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!


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 >

7 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 networks’s president and General Manager Marjorie Continue Reading >

Reptiles and Salmonella: The Truth About What You (Really) Need to Know

Reports and accounts mentioning the zoonotic disease (diseases & parasites which can be transferred to humans from animals) potential when keeping pets have become increasingly commonplace in the news and media. Reptiles and other “exotics” are frequently depicted by anti-pet organizations and the media as posing a serious public health and safety risk due to the 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 >

MAHS Care Sheets

Care sheets are often an excellent starting point for learning more about the biology and husbandry of a given species, including their housing/enclosure requirements, temperament and handling, diet, and other aspects of care. MAHS itself has created many such care sheets for a wide range of reptiles, amphibians, and invertebrates we believe to have straightforward 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 Herp Veterinarian

Do you live in or around the Madison Wisconsin area and are in search of a reptile veterinarian? Then this page is the resource for you! Here, you will find a listing of veterinarians in and around the Madison area able to see and treat reptiles. If you are a veterinarian that sees reptiles and 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 >