Herper.com: Reptiles and Amphibians

Reptiles and Amphibians in the News

Friday, October 31, 2008

Tuatara Nest Discovery

A tuatara nest has been found on mainland New Zealand, the first known in 200 years. (News source.)

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Thursday, October 30, 2008

Two New Geckos

Two new geckos have been found in Australia. (News source.)

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Turtle Ruling

An article here on the new Florida limitations on fishing for soft-shelled turtles.

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Chemicals Aid Parasites

A new paper supports the idea that chemical pollution helps increase parasitic infections in amphibian populations. (News source.)

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Snake Charmer Arrested

A snake charmer in India was arrested when his cobra (partly defanged) bit a man who tried to hold it. Fortunately, the man was not envenomated. (News source.)

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Crocodiles in the News

A couple in India was injured by a crocodile after it first attacked the woman, and was fought off by her husband. (News source.)

A tourism minister in Australia claims that urban crocs are good for tourism. (News source.)

A teenager has been arrested for killing a North American crocodile on the University of Miami campus. (News source.)

Crocodile farming is still controversial in Thailand. (News source.)

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Gaboon's Last Bite

It appears the gaboon viper that bit its Canadian owner was killed by the man's friends, though police never saw the remains. Might just have been smuggled elsewhere. (News source.)

[No link, but I also saw mention that the reticulated python that killed a Virginia woman was euthanized.]

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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Antivenom Bank

A profile on the Florida fire-rescue antivenom bank due to the recent king cobra bite. (News source.)


Amphibian Malformity Study

Inbreeding appears not to be a factor in the increaste in amphibian deformities/mutations. (News source.)

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Economies & Snake Exporters

Indonesian snake exporters (for both skins and pets) are feeling the crunch, which leads to speculation that smuggling will increase. (News source.)

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Antivenom: Act Quickly

From the news: "New evidence suggests antivenom should be given at least within an hour after a snake bite to be effective at reducing the blood thinning effects of venom."

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Herp Conservation

Mexico City axolotyls are in danger of disappearing. (News source.)

The Western Australia government is giving $1.2 million to a toad busting group to fight cane toads. (News source.)

Amphibians are dying off at Yellowstone. (News source.)

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New Herps

A few new species from the last month at Zootaxa:

Two new Cyrtodactylus geckos from Vietnam.
A new frog (Oreobates) from the Andes of Argentina.
A new lizard (Arthrosaura) from from Brazil/Guyana.
A new frog (Nyctibatrachus) from India.

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Croc Scares Neighbors

A 10-foot long, protected North American crocodile has moved into a canal in a Miami neighborhood, worrying the residents. (News source.)

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2-Headed Turtle Stolen

Another two-headed turtle has been stolen, this one from a Canadian pet shop. (News source.)

[Update: Turtle returned.]

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Sunday, October 26, 2008

King Cobra Bite

A Florida man, a volunteer at a wildlife rescue, was bitten by a king cobra while cleaning its cage. (News source.)

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Friday, October 24, 2008

Python Tragedy

A 25yo Virginia woman attempted to medicate her 13-foot reticulated python by herself, and was found later by her husband, apparently strangled by the snake. As noted in the article by a local pet shop owner, constrictors over 8 feet should not be handled alone, in case of emergency. (News source.)

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Wholesaler Fire

A Texas herp/exotic wholesaler had a fire, but it sounds like most of the animals were saved. (News source.)


Glassfrogs Described

Seven new glassfrogs have been described from Ecuador. (News source.)

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Crocs in Cyprus

Urban myth or illegal introductions? Stories of crocodiles at Kourris Dam in Cyprus are springing up again. Officials haven't found any, but investigations continue. (News source.)

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Giant Garter Snake Habitat

More land has been added to a conservation land trust for giant garter snake habitat. (News source.)

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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Amphibian Diversity Fights Parasites

Parasite load in American toads dropped when they raised in the same tank as gray tree frogs. Gray tree frogs could fight off infestations better than toads. Not sure why the researcher is saying the two amphibians are competitors -- they obviously are in different niches, unless they're referring to the tadpole stage. (News source.)

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Turtle Troubles

A man was sentenced for purchasing an illegally poached sea turtle for meat in the Caymans. (News source.)

A New Zealand animal rescue is running out of room for injured animals because of the number of turtles being dropped off -- the owners claim they never knew the turtles would grow. (News source.)

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Next Valentine's Day...

No need to spend money on fancy spa treatments for your wife or girlfriend... you can do it at home, just break out the corn snakes.

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Legless Lizard Described

The description for a new Brazilian legless lizard has been published in Zootaxa. (News source.)

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Gators at University

Researchers at Southeastern Oklahoma State University are working with some young alligators that were found abandoned by their mother in the state. (News source.)

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More Snakebites

A 9-year old Florida boy was bitten by a pygmy rattlesnake. (News source.)

Two Texas highschoolers were bitten by a water moccasin that was being kept in a classroom: the teacher had misidentified it as a water snake. (News source.)

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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Poached Reptiles Seized

Malaysian officers confiscated 1,272 live reptiles destined for the illegal food market. (News source.)

