Creature Feature: Cope’s Gray Treefrog

Cope’s Gray Treefrog

Hyla chrysoscelis


Reptiles Alive name
: “Hyla”

Hissstory: Hyla was an unwanted pet sent to live with us in March of 2010.

RA Diet: Crickets and meal worms.

Natural Diet
: insects.

Range: Gray tree frogs are found throughout the eastern United States north into Canada.  They are native to the Washington DC area.

Habitat: Forests, backyards, and urban parks.

Size: Gray tree frogs grow to about 1.25-2 inches, the record is 2 and 3/8 inches.

Lifespan: Can live 5 + years.

Reproduction: Males gray tree frogs begin to call in mid to late Spring.  They form large groups called choruses. Their song is a flute like trill, a bit like a telephone. They breed March – October. Eggs are laid in water – usually ditches or puddles that form in the spring and dry up in the summer.

Conservation: Threats to gray tree frogs include:  air & water pollution and habitat destruction.  They require access to clean pools of water each spring in order to reproduce.  If the pools of water are gone or polluted, the population of tree frogs in that area will disappear.

Cool Facts:  Gray tree frogs have remarkable camouflage – they become almost invisible as they perch in the trees where they live.  They can also change their skin color from a dark gray to almost white to a light green.  If frightened, however, they flash bright gold on their thighs as they leap which may startle a predator.

Tree frogs also have suction cups on their hands and feet that allow them to stick to almost any surface.  You might find a gray tree frog stuck to the outside of the  glass window looking into your bedroom!

Creature Feature : Bearded Dragon

Bearded Dragon

Pogona vitticeps

Reptiles Alive name: “Mr. Beardie”beardieportrait

Hissstory: Mr. Beardie was an unwanted pet that came to live with us in 2006.

RA Diet: Mr. Beardie likes to eat: crickets, super worms, roaches, dead mice, greens, fruits and dry food made for bearded dragons.

Natural Diet: Bearded dragons are omnivores – so they eat both meat and plants.  Insects, small animals, greens, fruits, and flowers are all part of their diet in the wild.

Range: Central Australia.

Habitat: Bearded dragons live in the “Outback” – desert and open woodland where they bask on branches and rocks.

Size: Bearded dragons are medium sized lizards that can grow to 16 – 22 inches long.

Lifespan: Bearded dragons can live over 10 years.

Reproduction: Female bearded dragons lay 11-30 oval eggs in a shallow nest dug in the sand. The babies will hatch about two months later.

Conservation: Australia has banned the exportation of its native wildlife for the pet trade, so any bearded dragons sold as pets in the United States have been captively bred here.

Cool Facts: When threatened, bearded dragons puff out their spiky bodies and throat so they become bigger and spikier!  Predators will usually avoid the sore throat they would get from swallowing such a prickly meal.

Reptiles Alive LLC 2010 Annual Wildlife Exhibitor Report

We have been very busy performing shows at:  schools, birthday parties, scout meetings, libraries, summer camps, parks, nature centers, festival, fairs, shopping centers, senior centers, toy stores, and all kinds of other special events.  Between September 30, 2009 through October 1, 2010  we performed a total of 792 programs for approximately 61, 100 people of all ages.

A new show, “Wetlands Alive!”, was introduced this summer.  Our Wildlife Educator Rachel Walker produced the new show which introduces audiences to the importance of wetlands and features some really cool animals including an alligator, water monitor lizard, snapping turtle and more.  This show is now being offered as a school assembly, scout show or library show.  The teacher’s guide to “Wetlands Alive!” should be finished soon, and we will post it on our site.

In addition to performing shows, we provided help to injured wildlife and abandoned exotic pets.  Box turtles hit by cars, snakes caught on glue traps, and a stray albino Burmese python found in a park in Fairfax City are just some of the animals we were able to help this year.

We also provided advice and assistance to local animal shelters, animal control agencies and the public with reptile related issues.  A large collection of exotic snakes was turned in at a local animal shelter and two Reptiles Alive staff people worked with the shelter staff to make sure each animal was housed and cared for properly until it could be adopted or transferred to a reptile rescue group.

There have been a few new additions to the team at Reptiles Alive.  Brad Pratt is our new Wildlife Educator and Lead Animal Keeper.  We also now have Amaya Perez who is both an Animal Keeper and a graphic designer for us.  Our new iguana t-shirts, postcards, show posters and other designs are created by Amaya.  You can check out many of her designs at our new online store.

The animal collection went through a few changes this year as well.  Sadly, a few of our older animals died this year including our:  Eastern glass lizard, tokay gecko, and both of our marine toads.  New animals we accepted into the collection included a:  crested gecko, white lined gecko, and a young iguana we named “Juan Amigo.”

