Page 1



Note New Poison Center Number on Page Three

September 2009

Volume 29

Number 9

MHS Board of Directors President Jennifer Hensley


Vice President David Dewitt


Minnesota Herpetological Society September 2009


The purpose of the Minnesota Herpetological Society is to: 763.593.5414

• Treasurer Nancy Haig Newsletter Editor Kathy Claugherty iwannaiguana@gmail,com


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.

Members at Large Heather Clayton Jeff LeClere Reptilia74@aol,com

Number 9

MHS Voice Mail: 612.624.7065

Recording Secretary Jenna Rypka-Hauer Membership Secretary Ellen Heck

Volume 29


Chris Smith Chris.smith.mhs@gmail,com

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 ,- -~website-f6r changes in -scned(fle-g-on~an·cellation"s.

Jared Rypka-Hauer

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. See inside back cover for ad rates.

Committees Adoption Chair Sarah Richard realsarah@aol,com


Education Chair Jan Larson


Web Master Anke Reinders Library Carmelita Pfar

Submissions may be sent to: The Minnesota Herpetological Society Attn: Newsletter Editor Bell Museum of Natural History 10 Church St. SE. Minneapolis, MN 55455.0104 Please send email

© Copyright Minnesota Herpetological Society 2009. 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.

Cover Photo: Cover photo: Jim Soos. Komodo Dragon taken at the Minnesota Zoo

Snake Bite Emergency Hennepin Regional Poison Center 800.222.1222

Newsletter of the Minnesota Herpetological Society September 2009 Volume 29 Number 9

I October's

peaker: J

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Five Weekends left to volunteer out at The Minnesota Renaissance Festival! By Jennifer Hensley Dust off those old thyme clothes, and get your animals ready! The Festival runs weekends from August 22 nd through October 4th as well as Labor Day and Festival Friday, which is October 2nd • Please join for updates and communications involving volunteering out at the fest. Those who wish to work out at fest this year please make sure to email me by noon on the Wednesday prior to the weekend you wish you work at, let me know at the monthly meeting on paper, or call my cell phone at 612-309-2458. I need to make sure you are on the pass list or you will not be permitted to work that weekend or into festival grounds without paying full price for a ticket. Parking will be in the gravel pit this year, if you are in need of passes please let me know before the 15th orientation. If you have any questions please join the list serve or email the above address. Thank you and I look forward to working with you all this year!

25th Annual Midwest Herpetological Symposium hosted by Chicago Herpetological Society Octob'er 9 and 10 2009 The Symposium will be held at Georgio's Comfort Inn, in Orland Park, IL. Registration is $85 and includes access to the Ice Breaker on Friday evening and the Hospitality Suite as well as lectures throughout the day on Saturday and the Auction Saturday evening. There will be a Banquet Saturday evening. The cost is an additional $35.00. T-shirts - designed by Don Wheeler will be available for $15.00 each Hotel Information: Georgio's Comfort Inn at 8800 West 159th Street, Orland Park, IL 60482 has a special Symposium Rate of $94.99 per night. Please be sure to contact them directly to reserve a room. (708) 403-1100. You will have to mention you are with the Midwest Herpetological Symposium to receive this rate. To register online: Or complete the application below and mail it to: Chicago Herpetological Society, 2430 N. Cannon Drive Chicago, IL 60614 Name(s) _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __ Affiliation (Herp Society, School, etc): _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __ Address:


City: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ State: ___ Zip: _ _ _ _ __ Phone Number: Email: Registration: _ _ after September 1, 2009 ($85.00) Banquet Reservation _ _ $35.00 Symposium T-shirts Add $15: Size (circle one) S M L XL 2XL Grand Total: _ _ _ __



