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Texas Gardening: Horned or Horney toads wanted

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JLD_II
Olathe, KS
(Zone 6a)

February 28, 2005
6:54 PM

Post #1313070

Does anyone ever see horned toads or "horney toads" as they were called when I was a kid? I've noticed such a decline in numbers of small reptiles and larger insects(praying mantis etc.) and I've been re introducing them back into the wild. I buy praying mantis every spring from
[HYPERLINK@www.planetnatural.com]
Anyhow.
I WOULD PAY FOR HORNED TOADS IF ANYONE CAN EVER FIND ANY SO I CAN BREED THEM.
Please email me if you can help. They were everywhere around Lake Texhoma along with turantula's and scorpions and now I never see them anymore.In an effort to re introduce more into the wild, I've been able to breed box turtles over the last couple years but I don't know if my efforts are working. It sure is worth trying and we enjoy it. I didn't have room for the trtles over the winter but I would make room for the horned toads and I have the knowledge and equipment to try breeding them. I'd like my children to have a chance to play with all the critter's I was able to as a child. So please keep your eyes open this spring! Thanks, JD
Calalily
Deep South Coastal, TX
(Zone 10a)

February 28, 2005
8:52 PM

Post #1313254

Horned Toads are on the endangered species list, if you get caught catching and/or shipping them you will be in big trouble. They only eat ants, Harvester ants to be specific, so be sure they have something to eat if you reintroduce them. You might want to check with some of the rehab places to see if they have some that need a new home.
Their habitat and food supply is diminishing plus they get squished in the road. They have a bad habit of "freezing" when threatened and if they're in a roadway that's not good.
We have them in Cameron county, I have a few that live on my property. We don't put out ant bait in the area where the Horned Toads(actually they are lizards) live. They are pretty neat critters!
PS, I'm not an animal advocate or anything like that and don't want to sound mean, just wanted you to know they were endangered and you can get in trouble for catching them.
konkreteblond
Burleson, TX
(Zone 8a)

March 1, 2005
1:26 AM

Post #1313823

Calalily, that is very interesting info. I was thinking there was probably some regulation about shipping them too. My garden gal pals were just discussing these last week. I haven't seen any since I was a kid either, and I'm 40. I don't think either of my children have ever seen one. One of my garden pals said that the fire ants are to blame for destroying the ants they eat, which you say is the Harvester ants. Is that the case? Or maybe us killing the fire ants is killing all the ants? Maybe that's how it went.

JD, good luck finding some in your area!
Calalily
Deep South Coastal, TX
(Zone 10a)

March 1, 2005
12:30 PM

Post #1314288

JD, the fire ants destroy the harvester ant colonies,plus lots of people poison the harvester ants because they make a big bare spot and their bite is pretty painful(ask me how I know, lol). More areas are being developed and that cuts down on their food supply as well as their habitat plus more roads which means more places for them to get squished.
When we first moved in the neighbors said "don't kill the ants with the big round bare spots around their nest, those are important" and there is an empty field in the middle of Brownsville that is fenced off and "No tresspassing" signs around it. The Horned Toads live there and the field is full of the ants they eat.
imway2dumb
Gordonville, TX
(Zone 7b)

March 1, 2005
1:17 PM

Post #1314337

Googled: horned toad texas

http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/nature/education/tracker/horned_lizard/
JLD_II
Olathe, KS
(Zone 6a)

