17 Great Instagram Accounts for Herpers

17 Great Instagram Accounts for Herpers


Instagram’s Best Herping Accounts

 

Instagram logo
Instagram logo

Hey Guys!

Are you new to Instagram?  Are you new to Herping?  Are you just looking for some amazing Instagramers to follow?  If you are, you have come to the right place.  As we are nearing the next “herping season” I thought it might be a good idea to post some of the great Instagram accounts I follow.  In this post, I will share with you some of my favorite Herping Instagram accounts.  These accounts are top-notch.  They each bring something great to the table.  In no particular order, here we go…..

17.    johngarrisonphotography

John Garrison

John is a 17y/o photographer from Maryland.  He offers some great shots of Herps and birds.  He has shared his work with HerpersGuide.com and is an account I truly enjoy following.  Be sure to check out John and his work by following his instagram account!  You will not be disappointed.  He also has a YouTube channel and you can get the link from his Instagram Bio.

16.    bill_nye_the_herper_guy

Bill Barham

Bill is a great herper I met this year.  He came down and did some Herping with my wife, kid, and I this past fall.  We had a great time!  Several of the photos on my account in October and November are from the week he spent down my way.  He and I found a lot of herps.  We photographed and released several species in the short time he visited the NC coast.  Bill has managed to do a bit of traveling.  His account has a variety of herps from all over.  Be sure to check out his account.

15.    tkennedyfour

Taylor Kennedy

Taylor is a 19 y/o herper from Canada!  He is now an Ecosystem Management Student.  His account is great!  He offers great reptiles in a very photogenic way.  You should check it out.  Taylor will be working this year on two priorities for Ontario species.  He is targeting the Blue Racer and the Eastern Fox Snake.  HerpersGuide.com will be following close to see what happens this year.  We are hoping to give an update to our Eastern Racer article based on any findings he has this year.  I recommend this account and wish him luck with his Ontario targets this year!!

14.    tx_snakewrangler

Shaun Hayes

This is likely one of my most favorite Instagram accounts of all time!  This guy is an amazing guy who has a very balanced account.  He shares great finds and shares some of his personal pets with us as well.  Shaun was one of the first people I began following on Instagram and was one of the first people to follow me that I didn’t already know!  He would comment and give me strength to keep going.  Without people like him encouraging me, HerpersGuide.com come would likely not exist.  Check out his account!

13.    hawkinsherping

Hawkins Herping

This account, managed by four brothers who all share a passion for Herping.  Their account has some great finds.  These guys have really been a joy for me to follow.  They were one of the first accounts I began following when I became active on Instagram.  I have been a fan ever since.  Their photographs have steadily improved during the time I have followed them.  I look forward to seeing each picture they post.  They have contributed many photographs shared in articles found on this site.  They were a primary contributor on the Rat Snake Feature we are working on.  I strongly recommend following this account!  Check them out and be sure to let them know you found them here on HerpersGuide.com.

12.    aaroncrank

Aaron Crank

Aaron is a Southern Ohio reptile enthusiast who has plans to become a herpetologist.  Looking through his Instagram account, it’s easy to see that passion first hand.  Aaron has some great finds and you can track his work by following his account.  He also has a newly started YouTube channel you can find the link for in his Instagram bio.  Be sure to check him out!

11.    viralography

Kenneth Gisi

There is no way to discribe this account without getting you to visit it first hand.  This account is one of my most favorite.  This account has nothing by high quality photos on it.  To call Kenneth an amazing photographer is an understatement.  Kenneth is well-respected here at HerpersGuide.com.  He has provided many photos for our use.  He provided the feature image for the Eastern Racer article.  This article has become one of the most viewed articles here at HerpersGuide!  I can’t help but think that Kenneth’s racer image is partly responsible for this response.

10.    SXBLUR51

Aaron Short

Aaron Short is from Central Oklahoma.  He has over 1.6k followers and his followers grow every day.  His account consists of snakes, salamanders, lizards, and any other herp that finds its way into his lens.  His account is well-balanced between his love for herpetology and other interest.  You can find the occasional bird of prey or even a shout out to his gal, who he gives credit for getting him into herping and photography.  Aaron Short was HerpersGuide.com January 2015 Featured Herper.

9.     Big_River_Herping

Kaleb

Kalab is the man behind big_river_herping.  At 14 y/o, he is busting out some great stuff.  Kalab is from Northern Illinois and loves his herps!  With his Canon sx170 in hand, Kalab has captured some amazing photographs of some awesome animals.  Turtles, frogs, and snakes make up the majority of his post.  Please be sure to check out this cool kid!