Newsletter of the Minnesota Herpetological Society

September 2009 Volume 29 Number 9

2009 Annual MHS Field Survey Summary at Forestville/Mystery Caves State Park by Jeff LeClere This year's survey took place in the blufflands of southeastern Minnesota. The festivities got off to a dubious start as it rained heavily and continuously on Friday night. Participants were undaunted, however, and most of those slated to arrive on Friday showed up. The weather was beautiful the next morning and remained so the rest of the weekend. Chris Smith and Erica Hoaglund set turtle traps that yielded a painted turtle (Chrysemys picta) and common snapping turtles (Chelydra serpentina). Some of us attended a snake program given by park staff on Saturday. Afterward, I was asked to determine the sex of their resident timber rattlesnake路 (Crotalus horridus). Using a probe I was able to tell them they had a male. They have had the snake for 27 years, so that was a long-time mystery solved! Two park staff members, Mark White and Kery Erickson, participated in the search for herps as well. At the end of the survey, nine species were recorded with roughly forty individuals found. Most of the species were common to Minnesota, but we did find a number of eastern milk snakes (Lamprope/tis triangulum triangulum). As always, surveyors had a great time around the campfire and were treated to the great cooking of Melissa Stites ... thanks Melissa! Participants took advantage of Blake Sheldon's photography set that was used to photograph the specimens we found. Though the species and individual numbers were not high, we all had a great time and look forward to next year. "Thank you" to the volunteers of the Minnesota Herpetological Society for their hard work, and special thanks go to Carmelita Pfarr, Mark White, Kery Erickson, Chris Smith, Erica Hoaglund, Melissa Stites, and Blake Sheldon.

July 11,2009 Meeting MHS Board of Directors Board Present: Jennifer Hensley, Ellen Heck, Chris Smith, Jeff LeClere, Dave Dewitt, Nancy Haig, Kathy Claugherty, Jared Rypka-Hauer, Jenna Rypka-Hauer Absent: Heather Clayton The meeting was called to or~er at 6:25 pm. Opening remarks - July membership meeting had 102 counted in attendance. Secretary's Report The minutes were read. Several corrections were made. It was moved, seconded and passed to accept minutes as corrected. Treasurer's Report The total monthly income was $1510.25 and the total monthly expense was $1416.45 for a net gain of $93.80 for the month of June. Membership Report Report was reviewed. Vice President's Report The speaker schedule was reviewed and additional speaker leads were discussed. Old Business

Phone and Voicemail - It was moved that we accept the plan to transition our telecommunication services from the U of M to Skype and that Nancy Haig, Jared Rypka-Hauer and Ellen Heck work together to set up 2 lines for 1 year. Motion seconded and passed. September's board meeting - It was decided that the September board meeting will be held at Como Cottage at 4pm. New Business Alana Curtis will be helping Jan with the education committee. Meeting adjourned at 9:24pm.


Newsletter of the Minnesota Herpetological Society September 2009 Volume 29 Number 9

August Speaker Review by Jenna Rypka . . Hauer Medical Marvels in the Herp World Dr. Doug Mader, MS DVM shared some of his exciting experiences being a veterinarian at Marathon Sea Turtle Hospital in the Florida Keys. The audience was hungry for more when he was finished with his first presentation, so he continued with more details about sea turtle medical care. In 1936 the standard medical care for reptiles was based upon a four page manual called Diseases of Reptiles, which was written by a human medical doctor. It only covered basic things such as mouth rot and poor sheds. Presently, the care given to sick reptiles rivals that of cats and dogs, including procedures like blood draws, ultrasound, ventilators and surgery.

Horned frog with a tummy ache - The owner of a horned frog noticed he wasn't eating. X-rays were taken and many rocks were discovered in his abdomen. The frog needed surgery, including intubation for respiration while under anesthesia. Since frogs don't have diaphragms like humans do, they need a machine to breathe for them during surgery. A carbon dioxide laser was used to minimize blood loss and they removed 13 or 14 rocks from the frog's stomach. They kept him warm during recovery, giving him some pain medication that is used with dogs and cats. The frog survived and did well. The overall cost was $8-900. Indigo snake with a 'cold' - An indigo snake was brought in with bad nasal discharge. They took some x rays and found lung worms. Medication is not used to treat this because the dead worms would remain in the lungs, so surgery is necessary. Usually, an endoscope is used, however, with this case, the three foot endoscope wasn't long enough for the nine foot snake. They made a small opening in the side of the snake to reach the lungs instead of going down through its mouth. Part of a snake's lung is used for breathing and has a rich blood supply and part of it is just like a balloon without a blood supply. To minimize blood loss, they entered the area of the lung without a blood supply. After they removed the worms, 13 in this patient, a little abscess was left where each one was attached. Antibiotics were then used to clear up the abscesses. Beardie with a headache - A bearded dragon was brought in because the owners noticed he 'wasn't playing normally'. He also had puffy eyes, wasn't alert or active and had a big swollen lump on his head. They performed an ultrasound and discovered an aneurism in his brain and the blood collecting was causing the swelling. They did a number of CT scans with injected dye to find where the vessels were leaking and found 2 leaks. The cause of aneurisms is generally unknown, however nutrition is considered to be the culprit unless known otherwise. Reptiles get deficiencies due to an imbalance of trace minerals because we don't usually feed them what they eat in the wild. These deficiencies can call all sorts of issues, like leaky blood vessels. Surgery was accomplished using the CT scans to create an exact 3D model to guide them. Vascular clamps were used to clamp off the vessels after the bleeding was found. They were able to rely on a blood transfusion because bearded dragons are common enough to find donors easily. Up to 1% of their weight in volume can be taken in blood and it is tested for compatibility beforehand. The cost for the whole process was about $3000, which included many freebies. The beardie lived for 2 and a half more years after the operation. Sinking sea turtle - Turtle and tortoise surgeries are not uncommon, however the shell of sea turtles is leathery, so it cannot be glued back together. A sea turtle was brought to Dr. Mader because someone had cut its shell to perform a surgery to fix an intestinal issue. They tried to glue it back together and it leaked. Not only did this make the turtle unable to swim properly, the resulting infection was terrible. The patch itself had died due to lack of blood supply. They removed the dead tissue and cleaned the wound. The sea turtle was put on antibiotics and had to remain out of water until the hole in its belly was closed. An intensive care regimen was performed daily including tube feeding, IV fluids and physical therapy. While the hole started to heal in some areas, some of the turtle's intestine began to poke out of the wound. To remedy that, they fashioned a patch out of medical grade Goretex. After 4-5 months of continued intensive care, tissue started to grow into the patch. She was able to get into the water after 7 months. They continued to work with her until the hole healed completely closed a year later, and she was released back into the wild.

