This posting is from a recent email we received:

“One of my students has seen you at our school for an assembly and wanted to include info about you and your reptiles in the magazine he is creating as a classroom project –  He would be thrilled to hear from you.”

My Interview with Reptiles Alive Director Caroline Seitz

Q: What is the most common reptile in Virginia ?

A:Hmmm, that is a tough question.  Black racer snakes, black rat snakes, garter snakes, ringneck snakes, brown snakes, worm snakes, and northern water snakes are all very common.  Also, snapping turtles, painted turtles, and five lined skink lizards too.

Q: What do you like more, lizards or snakes?

A:  I love them both!

Q: What habitat do most reptiles live in?

A:  You can find reptiles every where on Earth except Antarctica and Ireland.  They live in forests, deserts, gasslands, and wetlands.  Even in the ocean.  It is hard to say where “most” reptiles live.

Q: What is the most deadliest lizard?

A:  There are reports of Komodo monitor lizards, Gila monster and beaded lizards killing people after they were bitten.  However, the reports are very few and very hard to verify – so in general, I think that lizards are not very deadly.

Q: What is the most deadliest snake?

A:  Many Australian snakes, like the taipan and brown snake, are highly venomous.  The African puff adder and Indian Russell’s viper probably kill the most people, however, because they live in areas where there are lots of people who walk in bare feet and there is not very good medical care.

Q: What is your favorite reptile?

A:  I love them all!

Q: What do you feed most of your reptiles?

A:  Our insectivores eat live crickets, giant mealworms, giant cockroaches and earth worms.  Our herbivores mostly eat home grown veggies like dandelions, collard greens, kale, bok choy, and more.  Our carnivores eat mostly frozen and then defrosted mice and rats.

Q: How many reptiles can you think of?

A:There are about:  27 kinds of crocodilians, 900 kinds of turtles, 6000 lizards, 3000 snakes, 2 tuataras, and maybe 10 amphisbeanians.

Q: How many reptiles do you personally own?

A: I personally own one cat named Mr. Shadow Kitty Berrow.

Q: What is the most rarest reptile in Virginia?

A: Maybe the Northern Pine Snake.