8.     Zacharge

Zach Lim

Zach is a San Francisco native with an interest in herpetology, field herping, fishing and wildlife photography.  When Zach is out herping, he captures his shots with a Canon Rebel T3i.  This guy is the real deal.  The majority of his account consist of, you guessed it, Herps!  Zach does a great job of balancing his Herp shots with the occasional glimpse into his life outside of herping.  He shares images of friends and family, and pictures of his band.  It is just the right balance of mostly herping with a little of Zach outside of that hobby that dominates his account.  He is a must follow.  Zach is a blogger and maintains a tumblr.com account.  You can find the link to his blog on his Instagram profile.  Zach has written for HerpersGuide.com and you can find it Here.

7.     NJHERPER

Emre Cayir

This kid is amazing!  Emre is a field herper from New Jersey.  His account is filled with photos he has taken.  Frogs, Salamanders, Lizards, Turtles, and Snakes, you name it he’s got it.  If you are new to herping or a veteran, his account is a must.  He comes highly recommended by HerpersGuide.com!

6.     Itrains4days

Justin (NoNameKey)

Justin is an amazing photographer and his account will back it up.  His Instagram account is full of Herps, birds, and other nature related shots.  If you are into Herps and need an account to follow, NoNameKey is a must on your list of people you follow.  I have enjoyed his work for some time now.  He has also donated several pictures that are found throughout the articles here at HerpersGuide.com.  Here and here are a couple of articles.  Be sure to check out his work.  He also has a flickr account that is in his profile description.

5.     swamprattler

Nick

This is most defiantly an account worthy of being followed by any herper!  This guy has some great finds and does a great job capturing their beauty in his photographs.  He has a great variety of herps.  You will get great bird shots also.  He is a great herper and his photography will leave you in awe.  You got to see it for your self.  Check out the swamprattler.  He has also contributed to the Copperhead article here on HerpersGuide.com as well. His Copperhead photo became the feature image.

4.     jryanherps

JryanHerps

This 23y/o Oklahoma Herper and all around nature lover will amaze you with his finds and his photography.  The account is full of herps.  I have followed him for some time.  In the beginning, I seen voucher shots of some amazing animals.  I then seen a post were his Christmas present came early and instantly a photographer was born.  His newest shots will amaze you.  This is a must have account on your follow list.

3.     JadedHerper

Josh Young

“Herp Better.”  “Georgia boy who prefers his snakes alive not dead.”  “The only good snake is a live snake.”  “Photographer of nature but mostly herps.”  These are all quotes from his Instagram profile.  His account brings those messages home!  This guy knows his Herps.  I always enjoy checking out what Josh is sharing.  Be sure to follow this guy!

2.     snakemannick

Snakemannick is a 22 y/o field herper with some amazing finds!!  This account features some great reptiles that are photographed nicely.  When you are visiting this account, you cant help but appreciate these amazing animals.  This is a must follow account.  At 3.3k followers, it is clear the rest of the herping community agrees.

1.     kameron_agkistrodon_burgess

This account is off the chain!!  This 22 y/o herper goes by the name of Agkistrodon burgessi, although it’s a funny little scientific name joke, his account is no joke.  This account features some amazing photography of some stellar reptiles.  His account is a combination of both captive bred subjects and those he has found in the field.  This is an account every reptile lover must follow.  Be sure to check it out.

So, like I said before, these accounts are in no particular order.  They each have something to offer to the herping community.  I recommend you check each of them out.  I would also like to point out that I follow many accounts on Instagram and there is no way I could post all the accounts I enjoy on this post.  For all the accounts I follow, check out my “following” list on my personal account at plaxton53.  Thanks for visiting today.  Be sure to leave a comment below with your Instagram account or an account you think others should know about!  Thanks again.

Be kind to each other.  Be kind to the environment.  Always catch and release and, Happy Herping!!

Phillip

HerpMapper

HerpMapper (HM) is a relatively new global herp atlas and data hub project that receives “catch and release” data from the general public, herpers, other citizen scientists, and professionals. HM data are only viewable to county-level to the public, but HerpMapper does make these data freely available to HM Partners – groups that use these recorded observations for research, conservation, and preservation purposes. More more information see our F.A.Q. page.

HerpMapper Wants You!

  • Data contributors
    • Citizen scientists
    • Herpers
    • Professionals
  • Data Partners (view our current list of Partners).
    • National, regional, and local units of government
    • Non-governmental conservation groups
    • Existing herp atlas projects
    • Researchers
    • Other conservation partners
  • Promoters – share our flyer (English, Spanish, Chinese).
    • Website administrators
    • Conservation organizations
    • Herpers and other naturalists

Share with Confidence!

  • Public does not have access to detailed location information (example)
    • County-level only in United States
    • Similar scale for other countries that do not use counties
  • Can choose to completely restrict public access to specific observations
  • Maintain access to data you have submitted
  • Export your data in a wide variety of formats (more upon specific request)

Data is Available!

