Outer Fringes

green tree python

Ep 163: Green Tree Python Husbandry Pt 2. with Patrick Holmes

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Good morning Chameleon Wranglers! We have been spending the last couple weeks studying the Green Tree Python. This final week we wrap it up by me asking Patrick Holmes to lead us through the steps for us to get started with this beautiful snake. One of the most interesting things about this interview, from a high level, was seeing the parallels between our communities.  You listen in you will hear some very familiar statements. Because they are the truth in all of our communities. Things like investing upfront in the genetics and health of the animal and proper set-up or else you will be investing that saved money in vet bills on the backside. Or else there being a distinct difference between stress spikes and chronic stress. Hmmm, are we seeing the dynamic of convergent evolution at play?

I invite you to listen in and enjoy the conclusion of our study into the Green Tree Python with Patrick Holmes.

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Green Tree Python husbandry

Ep 162: Green Tree Python Husbandry Pt 1. with Patrick Holmes

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Good morning, Chameleon Wranglers! Last week we were joined by Patrick Holmes for an introduction to the Green Tree Python. Today we start in on the husbandry talk. We will actually have two episodes worth of husbandry information. The reason for this is that we are not just listing off parameters for us to blindly follow. Patrick is one of those who values you knowing why he says what he says, and thinks it is important that we acknowledge other methods. Sound familiar? So, even if you never plan on getting a green tree python, the approach you are about to hear deals with issues we face no matter what reptile we keep. This is very much about the compromises and decisions we are faced with when we strive to recreate a natural environment with unnatural equipment on the other side of the Earth.

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Green Tree Pythons

Ep 161: Green Tree Pythons with Patrick Holmes

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Welcome to this episode of the Outer Fringes. I must say that this episode has been hotly anticipated. Green Tree Pythons fit the bill as an arboreal reptile with a dedicated community that surrounds it. This is important to us because they have studied there reptile as deeply as we have studied ours and we can both benefit from each other’s efforts. And, if there is one snake that would be a natural transition for us, Green Tree Pythons, (or their boa counterpart, the Emerald Tree), would be top of the list for many of us!

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Nepenthes and chameleons

Ep 160: Nepenthes Tropical Pitcher Plants with Jeremiah Harris

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The Nepenthes Tropical Pitcher plants are one of the most striking plants we can include in our chameleon environments. Their leaves sport ornate carnivorous pitchers at the ends and they add a flash of adventure to our plantscape. With me is Jeremiah Harris to share his expertise in this exciting genus!

Thoughts from the podcaster :)

Chameleon owners have long been fascinating by the Nepenthes tropical pitcher plant. Though there wasn’t much overlap between the two hobbies mainly because screen cages and our selected temperature ranges for chameleons weren’t a perfect match. But with the increased awareness and execution of naturalistic hydration cycles, solid side cage, and a little help from Nepenthes hybridizers, these carnivores are now hardy in our cage environmental ranges and easily found online or public nurseries. As we shift our focus from just caging. Chameleon to creating a sanctuary environment which includes a chameleon we are expanding our focus to include interesting plants. And, Nepenthes certainly are at the top of those charts!

To introduce us to Nepenthes, Jeremiah Harris, a lifelong carnivorous plant enthusiast joins me. His greenhouses are things of wonder and just looking through his social media accounts, which are linked to in the show notes, you can imagine getting lost for days just peering into all the nooks and crannies, so to speak. So I am going to bring him on and we are going to hear all about these fascinating plants from a man who loves his plants like we love our chameleons!

Well, it is time for me to expand some species in my chameleon environments! Now, I want to address the most common question once more.

Nepenthes send out long leaves that develop literal pitchers at the end. These pitchers contain liquid which digests insects, or any other animal that falls in. Now, the initial response from chameleon keepers is to ask why you would include a plant in the cage that will eat your chameleon. The answer is that we wouldn’t. If you get good enough raising up your nepenthes that it produces pitchers actually big enough to trap your chameleon then you are quite accomplished and, hopefully, have the common sense to remove one of the two from the cage. If the chameleon can fit in the pitcher then you have an issue. Although chameleons would not be attracted to the sweet liquid like insects and mammals I really don’t want to get an email from someone who put a baby chameleon in with a mature Nepenthes 'Miranda' and then one day couldn’t find their chameleon. For almost all cases, you will be fine, but discernment is required.

If the theme of this podcast of creating beautiful vibrant, living environments for your chameleons resonates with you then take a look at adding a Nepenthes. They are sold as Monkey Cups at home improvement stores so they are easy to get a hold of. Humidity is the biggest challenge in areas that are dry. But if you are embracing the naturalistic hydration cycles you have what you need to keep these common hybrids happy. They were developed to be hardier at easy to reproduce conditions! So that is right up our alley.

I highly recommend following Jeremiah on social media. If nothing else, just to be exposed to the rich variety of pitchers in Nepenthes. Like chameleons and all of these outer fringes, there is enough diversity that you spend your life studying them and getting to know the characteristics of each species. Check the show notes for those links!

Thank you for joining Jeremiah and me here today! What I would really love is for you to tag me and Jeremiah on cages that you add Nepenthes to! They may take some skill to get them in the area of your cage that has just the right microclimate, but this is the fun of what we do. I look forward to seeing the results!

So, go out into the chameleon world and make some gorgeous environments that make people’s jaws drop even before they see the chameleon!

