Next Gen Herpetologist

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A few weeks back I performed two back-to-back snake talks at Victoria Girls High School with Luke Kemp. The aim of the talks were to expose  the Grade 11 students of the all-girl high school to the wonders of the reptile world. The talk, that ran for 30 minutes, consisted of general information about Grahamstown reptile diversity, followed by information pertaining to snake biology, taxonomy and snakebite awareness. The presentation was capped-off… Read More

This list is in no particular order and is based on what I have seen inside or very close to Grahamstown. Boomslang (Dispholidus typus typus) Size: 1.2-1.5m. Habits: Diurnal snakes which are found in a large variety of habitats, most commonly in trees and shrubs, but may descend to the floor to bask or find food. Diet: Chameleons, frogs, tree-living lizards, birds and occasionally rodents. Danger to man: The boomslang possesses a very dangerous haemotoxic venom… Read More

It’s not every day that you can say that you were part of the history of science, but for Luke Kemp and I, a warm summer night in Hluhluwe of this year was just one of those days. In January of this year, Luke and I attended the Herpetological Association of Africa Conference of Africa in Northern Kwazulu-Natal. In addition to presenting our work and learning of the developments in the field… Read More

I am roughly six months into my Master’s and this is my second post on the subject. Although I am not overly proud of my Msc coverage on the website, I am rather ‘chuffed’ with my research progress to date. My genetic samples are ‘amplifying’ and better yet, they are translating into clean, usable sequences, that I can move forward with. To put the previous sentence bluntly, my genetics are working and… Read More

Recently Luke and I (Chad Keates) went on a herping adventure to the Western Cape. We stayed two night in Wilderness and one night in Oudtshoorn, and the function of the trip, as usual, was to find as many reptiles and frogs as we could. Whilst dwarf adders and ghost frogs remained high on our list, the main function of this trip was to find dwarf chameleons. South Africa is home to… Read More

The Herp Files was created by myself and Luke Kemp. It was created with the intention of showing off the reptiles and frogs of Southern Africa. The videos include general information about each species with interesting facts thrown in between. It is our attempt to expose the beauty of South Africa’s enormous herpetological diversity while having just a ‘bit’ of fun. This video focuses on the puff adder (Bitis arietans), one of… Read More

Recently Luke kemp and I made a trip to the Western Cape in search of some of South Africa’s most interesting reptiles and frogs. This video is part 2 of a two part mini-series designed to show our viewers what we found, where we went, and some of the funniest moments along the way. This video covers three different species of dwarf chameleon, the Swartberg mountain range and our car trouble in… Read More

So as I am sure you have you gathered, I could not let the little ‘sheep stabbers’ go. Instead of just finishing my honours and leaving the skaapstekers in my rear view mirror, like I did with the painted reed frogs, I decided to continue on studying the snake with the addition of everyone else in the genus. Unlike with my honours, my masters will investigate the entire genus which is ‘currently’ six… Read More

So although I started last year, and even though I have a lot… I mean a lot to learn about reptile photography, I am happy to say that I placed third in this years department photo competition. My picture of the two very cute brown-backed tree frogs now hangs on the wall, in the foyer of the Zoology and Entomology Department, amidst the other photos which placed in the top three for… Read More

I am one step closer to becoming a professional herpetologist and its all because I was too stubborn to listen to my science teacher. This past week was graduation at Rhodes University and I am happy to say I got my honours degree In African Vertebrate Bioiversity with distinction. This all comes after performing mighty averagely for the past few years, especially in school where I was the ‘average kid’, capable of… Read More

Following our trip to the Transkei , Werner Conradie, Luke kemp and I departed for the biennial Herpetological Association of Africa (HAA) conference in Hluhluwe, Kwazulu Natal. We spent the night of the 22nd of January in my cousins beach house in Umhlanga and the next day we departed for Hluhluwe after a quick stop at Ushaka International Airport, to pick up Professor Bill Branch (World-renowned African herpetologist) and Ninda Baptiste (Angolan herpetologist)…. Read More

Text adapted from trip report completed by Luke Kemp and I last month . Purpose of trip Recently Luke kemp and I joined a data collecting trip in the Transkei forested region as part of an ongoing study, spearheaded by Stellenbosch University. There were many teams studying many facets of forest ecology but we, Werner Conradie (Head Herpetologist at Bayworld Museum) and Theo Busschau (MSc student at Stellenbosch University) were tasked with collecting herpetological… Read More

Recently, Luke Kemp and I attended the 13th biennial HAA (Herpetological Association of Africa) conference in Bonamanzi Game Reserve, Hluhluwe, Kwazulu Natal. The conference took place from 23-27 January 2017. This video forms part of a two part mini-series designed to showcase our experiences at the conference. This is a collection of some of the animals we managed to find and some of the herpetologists we managed to corner in front of the… Read More

Recently, Luke Kemp and I attended the 13th biennial HAA (Herpetological Association of Africa) conference in Bonamanzi Game Reserve, Hluhluwe, Kwazulu Natal. The conference took place from 23-27 January 2017. This video forms part of a two part mini-series designed to showcase our experiences at the conference. This is a collection of some of the animals we managed to find and some of the herpetologists we managed to corner in front of… Read More