Continued on next page


Newsletter of the Minnesota Herpetological Society

September 2009 Volume 29

Number 9

The Marathon Sea Turtle Hospital is funded by Richie Moretti. The hospital building was a strip club that Moretti bought and remodeled. He allowed Dr Mader to pick out all of the equipment that he needed and has continued to be very generous to the needs of the hospital. You can visit their website at Sea turtles are the only animal alive that hasn't changed since prehistoric times. They are threatened by people in many ways, including being harvested for their shells, meat, and eggs. Their habitat is being destroyed by industry, recreation, fishing, and crabbing. They require the beaches to reproduce, but we build resorts on them. They get hit by boats very often too, causing many sorts of injuries, which make them unable to dive, they become easy targets to be hit again and they starve. Fishing line and lobster trap lines are big threats to the sea turtles. If a turtle swallows a hook, the line goes with it and gets tangled in the intestines, cutting them. This results in death. Turtles also get tangled in lobster trap lines and, unable to surface for breath, they drown. If they are able to free themselves, it often cuts their fins severely, requiring amputation. They can learn how to swim with less than 4 fins and have even learned how to swim in a straight line with only 2 fins on the same side. Another serious threat to the sea turtles is a herpes fibropapilloma virus, which causes wart-like tumors. These tumors grow over their eyes and on their flippers, causing blindness and immobility. In turn, it takes them several months to starve to death. When a turtle comes into the hospital a physical exam and x rays are done. They deworm them, put them in observation pools and remove the external tumors surgically. If they see a tumor on the surface of an organ it can be removed, but if it is inside an organ, the turtle gets euthanized to prevent suffering a prolonged death. There are three ways these tumors can be removed, cryosurgically, with an electroscalpel and with a laser. They have found that cryosurgery doesn't effectively remove the tumors. An electroscalpel cuts using radio waves and the nerves react when the waves touch them. The best method ofremoving the tumors is by using a laser. It is a bloodless surgery and the incisions don't need to be stitched closed The sites heal completely in about 6 weeks.

Skinny Dipping ... An elderly man in Georgia had owned a large farm for several years. He had a large pond in the back. It was properly shaped for swimming, so he fixed it up nice with picnic tables, horseshoe courts, and some apple, and peach trees. One evening the old farmer decided to go down to the pond, as he hadn't been there for a while, and look it over. He grabbed a five-gallon bucket to bring back some fruit. As he neared the pond, he heard voices shouting and laughing with glee. As he came closer, he saw it was a bunch of young women skinny-dipping in his pond. He made the women aware of his presence and they all went to the deep end. One of the 20 women shouted to him, 'we're not coming out until you leave!' The old man frowned, 'I didn't come down .here to watch you ladies swim naked or make you get out of the pond naked.' Holding the bucket up he said, 'I'm here to feed the alligator.' .... Some old guys can still think fast. submitted by Jim Soos


