Tag Archives: reptiles

Episode 57: Alligator Snappers with Ben Stegenga



Hello everyone and welcome to Episode Fifty Seven!  I hope all of you remain safe and healthy out there.  Like many of you out there, I am so ready for winter to be over, or at least, the return of temperatures above the freezing mark!  It’s been a rough one here in central Illinois.

Now before we get to the show, I want to take a minute to thank all of the show’s patrons!  I appreciate all of the folks who help keep the show going and to reach fifty-plus episodes!. To others in the listening audience, if you like the show, please consider supporting it via the So Much Pingle Patreon page. You can also support the show via one-time contributions via PayPal or Venmo (please contact me via email to somuchpingle@gmail.com).

My guest this week is Ben Stegenga, a biologist who lives and works in Georgia,  on a number of projects for the Orianne Society. Ben gets to work with some very charismatic herps, including indigo snakes and spotted turtles and of course the stars of this episode, Suwannee alligator snapping turtles. Ben is very busy with his field work, and I was lucky to get an interview with him just before his survey season ramped up and put him out of touch.

Thanks for coming on the show, Ben!  And folks, be sure to check out the Orianne Society and please consider supporting them and their worthy conservation efforts.  Additionally, check out this research update on the Suwannee Alligator Snapping Turtle on the Orianne website, written by Houston Chandler.

Thanks for listening, everyone!  And as always, please keep the comments and suggestions coming, and please take time to rate the show on your podcast platform! The show email is somuchpingle@gmail.com, and there’s also a So Much Pingle group on Facebook, for discussion, comments, feedback, suggestions, herp confessions, broomstick bite patterns, tips for herping better, etc.

Cheers! Mike


Episode 56: Pioneer Daze with John Sullivan



Hello everyone and welcome to Episode Fifty Six!  I hope all of you remain safe and healthy out there.  It’s Super Bowl Sunday, and I’m back in the US after a couple weeks of herping in Peru.  It was great to get back to the rain forest after a two year absence.  Our group had a great time and we saw some cool amphibians and reptiles, despite a rather dry start to the rainy season.

Now before we get to the show, I want to take a minute to thank all of the show’s patrons!  I appreciate all of the folks who help keep the show going and to reach fifty-plus episodes!. To others in the listening audience, if you like the show, please consider supporting it via the So Much Pingle Patreon page. You can also support the show via one-time contributions via PayPal or Venmo (please contact me via email to somuchpingle@gmail.com).

This week’s show features my long-time friend, John Sullivan.  John and I go way back to the mid nineteen nineties, when the internet was still new and shiny and we were pioneers of a sort. We were among a small group of early adopters when the world wide web was actually called the world wide web, and it was fun to talk with John about those days, and about the many places he’s traveled to in search of herps.  John’s one of the OG internet herpers, and his trip reports and herp photos from around the world can be found at WildHerps.com, be sure to check it out!  John has also posted on the original Field Herp Forum in the past, and for a good example, here’s his Thorny Devil Dreaming post – enjoy!

Thanks so much for coming on the show, John!  And thanks for listening, everyone!  And as always, please keep the comments and suggestions coming, and please take time to rate the show on your podcast platform! The show email is somuchpingle@gmail.com, and there’s also a So Much Pingle group on Facebook, for discussion, comments, feedback, suggestions, herp confessions, shingleback hat photos, tips for herping better, etc.

Cheers! Mike


Episode 55: Whiskey Stones & Making Your Bones: An Open Discussion



Hello everyone and welcome to Episode Fifty Five!  I hope all of you remain safe and healthy out there as we move into the new year.  Here ‘s the first episode of 2022 and I’m squeezing it in before I leave for Peru later this week.  I’m looking forward to returning to the rainforest after a two-year hiatus, and of course I will be recording some interviews while I’m down there.

Now before we get to the show, I want to take a minute to thank all of the show’s patrons!  I appreciate all of the folks who help keep the show going and to reach fifty-plus episodes!. To others in the listening audience, if you like the show, please consider supporting it via the So Much Pingle Patreon page. You can also support the show via one-time contributions via PayPal or Venmo (please contact me via email to somuchpingle@gmail.com).

