Idaho Herpetological Society

Idaho Herpetological Society


We found these lizards laying on top of the snow in the Selkirk Mtns near Priest Lake (North Idaho). We have skinks around here but these are different--note the bigger heads and flattened tails. Can you identify them for us?
This little (c. 3" long) was in 'n out of of our garage in the Boise foothills yesterday (4/30/2021). My guess is it's a sagebrush lizard (Sceloporus graciosus). Or, could it be a western fence lizard (Sceloporus occidentalis)? What do you think?
Special thanks to the Idaho Herpetological Society for visiting our Dorman Campus and educating our Humane Officers in snake handling. The Society also donated special snake hooks so that every officer could have one in their vehicle. We appreciate you thinking of us and sharing your knowledge with us!
Hello from Oregon. Hoping someone has a link to Idaho fish and wildlife Rules and Regulations on Reptiles/amphibians, as well as the Protected species. - Google was no help, broken link, or very old documents.

I may be moving to Boise soon and need to know what/who I can bring with me :) - Thanks in advance
Hi there, I’m happy to have found your page. 💚
I’m wondering if anyone has recommendations for a veterinarian in the area who specializes in reptiles. (Experience with Chinese water dragons would be ideal.) Thanks 🙂
Hi, all! My family and I we're at the last meeting this past Sunday, 10/20 and we spoke to a lady about adopting a leopard gecko she has there. Somehow, her card got misplaced. Would anyone happen to know who she is and how we can get a hold of her?
A tegu lizard brought by the Idaho Herpetological Society.
We had a great summer of Kids' Camp! We'd like to thank the following organizations who had representatives come out and speak to our campers about the animals they work with. Dairy West, Idaho Herpetological Society, Bureau of Land Management - Idaho, Boise Police Department, Ada County 4-H, UI Extension, and the Idaho Humane Society staff and volunteers who also helped out! The kids enjoyed every minute of it!

Registration for all 2019/20 camps will open September 1st.
This was a chubby one, maybe ready to lay some eggs. What do you all think?
Christian Mckey
Might seem like a stupid question, but there is a difference between pine, bull, and gopher snakes right? Or is it all the same snake with a different name?
Here's an event for all those who house reptiles as pets.

group of reptile and amphibian enthusiasts. used to be a non profit organization.

Operating as usual

Zoo Progress Update! 10/24/2021

Zoo Progress Update!

What a great opportunity for Twin Falls, and Idaho in general! Check out Twin Falls Zoological Center for updates!

Zoo Progress Update! It's been a few weeks and we've been working nonstop at demo and setting up our temporary enclosures for our animals while we establish sponsorships for cons...

Photos from Idaho Herpetological Society's post 09/17/2021

The meeting this month will be held in Meridian at Bear Creek Park at 6:30. If you come via the Freeway, take the Meridian Rd exit and head shout on Meridian Rd. Turn west on W Overland road. Turn Left onto S. Stoddard Rd. The first left should be right near the parking lot for the park. The address is 2400 S Stoddard Rd. We’ll do picture taking for the 2022 calendar so bring your animals. Pre-sales for the calendar will start then as well. Remember the only way you can be guaranteed a calendar is to make sure I have you down for one. The cost will still be 10.00 for pre-order. Hope to see you there!


The Idaho Herpetological Society will be at the Birds of Prey NCA Raptor Fest this Saturday from noon to 5 at the Indian Creek Winery. Check out the events and get tickets on their website and stop by our booth to check out the animals, including Zerk the rattlesnake!


New phone number - with the new Idaho area code: (986)895-7200


The meeting will be this Sunday, Aug 15th at 6:30 again outside at Bill Rupp’s house, 4623 ½ north Adams St. in Garden City. It will be a show and tell, and planning for next month and the fall/winter. And perhaps we can get Mary to talk a little about her 2 headed garter and show pictures. She won’t be bringing it to avoid stressing it.


The Idaho Herpetological Society meeting this Sunday, July 18th at 6:30 will be on Rattlesnakes. Again the meeting will be outside at Bill Rupp’s house, 4623 ½ North Adams St. in Garden City. Hope you can make it – it should be a good meeting.

