Herptiles

by Owen Maercks on May 1, 2014
“      I am often asked, almost exclusively by folks outside the herp hobby or trade, “What’s trending in your business?” Those within the field know that “trending” is hardly an applicable word—the popularity of various exotic species seem to fluctuate on 10-year cycles, in contrast to the typically fast pace of fads in our instantaneous culture and the electronic age. For instance, I can tell you that 30 years ago, enormous snakes and iguanas…”

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by Owen Maercks on Apr 1, 2014
“Regular readers of this column will know that every month, I try to pass on tips and inspiration to bring greater success and pleasure to those who have chosen to work as reptile-sales associates. This month, however, in recognition of April Fool’s Day—one of my favorite holidays—I am going to…”
by Owen Maercks on Mar 1, 2014
“  One of the things I have noticed in the big chain/box store pet departments that makes me wonder—and smile—is the stunning lack of proper caging and supplies for the animals they choose to market. It is one of those shortcomings that independent retailers like me can use to maintain…”
by Owen Maercks on Feb 1, 2014
“        When I was 12 years old, an older cousin gave me a bona-fide classic. Living Amphibians of the World was a coffee table book, lavishly illustrated and well written. It introduced me to the entire Living series, but it remains my favorite to this day. I…”
by Owen Maercks on Jan 1, 2014
“    It will come as no surprise that many of my employees have particular obsessions within the herpetological universe. For instance, one of my managers is focused—to an almost unhealthy degree—on water snakes of the genus Nerodia, a thick-bodied, ill-tempered, and typically dully colored and patterned group that also…”