDS lizards might all be descendants AUGUST 2, 2003 of a single pregnant female who by Barb Buzicky, Recording Secretary Submitted by Heather Clayton was released. The Board Meeting was called CAPE CORAL, Fla. - Biologists in southwest Florida have set out to Campbell and his assistants, to order at 6:09 PM. All Board Members were prestrap a. species of giant, c~rnivo-·I1f111-)'(},.ltril'1'QliIiizgE ent, non-board members presrou.s lizards normally native. to ent were: Afnca that appear to be s p readmg'lcsf?":-;-: . Sarah Richard, Christian Kulus, through the region. sna.c. or . . . ' , . - --- Jaime Pajak. FLORIDA SCIENTISTS SEEK TO


Cape Coral has become a haven for Nile monitor lizards, and their population in the Gulf Coast city has possibly reached the thousands, said Todd Campbell, a University of Tampa assistant professor of biology who has started a project to monitor the monitors. Options being studied include

working with state and federal grants, are trying to learn whether monitor lizards have become a threat to native species. The animals can hunt prey in the water, in trees and even underground. "They likely eat anything they can fit in their mouths," said Gregg Klowden, a University of Florida biologist working on the project. "In my opinion, burrowing owls are like popcorn snacks for them"

a carnivorous lizard that hails from Africa and is well-known for stealing and eating crocodile eggs.

relocating or killing the animals. The first official report of a monitor lizard in Cape Coral was in 1990. Since then, Cape Coral has received 145 reports. Nile monitor lizards, which can easily grow to 5 feet, might have become established in Cape Coral in one of two ways, Campbell said. Some may have Page 6

In Africa, the lizards eat crocodile eggs, fish, mussels and snails. "They certainly wouldn't have any problem with baby alligators," Campbell said, adding: "These things eat oysters, so to crunch a gopher tortoise shell would be nothing. They probably eat armadillos, foxes, ground doves, reptiles, amphibians. There's one story of a lady finding a hatchling monitor eating goldfish out of her pond." §

The minutes from the July 12, 2003, board meeting were read and approved with changes. The Treasurer's Report for July 2003, was read and approved. The Membership Report for July 2003, was read and approved. The President had no report. The Vice-President confirmed speakers for upcoming meetings, September-Daryl Karns, OctoberCharles Guiness (ARAV Speaker), November-Tim Walkins, December and Holiday Banquet-pending. There were no committee reports. Old Business-The General Policy changes are okay. MHS will have its own web name so funds were approved for that purpose. Discussion about name permanent nametags, Marilyn getting pricing. The Turtle Regulations Meeting was attended by Tony and Randy. The meeting was a hearing for both sides to voice their issues before a final decision is made. The Larson's are volunteering ( .... board - contiued on page 11)

Thc NewsleUcr of thc


HCllletological Society

MHS Grants Awarded in


September 200B

Volume 23

This nature center is found along the Root River Trail system and is a focus for tourists.

Number 9

An Ode to Prey by Heather Clayton

by REBlasus, Grant Chair

University of Wisconsin student, MHS member and Minnesota expatriate The following is a summary of the grants approved and distributed by the Brian Cmobma received $500 to complete his funding to study the microhabMHS in 2002. itat needs of herpetofauna in the Peruvian rainforest. The Bell Museum preserved specimen collection received funding in the amount of $700 to purchase a second Dan Meinhardt, Bell Museum associate 35 gallon stainless steel storage tank for and assistant Professor at St. Olaf large turtle specimens. This allows for College, received a $300 grant to study more permanent storage for large spec- the genetic inheritance, or lack thereof, imens. of the 'bumsi' color morph of Leopard Frogs in North Dakota. Cassie Phillips, a high school student working with Tony Gamble, received $200 dollars for materials in her project to research the history of published and unpublished turtle studies in Minnesota since 1985. Her findings will be made available to future turtle researchers. The third and final year of the Timber Rattlesnake project will receive $1,000 to finish the project resulting in the total of $3,500 being granted over the life of the study. Results will assist the DNR with management plans for the snakes. Grad student Jaime Edwards, working in conjunction with the MNDNR, is starting to radio track Wood Turtles in Minnesota for a three year study to develop a management plan for the species. She was awarded $1,000 toward this project. The Houston Nature Center in southeastem Minnesota needed funding to prepare a mount for a dead Bullsnake to compliment other herp displays. The center received $220 for this request.

