Madison Area Herpetological Society

Educational Articles

Here you will find articles and information that we find important for people to see or know.  Anything from news and events to articles about care or new animals in the hobby.  Check back frequently to see what’s new in the world of Herpetology!


Reptiles and Amphibians in Environmental Education (EE)

Reptiles and Amphibians in Environmental Education (EE) *By Eric Roscoe What is “environmental education” and why is it important? These are some of the question that can be asked to perhaps best be able to introduce the subject and explain what it is, what it does, and what it seeks to instill and accomplish. When Continue Reading >

Wisconsin Environmental Education Standards

Overview of Environmental Education The Wisconsin Environmental Education Board (WEEB) defines environmental education as “a lifelong learning process that leads to an informed and involved citizenry having the creative problem-solving skills, scientific and social literacy, ethical awareness and sensitivity for the relationship between humans and the environment, and commitment to engage in responsible individual and Continue Reading >

Wisconsin Science Content and Performance Standards

Content Standard Science Standard A (Science Connections) Content Standard: Students in Wisconsin will understand that there are unifying themes: systems, order, organization, and interactions; evidence, models, and explanations; constancy, change, and measurement; evolution, equilibrium, and energy; form and function among scientific disciplines.These themes relate and interconnect the Wisconsin science standards to one another. Each theme is Continue Reading >

How Did that Animal Get its Name?

Common names, which are also known by the synonyms of “vernacular”, “colloquial”, and some other terms, are largely just that by definition-common names that are applied to a species in ordinary and/or informal discussion or discourse. In most biological and scientific contexts, however, it is usually most appropriate to also use or include the species’ Continue Reading >

Education Assistant Volunteer Positions-Wisconsin Statewide!

The Madison Area Herpetological Society (MAHS) is a 501c(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting and raising awareness of the education and conservation surrounding frequently misunderstood reptiles and amphibians. We are currently seeking to fill an ongoing need for volunteers throughout the state of Wisconsin to assist in identifying, running, and organizing educational outreach events and Continue Reading >

Shedding the Uncertainty: How to Identify Snake Sheds

Shedding the Uncertainty: How to Identify Snake Sheds One very commonly seen and asked question and topic that recently has been asked with greater frequency both online through Facebook, social media, and other forums, as well as in person, is identifying snakes based on their shed, or sheddings being found or left behind. Oftentimes, a Continue Reading >

Emergency Preparedness for Herps

Disaster or emergency preparedness is an issue in which many pet owners and hobbyists of both reptiles and amphibians (collectively known as “herps” or herptiles) as well as other species of animals oftentimes do not expect, think about, or are prepared for. Fires, floods, power outages, hurricanes, tornadoes, snow and ice storms, earthquakes, and other Continue Reading >

Basic Reptile, Amphibian, and Invertebrate Health Checklist

Basic Reptile, Amphibian, and Invertebrate Health Checklist Reptiles and amphibians, which are collectively known and referred to as “herps” or “herptiles” are perhaps among the fastest growing segments of the pet industry. According to the most recent American Pet Product’s Association statistics for 2015-2016, there are well over 13 million reptiles alone kept in households Continue Reading >

Making Sure Your Animal Measures Up!

How to Measure Your Snake/Other Reptile! Another very commonly asked question and subject many reptile and amphibian hobbyists, enthusiasts, and pet owners have about their animal(s) is how long they are, or otherwise, how to accurately measure them in terms of their length. Luckily, this quick article will highlight and cover some of the most Continue Reading >

Dealing with the Dreaded Snake Mite (or Acariasis for the Technical Term)!

Dealing with the Dreaded Snake Mite (or Acariasis for the Technical Term)! Perhaps one of the worst things any pet owner or herp (reptile and amphibian) hobbyist, breeder, or enthusiast can experience is discovering that their newly acquired animal, or collection of animals, has snake mites. This is due to several reasons including the fact Continue Reading >

How to Find Your Escaped Reptile

How to Find an Escaped Snake (or Other Reptile) One very commonly asked question or request for advice among pet owners and keepers with reptiles that is asked both online and in person is what to do or where to look for an escaped pet snake. In a vast majority of instances, escapes happen due Continue Reading >

What to Do About Pet Store Neglect?

What to Do About Pet Store Neglect The issue of neglectful, or substandard pet stores with live animals has been an old and very long running one that perhaps is familiar to the vast majority of reptile and other pet owners, keepers, breeders, and hobbyists. There are many different cases and examples of neglect which Continue Reading >

My Snake Won’t Eat! What Should I Do?

My Snake Won’t Eat! What Should I Do? Perhaps one of the most commonly asked reptile related husbandry questions asked in person, on forums, and elsewhere on the Internet, particularly among new or beginning reptile keepers, is “my snake will not eat! What should I do?” Anorexia, or an apparent refusal or reluctance to feed Continue Reading >

Salamanders in the Basement!