  • Free access for research, conservation, and preservation purposes
    • Supports one-time requests and continuous access
  • Shared data available at multiple scales
    • City to international-level access
    • Species-specific access
  • Photo or audio vouchers for all observations
  • All observations have a HM accession number (example: HM 39316)

Easy to Use!

  • Easy web interface that extracts voucher metadata when present
  • FREE Mobile Mapper app (Android and Apple) that allows multiple configurations
  • App does NOT need cell signal to work in the field!
  • Options to bulk import existing data sets! See importing data

For more information about contributing or receiving data, or for questions and concerns, contact: info@herpmapper.org

Don’t forget to “Like” us on Facebook, follow us @HerpMapper on Twitter, or comment on Field Herp Forum!

Gray Treefrog (Hyla versicolor, Hyla chrysoscelis)

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The gray treefrog is a commonly spotted frog in eastern North America. There are two species of gray treefrog: the Cope’s gray treefrog (Hyla chrysoscelis) and the eastern gray treefrog (Hyla versicolor). The two species appear identical, but can be distinguished by their calls or by quantifying their chromosomes (H. versicolor has twice the number of chromosomes as H. chrysoscelis). Gray treefrogs range in color, from green to gray to brown. They can be solid in color, or exhibit blotchy skin patterns to aid in camouflage with their surroundings. They are also able to change their color within seconds. All individuals have a small white spot beneath the eyes, and large toe pads for adhering to trees and foliage. Gray treefrogs have bright patches of yellow or orange along the insides of their hind legs that they flash as an anti-predatory mechanism. Whether these “flash colors” serve to startle potential predators or to falsely indicate the presence of toxins is unknown. These frogs are also known to utilize death feigning when captured or handled.

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Diet/Feeding: Gray treefrogs consume a variety of terrestrial and arboreal invertebrates, including earthworms, flies, beetles, roaches, crickets, and caterpillars. Although they are considered a sit-and-wait predator, they have frequently been observed to jump between branches to catch a prey item.
Habitat/Range: The collective range of both species of treefrog can be found all throughout the eastern United States, beginning in Texas and extending north to the Great Lakes. As their name suggests, treefrogs are primarily arboreal frogs. They typically inhabit deciduous forests and swamplands that are near to aquatic habitats for breeding.
Reproduction: The breeding season for these frogs begins in April and lasts until August. Males migrate to trees and other plants near ponds and swamps, where they begin their mating calls to attract females. Both sexes typically mate up to three times per mating season. The female deposits 30-40 packets of up to 60 eggs each on vegetation that is close to the surface. She can lay up to 2,000 eggs in a single breeding season. The eggs generally hatch in three weeks and the tadpoles remain in their aquatic environments until they metamorphose four weeks later.
Herping Tips: Gray tree frogs are nocturnal and spend most of the day resting in trees. Look closely, they are able to blend in with their environments to avoid predation.
Fun Fact: Gray tree frogs are one of only a few freeze-tolerant frog species, to a temperature of -7.2°C. They can freeze by accumulating glycerol in their muscles, which is then converted to glucose and circulated through the cells. The remaining liquids in the frog’s body freeze until winter is over and the frog thaws, recovering over 33% of its frozen water for use by the body.

Eastern Red-Spotted Newt (Notophthalmus viridescens)

The Eastern Newt (Notophthalmus viridescens) is a common species of newt found throughout eastern North America. Eastern newts are a member of the family Salamandridae, and one of only two genera endemic to North America.  Four varieties of N. viridescens are currently recognized in North America: the red-spotted newt (Notophthalmus viridescens viridescens), the peninsula newt (Notophthalmus viridescens piaropicola), the central newt (Notophthalmus viridescens louisianensis), and the broken-striped newt (Notophthalmus viridescens dorsalis).  Although there are notable differences in size and appearance of the newts of these four groups, studies of their DNA have revealed that little genetic variation exists between them, so they are not considered true subspecies. This article will focus primarily on Notophthalmus viridescens viridescens.

The red-spotted newt is the largest of the four varieties. These newts have three specific life stages: aquatic larva, terrestrial juvenile, and adult. The aquatic larvae typically range from 7 to 9mm in length when they hatch, with gills and a laterally compressed tail that support survival in their aquatic environment. At approximately 3 to 5 months, they metamorphose into their terrestrial juvenile stage. Newts in this stage are referred to as “red efts”. These efts range in color from orange to bright red. They have two parallel rows of up to 21 red spots with black outlines. Their skin is dry and textured, they have resorbed their gills and caudal fin, and they have developed lungs, eyelids, and limbs to support their new terrestrial lives. After 2 to 3 years, the juveniles then metamorphose once more, this time into sexually mature adults. At this stage, a newt can grow up to 5.5” in length and are identified by their greenish- to yellow-ish brown dorsum with rows of orange to red spots running down both sides of their back. The ventral surface is yellow with small black spots that fleck the skin. The skin is moist, and most adults return to aquatic environments.

