Herpetoculture Defined

4 Apr

The term of herpetoculture was one that is associated with someone that we (the writers) have ever had the pleasure of meeting.  He is to say the least a very well known and respected man that has been responsible for many of the introductions of new reptile pet species to the United States and abroad.  Philippe de Vosjoli has been involved in one way or another with the reptile industry from what I can ascertain for more than four decades.  In that time, he has written and published too many books and articles to count.I can’t specify when I had first read the word Herpetoculture but I remember it distinctly enough because throughout my personal daily life people would sometimes ask if I was a Herpetologist and I would invariably answer that I was not.  This is because in order to be classified as a herpetologist in the traditional sense means spending large amounts of money and time in college.  Neither of which I had at the time nor do I now.  It was one day while reading a magazine article on one species or the other that I came across the word and thought to myself how interesting it was.

After a couple tries at researching the term online, I discovered a site that defined it as the “art” of keeping reptiles and amphibians in enclosures, which were designed to replicate their natural environment in the wild.  That of course is not the exact definition of what I had read but I think you get the gist of what I am trying to get across.  Almost three years later, I adopted a Red Tailed Boa Boa constrictor I immediately went to the store before picking the animal up to refresh my knowledge of the species.  I of course found The Boa Constrictor Manual by Philippe de Vosjoli, Roger Klingenberg DVM, and Jeff Ronne.

It was published by Advanced Vivarium Systems which was Philippe’s’ publishing venture and I read (devoured) the book in one sitting.  Once again, as it always seems to be with Mr. de Vosjoli he reminds us that observation and recreating a naturalistic environment for our chosen reptiles is not required but does reveal much more than just the typical “sterile” environment used by many reptile breeders today.  He also reminds us that the first reason for owning a reptile is because we enjoy them and they “enrich your life”.  We couldn’t agree more with this philosophy of reptile keeping or pet keeping in general.

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