For this week’s show I am joined by Justin Michels, Andy O’Connor, and Joshua Wallace for a free-floating, open format discussion – something a little different. I didn’t have any agenda for this discussion, and really I didn’t want one going in, so I didn’t know what we would be talking about.  Kind of a different format for the show and I had to edit a bit for continuity and for people talking over each other, and to remove a few expletives.  Just a few.

Thanks to Josh, Andy, and Justin for coming on the show, and thanks for listening everyone!  Also, Hollywood Squares frame courtesy of ‘FromEquestria2LA’. And as always, please keep the comments and suggestions coming, and please take time to rate the show on your podcast platform! The show email is somuchpingle@gmail.com, and there’s also a So Much Pingle group on Facebook, for discussion, comments, feedback, suggestions, herp confessions, monkey horror stories, tips for herping better, etc.

Cheers! Mike


Episode 54: Paul-Erik Bakland and the Herpetology Club



Hello everyone and welcome to Episode Fifty Four!  I hope all of you remain safe and healthy out there, and I wish you the best of this holiday season and a Happy New Year.  I’m putting this together on New Year’s Eve, so this is the last show of the year. 2022 is looking good, and just to give you an update I have a couple recorded episodes in the edit process, and a half dozen interviews that I classify as “agreed to but not yet scheduled”, so January looks to be a busy month. And I’m hoping to record more episodes from Peru when I return there in a few weeks. And of course, I’m just looking forward to getting back to Peru after almost a two-year hiatus.

Now before we get to the show, I want to take a minute to thank all of the show’s patrons, including our newest Patreon supporter, Kam Delahoz. Thank you, Kam!  Much appreciated!  And thanks as always to all of the folks who help keep the show going and to reach fifty-plus episodes!. To others in the listening audience, if you like the show, please consider supporting it via the So Much Pingle Patreon page. You can also support the show via one-time contributions via PayPal or Venmo (please contact me via email to somuchpingle@gmail.com).

One more thank you to all of the folks who have reached out to me about the show – I appreciate your comments and suggestions, and your ideas for guests, and so forth.  Feedback is important and it keeps me from feeling like I’m operating in a giant bubble.  Feel free to drop me an email.

Our guest this week is Paul-Erik Bakland.  Paul-Erik teaches high school in the Chattanooga Tennessee area, and he has a master’s degree in the biological sciences from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. So Paul-Erik and I are friends on social media and we know each other a little bit, and I happened to see a post he made about the herpetology club that he started at the high school where he teaches.  I knew I wanted to hear more about the Herpetology Club, and of course we talked about other things as well.

Thanks for coming on the show, Paul-Erik, and thanks for listening everyone! And as always, please keep the comments and suggestions coming, and please take time to rate the show on your podcast platform! The show email is somuchpingle@gmail.com, and there’s also a So Much Pingle group on Facebook, for discussion, comments, feedback, suggestions, herp confessions, the optimal number of strings on a banjo, tips for herping better, etc.

Cheers! Mike

 


Episode 53: Tony Daly-Crews and the Rattlesnake Conservancy



Hello everyone and welcome to Episode Fifty Three!  Things are good here in central Illinois, and I hope you all remain safe and healthy out there.  I wish you safe travels if you are journeying for the upcoming Christmas holiday season.

Patrons!  I want to give a shout-out to new Patreon member Ben Stegenga!  Thank you Ben, much appreciated!  And thanks as always to all of the folks who help keep the show going and to reach fifty-plus episodes!. To others in the listening audience, if you like the show, please consider supporting it via the So Much Pingle Patreon page. You can also support the show via one-time contributions via PayPal or Venmo (please contact me via email to somuchpingle@gmail.com).

Calendars – if you listened to the Bob is Back episode a few weeks back and then bought a calendar from Bob Fersuon,, I want to say thank you very much! Bob broke last year’s record for calendar orders, by more than three hundred! He received over 1100 calendar orders and as most of you know, all of the proceeds go to preserving rainforest habitat for herps and birds and jaguars and so forth. Great work, Bob, and thanks again everyone who participated..

