Reptiles

Chytrid: a Deadly Fungus Threatens Endangered Amphibians

Filed Under: Reptiles, Parasites

The chytrid fungus, whose scientific name is Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), is decimating amphibian populations worldwide, especially in Central America and Australia. The fungus has contributed to the extinction of nine frog species native to Australia and almost 200 species worldwide. When B. dendrobatidis affects a community, up to a 50% morbidity rate is seen in the native amphibian population and 80% of the affected animals will die within a one year period (mortality rate).

The Axolotl, Mexico’s Aquatic Salamander

Filed Under: Reptiles, General Care

Want an unusual herp that is easy to keep? Try the axolotl. A native of Mexico, the axolotl is also known as the aquatic salamander, or the mole salamander. The axolotl is a neotenic amphibian whose scientific name is Ambystoma mexicanum. Neotinic amphibians are amphibians that do not undergo metamorphosis, under normal circumstances, from the larval to adult stages. The axolotl remains aquatic throughout its lifetime. This salamander never leaves the confines of water.

Corn Snakes

Filed Under: Reptiles, General Care

Trying to decide on the ideal snake for a beginning hobbyist?  The two most important things to look for include ease of handling and difficulty in feeding.  One of the best, if not the best choice for a new handler is the corn snake, or Elaphe guttata, sometimes referred to as the red rat snake.  

The Green Anole (American Chameleon)

Filed Under: Reptiles, General Care

The Green Anole, also known as the American chameleon or red-throated anole, (scientific name Anolis carolinensis) is a lizard with plenty of personality and is a good beginner reptile for enthusiasts. These 5-to 8-inch long lizards, of which most length is the tail, range from North Carolina to Florida and as far west as central Texas. The anole is also native to warm, moist climates throughout North and South America, and various additional varieties of the anole are found on certain Caribbean islands.

Jiminy Crickets! (A Dehydrated Gecko)

Filed Under: Reptiles, Practice Stories

It was already late in the day and appointments at the clinic were winding down. The technician Debbie and I had just completed the evening treatments when the receptionist Rebecca burst forth through the swinging door to the treatment area: “Hey doc, will you see a dehydrated gecko?” she asked. “I have a client on the line who feels that they have a gecko emergency and would like you to see their pet this evening.”

Red-Eared Slider Turtles

Filed Under: Reptiles, General Care, Turtles

In the 60’s and early 70’s turtles were the most popular reptile species kept by hobbyist. The red-eared slider, a native of the southern United States, was the most popular of all the turtles. Then infections with salmonella effectively shut down the pet trade. Even today the open sale of turtles 4 inches and under remains illegal in the US and Canada. It is believed that turtles 4 inches and under in size are the most likely to spread salmonella.

Leopard Geckos: Starter Herps for the Beginning Hobbyist

Filed Under: Reptiles, General Care

One of the easiest starter herps for beginning hobbyist is the Leopard gecko. One of the most primitive lizards alive today, the leopard geckos hails from western India, south-eastern Afghanistan and Pakistan. These lizards naturally inhabit deserts and arid grasslands of the region. These agile lizards often take shelter under rocks or in burrows that they dig or achieve second hand.

Metabolic Bone Disease in Lizards, Iguanas, and Other Reptiles

Filed Under: Reptiles, Diseases, Iguanas, Orthopedic

Bone is composed of a tough organic matrix that is greatly strengthened by deposits of calcium salts. The average compact bone contains approximately 30% matrix and 70% salts by weight. The crystalline salts are composed primarilly of calcium and phosphate.

Will Constrictors be Added to the Lacey Act?

Filed Under: Reptiles

The US Fish and Wildlife Service is reviewing available biological and economic information on constrictor snakes in Python, Boa, and Eunectes (Latin for Anaconda) genera for possible addition to the list of injurious wildlife under the Lacey Act. An injurious wildlife listing would prohibit the importation into, or transportation between, States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, or any territory or possession of the Unites States by any means, without a permit.

Burns in Reptiles

Filed Under: Reptiles, General Care

The most common type of burns seen in captive reptiles are thermal and are usually attributed to an abnormally hot heat source, one from which the animal cannot escape. Captive reptiles should always be provided a basking spot, but the enclosure should be large enough that the reptile may retreat to cooler areas if and when the radiating heat becomes too intense. In the wild, thermal burns may be encountered when the reptile has survived a grass or forest fire.

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