We herpers, we love you, Your death not in vain Well do we feed you So our herps have weight gain Crickets, how crunchy You chirp all night long You'll be lizard lunchy No matter your song Of course there's the mealworm They're kept a bit cold If let go full term Beetles you will behold

MHS now recognizes two distinct periods for acceptance of grants and have established dates for monetary distribution. Requests will be analyzed for individual merit and for the best fit to MHS' Aims and Goals. While MHS still accepts proposals outside of these periods, funding may not be available and grant consideration may be postponed. For more details and a downloadable application form go to: Applicants can be sent by email at or regular mail to: Grant Chair, Minnesota Herpetological Society, Bell Museum of Natural History, 10 Church Street SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455-0104.

And then there is mousie So cute and furry When put in snake's housie You're gone in a hurry Can't forget all the rats Who we so nobly take Their bodies from cats And give them to snakes For those who are large We must have our rabbit We're big as a barge And have stomachs to match it There are many others Like roaches, moths, flies They say "bye" to their mothers Then catch the lizard's eyes Smart herpers, hooray You take care of your pet Feed them good prey It's nothing you'll regret


Page 7

The Newslcttcr of the tvlinnesota HCIl)c(ological Society

September 2003

Volume 23

Numher 9


MA6N1FICENT BEAST PROTECTED FROM~ by John B. Jensen, Georgia Department of Natural Resources "The following account is a true story. Some names have been changed to proteet the not-so innocent. One turtle was harmed in the making ofthis story.

Summer mornings often find many herpetologists "in the field" studying their coldblooded species of interest. Unfortunately, that was not the case for me on July 17, 1997. Faced with what seemed to be an insurmountable stack of deadline-ridden paperwork, I was completely officebound. As the principal herpetologist for the Georgia Department of Natural Resources' Non gam e Endangered W i I d I i f e Pro g ram, however, I must also be available for other unexpected duties when working at my office in Forsyth. F r e que n t

not of the fish, but rather the turtle, he had caught a few days earlier. A 57 pound "Ioggerhead" (local vernacular for the alligator snapping turtle) fell for his one of his baited hooks set in Kinchafoonee Creek. This particular turtle had a metal tag attached to one of its feet and Mr. Trotline correctly reasoned that someone with the ON R put that tag there and would be interested

ened species. I was very pleased to get the capture information on No. 119, which would certainly help add to the limited knowledge of alligator snapping turtle movements and growth. Interestingly, over the course of eight years, this turtle gained 32 pounds and moved upstream several kilometers into a tributary of the Flint. I thanked Mr. Trotline for being so kind to inform me of his catch and asked if he had already released it. To say the least, I was quite un prepared for his answer _ "No, I ate it." I thought _ "How could he possibly tell me this?" After all, the alligator snapping turtle is a pro t e c ted species and Mr. Trotline was openly telling a state biologist with

pu blic ass is- 1b="";;;===";";"""===,;,,,,==============,,,,,,!J t h e tance phone Endangered calls, usually snake "crises", in knowing about the catch. Wildlife Program of his illegal are par for the course, but one The turtle, or Number 119 feast! Clearly, "Catfish" particular call that day was as he was affectionately Trotline was not aware of the quite unexpected. known, was a male turtle first alligator snapper's status and Mr. "Catfish" Trotline, a caught farther downstream in since he only meant well by fisherman from Southwest the Flint River during a 1989 calling us, he was pardoned. Georgia, called to inform me status survey of this threatPage 8


The Newsletter of the


HellJetoiogical Society

Septemher 2003

Volume 23

Number 9


z~ !2C1Il'\'3

Alligator snapping turtles were once highly prized for their meat. Old-timers professed that there are seven different flavors of meat on a single turtle (one of them must be chicken, I assume). Many freshwater turtle species were eaten, but 'gator snappers could provide a much greater quantity of meat than others and thus were especially favored. During the 1960s and