March 1, 2005
5:36 PM

Post #1314779

WOW! I knew you Texans would be my ultimate resource on this. I'm an Okie that ended up in Kansas somehow and I miss all those reptiles from my childhood.
When it comes to owning native and endangered species, as long as you don't have them in their native region, it's my understanding you can keep them. I know it is that way with certain fish in Florida(Florida gar which is a prized aquarium fish here). You can get them around here but if you have 1 in Florida, your in big trouble. I found something very odd this summer when in Fla. Did you know cypress mulch is illegal to have down there in your gardens or anywhere else? I guess many people have robbed the Everglades and endangered the swamp cypress. Here you can buy it at any store.
Our country sure is wierd when it comes to "protecting" anything endangered and what they do in an effort to help sure seems dumb IMO. I used to run a pet store for a friend and we're avid fishermen. Here you can not sell any native fish, not even a perch!LOL We had some in a huge tank I put together to duplicate our lakes ecosystem. Someone called fish and game on me and they considered shutting us down thinking these fish were for sale! It's like that with Peacock bass too. I can buy them as pets here but get caught selling 1 in Florida and your in major trouble.
Oh well, thanks for the info friends. I was just hoping to try breeding some as I've had such good luck breeding other lizards, snakes etc. in the past.
My offer still stands just in case, I know I'll be hunting hi and low at Texhoma again this summer.
Thanks all, JD
JLD_II
Olathe, KS
(Zone 6a)

March 1, 2005
5:43 PM

Post #1314790

Awesome website! Thanks for the education guys. I apologize for picking on your state reptile. I only wanted to try and help, by no means would I ever consider putting them in peoples aquariums to die or anything like that. I just wanted my daughter to get a chance to play with them as I did so much as a kid. I loved putting them on their backs and rubbing their tummies. They'd go limp as if they were in some kind of relaxing coma;)LOL
imway2dumb
Gordonville, TX
(Zone 7b)

March 1, 2005
7:00 PM

Post #1314918

I think that site said that the round tailed horned toad was not endangered. There is a link there to a horned toad conservation group, too. Who knows, they might be interested in finding breeders like yourself. There is a colony of carpenter ants (their food supply) near my property that has been there the 11 years I've lived here. But, have never seen a horned toad in my area (Texoma). I would not mind some seed stock! Let me know if you are successful!

Btw, are you coming to the Texoma RU May 14-15?

John

This message was edited Mar 1, 2005 4:47 PM
texasgarden
Dallas, TX
(Zone 8a)

March 1, 2005
9:10 PM

Post #1315100

Very interesting! I grew up in West Texas/Eastern New Mexico and we had those things EVERYWHERE!!!! They were almost like roaches they were so abundant. And I never see them anymore. Haven't seen one in years. I'm only 28 so it wasn't THAT long ago that I was a kid and I do recall catching and temporarily housing my share of "horny toads" and turtles.

Jamie
trunnels
Plano, TX
(Zone 8a)

March 1, 2005
9:22 PM

Post #1315122

I grew up with horny toads and even kept them occasionally as pets, but I haven't seen one in at least 30 years.
imway2dumb
Gordonville, TX
(Zone 7b)

March 1, 2005
9:52 PM

Post #1315177

When I was a kid growing up in California we had them in rangelands. They have pretty much dissappeared from cultivated lands. Pesticides and loss of habitat and all that. A critter worth saving!
konkreteblond
Burleson, TX
(Zone 8a)

March 1, 2005
10:46 PM

Post #1315255

Isn't it horrible? The TCU Horned Frogs probably is almost like having Godzilla for a mascot to kids who don't even know what it is/was. LOL
imway2dumb
Gordonville, TX
(Zone 7b)

March 1, 2005
11:00 PM

Post #1315276

They used to collect them for the pet shop trade, too.
JLD_II
Olathe, KS
(Zone 6a)

