Putting on a reptile show is great. Aside from all the loose groupies, the fame and Fortuna, you sometimes get to do something really special. Like holding a Nile Crocodile. This species has probably eaten more people than those Dorothy animals (Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh MY) combined.
Of course, this is the kid version, but look at those teeth. Thanks' Russ.
KGUN, Chanel 9, sent there star reporter, Jessica Chapin, to cover the show. Click the photo above for the link to the video clip.
Only recently has science deciphered the language of the American Alligator. They scrawl symbols into the mud to communicate with there kin. An alligator symbol that resembles the number 33 has been found to mean something like 'I'm Tasty, don't pass up this meal opportunity'. Fortunately the staff of the Tucson Reptile & Amphibian Show & Sale has been keeping up with the crocodilian literature and applied the black Kevlar tape to this guy's mouth before he deciphered the little tikes shirt.
Over the weekend of the show we had about 8000 people show up. We had about 50 species of exotic venomous snakes on display. Mambas, Cobras, Taipans, Vipers, Rattlesnakes, etc. Essentially, enough venom to kill every last person at the show. Cool.
A full grown, yellow phase Eyelash Viper was certainly one of the prettiest snakes on display. When I went to Costa Rica a couple of years ago, it was at the top of my list to find and photograph. I was successful. Fortunately, as far as my wife is concerned, it is illegal to keep exotic venomous snakes in AZ.
The Green Mamba. Back in the early '80s, I'd lived next door to one. Well, that's what she called herself. And on October 31, 1980, we went to a party together. She'd painted herself green. But the neighborhood was consistent. Two doors down from me in the other direction, lived Bob Clark.
I want one of these shirts
The Inland Taipan or Fierce Snake of Australia has the most toxic venom of any terrestrial snake. This is not one. It's the New Guinea version. Still looks mean though.
An albino Axolotl. This weird creature has a way of getting into your head. This is an inside joke. In order to 'get it', you will have to read Axolotl, a short story by the famous Argentinean writer, Julio Cortázar.
Steve Tallo, far left, produces these Gila monster and Collared Lizard sculptures. They're cast concrete from a mold of the original and then each one is hand painted. Each one has a different look. I got one for my back yard. Since then I've got live Gilas all over the place. My cat Walter, below, thinks it's cool.
A close up of one of Steve's Gilas
One of Steve's Collard lizards
Michael Dee (Natural History Books & retired curator of the LA Zoo) and Frank Retes (soap opera star) discussing the pros and cons of sex vs parthenogenesis.
This Picture was not staged. Walter, my cat and this Gila just hit it off. I ran and got my camera. Even Bill Love thought this was a great photo.
Nick, of Sweet Earth Art Co & his companion dog Toto. Due to government regulations we must allow companion dogs into the show. If they get eaten by a python or alligator, that their problem.
The barbeque vendor outside the front of the show was a big hit. Python in peanut sauce was my favorite, but Cracked Alligator and Iguana Tails were good as well.
Roy has to go to the head really bad, but he was nice enough to hold it in for this picture.
2011 Show Pics Not to be confused with NAFTA, NAFHA get no government support so we let them in free.
The kids already picked the tortoise burger, but are having trouble deciding on the side dish. Gecko pie or python chips were the biggest sellers.
Many kids have mothers (and even a few fathers) that won't allow, won't even consider a pet snake. How biased and prejudiced some parents are. Anyway, Deanna fills the gap and sells a ton of stuffed animal snakes, lizards, frogs, etc. She even sells stuffed mice and rats to feed them.
Misty, had a bunch of cool stuff, including these Reeves Turtles, below left. They are supposed to be one the smartest turtles around. So I asked the one on top a couple of simple math questions and the thing just kept starring at me. I don't think there so bright.
The not so bright Reeves Turtles
After 20 minutes of trying on different lizards, he finely settled on the Beardy.
Tom's Reptile Supply had all these cool signs. I went over on Sunday to get a Turtle Crossing and they were sold out. I had to settle for a couple of lizard mugs instead.
This is a print of one of Tell Hicks's Rattlesnake paintings that will be going in his upcoming book. What type of Rattlesnake? I'll give you a hint, what color is the tail? Tell is one of the most talented nature artists I've ever seen. I've got two of his prints.
My son Ryan and I. We must be real geeks to dress in the same shirt.
She was trying to get this Black & White Tegus off her shoulder for an hour, but his claws were dug in deep. Some guys are like that. They get a pretty girl and won't let go for anything.
I thought the design of her blouse was very reptilian.
Albino Red Eared Slider. Less than 4 inches. Obviously only sold to teachers for educational purposes.
Bug guys are just too weird.