Newsletter of the Minnesota Herpetological Society

September 2009

Volume 29

Number 9

Treating Reptile Abscesses by Dr. Amy Kizer Abscesses are a common problem in all species of animals. An abscess is a pocket of infection (pus) that can be located anywhere on the body. Abscesses can be caused by a number of reasons including foreign body, bite wound, or spread of a primary infection. In mammals, abscesses are typically treated by lancing the pocket, draining the liquefied contents, flushing the cavity, and placing the animal on antibiotics. In reptiles, the contents of the abscess are not as easily drained because reptiles tend to form a thick, caseous pus. Abscesses are generally diagnosed on exam and look like lumps or masses and can be anywhere on the animals body. Often, a fine needle aspirate (which is placing a needle in the lump) is done to confirm the diagnosis. The aspirate contents are placed on a slide and examined microscopically looking for bacteria and or yeast. Culture and sensitivity of the abscess contents is also recommended. This involves collecting a sterile sample of the exudates and swabbing the sample on an agar plate. Bacterial colonies that grow on the plate can then be examined to determine the species of bacteria we are dealing with. A sensitivity test can then be performed to determine which antibiotic will be most effective. In reptiles an aerobic and anaerobic culture is recommended. This is because the type of bacteria that often infect reptiles is anaerobic (meaning the bacteria do not require oxygen to thrive). For the best prognosis abscesses should be treated as soon as possible. In most cases, the entire capsule of the abscess needs to be completely removed, usually surgically. A small abscess may be effectively treated with local anesthesia, but large abscesses generally require general anesthesia. Oral antibiotics chosen based on sensitivity results are often prescribed for at least 14 days. Topical medications such as silver sulfa cream are also used in some cases. Large, chronic abscesses can lead to spread of bacteria to other parts of the body. If the abscess is located near bone there is a greater chance of a bone infection. Reptiles can also develop abscesses internally (in the liver or lungs). Reptiles with internal and bony abscesses are generally given a guarded prognosis. Probably the most common reptiles I see abscesses in are turtles (often the ear), iguanas, and geckos. If you notice a lump on your reptile it is recommended to schedule an appointment with a veterinarian as soon as possible. Dr. Amy Kizer Lexington Pet Clinic 4250 Lexington Ave. So. Eagan, MN 55123 651-452-5450

Ad ption Rep rts f r July and


August Adoptions: Here is the activity for July We had a very interesting collection of critters of this month. Alligator, small juvenile 2 Bearded Dragons Leopard Gecko Iguana, small juvenile Blue Tongue Skink Savannah Monitor mystery lizard which turned out to be a "Banana Splif' Lizard Snapping Turtle Ball Python 2 Corn Snakes and a BIG Boa I went home with nothing in my car, Yeah! You can see the Snapping Turtle if you come out to the Ren Fest.

3 Painted Turtles 1 Soft Shell Turtle 1 Bearded Dragon 2 smaller Common Boas 1 Gray Banded King Snake 1 Cal King 1 Brazilian Rainbow Boa 1 Corn Snake I think I have placed the famous Eagan Gator (special circumstances) Sarah Richard . 612-781-9544


Newsletter of the Minnesota Herpetological Society

September 2009

Volume 29

Number 9

Volunteer Hour Awards We have had a Stellar year with volunteerism with a total of 4813.75 combined hours, I believe that everyone that has volunteered in 2008 should give themselves a HUGE pat on the back. The Board greatly appreciates everyone who volunteers to help make this organization a huge success. This Society is all about you and what you do! The following people have earned their volunteer awards for 2008 and they should be handed out at the September meeting: Sarah Richard