March 1, 2005
11:18 PM

Post #1315312

Wow it's so sad to hear everyone seeing things the way I've observed. How about other lil critter's? I've also noticed there aren't nearly as many regular old toads around and bullfrog's are right behind the Horney toads. I can remeber you could go to most any pond anywhere and fill a sack full of them, enough to feed a group of frends for a night anyhow. I still see plenty of lepard(sp) frogs but not the MONSTER's that had legs darn near the size of small chickens. I know they're still out there because when I go fishing at the lake behind our house and in the creek, I still see all the different sized tadpoles from each species. There's no mistaking those huge tadpoles for anything else. It's as if they're just not making it much further than getting out of the water onto their legs. Hmmm I don't see quite as many box turtles these days either.
But on the other hand, I remember since moving to Kansas from S. Oklahoma, you now see the armadillo's range has grown enormously over the years. It used to be we'd see bunches of them flattened on I-35 from the Texas OK border and they thined out as you got to OKC. When I lived in OKC, I rarely saw them there but in say the last 15 years you see more and more of them on I-35 up to the KS. border. Then I'd start seeing a couple here and there around Wichita and now around Emporia. Not quite to KC yet but getting closer and closer every year. I've had this discussion with friends and relative's to so I know I'm no crazier than before. LOL Now I live in a small town named Olathe that is a burb of KC about 15-20 miles S. of downtown.
Another cool thing I've noticed in just the last 5 years is we now have Scossor tailed Flycatcher's in Olathe. I'm not to thrilled about having the "Texas Speed bumps" moving this far N. as we already have plenty of possums. Those things have moved into the inner city and you'll see them at night in dumpster's behind restruants competing with the rats! I was so shocked to see my sister's cat get beaten up by a possum when she lived in the Westport district entertainment area. Possum's will now stand they're ground to protect their food!LOLOL
So what's the concensus? Have I just lost the last of my marbles or are some of these critter's changing their "native" range and if so...Global warming or what? LOL(Lord I must have too much time on my hands lately)
I have spring fever and with seeing all the critter's beginning to migrate and come out, it just has me thinking out loud again.

John, I sure wished I could make it to the Texoma round up. I haven't visited this forum much since moving and I didn't know anything about it. We will be there for a week over Memorial Day weekend. Going to Lake Texoma has been a tradition in my family since before I was born and I haven't missed that trip in 36 years. We have a small cabin in Kingston OK. and we always camp close to Cardinal cove on the lake directly across the channel from Lowe's Hipoint.
If it's not to busy with all of my relatives, mayb e I'll get a chance to meet some of you all. I'll keep you posted and follow this forum to see how the round up goes. Who knows, maybe I'll get a wild hair and make a power roadtrip. I sure would enjoy it but that8+ hour haul gets the best of me these days.
Adios, JD
imway2dumb
Gordonville, TX
(Zone 7b)

March 1, 2005
11:57 PM

Post #1315405

It woulg be a pleasure to meet you!
Calalily
Deep South Coastal, TX
(Zone 10a)

March 2, 2005
12:25 AM

Post #1315450

JD, the Eastern Box turtle is either endangered or threatened, can't remember which. I saw a TX box turtle this past summer, only the one. Rescued a red earred slider that was as big as a plate and had been hit by the car in front of me. Didn't think he would make it for a while, but his lungs puffed back up and the vet put fiberglass patches on his shell and in a few weeks he was good to go! They released him in the resaca by my house(less than a mile from where he was found but hopefully safe from the highway).
We have the scissor tailed flycatchers here, love to see them in the spring but have to watch out for them when they're mating. They don't look where they're going! We see an occaisional armadillo, not nearly as often as we see a possum though.
They are saying the Oscelot is making a small comeback this year. That would be great, they are beautiful.
trunnels
Plano, TX
(Zone 8a)

March 2, 2005
3:17 AM

Post #1315711

Would love to meet you, JD!
bettydee
La Grange, TX
(Zone 8b)

March 2, 2005
7:24 PM

Post #1316676

Many animal species are expanding their territory. It's usually a slow process, but sometimes it grow by leaps and bounds. We have a number of birds living year round here on our ranch now. They used to be occasional visitors.

My husband and I grew up around Horned Toads and would love to see them again. We've lived here almost 4 years and have not seen any. Fire ants have overrun all our pastures. Don't see many other ants, except leaf cutting ants, much anymore. Our stock ponds don't seem to have bullfrogs just the smaller variety. Mud catfish washed into one of our ponds during a heavy rainstorm about 2 years ago. They seem to have killed off most of our frog population in that pond. We can hear bullfrogs in our neighbor's pond at night.

During the summer, it's fun and relaxing to sit outside and to try to identify the animal by the sound it makes.