1970s, Campbell's, and certainly others, even produced a canned turtle soup. It was this fact that eventually led to the decline and threatened status of the alligator snapper. Commercial turtle trapping operations strongly focused on this species since it was easy to catch and its enormous size ensured good earnings for the trappers that sold meat at per pound rates. The removal of so many large, mature alligator snappers from the rivers and streams of the southeastern Gulf Coastal Plain caused a huge population crash in many areas, requiring state agencies to prohibit commercial harvest. The largest freshwater turtle in the Western Hemisphere, the alligator snapping turtle can reach 250 pounds or more

and have a shell nearly one yard in length. Alligator snappers look quite pre-historic, with three jagged ridges on the carapace, a massive head with powerful hooked jaws, bearlike claws, and a long scaly tail. On the floor of its mouth is a pink, fleshy structure that is unique to this species. The worm-like process is wiggled and twitched while the turtle lies otherwise motionless under the water with its mouth wide-open. This action lures small fish within striking distance of its lightning-quick jaws. Actually, fish are only one component of a highly opportunistic and varied diet that includes smaller turtles, mussels, birds, muscadine grapes, palmetto berries, acorns, and carrion (and fishhooks). Humans very rarely see alligator snapping turtles, except those people who purposely pursue the turtles, such as biologists and trappers. However, many people misidentify their smaller cousin, the common snapping turtle, as an alligator snapper. Common snapping turtles often travel across land from one aquatic habitat to another, which puts them in view of humans much more frequently. Conversely, alligator snappers never voluntarily leave the water, except nesting females, which rarely stray more than a few yards beyond the highwater line. Today, even biologists rarely see alligator snappers. In an effort to evaluate current populations of this species in Georgia, I, along with other

colleagues and volunteers, conducted status surveys in the major stream systems of Georgia within the species' range. Using live traps and snorkeling searches, we did in fact find 'gator snappers, but certainly not in the numbers we had hoped. One river, the Suwannee, yielded no captures or sightings of this spectacular creature, despite seemingly ideal habitat. Clearly, commercial trapping in the past left this and many other Georgia streams with very depressed populations. Hopefully, with protection measures in place preventing commercial harvest of this species in Georgia and elsewhere, this species will make a successful comeback, much the way its namesake, the American Alligator, did following over-hunting and subsequent protection. However, building on the lesson learned

Southeastern distribution from that phone call in July of 1997, we obviously need to make the public more aware of the threatened status of the magnificent alligator snapping turtle. §

Page 9






The Newsletter of the Minnesota Herpetological Society

September 2003

Volume 23

Number 9


, ,>


TlLufJA LCLKd By John P. Levell

regional herpetofaunal reviews, the vast majority of author St. "Alan Sf. John's Reptiles of the John's impressive little volume Northwest (2002): A Review" consists of individual accounts for each of the Pacific With Reptiles of the Northwest's native reptile Northwest: California to species. These multi-page Alaska - Rockies to the Coast, species accounts provide infornaturalist Alan st. John has promation on how to recognize and where to find each of the various duced an exceptional and handy little guide to the reptiles of animals, along with additional North America's Pacific comments on particularly Northwest region. This interesting or important geographic area en combehaviors and habits, typical of most field guide style passes a sizeable portion of the North American publications. At the same Continent from the westtime, however, st. John's ern slopes of the Rocky species accounts also often Mountains to the Pacific incorporate a section of Coast and extending from "field notes," which provide northern some additional more perextreme California, Nevada, Utah sonal insights into his and northwest Colorado, encounters with the reptilnorthward to the more ian inhabitants of the Pacific temperate portions of Northwest region. Naturally, illustrations are southern Alaska. The voleasily among the most ume therefore provides complete coverage of the important features deterreptile species found mining the value of any volthroughout all of Idaho, ume designed primarily to Oregon, Washington and assist in correctly identifyBritish Columbia, as well ing species of animals and as some of western plants, as anyone who reguMontana and Wyoming larly uses field guides can and those portions of the readily attest. In this area states mentioned previst. John's title really excels, ously. since multiple high quality photographs illustrate each While few would conof his various species sider the region a herpetologist's Mecca, the accounts. This is particularforty-two or so reptile Iy helpful with those species species occurring in the Pacific always been included among exhibiting high levels of variabiliNorthwest include some of the this reviewer's favorite American ty in coloration and/or pattern, as is the case with several regional most interesting and/or stunning- lizards. Iy beautiful lizards and snakes to As is the case with most Garter Snakes. The fact that Page 10

