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 #1305098


73charger
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 Elementary teacher looking for horned toads for classroom and home.

I am an elementary teacher in Oklahoma. When I was younger, we used to find these little guys by the hundreds on our playgrounds. Now I can not remember the last time I saw one in the wild. Several years ago, a student ordered several horned toads and was gracious enough to let me set up a habitat in my classroom of 2nd graders so we could observe and learn about these wonderful yet disappearing animals of Oklahoma. We had them all year and they were the hit of the school! I have changed schools and I am looking for several horned toads to have here in my home for my own boys to learn about and appreciate. I had such a great time learning about them and even having the ants was pretty neat. I had a student with emotional problems and the ants and the horny toads where the only things that could calm him.
If you know where I might purchase some horned toads all information would be much appreciated. I donít remember exactly where these horned toads came from but Iím thinking New Mexico or Arizona. All and any information is appreciated. Itís nice to know there are others that think these guys are pretty cool. My mom didnít think it was too cool when I would bring home 4 or 5 young ones in an old milk carton from school! She always made me let them go in her garden. Such fun memories and appreciation I would like to pass on to other children.



06/04/07  12:29am

 #1305625


Phrynosoma_Texas_FS3
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  Message To: 73charger   In reference to Message Id: 1305098


 Elementary teacher looking for horned toads for classroom and home.

What town do you teach at? Iím in Wichita Falls, Tx.

They can still be found in OK, ( P. cornutum ) though they are protected and you need a display permit for educational purposes. Besides I donít recommend this kind of setup for a classroom full of kids. It highly stresses the lizards. P. platyrhinos are the most common sold and are found in Az. Nev. Ca. etc. You had better do your research though as they are not the type I would classify as great for beginners to reptiles. They typically do not do well in captivity without several key conditions being in place, and they do not make a good childís pet. Read the caresheet I have posted in the caresheet section or down the page in this forum.



06/04/07  02:41pm

 #1306549


73charger
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  Message To: Phrynosoma_Texas_FS3   In reference to Message Id: 1305625


 Elementary teacher looking for horned toads for classroom and home.

When I had the lizards, I taught in a small school outside of OKC. I too agree they are not conducive to a classroom setup. I tried to have the type of setup the "breeder" suggested. I had them in a temp. controlled environment with the right type of lizard litter and rocks and a temp. rock with a lamp. They were set in an area where the children where not allowed without me being present and then only a few at a time. I had the red ants sent to my home and then I brought them to set up another aquarium, which was also very interesting. Do you know why they would not ship a queen? Just a curious question.
Yes, after I called the OKC Zoo for information on a habitat and feeding, I found out these little guys are protected and I was informed I needed the permit. I got the feeling they were not very happy with me. I was so excited to see these lizards again! I looked forward to coming into my classroom every morning and trying to see where they had buried themselves. I didnít realize they did that at night and the first time I came into my classroom to find what I thought was an empty aquarium I just about cried! Upon further investigation into the habitat, I could see their tails sticking up. Talk about relief! Unfortunately, as you said, they did not do very well. I kept them for several months then they just seemed to go down hill. I felt to bad I gave them back to the student to take home and later learned they had died. Iím not sure what happened, but I felt so bad!
I now live in Sulphur and have a lizard catching cat that loves to bring them through the doggie door to my bathroom! Unfortunately most of them are missing part of their tail but are usually still alive. I just have my husband put them back outside and hope for the best. Would you know what type of lizards these might be? I have ruled out the idea of horny toads because I do have such fond memories of them and would love to see them back in the wild again. What type lizard would you recommend as a pet? My husband seems to think the unfortunate lizards that run into our cat are a "whiptail" lizard. The one we had recently was very pretty with a light belly with dark green stripes with a little yellow. I could not tell if it was a true "whiptail" since most of it was gone. Would these type lizards make good pets? They are so fast Iím surprised the cat could even catch it.
Any information on a good type of lizard would help. I assure you, my days of captive horny toads are over. Iíll leave it up to those that are truly knowledgeable and capable. Thanks!