BettyDee
JLD_II
Olathe, KS
(Zone 6a)

March 3, 2005
5:00 PM

Post #1318092

That is sad about the Box Turtles. I still see a few every year but nothing like I used to. I know when I;m at Texhoma after a major thunderstorm that floods out the low lands, bunches of turtles head for the road and are easily found. I think it was 4 years ago memorial Day when there was such a storm and a bunch of tornado's. We must have rescued 25 turtles from the road and that was just from The lake to Ardmore. I also noticed that over 1/2 of the turtles weren't the black and yellow box turtle, they were brown or tan and slightly larger. I never did identify exactly what species they were. We brough home 4 turtles that year and we were able to get 1 pair tolay eggs that hatched for sure, I'm not positive about the other pair. Many times the babies won't even emerge from the ground until they are on te 2nd year of life. They hatch so late in the fall that it's often too cold for them to come out. Since I was able to watch this 1 female lay eggs, I collected them and put them in a kiddie pool full of sand in the basement. It was such a joy to see 75% of the eggs hatch and I had never seen anything as cute as a baby box turtle. I released 1/2 of them here and my daughter and I took the other 1/2 back to the lake early the next spring. We probably didn't make any difference in population but it sure felt good trying.
We have many painted and snapping turtles around here. I have a young female painted turtle living with my fish in an aquarium right nowand 1 more liing at the local highschool. We will release them this spring back to the small lake out back. These lil guys are so fun and cute, they will now eat right out of my hand. I built a small landing with a ramp that leads out of the water onto a rock with a special UVA and UVB spotlamp for them to bask under. We rescued both of these from the road too. I was going to try to breed these guys but the male was very mean and was injuring the female on the back of her neck. He would bite her there trying to hold her still long enough to mount her. I'm not sure why she didn't want to, I'm sure i had something to do with living in my bedroom.
Well I have a Dr. appt so I must run. this forum has been great and its so nice speaking with friends from my neck of the woods again. You Okies and Texans should be proud and happy, I sure miss living there. I know many of my relatives just think Oklahoma is boring with nothing to do but doesn't everyone feel that way when growing up? LOL
Take care! JD
JLD_II
Olathe, KS
(Zone 6a)

March 3, 2005
5:11 PM

Post #1318103

LOLOL I just realized how silly it was of me to say anything about you Texan's being proud and hapy. I have never come across anyone as proud of their homestate as you Texans. Now if you could only see my hand jesture, my pinky finger and index finger both pointing down with the 2 fingers between folded under. DOWN HORNS!LOLOLOL GO SOONER'S.
I couldn't resist, old habits just don't die;)
texasgarden
Dallas, TX
(Zone 8a)

March 3, 2005
6:16 PM

Post #1318234

JLD- I am a Texan and my husband is an Oakie. And we are a Sooner household!!!! You would be surprised how many of us there are... and besides, a Texan could also be an Aggie, a Red Raider, etc. Who all equally detest the Horns. Ha!!!
sugarweed
Jacksonville & Okeec, FL
(Zone 9a)

March 3, 2005
6:43 PM

Post #1318287

That's right tg, and from experience, we Texans don't hold a candle to Tar Heel fans, they really believe God made the sky "Carolina Blue" just for them. LOL
Sidney
imway2dumb
Gordonville, TX
(Zone 7b)

March 3, 2005
7:17 PM

Post #1318581

Go mustangs (Cal Poly-SLO)!
JLD_II
Olathe, KS
(Zone 6a)

March 3, 2005
10:32 PM

Post #1318907

HAHAHAA, You guys make me laugh. Man I thought I'd come back to this thread today only to have myself shredded and bashed. I'm probably speaking too soon tho as many are still at work;). It's good clean fun.
I sure envy you guys weather wise, I bet you have plant's out already where we are just starting seeds in flats to get a jump on everyone here. I have cuttings and other tropicals under a 1000 watt metal halide next to my bed!
Someday we'll get that greenhouse but this works for now and we get "sunshine therapy" as a byproduct!LOL It sure looks funny when you drive around the corner at night and it looks lie the sun is shining out the window from the inside out. It's nice having flowers all winter too. the things we will do for our plants. I can think of much worse habits and addictions for sure. Now all I need is a couple Horney toads to bask with me under this lil sun of mine!LOL Adios all, JD
sugarweed
Jacksonville & Okeec, FL
(Zone 9a)