But bug girls can be awesome!
A visitor from the planet Tralfamador. Using the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, he determined that his outfit was perfect to blend in with Southwest USA Human society. That Hitchhikers Guide is in need of a bit of updating.
The Bobbsey Twins. Can you name which is Flossie and which is Nan?
Top: Dipsosaurus dorsalis Middle: Homo sapiens sapiens Shoulder: Sauromalus obesus
I can't think of a creature on earth that combines so many unique external features as the Chameleon. Color changing (only bested by the octopus). A tongue like a spear gun. Eyes like gun turrets. Feet like vise grips. A monkey tail. Songs by Blondi
The coolest adult humans, are still kids.
Where were you when the lights went out at the Tucson Reptile & Amphibian Show & Sale. At around 12:30 on Sunday the we lost all power at the show. Fortunately there are skylights along the central isle. Despite the lighting, people kept coming in. When the lights returned 75 minutes later, a cheer rang through the building like a wave at a football game.
My wife Cathy posing with a battery powered clamp on light that I'd bought at Ace HW. I bought it to circumvent the high cost of getting electricity at other shows ($50 - $85 at most California shows). It works pretty well and was one of the only lights around when we had the blackout.
The front door crew was busy on a continuous basis throughout the weekend. At most times we had six people manning 2 entrances to speed the line. We also have 2 or 3 big guys manning the exit and checking all receipts.
James, Adam &Shawn are fraternal triplets.
These guys are cricket addicts. They start out just eating a few. They just want to be cool like the big dragons. But then it just escalates. Pretty soon the group has a thousand cricket a week habit. They shit all over their cage with no regard for keeping things sanitary. Then its rehab city!
Amanda of Arizona Dendrobate ranch and her froglets. The smallest one has only just recently sprouted legs.
This picture is obligatory. Nikki and her unique name tag placement have been featured in the photos of every show for years. But I still like it.
Taron & Leah, of Reptiles Etcetera , Come all the way from Florence Kansas to do the show. I've been to Lawrence but not Florence. The coolest thing about Kansas is the Italian Wall Lizard which is established around Topeka.
For years I'll only drink wine with a reptile on the label. I think it's as valid a way to chose a wine as any.
Rich Funk DVM is our official show veterinarian (I have to look up how to spell this word every time. I don't even get close enough for spell check help. Even Vets have trouble with it; that's why they always shorten it to Vet). Rich prefers beer with reptiles on the label.
'B' on the left turned the skull (far left) of some horned beast in to art. It didn't sell at the show, so if you want to buy it let me know and I'll put you in touch. Tom (center) was raised in the desert by Coyotes until he was eleven. The cactus boots in the front of the picture were what he was wearing on his feet when he was rescued by a band of friendly reptile smugglers. The kid on the right is #14. Like many of the show workers, we keep him in cryogenic storage and thaw him out every year to work the show.
This kid has balls* *Alright, it is actually a Boa
But not as much as me. The cup of sake that I'm drinking came from this bottle. It contains a Habu, Trimeresurus flavoviridis, one of the deadliest vipers in Asia. It's an honor to be offered a cup of this rare and expensive drink. One that I reluctantly could not pass up.
Amanda gave a practical demonstration on how to set up a Poison Dart frog terrarium and how to care for the little gems. Only two participants were lost to Dendrobates terribilis poisoning.
Holly, a dance teacher, danced all weekend for Reptiles Magazine.
The Amazing adventures of Vera and her Balloons!
Skinks love to French Kiss. Especially Blue Tongues'. For Halloween this year, my wife and I dressed as usual, but painted our tongues blue. We wouldn't have gotten all those strange looks if we had just gone to a herper party. By the way, One these Northern Blue tongues is extremely hypomelenistic. Produced by James Fenn.
The 2 year old didn't even leave a noticeable lump in the snake.
One of Wendy's (Frogs With Altitude) rare Frogus yellowis.
The River Road Pet Clinic was the only vendor at the show that was allowed to sell food (the Expo Center retains concession rights) However, the chocolate covered crickets probably didn't cut much into the sale of hotdogs and beer.
I love their name, Chaotic Nights Reptile. For all you that keep diurnal pets (Dogs, some cats, dragonflies, etc) you probably don't know that a good portion of reptiles are nocturnal. Thus many reptile enthusiasts also have to become nocturnal in order to feed or even see their animals without having to turn something over. I have to go into my office at night every 2 weeks to feed my Emerald Tree Boa.