2010 Reptiles Alive Animal Inventory

African Spurred Tortoise 1 Geochelone sulcata
American Alligator 2 Alligator missipiensis
American Toad 2 Bufo americanus americanus
Ball Python 1 Python regius
Bearded Dragon 1 Pogona vitticeps
Black Rat Snake 1 Elaphe obsoleta obsoleta
Blue Tongue Skink 2 Teliqua scincoides
Boa Constrictor 2 Boa constrictor constrictor
Bull Frog 2 Rana catesbeiana
Bull Snake 1 Pituophis melanoleucus
Burmese Python 3 Python molurus bivittatus
California King Snake 2 Lampropeltis getula californiae
Central Asian Tortoise 1 Testudo horsefieldi
Cope’s Gray Treefrog 3 Hyla chrysoscelis
Crested Gecko 1 Rhacodactylus ciliatus
Corn Snake 1 Elaphe guttata guttata
Earthworm 25+ Eisenia fetida
Eastern Box Turtle 1 Terrapene carolina carolina
Eastern Snapping Turtle 1 Chelydra serpentina serpentina
Garden Slug 5 Limax maximus
Green Iguana 2 Iguana iguana
Haitian Brown Tarantula 1 Phormictophis cancerides
Haitian Cockroach 25 + Blaberus sp.
Honduran Milk Snake 2 Lampropeltis triangulum hondurensis
House Cricket 1000 Acheta domestica
Kenyan Sand Boa 1 Eryx colubrinus loveridgei
Leopard Gecko 1 Eublepharis macularius
Leopard Tortoise 1 Geochelone pardalis
Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches 25+ Gromphadorina portentosa
Malagasy Giant Hognose Snake 1 Leioheterodon madagascarensis
Mealworm 1000 Tenebrio molitar
Mexican Red Leg Tarantula 1 Aphonopelum bicoloratum
Nelson’s Milksnake 1 Lampropeltis triangulum nelsonii
Nile Monitor Lizard 1 Varanus niloticus
Prehensile-tailed Skink 1 Corucia zebrata
Schneider’s Skink 1 Eumeces schneideri
Spiny Softshell Turtle 1 Apalone spinifera
Spotted Salamander 1 Ambystoma maculatum
Spotted Turtle 1 Clemmys guttata
Sudan Plated Lizard 1 Gerrhosaurus major
Tegu Lizard 1 Tupinambis teguixin
Tokay Gecko 1 Gekko gecko
Uromastyx Lizard 1 Uromastyx acanthurus
Water Monitor Lizard 1 Varanus salvator
White Line Gecko 1 Gecko vittatus
Yellow-spotted Amazon River Turtle 1 Podocnemis unifilis

Reptiles Alive! After School Enrichment Program


Snakes, scales, and lizard tails are just a few of the things we are learning about in the Reptiles Alive After School Enrichment Program.

Students love attending our hands-on live animal after school program.  During each class, a professional Reptiles Alive wildlife educator introduces students to different live animals including slimy amphibians, spiky iguanas, grinning alligators, creepy crawlies, laughing lizards and more.  Interesting artifacts such as skeletons, antlers, eggs, and skins are also included in many of the programs.  Story-telling, arts & craft activities, and fun experiments combined with live exotic animals, make this a very popular program.

Activities during our classes include safely touching live snakes, turtles, and lizards and handling skulls, bones, skins and other natural artifacts.  We might: search for animals in a population survey; slip in slime to discover the properties of frog mucus; help train a couple of animals; measure the world’s biggest snake; find out what it’s like to be a zoo keeper; start a nature journal; and more!

Our after school classes are great for grades k-3 or 3-6.  We have a maximum of 19 students allowed so that each student gets an up close and personal experience.  Schools and PTA’s are booking for the current school year now.  If you are interested in bringing this wildly exciting class to your school this year, please give us a call at 703 560-0257 or send us an email at

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  1. Leesburg Flower & Garden Festival Reptiles Alive Show

    April 21 @ 11:00 am - 11:45 am
  2. Mason Neck State Park Eagle Festival

    May 12 @ 11:15 am - 5:00 pm
We had a great experience with Reptiles Alive for my daughter’s 6th birthday party. Rachel arrived exactly on time, set up quickly, and immediately engaged the group of curious children. We had an impromptu dance party while waiting for last minute guests and Rachel was very accommodating. The children LOVED the show!! And my soon-to-be 11 year old wants them to come for his birthday! I highly recommend Reptiles Alive for your next event!read more

Kelly Maguire

Kelly Maguire

22:57 12 Mar 18

We just had Reptiles Alive come to our preschool and the kids loved it!! We had 4 shows over 2 days to accommodate all our children and everything went great! Caroline was very easy to work with and quick to respond to all my emails. She was our presenter too and was early each day and ready to go when the kids arrived. She really geared her show towards our audience (2-5yr olds) and had them laughing and answering her questions and touching the animals. It was perfect… we would definitely book them again!!read more

Lauren Dolinski

Lauren Dolinski

20:47 01 Mar 18

We booked Reptiles Alive for our son’s 7th birthday party. Miss Rachel put on an amazing show for the 20 kids we had over. The highlight was when my son and I had the chance to hold a long and surprisingly heavy boa constrictor named Sunflower. The show was both educational and fun for the kids, and it kept them captivated for a full hour – priceless!!read more

Rick Jandrain

Rick Jandrain

01:53 06 Feb 18

Rachel is an awesome instructor and very good with many kids. The reptiles were fascinating. This was a great birthday party for my daughter and her second grade more

Robert McKeon

Robert McKeon

23:26 26 Feb 18

We invited Reptiles Alive for our birthday party. Ms. Rachel did a wonderful job to educate the kids about the fun facts of Reptiles and also kept them entertained and focused. It’s not a easy job facing a bunch of 7-year-old boys and 3-year-old preschoolers. We highly recommend Reptiles Alive show. It’s fun and full of knowledge!read more

Tianchan Niu

Tianchan Niu

22:09 17 Dec 17