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Friday, October 22th - General Meeting


Speaker: Stephen Sifuentes on Rhinoceros Iguanas

Cubberly Community Center

Room H6, 4000 Middlefield Rd., Palo Alto.

Image by Aleks Haecky

President’s Letter

Hello BAHS Members and Supporters!

So our September speaker was local herper and student Brandon Kong. You may be familiar with Brandon’s stellar photographs on our Facebook page of local reptiles and amphibians he’s encountered out and about. While, yes, the Bay Area is not Costa Rica or Australia, we do have a bunch of interesting species. For me, it is astounding the number of snake species I’ve just never encountered. Most are nocturnal and/or burrowers, some rear fanged—technically venomous, but medically insignificant.

A breeder I know in the LA area is also a 3rd grade teacher. He brought into his classroom a Ring Necked Snake and told the class about it being rear fanged. He then got a parent complaint about “bringing a venomous snake into the classroom”.

This month, our speaker will be Stephen Sifuentes. The topic is Rhinoceros Iguanas. Steve has bred and kept a variety of reptiles over the years. This will be our usual 4th Friday meeting at Cubberley Room H-6. Doors open at 7PM and the meeting starts at 7:30PM.

Some may be unaware of the shopping center adjacent to the H6 Room. If you arrive early, or not too late from the meeting, there is Rick’s Gourmet Ice Cream (try the Lavender Honey), Rojo’s Wraps, and more, plus shopping at Piazzi’s Market. As your President, I feel it incumbent on me to try other take out from the center, so I can pass on the information! A tough job, but someone has to do it.

We do not have a November meeting.

Now for our December Holiday Party/Potluck. Some things have changed. First, our room this year will be U7, which sounds a bit like a submarine name. Room U7 is right behind the small parking lot you enter on the way to H6. The room is actually bigger than H6. Now, another change is that currently we can not be eating inside the Cubberley Rooms while the COVID restrictions are in place. But we are able to move the tables and chairs outside. I checked out the room, and right outside, the area is covered, so if it rains, we should be OK. Now, outside in December, at our old time of 5PM to 8PM, it might be too cold and too dark….so we’ve changed the time of the Party/Potluck to 2PM to 5PM. Please watch our Facebook Page for updates and more details.

One of the club’s goals is to find a meeting venue in the San Jose area. On that front I have a brewing possibility I give a good chance of succeeding. Again, stay tuned!

Hope to see you at the next meeting and the Holiday Party.

Jeff Whitnack, BAHS President.


Suggest a New Meeting Location!

A lot of you asked for an easier to reach meeting location!

BAHS is looking for a new meeting location to help grow the club!

Do you know of a location in the South Bay Area where we could make our new home?

We are thinking of libraries, classrooms, community centers, or other shared spaces?

Obviously, the location should be pet friendly and affordable, and ideally it should be easier to get to for more club members than the current Palo Alto location.

Upcoming Events

October 2021

October 2-3

Sat 10 - 5 p.m.

Sun 10 - 4 p.m.

Central Valley Reptile Expo - No BAHS representation - info only

Madonna Inn Expo Center, 100 Madonna Inn Road, San Luis Obispo, CA 93405

Come see incredible, rare, and beautiful reptiles and other amazing creatures from all over the globe. It’s fun for the whole family! Pet supply vendors with discounted products; reptiles for sale; workshops. Come touch an alligator, sulcata tortoise, and see a most adorable sloth! Adults $12, children $8.

Reptile Show website:

October 22


7:30 - 9:30 p.m.

General Meeting - Cubberley Community Center, Room H-6

Speaker: Stephen Sifuentes will speak on rhinoceros iguanas!

October 23-24


Sat 10 - 5 p.m.

Sun 10 - 5 p.m.

NorCal Reptile Expo - No BAHS representation - info only

Sonoma County Fairgrounds, Hall of Flowers, 1350 Bennett Valley Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95404

This expo brings an awesome and unique number of vendors, including specialized breeders, wholesale cages and supplies, cool and amazing animal displays and activities for the little ones. Adults/teens $10, children 6-12 $5, 5 & under free. Parking $10, no in/out privileges -- not confirmed.

Reptile Show website:

November 2021 - NO GENERAL MEETING (Thanksgiving)

November 13-14


Sat 10 - 5 p.m.

Sun 10 - 5 p.m.

Reptile Breeders Expo - No BAHS representation - info only

Lodi Grape Festival Fairgrounds, 413 E. Lockeford Street, Lodi, CA 95240

Our mission is to support the private breeders and the small business people. Adults/teens $12, children 6-12 $7, 5 & under free; military/seniors $10. Parking $10, no in/out privileges. ⇒ prices/dates not validated, check website!

Reptile Show websites:,

December 2021 - NO GENERAL MEETING (Holiday party instead)

Saturday, December 4th,

2 - 5 pm

HOLIDAY PARTY!!! - Cubberley Community Center, Room U7

Potluck, please bring something to share. Volunteers for BAHS board wanted -- our club needs new blood, so let’s talk about what BAHS means for this area and what we can do to keep it going! Please don’t bring herps as (people) food will be present, and it may be a health issue.

Can Reptiles Eat Pumpkin?

By Michael Go

As the night of Halloween rolls near, after looking at the plentiful displays of pumpkins outside of every grocery store, you might wonder: Are pumpkins a safe food for turtles, tortoises, and lizards? Do they have any nutritional value?

Well, it turns out that they love the stuff! For example, here’s a clip of Galapagos tortoises at the San Diego Zoo enjoying some pumpkin!

On the other hand, according to The Tortoise Table, pumpkins are put into the “feed sparingly” category (

Interestingly enough, pumpkin seeds have the chemical cucurbitacin, which, according to Delaware State University, has been used in domestic livestock dewormers for roundworms and tapeworms for several years ( However, the seeds should not be used as a substitute for anthelmintic medication, and should generally not be fed because of their high protein content.

Additionally, research has concluded that pumpkin flesh serves as a natural laxative, and anecdotal evidence gathered from reptile-keeping forums further solidifies that you could have a mess on your hands if you feed pumpkins to your reptile…

As for nutritional value, in general there are far better foods to feed than pumpkin. Pumpkins do have a high water content, but so do other fruits and insects such as hornworms. Furthermore, they have quite some phosphorus and acid content, which makes them a poor choice.

Overall, just as we only go trick or treating once a year, pumpkins are best served in moderation, only as a treat!

See You at the LIVE Meeting!

BAHS is an educational and conservational group of amateur and professional herpetologists who want to share their knowledge, enthusiasm, and friendship with others interested in these fascinating creatures. We promote knowledge and enjoyment of reptiles, amphibians, and other herptiles.

Newsletter created by Aleks Haecky and Michael Go. Contact:

Bay Area Herpetological Society Website Facebook Group



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