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Third Workshop
"Terrarium Keeping Today"

This time – dedicated to a special theme – thermal biology

    The 3rd Workshop "Terrarium Keeping Today," was held in St. Petersburg on October 30, 2010. It was organized by the Terrarium Keeping and Zooculture Section of A.M.Nikolski Memorial Russian Herpetological Society at Russian Academy of Sciences, and Internet-portal "VitaWater.ru".

Registration of the Workshop participants Registration of the Workshop participants
Registration of the Workshop participants

    Spartak Litvinchuk, a member of the presidium of A.M.Nikolskii Memorial Herpetological Society opened the Workshop, welcomed participants, and wished a successful event.

Spartak Litvinchuk
Spartak Litvinchuk, a member of the presidium of A.M. Nikolskii Memorial Herpetological Society welcoming the Workshop participants

Yevgeniya Abramova
Yevgeniya Abramova, a representative of the Workshop general sponsor, the trade company "Hagen Russ"

    Then the floor was given to Yevgeniya Abramova, a representative of the company "Hagen Russ" (the brand name "Exo Terra"). This company became a general sponsor of the Workshop "Terrarium Keeping Today" for the second time. Yevgeniya Abramova told about the company "Hagen", which is a world leader in the production of terrariums and accessories.

Thermal biology is the most important field of reptile research for a terrarium keeper

    This time (unlike two previous seminars) the organizers decided to make the first part of the event theme-specific. The scientific part of the Workshop was dedicated to the role of temperature in reptiles’ life, or, in scientific terms, to thermal biology of reptiles.
    Andrey Gromov, a curator of the terrarium section of the Internet-portal "VitaWater.ru" gave a presentation titled "The temperature in the ecology and ethology of reptiles". He introduced the participants to the major issues and terms, told about ectothermal and endothermal organisms, energy exchange processes, specific relationships between reptiles (higher ectothermal animals) and their environment, as well as about the ways of the heat exchange and behavioral mechanisms to maintain the temperature.

Andrey Gromov
Andrey Gromov

    The next presentation "The temperature as a factor of the reptile life" was by Vladimir Cherlin, the most famous to date expert in reptile thermobiology in post-Soviet space. The report highlighted the key concepts of this branch of science, such as (i) active, inactive, and the transitional states of the animals, (ii) general patterns of reptiles’ behavior ("thermoostabilizing", "thermoneutral", basking, etc.), (iii) thermobiological indicators and their variability, and (iv) organization of thermoregulation in reptiles. Two main ways of adaptation of reptiles to a thermal factor leading to the formation of potentially nocturnal (night-time) and diurnal (daytime) reptiles, was also discussed. These two groups represent, in fact, two major lineages of reptile evolution. In conclusion, the author formulated the concept of "eco-physiological matrix of the species". This concept, developed by Vladimir, is of great importance for terrarium keepers, because the conditions of the animal maintenance in terrariums may not be necessarily the same as in nature, but they should certainly satisfy the basic physiological needs of the organism

Vladimir Cherlin
Vladimir Cherlin

Vladimir Cherlin
Vladimir Cherlin discussing the graphs, which demonstrate interrelations among the body temperature, behavioral patterns and thermophysiological characters of reptiles

    Despite the relative complexity, large size and abundance of scientific terms, the presentations on thermobiology caused sigificant interest and many questions. During the break, the participants had a chance to buy a book authored by V.A. Cherlin’s: "Thermal biology of reptiles. Background and research methods".

The Workshop participants listening to Vladimir Cherlin’s  presentation
The Workshop participants listening to Vladimir Cherlin’s presentation

    After the theoretical part, Andrey Gromov and Vladimir Cherlin focused on the practical aspects of thermal biology: thermophysiological characteristics of reptile species, as well as fitting the animal in the group of potentially nocturnal or diurnal reptiles. Importance of heat sources for the animal kept in the terrarium, was also discussed.