At the show we have lectures. Getting the projector, various computers, amplifiers, speakers and lecturers to all work at the same time is an extraordinary feat. Why Apple has to have a different connector than every other computer in existence is ridiculous. This AV disaster factor was really apparent not at this show, but at the recent Biology of the Rattlesnakes conference, when Jonathan Campbell gave the banquet lecture and the projector turned every color into something else. Anyway the guy above is Robert Villa who gives a great talk on our local reptile fauna.
Some sort green viper. I forget which one.
Does this snake have cataracts? No. The eyes of snakes get opaque or milky or blue (there are many names) before they are going to shed. My eyes get like this whenever I hear my son's music (death metal).
Wendy, Frogs With Altitude, brought her mom along from that Colorado city with the Air Force Academy. It's on the tip of my temporal lobe.
Billie can't take her eyes off Randy
Manny Rubio gave his lecture, 'The Rattlesnakes of Arizona', from a seated position. Most people stand. I think it gives the speaker a feeling of dominance and power. Manny must be very confident to Lecture from a chair. Or maybe he's just getting older.
The second biggest lizard she ever held.
My son Ryan (the one with his finger up his nose) standing in front of my company sign. Look how nice it looks. It's older than he is.
Ian of Reptile Specialists demonstrating that if you squeeze a lizard hard enough in a certain way its tongue will pop out.
Holding a snake just makes people smile.
John, the massage therapist for the UofA swim team returned this year with his massage chair and a fellow therapist. As a lot of people with ophidian phobia were dragged to the show by more normal, reptile loving spouses and kids, the massage chairs stayed busy relieving fear and anxiety.
Not only did we have a boy scout troop come to the show. One kid had his birthday party at the show. What do you want to do for your birthday this year son? Ans: I want to have it at The Tucson Reptile & Amphibian Show & Sale.
Russ, Homo sapiens calvousness, is the founder of the Phoenix Herpetological Society. As usual they put on a fabulous display of exotic reptiles.
How come only girls know how to smile?
Caught with her hand in the rat jar. Again!
Macy, Jan and Fred. I'm related through marriage. So I can't make fun of them.
Mia, my daughter, has trouble being seen with me. Behind her in the plastic tub is my Medusa hat that I kept putting on to her utter horror. I wore it for Halloween at my office. I may have lost a few patients that day. But not as bad as last year when for Halloween I was the Swine Flu.
The Mad Scientist Booth delighted the kids. They actually have nothing to do with reptiles, but they contacted me and I thought they would be good for the show. Many a kid went home with a cup of slime that they made themselves. I frequently think of myself as a Mad Scientist. I'm going to have them do my next birthday.
The Mad Scientist Booth delighted the kids.
The False Horned Viper. Don't ask me what makes it false.
This two headed kid was pretty cool
Tanya Man's (I mean woman's) the show master control center, freeing me to wander, cause trouble and take all these compromising photos. Thanks Tanya. Tanya is Larry Sedrick's sister. Larry and I started the show 10 years ago. Larry passed away about 6 years ago and we all miss him.
Tortoises have beaks, right? Well looking close, it appears this tortoises has teeth and fangs. Not even the fastest hare around would be safe from this guy.
We know who wears the pants in this family.
The Mangshan Pit Viper of central China.
2011 Show Pics
The Reptile show makes a lot of kids happy. This one took the time to let me know.
Mike of South Bay Tropical. They are new vendors at the show from San Diego area and had a good time. They loved getting out of that terrible SD climate. How can anyone put up with constant 70s-80s temperatures all year. You need 100 degree + days to put things in perspective.
The T-Rex Museum put on their fossil dig. Kind of gives us a gem show feel.
When your legs get tired, anything will do.
Those graffiti artists will draw on anything.
2011 Show Pics
This guy just won't let go
There Shore were a lot of snakes at the show
this year; somewhat due to Don & Sally who have been to 9 out of our 10 shows so far. Of course this has been over a ten year span. There are many ways that you can tell the passage of time by comparing past and present show photos. One is by counting the gray hairs in Don's mustache. Also note the hearing aid (or is it one of those cell phone things). Anyway the technology change can be traced and correlates with time. And of course there is the change that can be followed in the shape of Nikki's gluteal region. Of course, if you have followed this last change as closely as I have, you'll ...
The sting of the Ketakuna Black Scorpion causes the tongue to swell and protrude and geometric green and orange welts to form on the neck and upper extremities, preceding death.
Everybody is welcome at the Tucson Reptile & Amphibian Show. No matter your various orientations, even if its lizards over humans.