N. bongso 900x1200S

Nepenthes bongo

Holding a N. truncata x ephippiata 900x1200s

Holding a Nepenthes truncata x ephippiata

Nepenthes edwardsiana

Nepenthes edwardsiana

Nepenthes veitchii

Nepenthes veitchii

N. veitchii ‘Geoff Wong’

Nepenthes veitchii ‘Geoff Wong’

Nepenthes edwardsiana

Nepenthes hamata

Nepenthes truncata 900x1200

Nepenthes truncata

Nepenthes veitchii K

Nepenthes veitchii K

Nepenthes veitchii x boschiana

Nepenthes veitchii x boschiana

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Abronia Alligator lizards

Ep 156: Abronia Alligator Lizards and Jason Wagner

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In the high mountains of Southern Mexico down through and beyond Guatemala, there exits cool mist enshrouded highlands. Living in the tall trees are a special type of alligator lizard. Often known as Mexican Alligator lizards, the members of the genus Abronia are a beautiful and charming lizard. They are arboreal with prehensile tails and giving live birth. Jason Wagner is  hobbyist and conservationist that specializes in the Abronia alligator lizard. Jason joins me today to tell us about these amazing creatures.

A regular episode series on this podcast is exploring other reptiles and amphibians whose arboreal husbandry is similar to that which we learn for chameleons. The Abronia alligator lizard would do great in conditions very similar to Jackson’s or quadricornis chameleons. But, I would like you to hear that from Jason Wagner. Jason is a reptile hobbyist that developed a deep love for the Abronia genus. That love led him to the Southern Mexican highlands and a friendship with a biologist there. Together they studied Abronia in their natural habitat and even purchased land to protect them. It is a testament to what good can come from our hobby and an example of what we can do. Please join me in welcoming Jason Wagner to the Chameleon Academy Podcast!

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waxy monkey tree frog

Ep 152: The Waxy Monkey tree Frog with Philippe de Vosjoli

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Today we take a close look at the Waxy Monkey Tree Frog. No, it is not a chameleon, but you will be much more successful with this species if you use chameleon husbandry rather than standard frog husbandry. And to introduce us to this unique frog is none other than Philippe de Vosjoli.

Welcome to another episode of the Outer Fringes where we explore an arboreal reptile – or amphibian – that chameleon keepers would be uniquely suited to understand. Today we are talking about Phyllomedusa sauvagii, the Waxy Monkey Tree Frog. This is the most unfrog frog. It climbs in the branches prowling about like a cat and it perches like an unusually cute gargoyle. It’s arboreal nature and its adaptations to a dry environment puts it firmly into husbandry conditions that many chameleon keepers will recognize.

I am very happy to have Philippe de Vosjoli back on the podcast. People who have been around recognize this name as the founder of the Vivarium magazine and the Advanced Vivarium Systems collection of herpetocultural reference books. He has a wide experience with reptile and amphibian care and, over these many decades, has been active in the legal status of reptile keeping and promoting the value of keeping reptiles in the first place. We will get insight into the care of Phyllomedusa sauvagii, but we will also touch on Philippe’s perspective on the role of the breeder in the community. If some of what we talk about sounds familiar to you regular podcast listeners it is because Philippe’s work was instrumental in forming my views.   I am pleased to bring you this interview.

baby waxy monkey tree frogs
waxy monkey tree frog
Waxy Monkey Tree Frog
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Geckos

Ep 148: Satanic Leaf-tailed Geckos with Lawrence Erickson

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One of the most cryptic and incredible reptiles is the Uroplatus phantasticus also known as the satanic Leaf-tailed Gecko. Quite the dramatic name for such a cute finger perching gecko! Today I talk to Lawrence Erickson who has bred phantasticus for many years.

Check out Lawrence's website by clicking the picture below

Geckos
phantasticus
phantasticus
phantasticus
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draco

Ep 144: Draco Flying Dragon with Charles Mcallister

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The Draco flying dragon is an incredible species that has the ability to shoot through the air from tree to tree. But it has been exceptionally hard to establish in captivity. Today I talk with breeder Charles Mcallister about the start of the captive breeding community.

Charles Mcallister

Charles Mcallister is a reptile breeder that guides us through his experiences as he dedicated his efforts solely towards unlocking the mysteries of the enigmatic Draco flying dragon. The images that follow are from Charles' private breeding collection. Charles currently works with Draco maculatus, sometimes known as the Spotted Flying Dragon. This species is widespread through southeast Asia. Though Dracos have always been highly valued in captive collections they have failed to establish a foothold due to the poor condition imported adults come in. The death rate, added to the common thought that they needed ants or termites to survive, kept any captive establishment at bay. Charles has produced a substantial first generation and is working on the second captive generation. Where wild caught adults are flighty, the captive hatch specimens, while active, are calm and do not show the same fear of humans. It is efforts like this that are encouraging and show that we still are in an era of advancement in our breeding efforts.

The Draco community is still forming. We are at the beginning stages and we have the pleasure of watching it as it grows. On this podcast I will continue to share advancements and achievements in this exciting effort.


Eggs of the Dragon

Draco egg
Draco hatching
Draco hatching

Welcome to the World, Baby Dracos!

Draco hatchling
Draco babies

Growing Up

Draco juvenile
Draco juvenile
Draco juvenile

Coming of Age

Draco side view
Draco adult

Those Incredible Wings!

Draco wings
Draco wings
Draco wings

The Mating Dance and the Next Generation

Draco dewlap
Draco dewlap
Draco laying eggs
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