March 4, 2005
11:48 AM

Post #1319580

JD, there is nothing between Olathe, Amarillo, and the North Pole but a barbed wire fence! LOL
My x MIL has Hostas coming to life in El Paso though.
30 years ago the most expensive pair of boots Tony Lama made were of these babies. That was stopped I hope.
I too grew-up playing with the little lizzards and remember how they would become stiff if turned on their back.
Calalily
Deep South Coastal, TX
(Zone 10a)

March 4, 2005
12:28 PM

Post #1319614

JLD, we saved one baby box turtle from the crows. They found a nest and were eating the babies as they hatched. I was surprised at how slow they grow the first year of their life and so many don't survive the first winter.(or even the first day without getting eaten).
For your female, she needs to hibernate in the winter to be fertile and that may be why she didn't want the male. Withhold food for at least two weeks before you let them hibernate.
eyesoftexas
Toadsuck, TX
(Zone 7a)

March 4, 2005
4:08 PM

Post #1319933

I found this article extremely interesting, even after 40 plus years in this state, I don't believe I ever would have believed there were this many different types of horned lizards!

http://uts.cc.utexas.edu/~varanus/phryno.html

"eyes"
JLD_II
Olathe, KS
(Zone 6a)

March 4, 2005
4:57 PM

Post #1320052

Eyes. WOW I had no idea they had that many individual morphs or species of Horned toads. Very fascinating, thanks for the link;)