Please bring ideas for future meetings. Also keep in mind our next volunteer event of Saturday, Aug. 28th for the Snake River Raptor Fest. And the one after that will be the Kids Discovery Expo on Saturday, Sept 25th at the Expo building on Glenwood. It will be earlier this year than in past years.


It’s been a long time but we’re going to have a meeting again – Sunday, June 20th at 6:30, now that the weather isn’t so iffy. The meeting will be at Bill Rupp’s house, let we did last summer. The address 4623 ½ North Adams St. in Garden City. His driveway is between 2 house and take you back behind. Bring a chair unless you want to sit on the grass. It will be a show ‘n tell meeting, getting to know each other again.

Photos from Idaho Herpetological Society's post 06/06/2021

Dr. Charles Peterson will be giving a lecture on photographing the snakes of Idaho Monday evening at 6:30 at the M-K Nature center. And if you miss the lecture, there is a photo exhibit of the snakes of Idaho that will be there the whole month of June.


ALERT: Boise, ID

Local residents should be aware that Boise is currently drafting changes to the City's animal ordinance. This may affect owners of any species, including dogs as this is a large focus of the amendments.

There is not an immediate threat (for herpetoculture). We are informing our members to watch the issue as it could be amended to affect our community, too. The City is accepting input on the proposed changes until March 30, 2021.

On the reptile side, there is already a ban list under present law. Currently, there are no proposed changes to that list.

One issue with the current law is that Boise bans any species listed under the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA). Unfortunately, we see this often as lawmakers do not understand ESA, nor are they aware that some ESA species have been bred under human care for many years. ESA does not ban intrastate activities with ESA-listed species, either native or non-native. It is clear that the City is not familiar with ESA as they have species redundantly listed in the actual prohibited list and then again under the blanket ESA species prohibition.

This first link is a short article on the matter. There is also a form to submit comments at this link:

The second link goes to the draft changes. The current law is in normal text. Text to be removed has strikethrough. New text (change) is underlined:

Substantive/lengthy comments should also be sent to your City Council member. They can be found at this link. Scroll down to find the "Send Message" link.


getting close to home. be involved.

ALERT: Oregon
Read below or at

Oregon House Bill 3008 (HB3008) has been introduced by Representative Nosse. HB3008 prohibits using certain animals (list below and even includes tortoises and small monitors) in "traveling animal acts," which will include the educational outreach programs provided by many animal keepers. It authorizes forfeiture of animals used in violations. Punishment is a maximum of six months' imprisonment, a $2,500 fine, or both. HB3008 awaits committee assignment and we will add that information for sending opposition when assigned.

Regardless of what species are involved, this bill is unnecessary, redundant, and a waste of Oregon tax dollars. Animal welfare laws are already in place and measures like this bill only punish responsible citizens instead of actually penalizing criminals.

The unintended consequences are many. It is a ban on taking a Greek tortoise into a classroom for an educational program about turtles and tortoises. It is a ban on taking a dwarf monitor lizard into a library or to a Scout troop meeting for an educational show discussing reptiles.

The bill is straightforward and simply states, "A person may not use an animal described in subsection (3) of this section in a traveling animal act." That means any species below cannot be transported in any manner for any type of presentation. Essentially, animals could only leave your home for veterinary visits.

“Traveling animal act” means a performance of an animal to which the animal is transported to perform. This qualifies all outreach and educational programs that are not on-site where the animal is permanently housed. They would all be banned.

The only exemptions are facilities with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), the World Association of Zoos, Aquariums (WAZA), or the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries (GFAS), state-licensed wildlife rehabilitation centers, certain academic/medical/research facilities, veterinarians, and licensed falconers.

Please note that “education programs” are only exempt if you qualify with an entity included in the above exemption list. Also, while this a definition for "performance" that may seem to disqualify general educational outreach programs, there still remains much ambiguity and enforcement could certainly take place upon an unexempted person conducting a program.