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Bit by Gaboon

A Canadian man was treated for a gaboon viper bite. (News source.)

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NZ Zoo Theft

A New Zealand zoo was victim to a smash and grab heist. Two day geckos and two bearded dragons were stolen. (News source.)

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Turtle News

Mississippi researchers are studying the diamondback terrapin. (News source.)

The AVMA has an interesting article on the 4-inch turtle law debate. (News source.)

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Monday, October 20, 2008

Croc Attacks in Namibia

A Namibia newspaper notes some recent cases of crocodile attacks.

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UK: Snake in Attic

An unknown species of snake has left shed skins in a UK attic, to the consternation of the current tenants. (News source.)

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Deer Help Snakes

Turns out, snakes, salamanders, and other creatures are more abundant in areas with a deer population. (News source.)

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Sunday, October 19, 2008

Fox Snake Status in Missouri

Missouri has removed the fox snake from the endangered species list, but keeps them on the prohibited take list. Kirtland's snake and the dusty hognose have been added to the prohibited take list. (News source.)

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Notes here on snakebites on "internally displaced persons" in India.

And, an Australian woman in an impromptu fashion parade was bitten by a tiger snake. (News source.)

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Saturday, October 18, 2008

Australian Brown Snake Bite

An off-duty paramedic in Queensland was bitten by an eastern brown snake. (News source.)

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Lucky Red-Ear

Anywhere else, a hit-by-car red-eared slider would be considered an unwelcome invasive, but a lucky turtle in New Zealand got patched up by a vet. (News source.)

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Friday, October 17, 2008

Suspect Croc Heading to Crocodile Farm

A crocodile, suspected of having killed a tourist to Australia, is being sent to a crocodile farm. (News source.)

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Florida: Reptile Discovery Center

Deland, Florida, is getting the Reptile Discovery Center soon...

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Dumb (Herp) Criminal of the Month.

Right here.

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A UK pizza place is experimenting with frog leg toppings. (News source.)

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Turtles and Tortoises

Arizona Game & Fish is looking for people to adopt desert tortoises. (News source.)

Florida FWC is in the middle of a debate over their position regarding freshwater turtle harvesting. (News source.)

Here is a study on loggerhead sea turtle mortality off Baja California.

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Strange Snake Stories

A live 4 1/2 foot albino corn snake ended up in a Washington waste water plant. (News source.)

A goat thief in Malaysia turned out to be a 6-meter long python. (News source.)

It's time for the annual Rattlesnake Festival in Pasco County, Texas. (News source.)

Controversy in Illinois: did a man see a massasauga or a fox snake? (News source.)

Has the largest fossil snake been found? Estimates of a South American fossil are up to 12.8 meters. (News source.)

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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Leucistic Pipe Snake?

Not sure, but this pic of a leucistic pet snake from southern Vietnam might be Cylindorophis (Without seeing the tail, I can't tell for sure.) Or might be one of the homalopsine water snakes?

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Nepali Snakebite Death

The Nepali news notes a recent death by snakebite.

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Sounds like a Killer Croc Movie

After a male croc in Queensland was shot and beheaded by trophy hunters, the body was left to float into a rival male crocodile's territory. This, apparently, has enraged the croc, which is now stalking and lunging at nearby bridge builders and construction workers. (News source.)

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Monday, October 13, 2008

Pakistani Conservationist Dies From Cobra Bite

Wildlife conservationist Rafiq Rajput died after being bitten handling a cobra. (News source.)

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Nepali Turtle Scam

A strange scam involving turtle worship in order to get rich has broken out in Mysore, India, near Nepal. (News source.)

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Sunday, October 12, 2008

Venom and Politics

A Pakistani snake hunter says that foreign traders are removing one of Pakistan's treasures: the venom of snakes. He is proposing that a venom lab be built. (News source.)

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OOP Iguana

Just an interesting lost iguana story from Mississippi. (News source.)

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Saturday, October 11, 2008

Rattlesnake in the Mailbox

A Florida postman was bitten by an eastern diamondback that somehow ended up in a mailbox. He didn't call 911 until he finished his deliveries. (News source.)

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Herp Conservation News

Weather conditions this year were beneficial for the successful breeding of the endangered Mississippi gopher frog. (News source.)

Thailand wildlife officers seized 200 monitor lizards being smuggled out to the illegal food markets. (News source.)

North Carolina bought 40 acres to preserve as bog turtle habitat. (News source.)

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Bangladesh Croc Farm

Details here on a crocodile farm starting up in Bhaluka, Bangladesh. (News source.)

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Friday, October 10, 2008

Killer Crocodiles Narrowed Down

Two crocodiles with "material" in their stomachs may have been responsible for the death of a British tourist in Australia. (News source.)

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Idaho Boa Legal Issues

A couple who took in a boa that was found roaming loose was charged with selling it by the police department, who claim it was never formally adopted. The couple had had to pay vet bills, etc., and couldn't continue taking care of the snake. The police are surprised that the snake's owner isn't coming forward, as the boa is so "valuable." Apparently, nobody has told the police that red-tail boas are not worth nearly as much as they think it does, and are too often taken in by reptile rescues. (News source.)