Our guest this week is Tony Daly-Crews. I was on a conference call a few weeks ago with Tony and some other folks, and he was representing the Rattlesnake Conservancy. And while we were talking a little bell went ding somewhere in my brain, and at the end of the call I asked Tony if he would come on the show and talk about the Rattlesnake Conservancy and he graciously said yes. I knew a little but not a lot about this non-profit organization, so I learned quite a bit from my conversation with Tony, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.  And folks, be sure to check out the Rattlesnake Conservancy webpage and you can also follow them on Facebook and Instagram. You can also buy some merch and/or make a donation to support the organization ( I just did! ).

Thanks for coming on the show, Tony, and thanks for listening everyone!  And as always, please keep the comments and suggestions coming, and please take time to rate the show on your podcast platform! The show email is somuchpingle@gmail.com, and there’s also a So Much Pingle group on Facebook, for discussion, comments, feedback, suggestions, herp confessions, tips for herping better, etc.

Cheers!  Mike

 


Episode 52: Fun with Dick and Jake (and Patti)



Hello everyone and welcome to Episode Fifty Two!  Things are good here in central Illinois, and I hope you all remain safe and healthy out there.  Safe travels if you are journeying for the Thanksgiving holiday this week.

Patrons!  I want to give a shout-out to new Patreon member Alicia Ballard!  Thank you Alicia, much appreciated!  And thanks as always to all of the folks who help keep the show going and to reach fifty episodes!. To others in the listening audience, if you like the show, please consider supporting it via the So Much Pingle Patreon page. You can also support the show via one-time contributions via PayPal or Venmo (please contact me via email to somuchpingle@gmail.com).

Now let’s get to this week’s episode. I made a trip to Florida in October, ostensibly to do some herping, and I had a great time with that, but I also scheduled an interview while I was down there, and so I spent one very fun evening with Dick Bartlett and his wife Patti, along with Jake Scott. Now if you’ve spent any time at all in the world of amphibians and reptiles, you know about Dick Bartlett, and many of you have at least one of the many books put out by Dick and Patti over the years.

While I was dreaming up this podcast back in 2019, I knew I wanted to get Dick and Patti on the show as guests, and I wanted to get Jake involved as well, since he and Dick travel a lot together and I felt the three of them would play off each other during the conversation. I think you’ll agree that my intuition was spot-on in that regard. Sitting at the kitchen table and talking herps with Dick and Patti and Jake for a couple hours was an amazing experience, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Thanks for coming on the show Dick, Patti and Jake, it was fun talking with all of you!  And thanks for listening everyone!  And as always, please keep the comments and suggestions coming, and please take time to rate the show on your podcast platform! The show email is somuchpingle@gmail.com, and there’s also a So Much Pingle group on Facebook, for discussion, comments, feedback, suggestions, herp confessions, how to tell if you are a placental lizard, tips for herping better, etc.

Cheers!  Mike

 


Episode 51: Bob is Back! Another Conversation with Bob Ferguson



Hello everyone and welcome to Episode Fifty One!  Things are good here in central Illinois, and I hope you all remain safe and healthy out there. It’s good to be back, I’ve been a bit busy over the past few weeks, first there was my usual fall visit to Snake Road, which for me at this point is a chance to see old friends and make some new ones. After that I headed down to Florida to do a little herping, and  I managed to get some cool lifers, including Blue-striped Ribbons and Blue-striped Garters, which I had only previously seen DORs. Oh, and my first swamp snake Liodytes pygaea, which got me more than a little excited. I also got to observe a couple Florida softshells foraging in shallow water, and I got some nice photos of that. Elevated boardwalks can be so good for turtle watching. I also got to see several Florida scrub lizards, Sceloporus woodi. There were also Suwannee cooters and gopher tortoises and corn snakes and rat snakes and an Eastern Diamondback, so a pretty good trip, and of course I also recorded some material for the show and I can’t wait to get that out to you all.

Patrons!  I want to give a shout-out to new Patreon member Sal Scibetta!  Thank you Sal, much appreciated!  And thanks to Michael Moffat, who increased his monthly contribution – thanks Michael!  And thanks as always to all of the folks who help keep the show going and to reach fifty episodes!. To others in the listening audience, if you like the show, please consider supporting it via the So Much Pingle Patreon page. You can also support the show via one-time contributions via PayPal or Venmo (please contact me via email to somuchpingle@gmail.com).