06/05/07  04:05am

 #1307898


Fred Jones
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  Message To: 73charger   In reference to Message Id: 1306549


 Elementary teacher looking for horned toads for classroom and home.

Say Charger,

Iím confused: On 6/4 you are both trying to find a horned lizard(s), but in your second post you state that you will never have them again.

I find your stories very interesting, and even moving ! What do you want to do ? Theyíd have to be protected from that cat !

Iím rough camping near Deming, New Mexico while rockhounding and have been on rapid learning process about lizards for about the past five weeks. You might be interested, and hopefully amused, as well as informed by the several posts Iíve done under Collard lizards.

It so happens that I caught two horned lizards yesterday close to/on Fluorite Ridge which is a little north of Deming. The first is an adult and the second is a tiny baby that must be almost brand new. It got late yesterday before we got back to camp so I just put them to bed in a separate cage from my Collared Lizaaards. I feared they might be natural enemies and my Geico and Geicetta were asleep and donít wake up easily.

Today was soon enough for introduction. No problem and we all had a good time. All four enjoyed "The Resort".

Based on what Iíve read, I feel I will need to let these two go. I donít think I can care properly for their special needs and really donít even dare try. I have too much to do to begin an ant colony and I verified by examining "Horneyís" stool today, that the content is all ants. (FYI the white urine "capsule" was tiny and seemed to be bone dry. Itís amazing how well desert lizards (and other animals, even including ourselves) are able to preserve water.

I named the tiny baby "Spike" though it really only has little bumps where horns and "fake cactus needles" will grow. Very interesting different protective coloration. "He" looks like a small stone. I presume the beautiful coloring and "spines" will develop as he grows.

What have you decided to do ? You can communicate directly with me via .Com (Fredís Nature Focus, which is really supposed to be about rocks).

Weíd have to be sure we would be clear with legalities, but based on Phrynosoma_Texas_FS3ís information about different species, perhaps itís OK for you to have a horned lizard from southwest New Mexico. Also, if the Oklahoma law specifies "Horned Toad", Iíd argue that the law doesnít apply. Thereís no such thing as a horned toad, at least not in the US.

I havenít checked about NM law because I really donít feel I can keep these two for more than a few days. Especially not the baby. However that little baby will almost certainly be eaten in the wild.

I found and put an open screen cage by an ant hill today, hoping the "toads" would eat some, but it didnít work out. I chose the wrong type of ant. The only thing that gotten was me. I got two very painful ant bites; far worse than the Louisiana fire ants that Iím all too familiar with.

Also based on that stool examination, I wonder whether the "toads" may require a special species of ant. They were all very small ants and there were a LOT of them. I donít know how I could feed the hornies and I wouldnít dare let the baby go without eating for very long.

The two "toads" have been quite photogenic, even including the stool. Hopefully the camera focus is on the "toads" and not the beautiful New Mexico scenery, which should be blurred, but still stunning I expect/hope. The pictures are 5 mega pixel, so if youíd like to see, Iíll need to reduce the image dimensions to send them to you. Not a big problem, just something else to do.

Transportation arrangements ? I donít know of any good ideas other than automobile where they would be treated gently and their temperatures guarded(traveling along with my two Collard Lizaaards). I hope to head back to NYS fairly soon, but my preferred route does not go through Oklahoma, where Iíve never been. My preference is to head northwest to Utah to buy some Dino coprolite before I begin to head east via I-70 through Colorado. However, itís a much longer route and I may not have time to go that way. Else I would take I-40 --> I-44 which does go through Oklahoma.

Your thoughts ?



06/06/07  06:03am

 #1308159


Phrynosoma_Texas_FS3
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  Message To: 73charger   In reference to Message Id: 1306549


 Elementary teacher looking for horned toads for classroom and home.

