Next Gen Herpetologist

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During mid-June I ventured coast wards to do a frog talk for the Probus Club, at the Port Alfred Ski Boat Club. The talk was incredibly well received with over 80 people attending on the day. In addition to the members of the club, the talk was also attended by Talk of the Town (Local Port Alfred newspaper). In the talk I discussed basic frog biology, behavior and the threats that face… Read More

On friday the 10th of May, I set up a stand at the Science Open Day, hosted in the Rhodes University Life Sciences Building. I represented the field of Herpetology alongside several other members of the Zoology and Entomology Department, whom showcased their respective fields (Ornithology, Mammalogy, Biocontrol etc) on the day. The event was also attended by members from all the other departments in the Science Faculty. The event was geared… Read More

On the 5th of May I hosted the second ‘Critter Walk’ of 2019, for a record breaking crowd. Unlike previous ‘Critter walks’, everyone who attended had to pay a small fee, which was donated to two Rhodes athletes in a effort to raise funds for their Taekwondo World Championships, in Brazil, later this year. Everyone met in front of the Life Sciences building and they were treated to a 45 minute snakes… Read More

On the 8th of march 2019, I attended the WESSA/ Grocott’s Mail #CelebrateNaturalHeritage Bio-Bash and Photo Walk at the Makana Botanical Gardens (part of Scifest 2019). The day was designed to teach the youth of Grahamstown about the amazing wildlife that surrounds them. It also aimed to ignite some creative flair through encouraging artistic expression through photography. My colleagues and I helped out by guiding the students through the gardens and helping… Read More

On the 12th of February 2019, I did a snake presentation for members of the Port Alfred Garden Club at the Port Alfred Gold Club. The talk was well received with over 50 people attending on the day. I spoke about the common and endemic species of snake found in the Albany area, and what to do if one encounters a snake in their daily lives. In addition to detailing the snakes… Read More

Last year I was featured in an article by Oppidan Press, written by Kate Matooane. the article focuses on my ‘critter walks’ and the impact that they have on the people who attend.

On Tuesday the 12th of June, myself and Dr Shelley Edwards presented a snake demonstration for members of the Kingswood College Environmental Club. The demonstration was well received and after a short introduction, most students took the opportunity to handle the snakes on display. It was a great time spent with some enthusiastic students, and I look forward to my next talk at the school.

In March of this year, I played my final game of the season for Manley Flats Cricket Club. The teams consisted of a mix-match of both first team and second team players and was great fun for all involved. Although I spend much of my time buried in the world of herpetology, I do take breaks every now and then to do the other things that give me joy. One of those… Read More

On Sunday the 18th of march I hosted a private snake ‘walk and talk’ for the nature club of Graham High School. Although it was intended as a two part event, only the talk took place because of the bad weather conditions. Due to the cold weather, and the intermittent thunderstorms, we were unable to go out and explore the wilder parts of Grahamstown, in search of reptiles and frogs. Nevertheless, the… Read More

This list contains all the water snakes that can be found in and around water in the Grahamstown area. As the names suggest, this means that these snakes are usually found in close proximity to water because of their diets that mostly consist of frogs, tadpoles and fish. Although not as closely related to water as the other snakes on this list, the red-lipped herald has been listed at the end because it is closely associated with… Read More

This list includes all the green snakes that can be found in the Eastern Cape. Barring the boomslang (Dispholidus typus) and the many-spotted reed snake (Amplorhinus multimaculatus), all the individuals listed come from the genus Philothamnus and they are all closely related.  In the Eastern Cape, the boomslang  is not uniform green. Females are olive and males are green/yellow with black barring. Irrespective of this, the boomslang has been included at the end of… Read More

  Yesterday, Luke and I conquered tick bite fever and to celebrate, we ventured to Alicedale in search of the elusive berg adder, a species of dwarf adder which has not been seen in the region for over 75 years. To give context to the story, we had been in Alicedale one week prior and whilst we did not find the fabled berg adder, we did manage to find pepper ticks, lots… Read More

Cape Girdled Lizard (Cordylus cordylus)  Family: Cordylidae Size: 13-19cm Life span: Up to 15 years in captivity Diet: Most insects, snails, millipedes and occasionally small amounts of vegetation Description: Mottled brown, often with pale dorsal stripe, they also have a spiny tail, are strongly keeled and have a yellow to dull red-brown belly Number of young: 1-3 per year Conservation status: Least concern Enemies: Many small carnivores, including: Snakes and  birds of prey (especially… Read More

So now that winter is coming to an end, snakes and other reptiles are starting to become far more abundant. One species that has become particularly abundant in the last few weeks, is the puff adder (Bitis arietans). To give context, in the last week, I have come across three puff adders. Two of them were average-sized adult males and the the third was a very large, very pregnant, female puff adder, which… Read More

In the animal kingdom, the ability to reproduce is one of the most critical abilities in an animal’s arsenal because it ensures the survival of the species. There are however three different types of reproduction namely viviparous, ovoviviparous and oviparous reproduction. Viviparity is the ability to produce live young, oviparity is the ability to produce eggs that hatch outside of the uterus and ovoviviparous reproduction is the retention of the egg within… Read More