I’m very happy to have Bob Ferguson back on the show, many of you will recall that Bob was featured on Episode 7 way back in the day. So I brought Bob back on to talk about his calendar project which I think is amazing. If you know Bob even a little, you’re aware he’s a very passionate person, with a lot of energy. Bob’s been producing and selling calendars for ten years now and he’s raising a ton of dough for some worthwhile causes that support herps and other wildlife, and I’m just in awe of what he’s accomplished with it.

Getting Calendars – you can contact Bob directly via social media, or you can visit his Fascinature Etsy shop for easy-peasy ordering.  If you use the Etsy option, there’s a coupon code for 5 dollars off a calendar, and that code is PINGLE5. If you order two calendars, use the code PINGLE10 for five bucks off each. Three calendars, PINGLE15, and if you want to order more than three, contact Bob and he’ll give you the details on some bulk discounts and remember folks, all the proceeds go to a good cause.

Thanks for coming on the show Bob, it was fun talking with you again!  And thanks for listening everyone!  And as always, please keep the comments and suggestions coming, and please take time to rate the show on your podcast platform! The show email is somuchpingle@gmail.com, and there’s also a So Much Pingle group on Facebook, for discussion, comments, feedback, suggestions, herp confessions, how to tell if you are a placental lizard, tips for herping better, etc.

Cheers!  Mike

 


Episode 50: Herp Science Sunday with Dr. Alex Krohn



Hello everyone, I hope you all remain safe and healthy out there, and welcome to Episode Fifty!  Yay!  It feels good to make it to half-a-hundred shows.  It’s a nice milestone to reach!.  And this episode features another installment of Herp Science Sunday with Dr. Alex Krohn, and I’m very excited about that and I hope you are too.

Patrons!  I want to give a shout-out to Peter Berg for his one-time contribution.  Thanks Pete!  And thanks as always to all of the folks who help keep the show going and to reach fifty episodes!. To others in the listening audience, if you like the show, please consider supporting it via the So Much Pingle Patreon page. You can also support the show via one-time contributions via PayPal or Venmo (please contact me via email to somuchpingle@gmail.com).

I’m excited to put out another installment of Herp Science Sunday, as I received some encouraging feedback and comments about the first show Alex and I did.  Plus I just enjoy talking to Alex, his enthusiasm is contagious and I love hearing his perspective on all things herpetological.  We will be talking once again about two different papers, but the conversation also veers off on an unexpected and totally cool tangent and I will attempt to tie it all up in a neat and tidy package in the epilog after our conversation.

First paper up for discussion:

Bromeliad Sampling: A Passive Technique for Arboreal Amphibians across Ecosystems in the Neotropics
Yonatan Aguilar-Cruz, Marıa de los Angeles Arenas-Cruz, Leticia M. Ochoa-Ochoa, and Gerhard Zotz
Ichthyology & Herpetology 109, No. 1, 2021, 211–218

Second paper:

Frequency modulation of rattlesnake acoustic display affects acoustic distance perception in humans
Michael Forsthofer, Michael Schutte, Harald Luksch, Tobias Kohl, Lutz Wiegrebe, Boris P. Chagnaud
Current Biology 31, 1–6, October 11 2021

For this rattlesnake acoustics paper, be sure to check out the associated YouTube video that provides insight into how the experiments were run.

Bonus paper!

Homoplasy: The Result of Natural Selection, or Evidence of Design Limitations?
David B. Wake
The American Naturalist, Vol. 138, No. 3 (Sep., 1991), pp. 543-567
(see page 560 for miniaturization discussion)

You can get all three papers from the SciHub repository, or you can drop me an email and I will send you a PDF.

And as always, thanks for listening everyone!  Please keep the comments and suggestions coming, and please take time to rate the show on your podcast platform! The show email is somuchpingle@gmail.com, and there’s also a So Much Pingle group on Facebook, for discussion, comments, feedback, suggestions, how to see your own genome using this one weird trick, herp confessions, tips for herping better, etc.

