NEW Reptiles Alive! Assembly Program Teacher’s Manual

Hey Reptiles Alive! friends. Amazing Alligator Amaya here, see?


As you may know, we are currently working hard to create helpful guides for all our assembly programs, and we will soon be expanding the content of our website’s Teacher’s and Kids’ Pages as well.

Here’s a little taste of what’s to come: our brand new teacher’s manual for the Reptiles Alive! Assembly Program:

Reptiles Alive Assembly Program Teacher Manual

We hope you love it as much as we do. Please let us know how we’re doing. Email us at [email protected] with any questions or comments.

Stay tuned for more and have a HERP-ectacular day!

Reptiles Alive LLC 2013 Annual Wildlife Exhibitor Report

Another great year has slithered on by here at Reptiles Alive.   New people, new animals, and exciting new projects are all a part of the past 12 months.


As always, we presented lots of fantastic educational reptile programs.  Reptiles Alive wildlife educators presented a total of 790 programs reached approximately 49,400 people from October 2012 through October 2013.  We visited schools, scout meetings, summer camps, libraries,  and lots of fun birthday parties.  Special events that featured our shows included:  Celebrate Fairfax; Mason Neck State Park Eagle Festival; Clean Fairfax Earth Day/Arbor Day; Northern Virginia Community College Earth Day Festival; Rockville Town Center Family Night; Reston Association’s Nature Fair; and so many other fabulous festivals and events we can’t list them all here.  For a list of all our upcoming public event shows, visit our public event page.

Our director Caroline Seitz was featured along with some native snakes on TV on Fox 5’s Morning News .  She took the opportunity to show viewers the difference between adult and juvenile Eastern (black) rat snakes.  We hope that at least a few people who saw the TV spot will remember that just because a snake has a pattern, that does not mean it is necessarily a copperhead – and that either way, the best thing to do if you see a snake, is to just leave that snake alone.  You can see the TV spot on our homepage.

Two new people have joined the RA team in the last year.

DSCN0247Stephen Maddox (SidewinderStephen) joined our staff in April as an animal keeper and is now also part of our wildlife educator team.  He brings with him a love of reptiles and the achievement of being an Eagle Scout!  Look for him at birthday parties, camps, and of course — Scout meetings. Read more about him at  SidewinderStephen

John White is our new webmaster.  He has years of experience building and maintaining websites and, best of all, he has been a reptile expert for even longer.  He is currently in the process of developing an entirely new website for Reptiles Alive which we are hoping to unveil at the end of 2013.

New animals that have joined us include:

new savanna

Two Australian Green Treefrogs were donated to us from a former staff member;  a young blue tongue skink and an eastern king Snake which were both donated to us from clients; two marbled salamanders were transferred to us from Long Branch Nature Center;  an adorable baby savannah monitor lizard which was rescued and rehabilitated by a veterinary technician who then transferred it to us; and an equally adorable western hognose snake who came to us from our friend and colleague Becky Shore of the Blue Ridge Wildlife Center.


In addition to working on the new website, we are also working on updating our teacher’s guides to each of our assembly programs.  With the help of Amaya (AlligatorAmaya) Perez, we hope to have helpful guides for all of our different assemblies coming with the new website.  We are also working on expanding the content of our website’s Teachers’ Page and Kids’ Page.  If you have any suggestions or requests for what you would like to see on either of these pages we would love to hear them.  Email your suggestions to [email protected]

Thank you all sssso much for helping to make reptile education come alive!


Reptiles Alive! LLC 2013 Animal Inventory
African Spurred Tortoise 1 Geochelone sulcata
American Alligator 2 Alligator missipiensis
American Toad 2 Bufo americanus americanus
Australian Green Treefrog 2 Litoria caerulea
Ball Python 1 Python regius
Bearded Dragon 2 Pogona vitticeps
Blue Tongue Skink 3 Teliqua scincoides
Boa Constrictor 4 Boa constrictor constrictor
Bull Frog 2 Rana catesbeiana
Burmese Python 1 Python molurus bivittatus
California King Snake 2 Lampropeltis getula californiae
Central Asian Tortoise 1 Testudo horsefieldi
Cope’s Gray Treefrog 3 Hyla chrysoscelis
Crested Gecko 1 Rhacodactylus ciliatus
Corn Snake 2 Pantherophis guttatus
Earthworm 25+ Eisenia fetida
Eastern Box Turtle 1 Terrapene carolina carolina
Eastern King Snake 1 Lampropeltis getula
Eastern Rat Snake 1 Pantherophis obsoletus
Eastern Snapping Turtle 1 Chelydra serpintena serpentina
Garden Slug 5 Limax maximus
Green Iguana 2 Iguana iguana
Haitian Brown Tarantula 1 Phormictophis cancerides
Haitian Cockroach 25 + Blaberus sp.
Honduran Milk Snake 2 Lampropeltis triangulum hondurensis
House Cricket 1000 Acheta domestica
Kenyan Sand Boa 1 Eryx colubrinus loveridgei
Leopard Gecko 1 Eublepharis macularius
Leopard Tortoise 1 Geochelone pardalis
Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches 25+ Gromphadorina portentosa
Malagasy Giant Hognose Snake 1 Leioheterodon madagascarensis
Marbled Salamander 2 Ambystoma opacum
Mealworm 1000 Tenebrio molitar
Nelson’s Milksnake 1 Lampropeltis triangulum nelsonii
Northern Diamondback Terrapin 1 Malaclemys terrapin
Pacific Gopher Snake 1 Pituophis catenifer catenifer
Prehensile-tailed Skink 1 Corucia zebrata
Savannah Monitor Lizard 1 Varanus exanthematicus
Spiny Softshell Turtle 1 Apalone spinifera
Spotted Salamander 1 Ambystoma maculatum
Spotted Turtle 1 Clemmys guttata
Sudan Plated Lizard 1 Gerrhosaurus major
Tegu Lizard 2 Tupinambis teguixin
Uromastyx Lizard 1 Uromastyx acanthurus
Water Monitor Lizard 1 Varanus salvator
Western Hognose Snake 1 Heterodon nasicus
White Line Gecko 1 Gecko vittatus
Yellow-spotted Amazon River Turtle 1 Podocnemis unifilis