be found anywhere in North America. Prominent examples of these naturally include tri-colored Milksnakes, California Mountain and Sonoran Mountain Kingsnakes, Long-nosed Snakes, Common Garter Snakes with varying degrees of spectacular red-spotting, Collared Lizards and two local species of Alligator Lizard, which have

The Newsletter of the :Minncsota Hell)etological Society

species account photos have been reproduced at a most generous size only further enhances their overall usefulness. Additional color photos of various sizes are also included among the title's illustrated "quick key" to species identification and in the supplemental material covering regional habitats, field observation, and the various introduced non-native reptile species. All told, the title contains well over 450 color photos as well as numerous other assorted full color illustrations and color distribution maps, making this one lavishly illustrated little volume indeed. As is the case with the textual content, all photographs and other illustrations are also the work of author St. John and the reason why many of his photos have appeared in prominent national periodicals will be readily apparent by even the most casual perusal of his book's pages. Rounding out the volume is a list of Pacific Northwest plant species mentioned in the text, a short Glossary of selected terms, a well-organized bibliographic listing of additional resources including web pages of various professional herpetological and natural history organizations, and a checklist style "Lifelist" for recording one's personal Pacific Northwest reptile observations. Perhaps most impressive of all is retail price of only $18.95, particularly since the photographic content of the title alone easily justifies the investment. Exactly how so many quality color illustrations can be provided in one inexpensive yet quality

September 2003

Volume 23

title is something more book publishers need to discover. Factor in the informative and entertaining text author St. John has packed into this paperback volume's 272 pages and his Reptiles of the Pacific Northwest quickly becomes an even bigger bargain. Obviously, Reptiles of the Northwest: California to Alaska - Rockies to the Coast is well worthy of inclusion in any herpetology library, and most particularly those that focus primarily on North America's herpetofauna. That a companion volume on the amphibians of the Pacific Northwest has also been released by Lone Pine Publishing should prove real good news for many herpetological bibliophiles as well. This reviewer, for one, also sincerely hopes that similar regional herpetofaunal reviews will be forthcoming from Lone Pine Publishing soon.

Number 9

(.... board - continued from page 6)

their land for some field work-programs are being put together. New Business-Chairs are being established for the Midwest Herp Symposium in 2005 being held in Minnesota. Funds were approved for renovations to the State Fair exhibit. Reimbursement for housing Iguanas approved by the board. Changes in the adoption policy will be sent via e-mail to board members to be discussed at the October Board Meeting. Payment of Insurance for MHS was approved. The Budget Committee will be working on next year's budget. Philip Woutat resigned as Member-At-Large, and nominations for appointees need to notify a board member, as the appointment will be made in October. Funds approved to purchase hands on giveaways. MHS will be sending raffle items for the International Breeders Association, Asia Conservation Program in Florida August 15-17, Bibliographic Data: 2003. Tony Gamble won an Award St. John, Alan D. 2002. Reptiles in Brazil for Best Oral Presentation of the Northwest: California to due to his talk on Turtle Alaska - Rockies to the Coast. Harvesting. The Board gave him Lone Pine Publishing; 1901 congratulations. Raymond Ave. SW, Suite C; Renton, Washington 98055; There were 93 in attendance at the U.S.A.; http://www.lonepinepub- general meeting on August 1, 2003. The meeting was adjourned at 8:25 PM. John and Connie Levell own and operate NorthStar Herpetological Associates; P.O. Box 389; Lallesboro, MN 55949; 507 467-3076;

