Madison Area Herpetological Society

Presentation Topics

Native Species of Wisconsin:
Many species of herps call Wisconsin home, and can be found in our state’s forests, prairies, wetlands, and even our own backyards throughout the state! While not all inclusive, this presentation covers many of the most commonly seen/encountered reptile and amphibian species, as well as Wisconsin’s two venomous snakes, and those of greatest conservation interest (i.e. state endangered & threatened species). Also with trivia!

Top 10 Beginner Reptiles:
For those who are new to keeping herps or are considering one as a pet for the first time, this presentation covers the top 10 most suitable beginner’s species ranked by MAHS.

Basic Reptile Husbandry and Education:
With the exponential increase and popularity of reptiles as among the fastest growing segments of the pet industry, this presentation examines more in depth the important concepts and components that need to be known for keeping any herp as a pet including proper diet, enclosures/housing, temperature & lighting, and responsible pet ownership when it comes to these animals.

Basic Reptile & Amphibian Handling & Restraint:
Herps are also a growing area of interest in the veterinary and similar hands on animal care fields. This presentation covers the basic handling & restraint techniques for a wide variety of species that may be encountered in these areas study including amphibians, lizards, snakes, chelonians, and crocodilians. MAHS works with the veterinary technician programs at UW Madison, Globe University, and Madison College to provide students and faculty a greater familiarity and exposure to working with these animals.

Leaping Lizards:
Lizards are an extremely large and diverse group of reptiles that can often be difficult to characterize generally. While not all inclusive, this presentation covers many of the most familiar & well known groups of lizards in the family Squamata (including iguanas, chameleons, geckos, agamids, monitor lizards, skinks, and much more)!

Frog and Toad Fest!:
Have you ever wondered what the differences are between frogs and toads? Or to learn about the many weird and wacky ways many species have developed to successfully live and reproduce? Then this presentation may be for you! While not all inclusive, this presentation covers many of the groups and families of amphibians commonly known as frogs and toads, including some that are truly bizarre!

Sensational Salamanders:
Although most may appear very similar to lizards, salamanders are actually a very unique and diverse group of amphibians found worldwide. While not all inclusive, this presentation covers the diversity of many different groups of salamanders in the damily caudate, why they are important to the environment, the largest amphibians in the world, and even some strange, limbless (or nearly limbless) ones!

Turtle (and Tortoise) Trek:
What is the difference between a turtle, a tortoise, and a terrapin? What are the different parts of these animal’s shells called? Although not all inclusive, this presentation covers the diversity of turtles and tortoises belonging to perhaps the oldest group of extant (currently living) reptiles. Find out how and what these reptile’s shells are used for, comprised of, and much more!

Slithering Snakes:
Snakes are perhaps the most widely feared and misunderstood animals, but not rightfully so! This presentation covers the diversity of the major groups and families of snakes in the family Squamata (not all inclusive), how they move in different environments, and much more! A few of the most common snake myths are also busted in this presentation as well!

Awesome Amphibians and Radical Reptiles:
Have you ever wondered what herpetologists do, or how to become one by taking an interest in reptiles & amphibians to the next level in any one of the many public and private fields? This presentation covers it, as well as a general look into the diversity and scientific families of reptiles and amphibians, the general differences between a reptile and an amphibian, and a look at some very unique and ancient species found in only one country of the world!

Reptile Inspired Engineering & Research:
Did you know that a gecko’s toe pads are being used in engineering and research to develop improved adhesives? Or that snake venom and blood is being used in the development of improved painkillers, and treatments for many different diseases and disorders? In this presentation, we examine just a few evolutionary examples of how traits and characteristics reptiles and amphibians have developed are inspiring development of new technologies and research that can ultimately benefit the society we live in!

Common Reptile Diseases and Disorders
In this presentation, many of the most commonly seen diseases and disorders in captive reptiles and amphibians, as well as signs and symptoms to watch for, are covered. Learn about what steps can be taken by pet owners, hobbyists, and others to prevent and/or manage these disorders, and when it is necessary to see a veterinarian.

Genetics De-Mystified:
What does heterozygous mean? How do Punnett squares help predict any given crossing? In this presentation, MAHS dives down to the genetic and molecular level to explain morphs and how they can be characterized as recessive, co-dominant, or dominant. And don’t worry! Genetics may be confusing at first, but we provide lots of practice!

The Purpose of Herpetological Societies!
What is a herpetological or “herp” society? What do they do? How do you find them? This presentation covers all aspects of the missions, purposes, goals, and issues surrounding local, regional, or state herpetological societies, and what to look for in one. If there is not an active herp society in your area, this presentation also covers how anyone with the passion and interest can start one!

Reptile and Amphibian Conservation!
Many species of reptiles and amphibians from around the world are in peril due to a variety of reasons. In this presentation, find out what the major issues are and what we may be doing to contribute to the decline of species, as well as what can be done by you, the citizen scientist to help save and protect them!

Amazing Arachnids!
Our interests are not just limited to reptiles and amphibians! We also love our eight legged, and sometimes hairy arachnid friends as well! In this presentation, learn about what makes arachnids different from insects and other invertebrates, several of the different groups of arachnids, as well as some myth-busting about these also misunderstood animals!

Incredible Insects!
Our interests are not just limited to reptiles and amphibians! We also love our six legged, and not so creepy insect friends as well! In this presentation, learn about what makes insects different from arachnids and other invertebrates, many of the different groups of insects, as well as some myth-busting about these also misunderstood animals!