Welcome to our site of information on reptiles and amphibians indigenous to South Carolina. Since my pre-teen years, I have been interested in animals, especially reptiles and amphibians (herps). Finding and observing animals has been one of my principal hobbies. I would capture them if I could and keep them as pets for a while. Now I mostly just photograph and release them. I passed my enthusiasm for herps on to my son, Win. He is now living and working nearby to me and is actively helping with the website. The website is a labor of love for both of us.

Our goal for the site is to post pictures of every species of reptile and amphibian which has established wild populations within South Carolina. My original goal was to post only pictures which I have personally made. And, whenever possible, only pictures of specimens which I have personally found. Since starting the site, I have received many inquiries about identifying snakes and other herps which the writers have encountered. Therefore, in order to get pictures of as many species as possible, and as soon as possible, we have included some pictures of specimens which we have found dead on road (d.o.r.) and pictures of some live specimens which have been made available to us by other persons. As soon as we can make pictures of live specimens, we will replace the pictures of dead specimens. In a very few cases we have included pictures which were provided by others of some very hard to find species.

We hope you will find the pictures which I post to be interesting and more varied than those typically found in identification handbooks. Whenever possible, We also try to display pictures emphasizing characteristics useful in identification. This site is not designed to substitute for or replace having a good field guidebook to identification of reptiles and amphibians. A guidebook will verbally and illustratively tell you what identifying characteristics to look for.

Another goal for this site is to provide anecdotal information from our encounters with the species. Published information of this type is scarce. When I was a boy, there were a couple of books of this type which I was able to find. Reading about these professional herpetologists' experiences in searching, capturing and caring for reptiles and amphibians inspired me. We hope you will find recounts of some of our personal experiences interesting and informative.

In 1999, we began including periodic notes of our observations of herps. Joey Holmes, another local herp enthusiast, is also contributing his herp notes.

Again, welcome to the South Carolina Reptiles and Amphibians web page. Enjoy exploring the pictures and writings. If you have any comments, please send us an e-mail at the address below. We will be happy to answer as best we can any herp related questions.

Edwin Eugene (Gene) Ott

August 13, 1999

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