Cheers!  Mike

 

 


Episode 49: Never Too Tired (To Talk About Rattlesnakes)



Hello everyone and welcome to Episode Forty Nine!  Things are good here in central Illinois, and I hope you all remain safe and healthy out there. Here we go with another midweek episode because once again I will be out and about this weekend. A lot of folks say that May is THE month for finding amphibians and reptiles, here in the Northern Hemisphere. But I have to say that I am nearly as busy in October as I am in May, and I see herps in comparable numbers. So I have a big block of away-time coming up in mid-October so I will be working in new episodes as I can. And as always, I will be bringing my mobile recording rig on my journeys in order to talk with people, because those opportunities are too good to pass up. And I’m looking forward to some long hikes on warm October afternoons, and cool nights around a campfire. And I’m looking forward to seeing some old friends and maybe making some new ones.

Patrons!  Thanks as always to all of the folks who help keep the show going. To others in the listening audience, if you like the show, please consider supporting it via the So Much Pingle Patreon page. You can also support the show via one-time contributions via PayPal or Venmo (please contact me via email to somuchpingle@gmail.com).

So this week’s show features another one of those rambling around-the-room discussions that I occasionally capture. And one was recorded this past June, in Mexico City. To be more precise, in a hotel next to the airport in Mexico City, and I had to do some fancy filtering to remove most of the sounds of jet engines taking off and landing. This was at the tail end of a herping adventure in Puebla and Veracruz, mostly Veracruz, and about half of our group had already flown home and the rest of us were waiting our turns. This was a long trip, two full weeks plus travel days, and everyone was very tired when I turned on the recorder. So you can tell from the show’s opening minutes that the energy level in the room was lower than low, but as the discussion progressed you can hear folks getting a little more animated about the subject material and their brains were getting fully engaged, just proving that many of us are never too tired to talk about rattlesnakes.

I want to thank Mack, Andy, John, Bryan, Tim, Armin, Andrew, Pat, and Max for pulling themselves up on one elbow and joining in the discussion.  And as always, thanks for listening everyone!  Please keep the comments and suggestions coming, and please take time to rate the show on your podcast platform! The show email is somuchpingle@gmail.com, and there’s also a So Much Pingle group on Facebook, for discussion, comments, feedback, suggestions, herp confessions, tips for herping better, etc.

Cheers!  Mike

 


Episode 48: Sidenecks and Placental Lizards with Dr. James Van Dyke



Hello everyone and welcome to Episode Forty Eight!  I hope you all remain safe and healthy out there.  We’re edging towards fall here and that means that a trip to southern Illinois is looming – time for another visit to Snake Road, to visit with friends and walk the road and maybe see a serpent or twenty.  I’m looking forward to it as I always do.

SMP Patrons!  I want to thank our latest Patreon member, Pearson McGovern!  Thank you so much for supporting the show, Pearson!  I also want to thank Tom Eles for his recent one-time PayPal contribution. Much appreciated, Pearson and Tom, nd thanks as always to all of the folks who help keep the show going. And folks, if you like the show, please consider supporting it via the So Much Pingle Patreon page. You can also support the show via one-time contributions via PayPal or Venmo (please contact me via email to somuchpingle@gmail.com).

For this week’s episode, we return you to the continent of Australia, and Dr. James Van Dyke is our guest. Van as he likes to be called, is a Senior Lecturer in Biomedical Sciences at La Trobe University’s Wodonga Campus, in Victoria, Australia (Van’s professional page is here). Now some of you may remember Van from the old Field Herp Forum where his handle was VanAR. As Dr. Van Dyke he has been living, working, and studying in Australia since 2012, and he’s been involved with a number of very interesting projects, and I talked with him about sideneck turtles and placental lizards and a few other interesting topics.

Areas of interest connected to Van’s work with sideneck include the TurtleSat Community Mapping Project, off to a great start with over 10K turtles mapped to date, and the One Million Turtles community conservation program which seeks to involve local communities in releasing a million baby turtles into Southeast Australian river drainages each year.

Thanks Van for coming on the show!  It’s cool that we could have a conversation from opposite sides of the planet, and hopefully the world will get better soon and travel becomes a possibility again.  And thanks for listening everyone!  And as always, please keep the comments and suggestions coming, and please take time to rate the show on your podcast platform! The show email is somuchpingle@gmail.com, and there’s also a So Much Pingle group on Facebook, for discussion, comments, feedback, suggestions, herp confessions, how to tell if you are a placental lizard, tips for herping better, etc.

Cheers!  Mike