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Diet/Feeding: Red-spotted newts feed on small invertebrates, including worms, insects, small fish, amphibian eggs, etc.

Habitat/Range: The collective range of all four regional varieties extend from the Maritime Provinces of Canada to as far south as Florida, and west to Texas and the Great Lakes. Larval newts occupy small freshwater environments, such as ponds or small lakes. Efts move to moist terrestrial areas surrounding these bodies of water. While the majority of adults return to a fully aquatic stage, some adults can move back to land if dry conditions exist.

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Reproduction: Adult newts return to permanent or semi-permanent bodies of water for breeding, which  takes place in late winter and spring months. This migration is usually preceded by heavy, seasonal rains. Males are easily recognized by their enlarged hind limbs, nuptial excrescences, swollen cloaca, and crested caudal fin during the breeding season. The male lures the female by fanning his tail, then grasps the female and rubs his genial gland (found in the temporal region) along the female’s face. If the female is receptive, the male will deposit a sperm packet on the pond floor, which the female will then pick up via the cloaca. After they are fertilized, the female will singly lay between 200 and 400 eggs on vegetation in the water over a period of many days.

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Herping Tips: Red efts and terrestrial adults can be found under rocks and in leaf litter on the forest floor, typically within close proximity to a source of water. During the spring months, shallow ponds that lack the presence of large predatory fish can host an abundance of breeding adults. Because these adults must breathe air, they can often be observed swimming along the surface of the water. Many amphibians, including the red-spotted newt, will exhibit the unken reflex when startled. The unken reflex is the defensive posture pictured below, in which the newt arches its body to reveal its brightly colored ventral surface as a warning of toxicity to potential predators.

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Southern Two-Lined Salamander, Eurycea cirrigera

The Southern Two-Lined Salamander (Eurycea cirrigera) is a small species of salamander of the family Plethodontidae, typically growing to 2.4-4” in length. They can be identified by the two parallel black lines that run laterally down their tan to yellow dorsum to the end of the tail. Most individuals also exhibit black spots along the back, between the lateral lines. Their bodies are slender with 14 costal grooves. Mature males can be distinguished by enlarged jaw musculature, a mental gland beneath the chin for pheromone secretion, and cirri, which are presumed to aid in chemoreception.

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Diet/Feeding: These salamanders feed on invertebrate organisms found in or near the creeks and streams they inhabit, including earthworms, spiders, flies, ticks, millipedes, and various larvae. Plethodontids are unique among other salamanders due to their lack of lungs. Lack of this functional constraint has allowed for the specialization of certain elements to aid in feeding. A cartilaginous hyobranchial apparatus (tongue skeleton) folds during the extension of the tongue, allowing it to project from the mouth. A sticky pad at the tip of the tongue adheres to the prey item, which is then retracted into the mouth of the salamander. This modified feeding mechanism allows the salamander to catch a prey item at up to 80% of their body length in distance.

Habitat/Range: Southern Two-Lined Salamanders can be found throughout the Southeast United States, excluding the peninsular region of Florida. As members of the family Plethodontidae, they are lungless salamanders and rely on cutaneous respiration, requiring the skin to be kept moist. All individuals are at least semi-aquatic, with some adults remaining fully aquatic. They typically occupy shallow creeks and streams that are abundant with rocks, wood debris, and leaf litter for cover, although they have been observed both in much deeper waters as well as terrestrial forest environments during wet weather.

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Reproduction: Breeding begins with a mating ritual that involves the male repeatedly nudging the female to judge her receptiveness. Males possess elongated premaxillary teeth during breeding season (typically September through May) which are used to lacerate the skin of the females to facilitate delivery of the pheromones which are secreted through the mental gland, located on the male’s chin.  If the female is willing, she responds by following closely behind the male until he deposits a spermatophore (a gelatinous and conical structure topped with a sperm cap). The female picks up the spermatophore through the cloaca, where the spermatozoa are then released into the spermatheca and stored there until the female expels them to fertilize her eggs. The female deposits between 15 and 120 eggs in a single, clustered layer on the underside of rocks, logs, or other aquatic vegetation in a creek or stream. She will then remain with the eggs for the 4-10 weeks that the eggs require for hatching (dependent on water temperature). The newly hatched salamanders will metamorphose in 1-2 years. They will then become sexually mature at anywhere from 2-4 years of age.

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Herping Tips: Southern Two-Lined Salamanders can most often be found by flipping rocks and debris in shallow, flowing creeks and streams during spring and autumn months. They quickly try to escape beneath other debris or into the substrate, so act quickly! Grasp them at the middle of the body or towards the head, as they can drop their tails in an escape attempt.