Editor's note from the 2011 Reptiles USA annual.
For the past few years, Reptiles USA has been including a listing of reptile-knowledgeable veterinarians as a regular resource for our readers. This year we’re offering another: a listing of herpetological societies/clubs throughout the country. Their meetings can be great places to meet new friends, and many conduct special events, such as field trips to museums, herping expeditions to local hotspots, picnics and barbecues … things like that. They may hold reptile swap meets, too, where members can buy and sell (or swap) live animals. Clubs also provide an option if you need to find a new home for a pet reptile, as members may be able to help.
In addition to these resources, we’ve got a new roster of animal-specific articles for people who want the nuts-and-bolts info on the best reptile pets.
Bearded dragons and leopard geckos now vie for the “Most Popular Pet Lizard” title, having usurped it from the green iguana. However, green iguanas remain a favorite, and they still make very rewarding pets for people who are prepared for them. Are you? Longtime reptile breeder and iguana specialist Tom Crutchfield discusses green iguana stewardship in “Engaging Iguana.”
Two other lizards featured in this issue are the blue-tongued skink and the crested gecko. The crested gecko is riding a wave of popularity. Go to any reptile expo and you’ll see lots of them. “Crestie” expert Philippe de Vosjoli explains why these guys are on the rise. As for blue-tongues: They’re mellow, they’re hardy and they have their very cool namesake tongues. Herp hobbyists who want to add a new wrinkle to their collections should check out the blue-tongue article, “Blue-Tongued Charisma.”
Snake-wise, we’ve got rosy boas and Honduran milk snakes. The rosy boa is one of only two indigenous-to-the-United States boa species (the other being the rubber boa). Rosies are terrific for the beginner snakekeeper, and there are different color morphs from which to choose. And speaking of color, the Honduran milk snake is one of the more mind-bogglingly beautiful snakes you can find. If you want a real eye-catcher for your snake collection, you can’t go wrong with a Honduran. Add to that the docile nature of milk snakes in general, and you’ve got a winning combination.
The lizard and snake articles mentioned here just barely scratch the surface of the topics in this year’s Reptiles USA. There is much more, with something for everyone. We haven’t forgotten the turtle and tortoise fans, and you’ll see articles about map turtles, and red-footed and marginated tortoises. You will also learn about the four hardiest dart frog species available, health tips from a leading reptile veterinarian and, to round everything out, you’ll get a chance to do some armchair herping to India!