House of Herps #7 – Dr. Seuss Edition

That Sam-I-Am!
That Sam-I-Am!
I do like that Sam-I-Am.

Find herps galore, that’s what he can.
That’s why I like that Sam-I-Am.

Do you like amphibians?

I do.
I do.
I really like amphibians.
But where are they, Sam-I-Am?
Where are the amphibians?

Over here, said Sam-I-Am.
And over here.
And over there.
You can find them everywhere.
You can find them if you care.

Say! I like all those amphibians.
I do! I like them, Sam-I-Am.
I would like them in the rain.
I would like them on a train.
I would like them here and there.
I would like them anywhere.

But what of snakes, Sam-I-Am?
Are they just like amphibians?
Easy to find and easy to see?
From on the ground or in a tree?

Snakes are here.
Snakes are there.
Silly man for asking where!
To find some …

Welcome to the House of Herps Number Six

When I first learned that HOH was launching in December I thought Jason and Amber were nuts. Why? Because May is clearly the best month of the year for herping! Spring is now well underway; all our scaly and slippery friends are running around stuffing their faces with their unlucky neighbors and getting lucky with their, well, luckier neighbors.

On the lucky side, JSK of Anyone Seen My Focus? presents a post about a male fence lizard flashing his sexiest blue breeding colors.

Ted MacRae at Beetles in the Bush presents a closely related Florida scrub lizard from his August trip to the Lake Wales Ridge.

Johnny Nutcase over at Count Your Chicken! caught a nice look at a gopher snake getting all warmed up and ready for action.

Matthew Wills of Backyard and Beyond up in New York City spotted a really nice snapping turtle (possibly the …

House of Herps #5: Slime Poetry

Slam Poetry is a fairly recent artistic phenomemon, where composers (“slammers”) recite passionate and emotionally-charged poetry in a competitive arena; it’s usually a raucous and stirring event.   I propose that, given the range of intense emotion our scaley and slippery friends can invoke, it is high time the Slime Poetry movement took centre stage.  For centuries writers have captured those fleeting moments of fear, awe, sadness and, of course, beauty we herp-happy folk appreciate so much.  In this installment of House of Herps #5: Slime Poetry, we explore the passion of herpers through the posts of our contributors and the kindred hearts of poets.

I suggest you stand to recite the verses, and be sure to speak loudly.

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We start with Kay’s encounter with a “narrow fellow in the grass” at Arroyo Colorado River Blog.

Several of nature’s people
I know, and they know me;
I feel …

House of Herps #4 – St. Patrick’s Edition

Welcome to the 4th edition of House of Herps, the monthly celebration of all things herpetological (i.e. amphibian and reptilian). This issue is dedicated to St. Patrick, the first herpetologist. Above we see him pointing out some of the ophiological fauna (snakes) of Ireland.

More about St. Patrick later. First the marvelous musings of the herpetologists who have followed in Patty’s footsteps:

Since we are on the subject of amusing pictures of snakes, check out this Western Hognose from Ted MacRae at Beetles in the Bush. It is doing an excellent impersonation of a dead hognose, including some unbelievable and gross details you can read about here. This is also an important herpetological find, since the Western Hognose was previously unknown in this area.

Here is another amusing snake photo, this one a Garter Snake from Nate at The Drinking Bird. Not only is it fun to see his

House of Herps #2

Welcome to the 2nd issue of House of Herps, the monthly blog carnival devoted exclusively to reptiles and amphibians.  The brainchild of Amber Coakley, (Birder’s Lounge), and Jason Hogle (xenogere), this new blog carnival had an auspicious start with the inaugural issue and its 21 contributions – an impressive level of participation for a new carnival.  This month the carnival moves off-site, and I am honored to serve as the first off-site host.  The enthusiasm continues with issue #2, for which I received 22 submissions from 18 contributors.  Ever the taxonomist, I present them to you below grouped by traditional classification¹.

¹ It should be noted that modern classification has “evolved” substantially from this traditional classification due to the advent of DNA molecular analyses. For example, lizards are a paraphyletic grouping, and even the class Reptilia has been subsumed within a broader class containing dinosaurs …