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From The Editor’s Desk: Stephanie Starr

Many of us begin our foray into the hobby by fixating on one reptile or amphibian in particular. As a kid, I was fascinated by leopard frogs. They pop

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Many of us begin our foray into the hobby by fixating on one reptile or amphibian in particular. As a kid, I was fascinated by leopard frogs. They populated a pond near where I grew up in the northeast, and I could often be found scrounging through the muck in search of them. Years later, I discovered the joy of red-eared sliders, and finally, Burmese pythons.

Regardless of which herp brought you into the hobby, this year’s Reptiles USA has a variety of articles that may just inspire you to broaden your interests and check out a few others.


For frog lovers, we have two tree frogs for you: the entertaining clown tree frog, a veritable acrobat the moment the lights go out, on page 70, and fascinating tiger-legged monkey tree frogs on page 86 (with its colorful stripes and long limbs, the latter is an especially appealing addition to any vivarium). We’ve got salamanders covered, too! Check out the tiger salamander article on page 78. Take one look at that fantastic opening photo and you’ll see why the article is titled “The Smiling Salamander.”

Chelonian fans can read about the common musk turtle, or stinkpot, on page 28 and the leopard tortoise on page 10. Each has their own appeal and legions of fans. Keep in mind, too, that although not terribly attractive, the stinkpot, in particular, is one of the easiest-to-keep turtle pets. If snakes are your interest, we have two treats for you: Chad Brown and Robyn Markland’s long-awaited article about Asian rat snakes on page 54, and an excellent blood python article packed with comprehensive care tips on page 44.

For the lizard folk, we have a great article about leopard gecko health on page 94 that will help you maintain the health of your pets and watch for specific concerns. On page 36, you can learn about some other popular lizards, the uromastyx, and discover the secret behind their great appeal.

As is the case with any animal, if it is in your care, you are responsible for its well-being. Researching proper husbandry is the first step. The second is finding a herp-knowledgeable veterinarian to run tests and monitor your pet’s health throughout its life. As we’ve done the past few years, you will find a listing of reptile-knowledgeable veterinarians toward the back of this magazine.
Another often-overlooked resource within the herpetological community is the herp club or society. Communing with other enthusiasts and sharing information can be a valuable experience for beginner and expert alike. Not only may you find local breeders and herpetologists among your fellow members, you will also come into contact with some of my favorite people: rescue workers. Your local herp society can often point you in the right direction for specific information, as well as new pet reptiles, you are seeking. Check out our countrywide listing of herpetological societies/clubs on page 114, and consider becoming a member of the one nearest you!