The lizards you are finding in La. may be Anoles. Maybe a species of fence ( or swift ) lizard. Iíd need a picture to be for sure. Horned Lizards are not really known to inhabit La. anymore. They used to. But, they are presumed extinct there now by most range maps, though there may be a "land of the lost" area somewhere in the northwestern part.

The pictures you posted didnít come up.

The wild ones will probably not make good pets as they have already been brought up in the wild and will not settle down much. Petco or Petsmart sells captive bred Geckos and I would recommend a Leopard Gecko over a Horned Lizard any day for a beginner. An Anole maybe, but it would require a specialized UVB lamp becuase it is a day dwelling lizard.

Horned Lizards do go down hill very fast. Most do not survive more than a few months in captivity if you donít know a lot about them, and thatís what I always tell people in these forums. I already had many years with snakes, turtles, and lizards under my belt before I ended up with the first Horned Lizard that some little girl dropped on me that she caught. Even I was playing catchup, and thatís a bad way to get into Horned Lizards. Not all species are protected. It depends on the species and the state. The oneís you kept before were probably Desert Horned Lizards, which are legal in Nev. where most come from.



06/06/07  12:23pm

 #1308199


Phrynosoma_Texas_FS3
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  Message To: Fred Jones   In reference to Message Id: 1307898


 Elementary teacher looking for horned toads for classroom and home.

Fred,
The small one that looks like a rock is almost surely a P. modestum ( Roundtailed Horned Lizard ). They are kinda greyish or slate in coloration, have rounded tails, shorter horns than most, are relatively small compared to other Horned Lizards, and they curl up to memic a rock when threatened.

Biota Information System Of New Mexico "BISON"

030065 Roundtail Horned Lizard Phrynosoma modestum
Status Code Status Translation

208 State NM: Provides full protection

http://www.bison-m.org/reports.aspx?&rtype=13&status=í201í,í202í,í203í,í206í,í207í,í208í,í210í,í211í,í225í&sortorder=commonname-d
http://www.bison-m.org/databasequery.aspx

All species of Horned Lizards are protected in NM except P. solare, but Iím not sure if you are required to have a hunting permit for them. Collareds have limited protection. Not sure exactly where that stands.

The ants that "stung" you, and that were worse than fireants, are Pogonomyrmex ( harvester ants ). They are the right genus of ants for most Horned Lizards, and P. modestum may eat some, but they are also known to be picky and have a preference for Honeypot ants. And they require A LOT of them. So I wouldnít be too quick to consider it unless you can provide them a constant source, or it will be like trying to get a Panda or Koala to eat an alternative diet. Wild captured Horned Lizards will typically stress and refuse to eat too. Modestum small juveniles will not partake much of larger ants anyway when they are young and small. Those harvesters have been known to give lethal venom dose to big lab rats with as little as 12 stings.

In state laws the lizards may be referred to in common language as "Horned Toad", but the scientific name is always given, especially in the corresponding game statute.








06/06/07  12:53pm

 #1308208


Phrynosoma_Texas_FS3
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  Message To: 73charger   In reference to Message Id: 1306549


 Elementary teacher looking for horned toads for classroom and home.

Oh, I forgot to answer your question:

Queens are typically not shipped for several reasons; I sell these ants to Horned Lizard owners so I know...

Number 1- they are technically against postal regulation to ship a queen insect of any type to an area they are not native, or through the mail period..unless you have a special scientific reason ( like you are an entemologist ).

Number 2- of the few sellers of harvester ants there are, most do not consider it "good business" to sell the queens, when the queens is what brings the business. Itís economics, just like Coke canít give you their formula.

Another good reason is that it would take you SEVERAL captive colonies to support a Horned Lizard, because just as Fred has indicated, analysis of their scat ( droppings ) reveals they will devestate a single ant farm in no time flat. My 9 Horned Lizards eat probably a combined 600-800 ants a day, so I stay very very busy gathering ants. I gave up tryng to colonize ants over the winter because the queens are also very picky and will not reproduce in suitable numbers unless many conditions are maintained. In the wild if predation on any one colony is too heavy, the queen will up and move her colony. Wild Horned Lizards move around to different colonies in the area that are available too.