It is very common for salamanders and newts to be found in basements, window wells, or crawl spaces of human habitations during late autumn or early winter when temperatures drop and conditions become colder. Most salamanders will naturally over winter underground and below the frost line in self constructed or existing burrows up to two Continue Reading >

Captive Reptile Myths: Science Vs. Sensationalism

Captive Reptile Myths: Science vs. Sensationalism   Reptiles and amphibians (collectively known as herps) are among the fastest growing segments of the pet industry, with new developments and advances taking place in all realms of their care and husbandry each year. According to the APPA’s (American Pet Products Association) 2015-2016 National Pet Owner’s Survey for Continue Reading >

Genetics De-Mystified

Currently, in the world of herpetoculture, there are an ever increasing number of color and/or pattern abnormalities (often referred to as “morphs”) being produced in snakes. For example, there are presently over 100 such abnormalities in the Corn snake (Pantherophis g. guttata). But how is this done? The answer lays in Mendelian genetics. The topic Continue Reading >

Wisconsin Reptile and Amphibian Ordinance Listing

Wisconsin Reptile & Amphibian Ordinance Listing Here, you will find a thorough listing of applicable state of Wisconsin and county laws and ordinances pertaining to the keeping of reptiles and invertebrates for the state of Wisconsin. Although this listing is intended to serve as a reference, laws and ordinances, especially on the county level, are ever Continue Reading >

8 Things You Didn’t Know About Animal Planet/Discovery Network

1. Shift away from Science. The network has undergone a drastic re-launch involving significant changes to the network’s image and programming content. Once regarded as an educational, science and natural history based network, Discovery Communications is now “not looking to be a natural history channel, but rather an entertainment destination” according to the network’s president Continue Reading >

Reptiles and Salmonella: What You Need to Know!

Salmonella is a genus of primarily rod shaped bacteria found worldwide, with two species being known, Salmonella enterica and Salmonella bongori, which is by far the more commonly seen species in the digestive tracts, as well as on or in the skin, scales, food, and water of captive reptiles and amphibians, as well as other animals. Continue Reading >

Forced Perspective, Snakes Measuring Up Their Food, and Other Dubious Internet Sensations

*Photo by All About Snakes Just about anyone who uses or is familiar with the Internet, email, social media, and other such platforms has very likely viewed, shared, or downloaded photos, songs, videos and messages, on almost certainly a regular basis. Thousands, if not millions, utilize these features on a daily, and even hourly basis, Continue Reading >

Field Herping Beginner’s Guide

WI Field Herping Beginner’s Guide “WHAT IS FIELD HERPING?” Field herping is when you strap on your boots and go out hiking in an attempt to find native species of reptiles and amphibians.  These animals are photographed and each individual has a long list of animals they want to find and take pictures of and Continue Reading >

Pythons in the Florida Everglades: Fact vs. Fiction

                                                                                                              Continue Reading >

How to Monitor Local Legislation & Ordinances in Your Area

Monitoring Legislation How do I know when an ordinance is being proposed for my area? Unfortunately, legislation affecting the keeping of reptiles (and many other animals) is being proposed at all levels of government from federal and state, to county, municipality, or village and township. Oftentimes, some publicized incident involving the escape, human death or Continue Reading >

Suggested Protocols for Venomous, Large Constrictors, and Crocodilians

Section I – Mishandling of reptiles declared public nuisance and criminal offense The intentional or negligent exposure of other human beings or the environment to unsafe contact with reptiles that are venomous, with large constricting snakes, or with crocodilians being potentially injurious and detrimental to public health, safety and welfare, and the environment, the indulgence Continue Reading >

Find a Wisconsin Herp Veterinarian

Do you live in Wisconsin and are in search of a reptile veterinarian? Then this page is the resource for you! Here, you will find a listing of veterinarians throughout the state able to see and treat reptiles. If you are a veterinarian that sees reptiles and would like to be listed, or if you Continue Reading >

Tips on Renting with Herps (Reptiles and Amphibians)

One topic that is frequently asked and posted on many various reptile forums and websites on the Internet is the issue of renting with reptiles and amphibians. In other words, how can one successfully locate herp friendly housing? What should be done if you run into issues over your animals with the landlord? It can Continue Reading >

Herpetological Terms and Definitions

Often when talking about reptiles and amphibians with fellow keepers, you will hear terms like “het” or “exothermic,” and may not always know what it means.  Below is a reptile keepers guide to herpetological terms and their definitions.  Keep an eye out as this list will be updated as we think of more.     Continue Reading >

Top 10 Beginner Care Sheets

As people are getting more and more interested in reptiles, better and better information is being put together on keeping them.  We at MAHS have put together some Care Sheets that cover basic care for what we consider the 10 best reptiles for beginners.  This is a great start to basic care, and what’s needed, Continue Reading >