The next Board Meeting will be October 4, 2003, at the St. Paul Student Center Room 202, 6:00 PM. ยง

ยง Page 11

The Newsletter of the l\1innesota Helvetological Society

Speaker Review

September 2003

Unfortunately, there is no clear answer to these questions. Some malformations have been caused by bacterial infections, and some others have been by Barb Buzicky, Recording traced to parasitic Secretary invasions. When these problems occur, it happens at a speOur speaker for the August MHS cific point in the frog's developGeneral Meeting was, William men!. Souder, who is a writer for the Washington Pos!. He is the There are some chemicals also author of the book titled "A that have been linked to the Plague of Frogs." He wrote the problem such as vitamin A and first volume in the spring of alcohol, and other contami2000, and the new book (black nants. There were large in color) just recently. His book amounts of deformed frogs and the talk was about the prob- found in some Minnesota manlem of malformations in frogs made ponds where the only which is an issue that is not possibility of contaminants were going to go away any time soon. from buried toxic materials There are still many sites where present in the soil before the these animals are being discov- pond was dug. There is a parered. Malformations of frogs is ticular site in Crow a topic that has been talked Wing (CWB) (Minnesota) where about for many years with the a 30-acre pond, which was not first being written in about the man-made, had samples of 1640's in a paper that described severe deformities particularly some frogs as having an extra in Leopard Frogs. The only leg. There are scientific jour- hypothesis was based on the nals from the mid 1800's that fact that there were cows from have articles about extra legs. a bordering dairy farm that were And, as recently as 1990, allowed to go into the pond. Stanley Sessions wrote an arti- The problem could have been cle in the "Journal of caused from the chemicals fed Experimental Zoology" talking to the animals to keep the about them. insects down, then, the cow goes into Mr. Souder has been trying to the water and defecates which figure out the exact nature of adds chemically contaminated these malformations. Are they feces to the water. The frogs due to nature at work? Are they that were severely deformed from bacterial invasion of the spent more time in the water. species? Are they caused by There are dozens of other parasites? states in the northern tier that Are they from pollution? have been noted to have found August General Meeting Speaker: William Souder Program: A brief History of Amphibian Malformations

Page 12

Volume 23

Number 9

malformed frogs. There have been some found also in Southern Canada and Japan. The most common species found with these deformities are the green frog, the mink frog, the Pacific Tree Frog, and the Northern Leopard Frog. There are many types of malformations ranging from the webbing of skin on the legs, shrunken legs, half legs, extra legs, small feet, webbed toes, distorted fusion of both legs, missing eyes, eyes located above the shoulder, missing lower jaw, and missing legs. Is this a normal phenomenon? Has this been going on for all time? Is this a natural progression of frogs? Unfortunately, there is no defined baseline to work from. Mr. Souder has found many provable scientific causes for these malformations such as trauma, parasites, bacterial infections, ultraviolet radiation, chemical contaminants, and global warming. So, the mystery will continue. ยง

The Newsletter of the -Minnesota Herpetological Society

SarahM. Richard. ~:;'~ni ~liyiJ;$ Reaifl!Y- -: --

September 2003

Volume 23

Minnesota Herpetological Society Treasurer's Report Prepared by Marilyn Brooks Blasus, Treasurer For the Month Ending July 31, 2003 Income: Membership Sales (net) Donations Raffle Misc. Total Income:



Only $5 Per Month .•.••• $55 Per Year

$ 195.00 $ 366.08 $1970.00 $ 67.00 $ 80.00 $2668.08

Expense: Newsletter Printing and Postage Other Printing and Postage Program Conservation I Donation Supplies and Refreshments Misc. Total Expense: Net Gain I (Loss):

$ 373.00 $ 506.80 $ 100.00 - $1000.00



$ 694.05 $ 670.95 $1997.03

•Reptiles 'Amphi~ans 'Invertebra!es' Small Mammals· Fish· Complete Line 01 Cages Food, Books &Supplies for ALL Animals j