Species included in the bill:

(a) Any member of the family Canidae, except the species Canis familiaris (domestic dog);
(b) Any member of the family Cetartiodactyla, except the species Bison bison (American
bison), Bos taurus (domestic cow), Lama glama (domestic llama), Ovis aries (sheep), Rangifer
tarandus (reindeer) and Sus domesticus (domestic pig), and the subspecies Capra aegagrus
hircus (domestic goat);
(c) Any member of the order Crocodylia;
(d) Any member of the subclass Elasmobranchii;
(e) Any member of the family Elephantidae;
(f) Any member of the family Felidae, except the species Felis catus (domestic cat);
(g) Any member of the family Hyaenidae;
(h) Any member of the mammalian infraclass Marsupialia;
(i) Any member of the family Mustelidae, except the subspecies Mustela putorius furo
(domestic ferret);
(j) Any nonhuman primate;
(k) Any member of the order Perissodactyla, except the subspecies Equus ferus caballus
(domestic horse), the subspecies Equus africanus asinus (donkey), a pony and a mule;
(L) A member of the clade Pinnipedia;
(m) A member of the family Procyonidae;
( n) A member of the group ratite;
(o) A member of the family Spheniscidae;
(p) A member of the family Testudinidae;
(q) A member of the family Ursidae;
(r) A member of the family Varanidae;
(s) A member of the family Viverridae; and
(t) A member of the clade Xenarthra.

Sample Messaging
Remember to be civil and professional at all times!

Email list (more added once assigned to committee): [email protected]

Subject line:
NO to HB3008

Representative Nosse,

As a dedicated advocate for animal welfare, I implore you to pull House Bill 3008 from consideration. Oregon already has extensive animal cruelty and welfare laws including ORS Chapter 167. Enforce those current laws! HB3008 is yet another superfluous law that will not accomplish its stated purpose and is nothing more than a solution looking for a problem.

It seems HB3008 lacks research. For example, the bill would ban educational programs including any tortoise or monitor lizard. For both of these, some species weigh less than a pound as adults. Programs with the larger tortoises and monitor lizards provide education as to why certain species are not good pet choices for some people and families.

The fact is that this legislation is unnecessary. Punish the "bad actors" and the criminals. No new law is needed to protect animals as Oregon can already prosecute animal abusers.

Superfluous and redundant laws are becoming commonplace. Tax dollars and legislative resources are continually being wasted to propose duplicative laws. Even worse, collective punishment is becoming an accepted practice in our government. Instead of focusing on criminals, many new laws choose to punish good citizens.

Among other overreaching measures, this bill bans many educational outreach programs before students and Scout troops, classifying such beneficial programs as inherently cruel. Those who would travel with their animals to teach school children about tortoises or certain lizards will be made into criminals!

This bill is far-reaching and rife with unintended consequences, including making criminals out of those dedicated individuals who responsibly conduct educational programs with animals. Thank you for your time and consideration on this matter. Please realize that HB3008 is illogical and unjust. Have a good day.



What to do:

1. Call officials;
2. Email officials;
3. Fax and mail letters;
4. Attend hearings and voice opposition, if possible;
5. SHARE this and encourage others to complete the Alert!!!

You can find full contact details (phone, email, fax, etc.) for relevant legislators by clicking the links below.

Bill TEXT:

Bill full details on CO Legislative website:

Link to Committee members and contact information (to be posted after assignment):

Link to the sponsor's info page:


Due to the rising numbers of covid cases we can’t find a location to have the monthly meeting indoors and it’s getting too cold to have it outside so we’re cancelling this months meeting. Hopefully November won’t end the same way.

For those of you that were planning on helping out at the Kids Discovery Expo November 14th – that has been cancelled as well.

I’m taking orders for the 2021 calendar so I know how many to get printed. Please let me know if and how many you want. They should be 10.00 each. Last call for pictures to be submitted. I will accept them through 10/31. You can email them to [email protected]. Be sure to include species and if a pet, its name.


They are at it again. Write your representatives!


