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December 2008 Editor's Note

A special issue for all you snake-lovers out there.

Breeder’s Choice – reticulated python
Louisiana House Bill 1354 Now with Senate
Herper Headshotz – Brian Kubicki

Ah, snakes. I have no official documentation stating as such, but I suspect that the image of a snake is what comes to the minds of most people when they hear the word “reptile.” No other animal is quite like a snake (OK, in regard to general body shape and an absence of legs, there are legless lizards, eels and, I guess, worms). It’s easy to see why people are often in awe of snakes; they’re practically otherworldly, especially to people who don’t keep reptiles.

I’m excited, and hope you are, too, about this special all-snake issue. There are some great articles here. Kevin McCurley, python breeder deluxe, owner of New England Reptile Distributors Inc. and someone we’ve long been wanting to write for us, contributes his first REPTILES article. He offers insight into keeping reticulated pythons that can only be gained from working with these fantastic snakes for so many years. Anyone who is interested in retics, especially people who are thinking about getting their first, should be sure to read Kevin’s article.


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Continuing in the python vein, we’ve also got a species profile on the amethystine python, a particularly beautiful snake. It’s hard to define only one snake as the most beautiful, especially these days with the dizzying number of color mutations on display (by the way, that’s a sunglow boa courtesy Les Katsumata of Dragon’s Klutch in the above mug shot). When considering the normal phase of the snakes, though, in terms of beauty the amethystine is definitely way up there in my book. Emerald tree boas have always been a personal favorite, but my number one fave is probably the retic — how can you not love those orange eyes? Of course, there’s also the carpet python, Honduran milk snake — actually, I can’t pick a prettiest.

Inside you’ll also find a snake anatomy article by preeminent reptile vet Douglas Mader, Elliott Jacobson’s latest findings on inclusion body disease (thanks, Elliott, we’ll stop pestering you now), and an article about the rufous-beaked snake, an interesting little gem from Africa — plus more!

Now is the time to revel in the awesomeness of snakes everywhere!