Page 1


Fall 2012 Volume 54 Number 2

THE PURPOSES OF THE SOCIETY SHALL BE To promote the discovery and dissemination of knowledge of amphibians and reptiles To encourage specifically the study of amphibians and reptiles in Texas; To encourage conservation of wildlife in general and of amphibians and reptiles in Texas in particular; To stimulate fellowship among herpetologists of Texas and the Southwest -Article II, THS Constitution

2012 Fall Symposium

In This Issue Message from the President Fall 2012 Symposium Info Spring 2012 Field Trip Results Spring 2013 Information What’s going on in Texas? THS Membership & Information Partners in Herpetology Links

WHEN: 27 October 2012 LOCATION: Heard Natural History Museum, McKinney, Texas TOPIC: Texas Endangered and Threatened Species We still need speakers!!! Contact Roger Sanderson if you can or will make a presentation.

2013 Spring Field Trip WHEN: April 2013 LOCATION: Caddo Wildlife Management Area (NOT OFFICIAL YET) Contact Charles Watson for more information


2 2 3 4 4 5 6 6

submissions of papers. Presently I feel we are woefully in need of more presentations, so I beseech all of you to help. We’ve been having problems with updating the website, so until that is resolved, we will try to keep you posted via email. See you in October!

Message from the President – Roger Sanderson The Spring Meet was held April 27-29 at Mad Island WMA, just across from Matagorda Bay on the Texas coast. With 55 people attending and 29 species recorded, I consider it a successful meet. However, a significant percentage of the attendees were enthusiastic employees or volunteers at the Nature Conservancy, whose adjoining property we were also given permission to explore. They could also be given the credit for the meet’s success as they (especially Brigid Berger who cooked the sumptuous repasts) supplied the dinners for both nights, which turned out to not only be wonderful meals, but more importantly, an extremely entertaining and relaxing atmosphere after a day (& Night) of Texas heat and coastal humidity. Their hospitality really put the finishing touch to a great meet! The meet also had its share of unfortunate circumstances. We did have a snake bite incident Friday evening which illustrated the lack of knowledge by the local emergency personnel, despite the large numbers of snake bites they encounter during a season. Then, on the way back from the hospital, the transmission in my truck went out (luckily not on the way TO the hospital!). Our snake bite victim was back Saturday in time to hunt again Saturday night – thanks to the generosity of Charles Swift who volunteered to drive an hour each way to pick him up! Unfortunately, there was no one local to fix the transmission, so the truck had to be towed to another town and it wasn’t until Thursday that I was able to leave for Dallas. Luckily, I had my camper to stay in for the week and Adam Hickl, again a generous Nature Conservancy employee, was kind enough to take me into town for food and necessities and then drive me to Brazosport, an hour away, to pick up my truck when it was finally ready. Thanks also go to Texas Parks and Wildlife who let us have free reign over the property for the weekend – and for putting up with me for several days thereafter. Possibly the highlight of the event was the several Gulf Salt Marsh Snakes, Nerodia clarkii, that were caught, as many if not most - of the participants had never seen one. Unfortunately, my hopes of finding at least one horned lizard never materialized. Next up is the Fall Symposium on October 27th! This year it will be a half-hour north of Dallas in McKinney. It will be held at the Heard Natural Science Museum which is just a mile east of Highway 5 (which runs through the center of McKinney) on FM 1378. For those coming in on Hwy 75, take the Hwy 5 exit east, then head south a short distance on Hwy 5 and east (left) on 1378 or Country Club Drive. This year’s emphasis will be on rare or endangered Texas herps, especially efforts to improve their numbers or to understand their biology in order to aid in conservation or restoration efforts. Andy Gluesenkamp, herpetologist with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, has said he will speak. Other speakers are not established yet, but future notices will be forthcoming as the details fall into place. I want to thank Ivana Mali and Toby Hibbitts for their help in finding speakers and advertising for

2012 Fall Symposium Information Students, professors, state biologists, and herp hobbyist have been invited to present oral presentations or posters on preserving rare and threatened taxa with the goal of gaining knowledge about their ecology and methods of preserving them in the wild as well as in captivity. Topic: Endangered and Threatened Herps of Texas When: October 27, 2012, registration starts at 8:00 am. Where: Heard Natural Science Museum, McKinney, Texas. More information will be both available on our website and emailed to interested individuals. Also you can contact Roger Sanderson or Ivana Mali.