The HEROES Act has re-emerged as a new bill and as an amendment to another bill (HR925). If you are unfamiliar with the HEROES Act and its implications, you can read that at

The House has included the hundreds of pages of the HEROES Act as an amendment to HR925 (a bill titled America's Conservation Enhancement Act). Since HR925 passed the House and the Senate (but was amended in the Senate), the House Democrats are trying to slide the HEROES back over to the Senate in hopes it will pass as HR925.

Typically, amendments are fairly minor language edits to bills or changes in line with the goal of the bill. This action strays from the norm. This replaces the text of HR925 and replaces it with the HEROES Act

HR925 was "an Act to extend the authorization of appropriations for allocation to carry out approved wetlands conservation projects under the North American Wetlands Conservation Act." A reported COVID-relief plan with hidden amendments to the Lacey Act does not fit the bill. This is yet another example of why politics is a dirty word. This is an attempt to skip some steps in the legislative process.

You can read all 2,100+ pages of this "amendment" at The problematic Lacey Act amendments appear under TRADE OF INJURIOUS SPECIES AND SPECIES THAT POSE A RISK TO HUMAN HEALTH on pages 2,151-2,153.

Also, the HEROES Act has been re-introduced as another bill (HR8406). At the very end of this 2,154-page bill are the changes to the Lacey Act that would reverse USARK's landmark federal lawsuit victory. We covered this in our newsletter linked at the beginning of this post. The bill would make the below amendments to Title 18 Section 42 subsection (a) paragraph 1 of U.S. Code (the Lacey Act):

(i) by inserting “or any interstate transport between States within the continental United States,” after “shipment between the continental United States, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, or any possession of the United States,”; and

(ii) by striking “to be injurious to human beings, to the interests of agriculture” and inserting “to be injurious to or to transmit a pathogen that can cause disease in humans, to be injurious to the interests of agriculture”;

You can read HR8406 at

Please note that we are not posting on Democrat vs. Republican. The fact is that the HEROES Act is a democratic bill with all democrat co-sponsors so it is the House Democrats that are pushing this.

HR8406 is sponsored by Representatives Lowey, Scott, Pallone, Waters, Grijalva, Carolyn B. Maloney, Velazquez, Takano, Neal, Lofgren, and Defazio.


Not sure how the week got away from me but it’s Friday and I haven’t sent out the notice for the meeting yet. It will be this Sunday at 6:30. It is open to the public. Mary will be showing how to be out-door cages and Harrsion will be going over building bioactive cages. The meeting will be at Bill Rupp’s house again. The address is 4623 ½ North Adams St. in Garden City. His driveway is between 2 house and take you back behind. Bring a chair unless you want to sit on the grass, masks too. There is plenty of parking in a lot he owns adjacent to his yard.

This is also the time of year where we take pictures for the calendar. I will bring my camera if you want to bring an animal but given this is outside, I thought this year we will encourage members to send in their submission for the calendar. Only requirement is that it is in focus enough it can be greatly enlarged. Please email them to either [email protected] or [email protected]. Please include the common name and morph and if the animal has name, send that too.


Good Evening. The Idaho Herpetological Society is having a meeting this Sunday but are limiting it to members only. Any member that missed getting the email about the meeting and location who wants to attend, please email [email protected]. Thank you.


We are going to have a meeting this Sunday, July 19th. It will be outside, in Kristin Armstrong Municipal Park on Walnut St in Boise. It’s the park next to the old Idaho Fish & Game office we used to meet at. We’ll be at one of the sites near the bathrooms in the park. Even if it’s warm there is lots of shade. Charlie Justus with Idaho Fish & Game will be our guest speaker so bring any questions you have on Idaho laws or any other topic you’d like. Because of covid restrictions, please bring a mask to wear. If you’re far enough away from others you don’t need to have it on but if you want to be close or pet any animals, you’ll need it on. The meeting will be at 6:30. Hope to see you there.

Videos (show all)

Great educational video from our friend over at Snake Training




Yearly Member Calendars
Accurate Exotic Animal Information
Members Breed Various Critters



600 S Walnut St
Boise, ID

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