06/06/07  01:04pm

 #1309044


73charger
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  Message To: Fred Jones   In reference to Message Id: 1307898


 Elementary teacher looking for horned toads for classroom and home.

Fred,
I know my last post was confusing, even to me as I re-read it. What it comes down to is Iím not experienced enough with raising these disappearing guys. I have such fond memories of being in elementary school and at that time, every morning we would all be on the playground to do the flag salute and jumping jacks. Now, here in southern Ok., the playground consisted of dirt and gravel, not anything like the playgrounds of today! Also, there was absolutely NO shade, sun, sun, sun! Perfect for horny toads, as we called them, to bask in. I can remember while we were "supposed" to be "exercising" I was busy catching horny toads and stuffing them in my pockets to give to my friends who were not fast enough to catch one! Iím not joking when I say they were EVERYWHERE!! Iím the youngest of 3 and there were just as many during the time my sisters were in elementary school. You can imagine how hard it was to pay attention with little horny toads in my pockets! At lunch, we would drink our milk and open the carton up all the way, wash it out in the bathroom and hit the playground for more horny toads and finally get those others out of my pockets! If I had a nickle for every horny toad I caught I could have a small fortune. I actually came back and taught 3rd grade at my elementary school and was so shocked and so saddened to realize there where no more horny toads! Itís like when you realize you have grown up and become an actual "grown up". No more kid stuff. I remember going to my moms and telling her how sad I was there were no more horny toads at the school. She was not as sad as I was, probably because she knew if there had been horny toads I would be bringing them home in washed out milk cartons. Off the subject, sort of, do they really spit blood out of there eyes or is that just something we made up kind of like "bloody Mary" in the bathroom with the light out? I have always heard they spit blood but have never seen it.
Plus.....the cat is an issue. I have had this cat for only about a year and I found her in the park as a kitten. Her name is "Aqua" because every time I turned on the water to run a bath or brush my teeth, she would come running! I can only think it is because I found her near running water or maybe she is just crazy. She has always brought "gifts" to my bathroom. I have been woken up in the middle of the night with locus flying around in my room, huge moths flapping around, (which by the way, I am terrified by moths) baby copperhead snakes in the bathroom, to tail-less lizards IN my shoes.
I do want some sort of lizard because I have always found them beautiful and in many ways prehistoric. I have dino fossils and lots of arrow heads as well. Where was I? Okay now I remember, I would like to have the horny toads but Iím not willing to watch them die just for my attempt at re-living what was one of few great memories of growing up. Does that make sense? Plus, I also believe if we leave alone what is naturally supposed to be wild, hopefully they could make some remarkable come back and some other little girl with fast hands will be catching them by the dozens on a playground somewhere. Gosh, wasnít that corny? But true.
Some people like box turtles, but honestly they are kind of boring to me. Not enough action to keep me interested. Iíll check out what type of lizards are at the local pet stores and see what I can come up with. Or maybe, Iíll just keep being surprised and sometimes creeped out by what Aqua brings me.
By the way, what is "rockhounding"?
Thoughts?



06/07/07  12:43am

 #1309143


Phrynosoma_Texas_FS3
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  Message To: 73charger   In reference to Message Id: 1309044


 Elementary teacher looking for horned toads for classroom and home.

Yes, most Horned Lizards DO squirt blood when threatened. Though they are usually docile towards people and do not always do this. It is a predator specific defense that they usually do toward dogs, cats, and coyotes, etc. The blood has a foul taste to these animals and they will usually try to rub their snouts in the grass to get the blood out of their mouth. Meanwhile, the lizard scurries away to safety.

I removed two Texas Horned Lizards ( the kind that were common in Ok. ) last year from an area where 2 roadrunners were living nearby among the cacti of someones yard. The person had stated that there used to be several Horned Lizards living in his yard, but that the roadrunners were kiling them. He couldnít bring himself to kill the roadrunners though. A juvenile female Horned Lizard I picked up, squirted blood on my hand. She was very jumpy!