Nancy Haig

Linda Bittner

Jennifer Hensley

Jim Soos

Caitlin Holmstrom

Ellen Heck

Chris Smith

Bill Moss

Christy Danathar

Kathy Claugherty

Ken Holmstrom

Peter Kazeck

Dave Dewitt

Liz Bosman

Jacob Mee

Josh Mahlow

Andrea Braucks

Jan Larson

Nancy Hakamaki

Judi Brumfield

Jeff LeClere

Brandy Snyder

Fred Bosman

Marla Backer

Mike Backer

Anna Miller

Sage Backer

Kiai Backer

Chad Danathar

Renee Valois

Mark Schmidtke

Rachel Anding

Merle Larson

rI~at~~r CICiyton

Jeff Printy

Curtis Zentz

Victoria Housewright

George Richard

Vern Grassel

Laurie Grassel

Amanda Grassel

Alicia Grassel

Ammy Goine

Daniel Moriarty

Carmel ita Pfarr

Glenn Jacobson

Donna Calendar

Bruce Haig

Sean Menke

Sherry Peterson

Tom Bliese

Angel Hughes

Colleen Melander

Darrin Gilbertson

Theo Gilbertson

Tom Sasse

Allette Alberle

Roger Allard

April Homich

Joseph Melander

Gordon Merke

Ingrid Edstrom

Jeffrey Berends

Scott Koolmo

Erica Hoagland

Jason Melander

Marit Lang

Casey Lang

Mariah Lang

Jenna Rypka-Hauer

Jared Rypka-Hauer

Caitlin Carver

Billy Horn

Tali Rose

Sonja Koolmo

John Moriarty

Domonique Anderson

Amanda Dewitt

Harley Pfarr

Blake Sheldon

Continued on next page


Newsletter of the Minnesota Herpetological Society

September 2009

Volume 29

Number 9

The following people did not earn a volunteer award but every bit of volunteerism is worthy of being noted and they deserve a big hand of applause: ,manda D Kose I ,rian (






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Treasurer's Report for July 2009


Prepared by Nancy Haig $22,912.09

Beginning Checkbook Balance:

Sultry summer night He comes to silently wait Beneath my side porch light

Income: Membership Raffle Adoption

$94.25 $40.00

Rodent sales


Hands Ons



Pale moth, June Beetle, Lacewing To this light are drawn An eerie, mysterious thing


They flutter and flap Exhaust themselves and fall Virtually onto his lap

$75.00" $1,001.25

Total income:

His wide jaws open Nimble tongue flicks out Winged meal is pulled in

Expense: Newsletter


Field Survey



This is why he, comes to wait Beneath my side porch light Ravenous hunger to sate




Vet Costs






Not a Saturday night date By Pam Gerholdt


Total Expense Cash increase/(decrease)


Ending Checkbook Balance:


Placement of cash holdings Checking account


Paypal acct


Cash on hand




Notes: Income $75.00 donation for use of Como Cottage. Expense: Grants paid to Amy Luxbacker $1500.00 Matt Grifford $1422.00


Newsletter of the Minnesota Herpetological Society

Classified Captive Bred (born 7 .. 21.08) Brazilian Rainbow Boas

September 2009 III


Volume 29

Number 9



English Spot


"Can't Beat The Dutch"

So Cute!l

JIM DALUGE 763-295-2818

Males: $110...,120 Females: $130-140 Will Deliver Locally/Meetings Mike Petersen - 651-786-9086

8700 Jaber Ave. N.E Monticello, MN 55362

Sarah M. Richard

Fox Exotics 763-772-6 138

Find Me: (612) 781-9544 Bus: (651) 636-3760 Fax: (651) 639-6418

Fine Captive Bred Ball Pythons, Color Morphs, Dwarf Boa Constrictors and More!

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Heather Ingbretson, D.C. Doctor of Chiropractic 1752 Lexington Avenue Roseville MN 55113

])hoo<.' (651) 487-5950 Cell (763) 226-1129 Fax (651) 487-6016


Hours: Mon.· Fri. 10 ·8

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Join our 846 SW 132nd St. Burien WA 9BI46 206·870-8085

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REPTILES 2363 University Ave. W. 81. Paul (112 Blk E. of Raymond)

(651) 647·4479


Make an offer for 2 pairs of albino het ball pythons, plus a possible piebald male. Email Marty: med


Minnesota Herpetological Society Membership Application New



Others on membership

Membership #



City, State, Zip

Check #

Phone # List in directory?

Email Yes


Herp related interests

Active Memberships: Sustaining ($60/year) Contributing ($40/year) Basic ($20/year) Corresponding Memberships: Commercial ($25/year, 2 business card ads/year) Required check info. Drivers LiC#



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

Rats! . .

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.

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. Display Ad Rates: Ad Size per Month % page $10.00 % 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

MRS Rodent Orders Mice Pinkies: Fuzzies: Hoppers: Adults:

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

Weaned: $ 17/dz Sm. Adults: $18/dz Med Adults:$24/dz Lg Adults: $30/dz Jumbo: $36/dz

For pick-up at monthly meetings only! Orders must be placed 10 days in advance of the meeting in order to guarantee availability-Orders may be placed at the meeting for the following months order, or by emailing your request to:

@~~.~~~HEnp~~e en



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







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

Address Service Requested Mem# 152 Exp: 11/1/2009 Sally Brewer-Lawrence 1990 Iglehart Ave. St. Paul, MN 55104

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MRS Voice Mail: 612.624.7065


MRS Web Page:


Printed on Recyled Paper,

Vol. 29 (2009), No. 9  

Minnesota Herpetological Society Newsletter

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