Sugar I too have a pair of boots I'm semi ashamed of. I ran a welding and Fab across the street from Olathe Boot Factory and I traded out some work with them for a new pair of boots. The bottoms are elephant(which is very illegal now)and my size 13 was such an expensive cut, the owner insisted on doing it as it was the last they had in Chocolate brown. The tops are kangaroo and just as soft as can be. That elephant will last longer than me IMO. I've taken car keys to it and you just can not scratch that hide. Sadly, w/ in 1 year of getting my boots, I broke my back and severed my spinal cord in 93'. I haven't been able to get those boots on ever since. I'm now a paraplegic with a limited variety of shoes!LOL No sorries or worries on me announcing my injury. Like I said before, "if your looking for sympathy, look in webster's between Sh*t and sypholis!". I've adapted well to life in a wheelchair and it doesn't slow me down much except when I'm in Texhoma sand or mud.LOL Man I have some awesome Texoma quicksand stories to share with you all.LOL
My life has come full circle now and I don't think I'd turn back the clock if could. Funny enough, the biggest complaint I have in my lack of hieght now. I was 6'4" tall and could look anyone in the eyes. Now I'm probably around 4'6" and I'm forced to look up to so many people that aren't worth looking down on if I could.LOL
Anyone else ever run into that quicksand I speak of? I have on 3 different occasions and all were bad but I'm still here.It amazes me how 1 day there is a good hard pack of sand and it will rain a lil then the beaches is quicksand but doesn't look any different than it did before! Before I bought a winch for my Blazer. I was driving around the lake as the water was so far down we could take the beach for miles and see places I'd only seen by boat before. We had driven thru every obstacle for 5 hrs. that day until I went to take the HI GROUND around a tree. I began to sink and backed out just in time and went for the water side of the tree as that sand is usually pretty packed. Next thing I knew, you couldn't see my front 33inch tires at all nor could I open my drivers door. I WAS STUCK BIGTIME. Luckily my cousin was with me and we were able to guide a friend down there w/ a tractor to pull my dumb butt out. Well the tractor driver had a few too many beers and dumped the clutch burrying the tractor immediately. Then it bagan to rain. They said they would be back for me ASAP. Little did I know that meant the next morning!LOLOL Man I didn't believe Texoma had a true tide until that night. When the moon came out, I had to stack stuff on the driver's floorboard to keep my feet out of the water. As the rain turned into a major thunderstorm(I was driving and my window was facing the water)and I had white caps bashing my window so hard I just knew it was going to break. It didn't. By 6am the next morning, the tide was down and my feet/flooboard were dry. Sadly that rain washed a bunch of red clay into the sand and turned the entire 100 yard+ section of beach into all quicksand. We had 3 Farmall Tractors burried by 10am aso I called a guy w/ a 4x4 tractor. He was able to get me out but no the tractors. Every time the tire turned on a tractor, even w/o spinning a tire, it sunk. We had to use come alongs to winch the out and stay above the water line.4 feet at a time we finally got everyone out. Man that is 1 day I wished I had pictures of as you guys just can't begin to concieve what I'm talking about until you see it yourselves..
I do have photo's taken memorial weekend of 93' when I had my very 1st quicksand encounter. I drove a 3/4 ton chevyu 4x4 with the monster lift kit and 38inch tires...I was 24 so you can imagine what it probably looked like if you take age into consideration. It ate that truck to but luckily I was close to the road. We only burried 2 tractor's that day!LOL I will post pics this weekend of this 1. I have a picture of me dragging a chain to the front of my truck and I'm literally waist deep in quicksand. Thank goodness there were a bunch of tree roots in the mush or theres no telling how deep I would of gone.
The next thing I knew, the beach was totally empty and the Memorial Day party was now wrapped around the fiasco I created!LOL Thank the good lord for helpful and kind southern folks(OKIES and Texans) that spent they entire day helping me out. It was insane, there was over 100 people all helping and partying around us and it cost me about 10 cases of beer as I told everyone I'd keep it flowing if they'd help me out. I know it sounds like a nightmare but it is in the top 10 of my favorite days on the beach by Sandbass Cove.
Now I build winch mounts and receiver trailor hitches for the front end of trucks. that way I can move my winch from the front to the back of my truck / the pull of a pin and a nascar style wire plug in. Wouldn't you know that ever since I've owned this monster winch, I've never used it to get myself out! I've never been stuck since! And I NEVER pass somebody stuck that needs pulling out unless they're too drunk and much safer being stuck. That happens a lot down there!LOL I don't ever really want to find that quicksand again but if I do, by god I'm ready!LOL
Well I hope no one is bothered by my off topic story telling. I start reminising about Texoma and I just can't stop. That lake has a very special place in the hearts of my entire family. I have so many 1st time experiences growing up on that water, someday I hope to retire down there way off the concrete roads.
Have a great day and weekend all. It's almost 70F here today and I need to begin preparing the yard and cleaning seed trays and pots. It's been so cold until now, I haven't been able to hook up the garden hose! That's just not right! but it's Kansas...LOL
JLD_II
Olathe, KS
(Zone 6a)

March 4, 2005
5:00 PM

Post #1320059

LOL please excuse my lack of gramar and spelling. I start rambling and don't look back.
BTW Any guys out there interested in a pair of size 13 wide Chocolate brown elephant boots that are in perfect shape, please let me know. It sickens me seeing them collect dust.
Adios, JD
imway2dumb
Gordonville, TX
(Zone 7b)

March 4, 2005
10:52 PM

Post #1320551

Ramble on as much as you want, Bud. I'm all ears.

John
konkreteblond
Burleson, TX
(Zone 8a)

March 4, 2005
11:34 PM

Post #1320616

JLD, you'll have to tell me if anywhere in the above post you say you've found Horned Toads. lol ;) You and John carry on...
JLD_II
Olathe, KS
(Zone 6a)

March 6, 2005
4:44 PM

Post #1323118

I haven't found any horned toads in ages. thats the only reason I started this thread, trying to locate some. I'm very saddened by the fact that more people remember them than see them today.
Meanwhile, I just started rambling and hoping someone would find some. Hopefully now that I know more about them, I'll look for their food source now before looking for them 1st. Maybe I'll get lucky this Memorial weekend, I'll be hunting hard.
JD
imway2dumb
Gordonville, TX
(Zone 7b)

March 6, 2005
4:47 PM

Post #1323131

Yep, carpenter ants!

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