    After complex and informative presentations, participants enjoyed a traditional delicious buffet. This is a great way of informal socializing and exchange of views and news.

Presentation of terrarium accessories by the trade brand Exo Terra Yevgeniya Abramova
Presentation of terrarium accessories by the trade brand Exo Terra

    There were many managers and traders from varies zoological stores at the Workshop. They had to reduce their buffet time, because during the lunch break Exo Terra company organized a special presentation for retailers to introduce the production of Exo Terra, perhaps the most popular brand of terrarium equipment in Russia. This presentation attracted amateur terrarium keepers as well.

Presentation of terrariums and associated goods by the trade brand Exo Terra
Presentation of terrariums and associated goods by the trade brand Exo Terra. Equipment and accessories could be not only looked at but also touched with hands

    The presentation of the representative of another sponsor of the seminar, the company "Ivanko" (a network of pet stores "Les Murrr") continued the event. Sophia Solovyova told about the company, And its role in terrarium business. She also introduced a new zoological hypermarket Le'Murrr in Lahti.

Sophia Solovyova
Sophia Solovyova , a representative of the "Ivanko" company ("Le’Murr")

Vasiyly Rublev
Vasiyly Rublev, representative of "Doctor Sotnikov’s Clinics"

    Then Eugene Rybaltovsky, director of the firm "Zoocom" announced Competition on Terrarium Design "Zoosphere 2010". After that, the word was given to Vasily Rublev, the representative of another sponsor "Doctor Sotnikov’s Clinics". Vasily welcomed the participants, told about the clinics activities, and introduced the next speaker – Denis Nikitenko, a veterenary doctor of the clinic.

Take care of reptiles’ kidneys

Denis Nikitenko
Denis Nikitenko

    Denis Nikitenko, a physician herpetologist of "Doctor Sotnikov’s Clinics" made a presentation titled "Renal failure in reptiles: causes, prevention, diagnosis and treatment". He informed the audience about the anatomy of the reptile excretory system, highlighted the main causes of the renal failure disease. According to Denis Nikitenko, prevention of renal disease in reptiles is particularly important because this disease is, unfortunately, can not be cured. You can only extend the life of ill reptiles, and improve its quality. There are problems with diagnosis: clinical manifestations at early stage of the kidney failure are lacking; so only the animals with the very advanced symptoms of the disease show up at the doctor's office.

Herpetologists talk about expeditions

    Presentations about herpetological expeditions, according to the idea of the Workshop organizers should become a regular section of the event. Alexander Ostroshabov from Zoological Institute RAS (St.Petersburg), talked about his expedition in South Primorye. This is one of the few regions of Russia, which is inhabited by true "herpetofauna", and not by just certain species of amphibians and reptiles. Alexander shared his impressions about the trip. His story was illustrated with fascinating photographs and was accompanied by ethnic music.

Alexander Ostroshabov
Alexander Ostroshabov

    After the story about the herpetofauna of Primorye participants watched a slide show dedicated to herpetological expeditions to Vietnam, in which Nikolay Orlov from the Zoological Institute in St.Petersburg, took part.

Announcing the lottery winners
Announcing the lottery winners

    It is worth noting that at the registration all participants were given questionnaires. At the end of the meeting, the questionnaires were collected and the lottery was played with them. Three winners received certificates for purchasing goods via online store "VitaWater".

The Workshop participants
The Workshop participants

Tatiana Pliuscheyeva

    Tatiana Pliuscheyeva, terrarium keeper from Moscow:
    "I've been doing everything that is associated with reptiles, namely, breeding, consulting, sales and treatment, for the past 15 years.
    Currently this activity is growing rapidly and is of interest to many people. After all, for example, ten years ago only specialists knew what does it mean, "a reptile" or "an iguana". And nowadays the circle of terrarium lovers is increasing every year. Therefore, workshops on contemporary terrarium keeping, are very significant."

