Joined: Feb 20, 2018 Last Active: Jan 20, 2019

"In the womb... we are blind cave fish." - Poem by the great Jim Morrison, iconic lead singer/lyricist of the Doors, 1969

This month's profile photo is of me and the lovely and gracious "Lizard Lady", Janie Barbato, who was kind enough to show everybody's favorite Herpetologist (my life-long bud, Gerry Salmon) and I (NOT "everybody's favorite Herpetologist" - not by a long shot! haha!) around some of the introduced/exotic Lizard "hot spots" in Martin County, Florida last week. Let me tell ya, she has eyes like a hawk for spotting herps - she can zero in on an Agama at 100 yards! Who needs "Wonder Woman", when Florida has its very own "herp heroine" - the one-and-only "@agama-girl"! : )

Peace, everybody -

I'm an "Old School" disabled/retired/Field Herpetologist/Wildlife Biologist/Certified Wetlands Delineator/Tropical Greenhouse and Nursery Grower/Manager - "Ex" Garbage Man/Bar Bouncer/Body Piercing Artist/Instructor, Competitive Weightlifter, and "wannabe" Rock Vocalist - (yeah, all that... truth IS stranger than fiction, haha!) based in Central New Jersey, with more than 35 years experience (sometimes affectionately referred to as the "Unprofessional Professional" by some of my more humorous colleagues)! I'm also an accomplished captive breeder, with the successful reproduction of well over 100 species/ssp. of reptiles, amphibians, small mammals, and invertebrates to my credit. People/friends have called me "Fingers" since Junior High School, because my real last name is strangely spelled, and can be hard to pronounce!
I have participated in biological surveys employed as a staff herpetologist for environmental consulting firms and government agencies throughout the United States, and have co-authored, been acknowledged in, and/or have otherwise contributed to dozens of scientific papers and books relating to North American herpetofauna. I have a particular interest in the herpetology of islands and other such ecologically isolated locales - (especially the North Carolina Outer Banks, Florida Keys, and the Caribbean), in addition to Mexico and Central America, Europe, and the Eastern North American "Pine Barrens" regions. I'm also a big fan of Silk Moths, Cockroaches/unusual Insects, Arachnids, Centipedes, Land Snails, Rodents, Carnivorous Plants, Bromeliads, Medicinal Herbs, the small/uncommon Rattlesnake species, and Fossils - so it looks like I'll have plenty of ID'ing to keep me busy (and a real odd mix in my "Favorites" file)! I love Birds - but I don't "do" them. They are like my "Kryptonite" identification-wise, haha! I get a kick out of researching the meanings behind Latin names, and have gotten pretty good at deciphering them over the years. This month's segment of "Latin Names Explained", brought to you by your friends at "FING" (Fingers' Imaginary Nomenclatural Group!) is on the Cottonmouth, - Agkistrodon piscivorus. "Agkistro" (Greek/"ankistro") = fish hook, and "don" = tooth. "Piscivorus" = "pisci" = fish, and "vorus" = to feed upon, or devour. Run it all together, and you have the rough translation - "Fish-hook toothed fish eater" !!!
Amusing, descriptive, and fascinating to know - (at least for me)!
I have an intense love and respect for all creatures put on this Earth by the Gods and Goddesses, and wish to learn and share as much knowledge of them as I can.
I am proud to now count myself among the passionate and talented individuals of iNaturalist.
Blessed Be!

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