Reptile Job Opening POSITION FILLED

Job Opening:


Animal Keeper

We are looking for a reliable, responsible, and energetic person who is looking to work professionally with reptiles, amphibians, and invertebrates.

Part Time: 20-30 hours per week; mainly Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays

(we can be somewhat flexible with the schedule)

Starting pay is $11 per hour


Duties Will Include:

-Handling reptiles, amphibians, and invertebrates

-Cleaning animal enclosures

-Designing animal enclosures

-Preparing animal food and feeding the animals

-Record keeping

-General cleaning of animal and office areas

Duties May Include:

-Light office work

-Assisting wildlife educators with outreach educational live animal shows at special events in the Mid-Atlantic Region


Applicants must be highly responsible and able to work without supervision caring for a diverse collection that includes potentially dangerous animals.

Ability to lift 50 pounds and work a physically active job for 8 hours

Experience with and knowledge about reptile husbandry is preferred

Successful candidate will have a clean criminal background and driving record check

Please send your cover letter and resume

Email: [email protected]

Hiring Your School’s Assembly Performers

Are you in charge of booking assemblies for your school?  If so, this article will help make the whole process easier for you, your school and your performers.

Step 1:  Find Performers

Animal programs, musicians, puppet shows, and all kinds of educational performances for schools are available across the United States.  In most locations, there are programs run by school districts or arts councils that offer performers who have been screened and selected to perform in schools.  (One of the best in the Washington DC metro area is the Fairfax County Creative Arts Program (CAPS).)  Asking past assembly coordinators, teachers, and parents for referrals can also lead you to great shows.

Step 2:  Coordinate with your school for budget and dates

Find out what your budget will be before contacting performers.

Double check dates  for assemblies with your school.   Multi-purpose rooms, gyms, cafeterias, and auditoriums are all busy places in the school year – so be sure the room you intend to host your assembly is available on the dates and times you want.

Step 3:  Contact the performers


When calling or emailing potential performers, have the following information ready for them:

  • Your name, phone number & email address
  • Your school’s name and address
  • The age and number of students that will be attending the assembly(s)
  • The dates and times you are looking at (try to have a few options)

Step 4: Questions to ask the performer before booking

What does the performer charge? Your total cost will be based on the number of shows you want, the number of students attending the shows, your location, and the timing of your shows.

Are there any requirements/restrictions for the performance? Requirements may include:  close parking, indoors vs. outdoors, stage, grade level, maximum audience size, etc…

Is the performer properly insured/licensed for the type of show they are performing? Insurance is a must, especially for live animal shows.   Licensing is not required in all jurisdictions, however, it is smart to know if your area requires permits before hiring performers to come into your school.  Performers that include mammals (even a magician with a live rabbit) in their shows must have a permit from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.  In Virginia, all performers exhibiting live animals  (including birds, fish and reptiles) must have a Permit to Exhibit Wildlife from the VA Department of Game & Inland Fisheries.

Can the performer provide at least 3 references for you to contact? The best way to find out if the performers you are hiring will be safe, reliable, educational, and fun is to ask the people that have previously hired them.  And the best performers will be happy to provide you with references.

Step 5: The Booking Process

Contact the performer as soon as you are able to commit to a booking.  Popular assembly performers can get booked up months or even a year in advance, so the earlier you can book your shows, the better.  However, only book when you are ready to commit to the date, time, and cost.  Clients who cancel or change their bookings are a hard ship to professional performers.

After you make a booking, a professional performer will send you a contract, invoice, or letter of agreement.  Read the paperwork they send you carefully.  Verify the show date(s), time(s), location(s), and agreed to fee is listed correctly.  Note if a deposit is required, when payments are due, and what payment types are accepted.

Be sure to check for a cancellation policy and for any other requirements (such as close parking) that performers may need.  Contact the performer as soon as possible if you have any questions about the contract or show set up requirements.

Send the signed contract and/or deposit in a timely manner.  Performers could cancel a booking if the client fails to send in the required paperwork or deposit on time.

Now that your show is booked, the next step is getting ready to host your school’s assembly.  Look for that information in our next posting.

Happy School Year!