Denis Nikitenko
    Denis Nikitenko, physician herpetologist "Clinic Doctor Sotnikova", St. Petersburg:
    "I've always liked terrarium animals: as a child I have had snakes, turtles, frogs and even newts. And that's why four years ago I chose a profession of a herpetologist. This profession is rare enough, which adds attraction, to my mind. For example, many people treat cats and dogs in our country, but a limited number of people care about treatment of reptiles. There are very few books in Russian on this subject, most of necessary literature is in English. In general, reptiles respond well to treatment, the problem is the diagnostics of latent diseases, those with no clinical manifestations. Many diseases of reptiles are identified only at the late stages, when they often can not be cured. You can only try to somehow prolong the animal life or improve its quality."

Evgeniya Abramova
    Evgeniya Abramova, manager of the company "Hagen Russ" ("Exo Terra"), Moscow.
    "For the second time we sponsor the Workshop "Terrarium Keeping Today" I think that for people who are passionate about terrariums, these meetings are very helpful. Company "Exo Terra" was established in Canada, where it is well-known for its good work. Scientific work is in the focus of the company activities. In addition, its employees travel to different parts of the world to watch animals. As far as I know, in Europe terrarium keeping is much more developed, than in Russia. In Russia even highly interested in this area people are always plagued by fears and concerns, for example they always doubt whether they can maintain the animal properly. And, as it was shown on this meeting, terrarium animals have special needs, demand attention and meticulous care: terrarium keeper must not only feed the animal properly, but also take into account the temperature factors and changing of seasons. Anyway, I believe, terrarium keeping is progressively developing in Russia year to year, and our company will do its best to support its development."

Igor Borisov
    Igor Borisov, terrarium keeper, St. Petersburg:
    "I've participated in two previous workshops, and now I came here for the third time. All three meetings produced only good and pleasant impressions.
    The current seminar seems to me very expanded from the point of the subject, because a large part was devoted to reptile biology. This issue fits very well my interests, because I keep reptiles from arid regions, Phrynocephalus sp. lizards. I think that in the future terrarium keeping will continue to evolve, especially as it concerns terrarium design."

Sophia Solovyova
    Sophia Solovyova, representative of the company "Ivanko" (Le'Murrr), St. Petersburg:
    "Our company recently celebrated a grand event: the first hypermarket "Le'Murrr" was opened in June in Lahti. At this seminar, I came with the only purpose: to learn and acquire the necessary for my work knowledge, because information is so essential for zoological business. Experienced and knowledgeable professionals in terrarium keeping, whose opinions you want to know, came together at this Workshop. I was very interested in Andrey Gromov’s presentation on importance of temperature in ecology and ethology of reptiles. In general, speakers used quite understandable language, even for those who have been only recently engaged in terrarium keeping".

Lilia Skopinceva, photo by Adrei Sheremetyev.

    The Workshop organizers:
reshwater and marine aquarium and Terrarium keeping, backyard ponds

Internet portal "VitaWater.ru" Freshwater and marine aquarium and Terrarium keeping, backyard ponds www.vitawater.ru

Section for Terrarium Keeping  and Zooculture with A.A. Nikolski Memorial Russian Herpetological Society

Section for Terrarium Keeping and Zooculture with A.A. Nikolski Memorial Russian Herpetological Society

    General sponsor:

Exo Terra

"Exo Terra"
General Sponsor of the 3rd Workshop "Terrarium Keeping today"

    Supported by:

Zoological markets Le'Murrr

Zoological markets "Le'Murrr"
The largest network of pet-shops
Official website

Doctor Sotnikov’s Clinics

Doctor Sotnikov’s Clinics
24 hours Service Veterinary Clinics of Neurology, Traumatology and Intensive Care
Official website

Aquarium Magazine

Aquarium Magazine
Popular scientific illustrated magazine for fans of aquarium fish and decorative water plants, as well as for owners of terrariums and insectariums
Aquarium Magazine announcements

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