I would have to disagree with you about box turtles though. I have 8 of them. They are every intelligent. Chelonia ( turtles and tortoises ) are some of the most intelligent reptiles there are. Tortoises rival the intelligence of dogs in some cases. I love Horned Lizards, but my box turtles are far smarter and a few even do tricks here and ther for food. They will stand on their hind legs to reach a treat, and my youngest male can actually tell the difference between colored food containers. He remembers which container I last fed him from, whether it has worms in it or not. Another female of mine, who is about 20 years old or so, knows in what corner of her enclosure I put her food. After her bath she always goes and waits in that corner for her bowl. The others will look you right in the face and come to you for food. They are great, but require activity and problems to work out to be stimulated.

A gecko is a good place to start in lizards, and they do not require nearly as much attention as a Horned Lizard. And the initial setup cost is cheaper since they donít require UVB lights. AFter you become familiar with lizards though, a Horned Lizard is not out of the question, and I would recommend A Desert Horned Lizard in that case, as they are more aboundant and pretty docile in captivity. You just have to be dedicated to giving them a lot of ants and realize that you kinda have to become your own expert because there are almost no vets out there who know anything about them. Hence, I now do my own vet care.

If you are interested there is a Horned Lizard conservation society meeting/seminar in Ft. Worth next month. It will include a tour of the Ft. Worth zooís captive Texas Horned Lizard breeding program. They are attempting to find ways to repopulate them to the wild. I have been interested in doing this work as well. You can look at my profile too, as I have a weblink to my site which has the information on this event next month.



06/07/07  03:14am

 #1309182


73charger
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  Message To: Phrynosoma_Texas_FS3   In reference to Message Id: 1309143


 Elementary teacher looking for horned toads for classroom and home.

I over stepped my bounds when I said I thought box turtles were boring. I actually like turtles and every chance I get, I try to rescue them from becoming "road squash". I just never really thought or knew they were very intelligent. When I was a little girl, I befriended an elderly lady that lived across the street. she had a great garden and lots of fun stories. Every summer I spent most of my days with her. Living in such a small town, everyone knows everyone and I guess most knew me since my dad was the high school principal. During the summer our town would have a 4th of July parade and several activities during the day, one being a turtle race. The mailman on our route was always on the lookout for box turtles and when ever he found one in the road, he would get it and put it in a box he always carried and bring them to me. Needless to say, I never won the turtle race. I kept putting the turtles in my "special spot" of my elderly friends garden. I always wondered why my strawberry patch never got very big and most of the strawberries had very strange triangle bites taken out of them. It was a great mystery that my friend of 80 yrs. never let on about. We came up with all sorts of reasons those marks where on my strawberries. None of which included all the "saved" turtles.
Where I am from, we do have alligator snapping turtles, which unless you have a fondness for ugly smelly moss covered long sharp clawed turtles that hiss when they happen to get caught on a jug line meant for catfish, are disgusting creatures! I understand these are also a dying breed but I find no strong attachment to them. Since you seem to like most turtles, I wonít go into detail what happens to them when they get on my line or I see them sunning on a log in my mothers pond. Same for the red eared slider. I did actually have a tank set up with a small red eared slider in my classroom which was pretty fun. He was only about the size of a half dollar, pretty fun to watch. After that year, I did feel a fondness for him and let him go in a near by lake, not my mothers pond.
Gecko huh? Like the commercial? Just kidding! Do they have those suction cup feet? When I think of them, I think of a wet habitat. Would that be what they would need? And would I need to get more than one?

The Horned Lizard conservation seminar sounds great! I would feel much better about taking on a horned lizard if I new more that what I do. I was flying by the seat of my pants on the ones I had and you see how that turned out. I will go to your website and check out the info. Thanks!