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Thursday, October 9, 2008

Snake Charmers Reformed

Bihar, India's, snake charmers may have a second chance after a dying tradition, by extracting venom for researchers to process. (News source.)

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Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Snakes & Crime

An Oklahoma man who stole a python and tortoise from a zoo ended up getting himself arrested when he returned to the zoo to ask employees how to care for the reptiles. (News source.)

An Ohio woman ended up in trouble for owning an 8-foot boa in a county that only allows constrictors up to 5 feet. (Chalk one up for dumb laws.) (News source.)

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Getting Bit

Three people in Reston, VA, have been bitten by copperheads recently. (News source.)

A Texas girl was bitten by an unknown snake while showering. (News source.)

A Malaysian man was lucky to survive a crocodile attack. (News source.)

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Monday, October 6, 2008

Iguana Hunters: The Strictly Controversy

An article here detailing how Strictly Reptiles obtains iguanas and more from the burgeoning invasive population in Florida, and how state regulations might affect that. (News source.)

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Diving with Crocodiles

Another profile here on the diving cage in a crocodile exhibit at Crocosaurus Cove, Australia.

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CDC on the Attack Again

Lots of media attention on a new paper that has been published, warning parents not to buy exotic pets. Of course, cleanliness and good hygiene protocols would go a long way toward reducing risk, but the CDC prefers outright bans. (News source.)

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Snakes on the Attack

A python attacked a woman who runs a German reptile zoo, during a cage-cleaning. (News source.)

A snake (apparently a nonvenomous native species) bit two people at a Maryland renaissance fair, when a young woman tried to taunt her boyfriend with it. (News source.)

A Sydney, Australia, man was bitten on the finger by a brown snake. (News source.)

A Colorado Sheriff's deputy was bitten by a rattlesnake when he tried to move it, and had a severe reaction. Before help arrived, he also ended up crashing his car. (News source.)

And for non-attacking snake news, a man survived 113 days in an enclosure with 40 venomous snakes without being bitten, a Guinness world record. (News source.)

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Cane Toads Edible?

A TV host from American tried out a new recipe for Australia's invading cane toads. (News source.)

An anti-cane toad group killed over 50,000 toads on a Northern Territories ranch over two weeks. (News source.)

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Saturday, October 4, 2008

Zoo Python Stolen

A Norman, OK, zoo has had its albino Burmese python stolen for the second time in 10 days. (News source.)

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Snakebit While Sleeping

A teenage Australian girl was bitten by a slatey-grey snake while sleeping in her room. (News source.)

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Turtle Breeding

An Arkansas turtle farm is doing well in its business. (News source.)

An attempt to breed Yangtze giant soft-shell turtles at a Chinese zoo has failed. (News source.)

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Frogs vs Trout

USFWS is trying to eradicate nonnative trout from seven lakes near Lake Tahoe in order to save the mountain yellow-legged frog. They think it'll take about 10 years. (News source.)

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Friday, October 3, 2008

Oceana Freakiest Fish Contest

Snakes Stories

A python apparently killed a 15-year old Uganda boy. (News source.)

A farmer in Georgia ran over a rattlesnake with his tractor to try and kill it, but only ticked it off. He ended up getting bit. (News source.)

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Sandfish Swimming

Interesting findings on how a sandfish actually "swims" through sand. (Eurekalert.)

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More on Croc Crimes

A civil suit seems likely against the parents of the 7-year old boy who broke into an Australian reptile farm and raised havoc. (News source.)

Two Florida men apparently stole 4 alligators and a New Guinea crocodile from an alligator farm. (News source.)

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Thursday, October 2, 2008

New Herps from Zootaxa, September 2008

The papers aren't accessible (subscription required), but you can view the pdf abstracts.

1) A new frog, Adelophryne patamona, is described from Guyana.
2) A new skink, Oligosoma pikitanga, is described from New Zealand.
3) A new lizard, Bachia oxyrhina, is described from Brazil.
4) A new gecko, Cnemaspis biocellata, is described from Thailand/Malaysia.
5) A new lizard, Scriptosaura catimbau, is described from Brazil.
6) A new lizard, Leptodactylus cupreus, is described from Brazil.

Also, chromosomal analysis of some frogs (Pristimantis spp.) from Brazil suggests an undescribed species. And, there's a paper on foam-generating tadpoles.

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Reptiles of Nauru

An interesting paper has been published in Pacific Science, reprinted on RedOrbit.

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Croc Farms

A Zimbabwe crocodile skin production company is thinking about opening up new farms in Australia and the US. (News source.)

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Crocodile Crimes

A 7-year old boy broke into an Australian reptile farm and fed numerous reptiles to a saltwater crocodile. He was caught on tape, but can't be charged due to his age. (News source.) [His parents, though, should be sued for the damages...]

An American crocodile was found butchered on the University of Miami campus. (News source.)

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Big Gator

A state-record alligator, over 13 feet in length, was killed in Mississippi during this year's alligator hunting season. (News source.)

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King Brown Snakebite

A 9-year old Australian boy survived a bite by a king brown snake. (News source.)

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