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Contains articles on a wide variety of both reptile and amphibian species. Commonly addresses topics which affect herps in capitivity as a whole.

Frog Recently Discovered on Borneo is Eastern Hemisphere’s Smallest

Nepenthes ampullariaAn article in the August, 2010 issue of Zootaxa announces that a recently discovered frog is the smallest species in the Eastern Hemisphere.  Known only as Microhyla nepenthicola, the minute native of Borneo is barely the size of a green pea!  Interestingly, specimens have been in museum collections for over 100 years, but they were believed to be immature individuals of other species.

A Pitcher Plant Specialist

The tiny amphibian breeds in a unique habitat – the water contained in the base of pitcher plants.  Pitcher “ponds”, which serve to drown insects that are digested by the plants, support miniature ecosystems inhabited by insect larvae, snails, crabs, algae and other organisms.  Read More »

Urban Amphibians – Endangered Axolotl Population Found in Mexico City Park

As a herpetologist and New York City native, I’m thrilled by the prospect of finding wildlife, endangered or otherwise, within big cities.  I was, therefore, very happy to read about the recent discovery of a population of critically endangered salamanders (Mexican Axolotls, Ambystoma mexicanum) in the heart of one of the world’s most densely populated cities. Read More »

Tiny Pink Mice for Small Herps – the African Pygmy Mouse

Pygmy MouseIt’s well known that whole animals, complete with skin and internal organs, are the best source of nutrition for most carnivorous reptiles and amphibians.  Hobbyists keeping and breeding small species that fee upon mammals must often cut pink mice and similar food items into pieces in order to feed their collections.  In doing so, important nutrients are lost, and health, especially in the case of growing animals, usually suffers.  The African Pygmy Mouse (Mus minutoides) provides one possible solution to this problem. Read More »

Current Field Research – Reptile Natural History

Common Snapping TurtleMany of the most interesting reptile field research reports are published in professional journals such as Copeia, Herpetologica and Herpetological Review, and are not available on the Internet. From time to time I’ll provide summaries of some of the fascinating articles that I come across.  Today’s report covers Spring, 2010 publications: Common Snapping Turtles (Chelydra serpentina), Texas Horned Lizards (Phrynosoma cornuta), Italian Wall Lizards (Podarcis siculus) and Eastern Kingsnakes (Lampropeltis getula). Read More »

Phorid or Scuttle Flies – A Common Pest in Herp and Invertebrate Collections – Part 2

Phorid Fly OvipositorPhorid Flies, also known as Scuttle Flies or Humpbacked Flies, often show up in terrariums housing reptiles, amphibians and invertebrates.  Usually confused with Fruit Flies, these little pests feed upon meat-based foods and organic waste and are classified in the 4,000+ member insect family Phoridae.  The most commonly encountered species in US collections is Megacelia scalaris, and an outbreak can range from a mere annoyance to a serious problem.  Please see Part 1 of this article for further information.  Today we’ll examine some simple methods of controlling these and related flies. Read More »

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