Iím sure I sound like an idiot, but I just have such great memories of these horned lizards and I donít want to take on the lizards of my childhood without really giving them a chance.



06/07/07  04:58am

 #1310348


Phrynosoma_Texas_FS3
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  Message To: 73charger   In reference to Message Id: 1309182


 Elementary teacher looking for horned toads for classroom and home.

No, you donít sound like an idiot at all. I enjoy hearing those stories since it wasnít that way when I grew up in the 70s near Houston. My mother told me about how they used to catch them when she was a kid in the 50ís and 60ís. But by the time I grew up there were none of these Horny Toads about like she said they were. I saw one when I was a kid, and didnít know what the heck it was. She ( Iím sure now it was a she because she was big and the females are normally biggest ), was in the road as we rode our bikes down a new road that had just been cut throught the woods, and houses were being built. I got down on all fours to take a closer look and I saw a little blood come out of the corner of her eyes. We got her out of the road and put her in some sand to the side. I realize now that they had destroyed her habitat when they cut through the woods for the road and started laying slabs for houses.

My boxies love strawberries. They just had a container this week. They also love peaches and banana, but too much fruit is bad for them. I caught my young male eating my rocky road ice cream after he stole the lid from my half pint.

I have no particular affection for snapping turtles either. They are ugly and mean, but I canít needlessly kill one. I also rescue, and used to keep diamondback rattlesnakes, so I can have compassion for some when others canít. We just got a rescued baby Red Eared Slider that was washed into a drain at the local prison. The maintenance man brought it in. Since itís just a baby and we arenít sure where it came from, it will be spending some time with us growing before we can release it in a friendly habitat. I used to shoot the turtles in the stock pond on our land when I was younger...the story was that they ate the fish and such, but after experience with reptiles since I have grown, I have learned that they have little harmful effect on the fish. We are keeping the RES turtle with the goldfish and they are not bothered. Occasionally the can catch a minnow or sick fish, but they actually eat back a lot of the plant overgrowth in ponds too, and dine on insects and larvae such as misquitos when they are young. They are more benificial than not in my opinion. It is the snappers that eat you big fish.

The habitat for a gecko depends on where it comes from. The Leopards come from the arid and desert like areas of Afghanistan & Pakistan. We have two. They live on sand substrate just like my Horned Lizards. We also have a rescued baby House Gecko from Asia, and it is kept in a humid environment with moss.



06/08/07  01:51am

 #1481694


Ladyclink
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  Message To: 73charger   In reference to Message Id: 1305098


 Elementary teacher looking for horned toads for classroom and home.

Horned lizards almost always die in captivity. They are not recommended as pets. ladyclink



10/17/07  05:05pm

 #1771168


Doug2
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  Message To: Ladyclink   In reference to Message Id: 1481694


 Elementary teacher looking for horned toads for classroom and home.

for a pet lizard I would recommend a bearded dragon



06/23/08  08:19pm

 #1794405


Laxkeep
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  Message To: 73charger   In reference to Message Id: 1305098


 Elementary teacher looking for horned toads for classroom and home.

hey where ya from in oklahoma



07/14/08  12:44am

 #2268613


Reptilehandlertyrell
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  Message To: 73charger   In reference to Message Id: 1305098


 Elementary teacher looking for horned toads for classroom and home.

You can find hornd toads in atoka Oklahoma its like a hour from sulfur I have a lot of land there and the next time I come to atoka ill let you know so you can find one. And also its unlawful to buy or sell horned toads and as you knoe you half to have a permit to keep one. If you need help getting one let me know



06/02/12  09:53pm

 #2283681


WFReptileRescue
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  Message To: Reptilehandlertyrell   In reference to Message Id: 2268613


 Elementary teacher looking for horned toads for classroom and home.

Just having the endangered species permit to possess them, does not legally authorize you to COLLECT from the wild. Only scientific or zoological permits are allowed to do that to my knowledge, and you aren’t going to get one of those unless you are an accredited academic institution or a zoo.



10/24/12  12:55am


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