This is an old sign. The majority of vendors will be happy that I've changed the the hours to Saturday 9:30am to 5pm, Sunday stays the same 10am to 4pm. (2)
Many of you have wondered how Ball Pythons get their various patterns and colors. The Ball Python community wants you to believe that it is through selective breeding. However, this is not the case. As shown in this photo, by exposing the snakes to high energy gamma rays, (similar to the Hulk, see The Incredible Hulk #1, May, 1962, Marvel Comics) an array of patterns and colors can be obtained. Reds still need to be put in with fingernail polish. For more info on producing high energy gamma rays, see 'High Energy Gamma Rays, A Mix of vinegar, baking soda and Plutonium Does The Trick. J of Irreproducible Results. Sept 1966. (3)
There are many factors to consider when trying to list the most dangerous snakes in the world. Venom toxicity (Inland Taipan); Size (King Cobra); Intelligence (King Cobra); Aggressiveness (Black Mamba); Speed (Black Mamba); Frequency of encounter (Saw Scale viper); Number of recorded or at least estimated deaths (Saw Scaled Viper). Intelligence of the Humans that tend to be bitten by the snake in question (Western Diamond Back) (this is an inverse relationship). (4)
Few people ever see this image and live to tell about it. Come see the dark inside of the mouth of a Black Mamba at the Tucson Reptile and Amphibian Show Oct 2014 (5)
Cobras, especially albinos, are excellent weavers. Note how this one has woven her own pattern into her private hideaway. Come see a display of cobra weaving skill at the 2014 Tucson Reptile & Amphibian Show & Sale (6)
I don't remember which snake this is. It has pits and dosen't look like a rattlesnake, so it's some sort of viper. If you know, let me know (firstname.lastname@example.org). Thanks. (7)
Pretty much every picture I took at the show has more reptiles in it than humans. I think there are a few python human crosses as well, but here at the Tucson Reptile & Amphibian Show & Sale we do not discriminate based on species. Anyway, since about 9000 people attended the show over the weekend, and guessing that the human : reptile ratio was 1 : 4, there were an estimated 30,000 to 40,000 reptiles at the show. I put Lawyers in the second group. (8)
LLL Reptile has attended every one of the Tucson Reptile & Amphibian Show & Sales for at least the last 10 years. As usual they assembled their 1000 square foot mobile reptile shop in something like 6 hours. This is like taking one of their brick and mortar stores and moving it from city to city every week. This is a tribute to Lauren who is now probably considered one of the most respected retail reptile dealers in the country. At least of the ones who have not done time. (unless you consider the scat incident). Also notice Megan, a local actress, in the green shirt about 20-30 feet beyond the booth. She is usually surrounded by paparazzi, but we keep them out of the show, as I don't like be pictured in the fanzines. (9)
Mad Science of Tucson is not a reptile related business. But as they promote science to kids as opposed to other rather bizarre world views, I give them a booth to teach kids to make slime and other intense scientific pursuits (10)
Who is going to pop first? One of Vera's fabulous balloons or Vera who is 7&1/2 months pregnant (11)
Steve is a division manager and reptile specialist for Exo Terra, which may be the largest producer of reptile related products in the world. But most importantly, he is a UCLA alumni. The tattooed up woman talking to him is Charlotte who runs Tucson Reptile Rescue. They take in abandoned and unwanted reptiles. They also give free lunches to lawyers that have hit bottom trying to break away from the 'Dark Side' an become useful members of society (12)
Steve is also an expert at putting together display terrariums. This one was designed specifically to house Tralfamadorian Chinch Bugs. However, as Tralfamador is several thousand light-years away, the cage is currently empty (13)
As I am doing these captions four months after the show and the pesky right arm of the vendor on display is covering his name badge, and my memory is not what it used to be, I can't give you his name (Let me know: email@example.com). the blue tongue skink he is holding is named Rocky. Blue tongue's are always popular at the show and all vendors that had them were sold out the first day. The blue tongue crop was poor this year. (14)
Georgi, the one without snake and also the unbearded co-owner with Ken The Bug Guy, of Exotic pets on 1st Ave in Tucson. Her coworker is holding a piebald Ball Python, probably the only ball python that I like, just because they're so weird (15)
I already talked about Charlotte in a previous photo, So I'll just repeat part of that caption: Charlotte runs Tucson Reptile Rescue. They take in abandoned and unwanted reptiles. They also give free lunches to lawyers that have hit bottom trying to break away from the 'Dark Side' an become useful members of society (16)
A new vendor this year, Real Insect Jewelry, did very well. However, I would not recommend the Black Widow necklace as it can be very dangerous (17)
No. Dale is not a recycled road kill. It's just the name of his company (18)
Darren and Darren of Serpent Stick. With all that discrimination out there, Darren's have to stick together (19)
Woman looking at Bearded Dragon with Tiger in background. I'm getting tired, trying to be funny can be draining. Doing these captions take a lot longer than taking the pictures (20)