Hours: Mon•• Fri. 10·8 Sat. 10-6 Sun. 12·5


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~J' The LARGEST, .BEST Selection in the Twin Cities Since 1979


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2363 University Ave. W. SI. Paul, (1/2 Blk E. of Raymond)

Benda Photography Fine Portraits of Pets & People


(651) 647·4479 GEI'THE FACTS ... NOT'l'HE HVRE



Page 13

The Newsletter of the Minnesota Herpdolohrica1 So<:idr

September 2003

Number ~)

Volume 23

Classified Advertisements Classified ads are free to the membership. Deadline Is the night of the general meeting for Inclusion In the next newsletter. 1.0.0 = male, 0.1.0 = female, 0.0.1 "" unsexed, cb := captive bred, obo = or best offer, + = limes run ( ads are run 3 times unless specifically requested to continue).

For Sale


For Sale: 1.1 adult Timor monitors, breeders. One of the smallest monitor species. $300/pair, obo. Chelsea DeArmond, 651-776-5216 or +

Wanted: All the shed snake skins in the world. Needed for giveaways to kids at educational programs. Call Bob Duerr 651-489-5087

Did you know....... . Classified line ads are run free to MHS members?

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 melanogaster (small) and Drosophila hyde! (large). $5/culture or $25/6 cUltures. Each culture contains 30 to 50 adult flies and has potential to produce several hundred young. Also, Mealworms, two sizes available regular and mini. $5/1000. Can be delivered to MH8 meetings. Call Tony Gamble 612-747-6682 or email +++


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E(l9fi$h Spot


Jim's Rabbit Shack "'Where Spots Aro Tops路

JIMOAlUGE {153} 295-2818

Page 14

8700 Jaber Ave, NE MN 55362


Fuzzies Hoppers Adults

$7/dz $8/dz $10/dz

Fuzzies 8m Adult Med Adult bgAdult Jumbo

$15/dz $1!i/dz $24/dz $30/dz $36/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 Jody Holmstrom at 651.224.7212 or

iJ@ W@[)JJ~ \WlOiJllfl !A\ llO~

®~iJ W@I)JJ~ ~~®®£®~

iJ!A\~®~iJ !A\I)JJ@O~IM©~ ~£®~ !A\@o

$'\1 ® 1¥l~1ru 1Ilil@1Mll'1HI $'\I'\I® 1¥l~1ru WMIru'"

'12th month is free on a one year commitment

~.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~"V~~~) Advertising Policies /i.!Fr§;==================~~.~


MHSAD RATES Business card 1/4 Page 1/2 Page Full Page :It

Note: 12th month


$5/Month $10/Month $20/Month $40/Month free on


$55Near* $110Near* $220Near* $440Near*

Classified Ads: All active members are allowed a classified ad, run free of charge as space permits. Ads may be ran three consecutive months, after which time they may be resubmitted. Corresponding members are allowed a complimentary business card advertisement monthly as space pennlts. Due to federal restrictions on Non-profit mailing permits, we are not allowed to run ads for travel, credit or Insur~ ance agencies.

one year commitment

MHS Ad Policy: The MHS assumijS 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 sub· ject to occasional omission.

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 Geneml Meeting for inclusion In the next newsletter. Make checks payable to: Minnesota Herpetological Society.

r-----------------------------------------------, Minnesota Herpetological Society Membership Application : New





City, State, Zip,



Check tI

Herp related interests



Active Memberships: Sustaining ($60/year)

List in MHS Directory?



Contnbutlng ($30/year) BaSIC ($15/year)

Corresponding Memberships: Commercial ($25/year 2 Business Card Ads/year) 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 SI. SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455. Please allow 6-8 weeks for processing.

L _______________________________________________ ~

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















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Next Meeting: Friday, September 5, 2003 7:00PM Room 335 Borlaug Hall, U of M St. Paul Campus



MHS Voice Mail: 612.624_7065

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MHS Web Page:



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....... N

Vol. 23 (2003), No. 9  

Minnesota Herpetological Society Newsletter

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