About the Heard Natural Science Museum The Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary, in McKinney Texas, is the result of Bessie Heard’s vision for the future and her commitment to the community and North Texas. Founded in 1967, the Heard consists of a 289 acre wildlife sanctuary and a natural science museum for the primary purpose of educating children about nature. The Heard exists to bring nature and people together to discover, enjoy, experience, restore, and preserve our priceless environment. In keeping with Miss Heard’s vision, the Heard’s purpose is threefold: education, conservation, and preservation. Through education, particularly for young people, the Heard emphasizes an appreciation of nature and its conservation. For more information about the Heard Museum check out their website:


Directions to Heard Natural Science Museum Central Expressway (North from Dallas, or South from McKinney) Exit Central Expressway at Exit 37 - Stacy Road heading East on Stacy Road Take Stacy Road East to Greenville/Hwy 5 (approx. 1 Mile) Turn Left (north) onto Greenville/Hwy 5 and travel

Results of 2012 Spring Field Trip at Mad Island WMA and Mad Island Preserve

2.1 miles to Country Club Rd/FM1378 At Country Club Rd (FM 1378) turn Right – Heard Museum Sign at the intersection



Travel 1 mile on Country Club Rd (FM 1378) to Incilius nebulifer Acris blanchardii Hyla cinerea Hyla squirella Gastrophryne olivacea

Heard Museum on your left

Lithobates catesbeianus Lithobates sphenocephalus Alligator mississipiensis Terrapene ornata Trachemys scripta Kinosternon subrubrum Gopherus berlandieri Hemidactylus turcicus Sceloporus olivaceus Scincella lateralis Aspidoscelis gularis Aspidoscelis sexlineata Lampropeltis calligaster Lampropeltis getula Masticophis flagellum Nerodia clarki Nerodia cycopion Nerodia fasciata Opheodrys aestivus Pantherophis obsoletus Thamnophis proximus Micurus tener Agkistrodon piscivorus Crotalus atrox

Two herps found on Spring THS field trip.



Gulf Coast Toad Blanchard's Cricket Frog Green Treefrog Squirrel Treefrog Great Plains Narrow-mouthed Frog American Bullfrog Southern Leopard Frog

x x x x x

American Alligator Ornate Box Turtle Pond Slider Eastern Mud Turtle Texas Tortiose Mediterranean Gecko Texas Spiny Lizard Ground Skink Spotted Whiptail Six -lined Racerunner Prairie Kingsnake Common Kingsnake Coachwhip Salt Marsh Watersnake Mississippi Green Watersnake Southern Watersnake Rough Green Snake Texas Ratsnake Western Ribbonsnake Texas Coral Snake Cottonmouth Diamond-backed Rattlesnake # shell *DOR mid county

x x x x x# x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x* x x

x x

Site for 2013 Spring Field Trip – Caddo Lake WMA

What’s Happening in Texas?

The Caddo Lake WMA has 8,005 acres in Marion and Harrison counties. In 1992 Texas Parks and Wildlife purchased most of the area that is now Caddo Lake WMA. The next year Caddo Lake was selected as "a wetland of international importance, especially as waterfowl habitat" under the Ramsar Convention. The Caddo Lake Initiative, begun in 1993, includes projects intended to protect the environment and help out with economic development of the area. The WMA contains a permanently flooded bald cypress swamp and seasonally flooded bottomland hardwoods. Islands in the lake make up most of the land mass. The rest of the WMA is uplands forested with pine, oak and hickory trees. Fishing, trapping and public hunting of white-tailed deer, feral hog, waterfowl, dove, other migratory game birds, squirrel, quail, rabbits, hares, predators, furbearers and frogs permitted. Primitive overnight camping is available. Outdoor recreational opportunities include wildlife viewing, hiking, bicycling, and horseback riding. Bicycling and horseback riding are permitted on designated roads/trails. For more information check with Charles M. Watson.

