Home | Tag Archives: Invasive Species

Tag Archives: Invasive Species

Feed Subscription

Rock Python Kills Full-Grown Husky in Florida

Hello, Frank Indiviglio here.  At least 45 species of non-native reptiles and amphibians have established breeding populations in Florida.  The most notorious of these, the Burmese Python, Python bivittatus, has been much in the news in recent years.  Recently, however, another of the state’s introduced giant constrictors grabbed the headlines.

Female Rock Python

Uploaded to Wikipedia Commons by Tigerpython

On Sept. 10, 2013, a Northern African Rock Python, P. sebae, killed a 60 pound husky in a suburban yard near the Everglades.  While much has been made of the threats posed by large constrictors, what interested me most about this incident was the fact that the snake involved was quite small by Rock Python standards.  Despite being only 10 foot long and 38 pounds in weight, the snake was able to overcome and kill a 60 pound dog.

Based on my experiences with large constrictors in the Bronx Zoo and the wild, I would guess that the attack was defensive in nature.  The only 60 pound snake meal I’ve witnessed (a White-tailed Deer) involved a 17 foot long, 215 pound Green Anaconda…and its huge body appeared stretched to its limit. Read More »

Myth-Buster – Will Non-Native Burmese Pythons Spread Beyond Southern Florida?

Burmese Python in the EvergladesHello, Frank Indiviglio here.  This is the first in a new series of what I’ll call “Myth-Buster Articles”, which will focus on beliefs or practices that have aroused debate in the herpetological community.  After reviewing the available research and my own and others experiences, I will attempt to sort fact from fiction.  Today I’ll highlight the recent studies that have sought to determine if introduced Burmese Pythons, Python molurus bivittatus (a.k.a. P. b. bivittatus) may eventually spread north and west from their current strongholds in South Florida.  Links to the articles mentioned are included below.

Studies comparing the climate in the USA with that in the Burmese Python’s native range (South and Southeast Asia), including one by the US Geological Survey, have predicted that the huge snakes may eventually range north to Delaware and southern Maryland  and west to California.  In all, 32 states were said to provide possible habitat. Read More »

Reticulated Python Natural History – a Giant Snake in Wild and Urban Habitats

Reticulated PythonHello, Frank Indiviglio here.  The massive Reticulated Python, Broghammerus (formerly Python) reticulatus is one of the world’s best known snakes, and always the main attraction at zoo reptile houses.  It is also widely bred in private collections, although such is ill-advised given the potential dangers inherent in keeping such a formidable beast (even after decades in captivity, most retain their irascible temperament).  Today I’d like to explore a lesser known side of this impressive snake – its habits in nature, and its amazing ability to thrive even in large, crowded cities.

Description

The Reticulated Python, or “Retic” as it is known to herp enthusiasts, vies with the Green Anaconda for title of world’s longest snake  (an Anaconda would be twice as heavy as a Retic of the same length, however).  Stories abound as to its potential size, but the longest reliable measurement appears to be 32 feet, 9 inches; individuals longer than 23 feet are exceedingly rare. Read More »

Invasive Species News pt 2- African Rock Pythons may be Breeding in Florida

African Rock PythonHello, Frank Indiviglio here.  A recent article in the journal IRCF Reptiles and Amphibians (V17, 1) provides evidence that the African Rock Python (Northern African Python, Python sebae), may have established a breeding population in southern Florida.  The huge constrictors are adapted to take small antelopes and other large animals, and have been killed and consumed people in their native habitat.

Florida’s Introduced Constrictors

At least 45 species of non-native reptiles and amphibians have established breeding populations in Florida; many others have been observed but are not known to be reproducing.  Among these are 2 of the world’s largest snakes, the Burmese Python and the Boa Constrictor.  Other large constrictors, including the Green Anaconda, Yellow Anaconda and White-Lipped Python, have been found at large in Florida.  Read More »

Huge African Spurred Tortoise Found Living in Arizona Desert – Part 2

Desert TortoiseHello, Frank Indiviglio here.  From Water Hyacinths to Norway Rats, introduced species are one of the leading causes of animal population declines and extinctions worldwide. Introduced turtles, while not usually viewed in this light, can be problematic…feral Red-Eared Sliders, for example, are out-competing native turtles in many countries (please see article below).  Please see Part 1 of this article for more information on African Spurred Tortoises, Geochelone sulcata, in Arizona. 

Disease Transmission

Disease introduction is a particularly serious concern when an animal is introduced into the range of a relative, as is the case with African Spurred Tortoises in Arizona. 

Native Desert Tortoise, Gopherus agassizii, populations, already fragile, could be decimated by a disease or parasite that may be carried by, but is relatively harmless to, Spurred Tortoises.  This was a common occurrence in zoos when related animals from different parts of the globe were exhibited together, and the chief reason why I advise pet-keepers against the practice. Read More »

Scroll To Top