Hello, Frank Indiviglio here. While pet-keeping suffices for many herp enthusiasts, some with particularly deep interests can only be happy when working with reptiles and amphibians full time. My own path to career in herpetology, while twisted (even “tortuous” at times!), was well worth the struggle…as you can see by the attached photos, I’m very fortunate (please also see this article). In Part 1 I highlighted several important steps one can take to lay the foundation for a career in herpetology. Following are some further thoughts. Read More »
Tag Archives: reptile researchFeed Subscription
Hello, Frank Indiviglio here. I remain awed by the learning abilities and complex behaviors evidenced by the Water and Lace Monitors I cared for at various zoos…spend time with any species and you’ll quickly see why. Despite being popular study subjects, monitors are constantly surprising us. For example, the current issue of The Journal of Herpetology (V44, N3, Sept 2010) documents an entirely new behavior for any monitor species – cooperative nest building and nest guarding in Rosenberg’s Monitor (Varanus rosenbergi).
Nest Defense by both Sexes
A 16-year-long study of this species on Australia’s Kangaroo Island has revealed that females guard their nest sites for up to 3 weeks after egg deposition, a behavior that has not been documented for any other monitor (3 species, including the Komodo Dragon, may return to the nest site on occasion, but seem not to remain nearby). Amazingly, in 8 instances a male joined the female in protecting the eggs. Read More »
Hello, Frank Indiviglio here. A breeding population of African Five-Lined or Rainbow Skinks, Trachylepis (formerly Mabuya) quinquetaeniata, has been discovered in Port St. Lucia, Florida, bringing the total number of exotic herps known to be established in the USA to 66. The Giant or Green Ameiva, or Jungle-Runner (Ameiva ameiva), known to the state since 1954, seems to be expanding its range.
Florida’s Newest Exotic
Rainbow Skinks, which are native to a broad belt of Sub-Saharan Africa stretching from Senegal to Kenya, are the newest of Florida’s many exotic animals. Well-known in the US pet trade, the recently discovered population seems limited to a weedy lot near a now-defunct reptile importing business. Past reports of dead and dying skinks found on the importer’s property point towards the all-too-common source of the new arrivals. Read More »
Hello, Frank Indiviglio here. Studies in several countries recently hinted that snakes may be declining worldwide, in much the same manner as has been shown for scores of amphibian species (please see article below). This month (October, 2010), scientists at the University of Arizona have documented massive declines in both snakes and lizards in a well-protected reserve, adding to fears that major extinctions lie ahead.
Frightening Similarity to Earlier Studies
Populations of 8 snake and 6 lizard species in Arizona’s Organ Pipe National Park were found to have declined by 50% between 1998 and 2002, and have not recovered. The reptiles in question had been monitored carefully for 22 years, so accurate baseline numbers were available. The species that showed significant declines included Regal Horned, Zebra-Tailed and Red-Back Whiptail Lizards, Mojave and Western Diamondback Rattlesnakes, Gopher Snakes and King Snakes. Read More »