New Book: Texas Amphibians by Bob Tipton, Terry Hibbitts, Toby J. Hibbitts, Troy D. Hibbitts, and Travis LaDuc (UT Press) is available as of September 1, 2012. Book Revision: Amphibians and Reptiles of Texas by James R. Dixon (Texas A&M Press). Besides updating the maps and bibliography, photographs of each species will be represented. Toby Hibbitts was responsible for getting the photographs together. This book should also be available in January or February. World Congress of Herpetology: The THS was well represented in Vancouver, Canada in August by Toby Hibbitts, Donald Brown, Melissa Jones, Ivana Mali, Lee Fitzgerald, and Travis LaDuc. Facebook: Check out these sites on facebook. Texas Herp Naturalist Herpetology Herpetofauna Mexicana Texas Herpetological Society Website: no longer hosts society websites. We need to find another host. At the fall meeting we need decide what to do about this matter.



THS OFFICERS 2012 President: Roger Sanderson

Richard J. Baldauf* L.A.M. Barnettte* W. Frank Blair* Bryce C. Brown* Joseph T. Collins* Roger Conant* W.K. Davis* James R. Dixon Alvin G. Flury

President Elect: Charles M. Watson Vice-President: Ivana Mali Past President: Dominic Lannutti

David Haynes Terry Hibbitts John S. Mecham Ottys Sanders* Hobart M. Smith Charles H. Swift John E. Werler* John C. Wottring*

THS MEMBERSHIP INFORMATION Membership entitles you to attend the Spring Field Meet and the Fall Symposium, held in different Texas locations annually, as well as bi-annual newsletter publications.

Secretary/Treasurer: David Haynes

To join, send $10.00 regular, $5.00 student, $5.00 corresponding, per calendar year, along with your name, address, phone number and e-mail address to:

Editor: Terry Hibbitts

David Haynes Secretary/Treasurer THS 1810 W. Mulberry San Antonio, TX 78201

Board Member 2012: Daniel Leavitt Board Member 2013: Wade Ryberg


Board Member 2014: Michele A. Johnson

A decision has been made that the THS will be sending the Newsletter by e-mail exclusively. If you have not yet given David your e-mail address, this may be your last Newsletter. (If you do not have access to e-mail, let David know, we will make every effort to get you a newsletter, however, there may be an additional charge to cover the added printing and mailing expense.) Members currently receiving the THS Newsletter need to send David any snail-mail address changes or e-mail address changes.

TPWD Wildlife Diversity Committee Representative: Troy Hibbitts Communications: Corey Roelke Charles M. Watson

THS GRANTS IN HERPETOLOGY If you or someone you know is interested in applying for a THS grant please check our website for the information. THS Grants in Herpetology



LINKS Those of you who encourage students to present papers at meetings might find the essay linked below of interest. The Texas Memorial Museum Texas Cooperative Wildlife Collection University of Texas at Arlington Herpetology Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles The American Society of Ichthyologist and Herpetologists The Herpetologists League HerpNET

PARTNERS IN HERPETOLOGY Southwest Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (PARC) Horned Lizard Conservation Society Information for Turtles of the Lone Star State Turtle Survival Alliance Dallas-Fort Worth Herpetological Society Herp Conservation Unlimited (HCU)


TEXAS HERPETOLOGICAL SOCIETY 1810 W. Mulberry San Antonio, TX 78201



THS Vol. 54, No. 2  

Texas Herpetological Society Newsletter