Joining is easy and can now be done online!
We have a wealth of resources available, and if you want to get involved, we have a number of ways to help you with that too!

General Meetings

All members are encouraged to attend as often as possible. Most of the services provided for the membership are handled at the monthly meetings. There are sign-up sheets at the front of the meeting room for MHS activities. These include Critter of the Month, Hands-On, and other events. News and notes are presented. The monthly speaker will present on various topics directly and indirectly affecting amphibians and reptiles. Animal adoptions occur after the speaker. The White Snake Sale and Photo Contest are conducted during the April meeting. If you have any questions, the board members are always happy to help.

Meetings are typically held in 335 Borlaug Hall on the University of Minnesota’s Saint Paul Campus.

Event Dates


Each month, a raffle is held as a fundraiser for the Society. Anyone is encouraged to donate items to this raffle.


Membership allows you to participate in our Animal Adoption program. As a current member in good standing, you are allowed to apply for animals that are surrendered to the society.

Rodent Sales

MHS sponsors the sale of frozen rodents to its members. These sales are at a discount, typically less than in the retail market.

Rodent orders have been discontinued at this time.

Rodent Sale Rules:

  • Must be a current member of MHS
  • Orders must be placed at least one week in advance of date of meeting (you can order online)
  • Orders must be picked up at monthly meeting only
  • Prices are listed in the newsletter and online.


Being a member allows you to represent the Society by displaying your amphibians and reptiles to the public in a positive manner. Through this type of education we can bring a real ‘hands on’ experience in herpetology to the public and alleviate some of their misconceptions. After all, these are the people that we need to convince of the value of herps, herpetology and herpetoculture. Some of our educational events include the Renaissance Festival, local fairs, schools, nature centers, zoos and other private or public functions.

Renaissance Festival

‘Como Cottage’ was originally built by Como Zoo to educate people about animals while stepping back into the 16th century during the seven weekends of the fall Renaissance Festival. In 1997, MHS took sole responsibility for the cottage after years of sharing with Como Docents. The volunteers dress in period costumes. If costumes are needed, MHS maintains a large wardrobe of renaissance clothing. After working a portion of the day for MHS, you are free to experience the sights and sounds of the realm. This is a very fun and popular event.

Research/Field Trips

MHS frequently participates in fieldwork involving a variety of subjects, methods and surveys. Announcements will be made in the newsletter.


The monthly newsletter contains information about MHS business and general meeting happenings, current and past speakers, upcoming events, and special articles. The newsletter provides a forum to express your viewpoints to the general membership. Local businesses advertise in the newsletter, and free advertising space is allowed for members of the Society. Please refer to Section IV of the General Policies for advertising policies and pricing.


MHS maintains a library of books, periodicals, tapes, and society journals available for check out to current members.

Library Rules:

  • Must be a current member of MHS
  • A member may only have up to 3 items checked out at one time
  • Items are checked out for one month only
  • Overdue fine is $1.00 per month
  • Items may only be renewed twice
  • The member who checked out the item is responsible for any damage to the item
  • Replacement cost will be charged on any item not returned to MHS

Critter of the Month

This is a program where individuals of the Society bring in their personal animals and explain a little about them to the audience. If the Newsletter suggests a Critter of the Month theme for the next Meeting, be creative in finding an animal that fits. For example, if Critter of the Month was ‘Minnesota Herps’, you could bring any animal as it lives in Minnesota now.

Guidelines for Critter of the Month:

  • Must clear all potentially dangerous animals with the Vice-president before bringing them to the meeting.
  • Do not bring sick animals or animals in shed.
  • Bring animals in appropriate carriers for the weather conditions.
  • Bring a proper container to display the animals.
  • Animals brought into the meeting room are not to be shown in the room except during Critter of the Month.
  • If it is necessary to take the animal out, please do so outside the room.


Another service to members is ‘herp assistance’. An individual who has a specific question on an animal can contact one of our designated ‘experts’ who will attempt to resolve your particular problem. These people will offer guidance based on their experiences; they are not veterinarians. These members’ areas of specialties and phone numbers are listed in the newsletter.

White Snake Sale and
Photo Contest

A yearly fundraising event, this silent bid auction is where members, individuals, and businesses donate items for auction. MHS also puts out items such as old newsletters received from other societies. The meeting will be quite different from the normal meeting. The rules will be explained at the beginning of the meeting. This is the biggest fund raising event for MHS. This is in conjunction with a Photo Contest!

MHS Merchandise

A number of unique items are put up for sale by the Society. T-shirts, occasional papers, notecards, window decals, and other items are available. Please consult the sale table at the front of the meeting room for prices and availability or call the voicemail to request prices and availability.

Holiday Banquet

This holiday event is a great get together with fellow herpers in a relaxed evening of socializing. This potluck dinner features a speaker and a special raffle.

Board Meetings

Board meetings are open to the membership. Much of the business of running the society occurs here. Proposals from various members, correspondence, committee reports, and activities are discussed in an open forum. There is opportunity for non-board members to express comments or concerns. Every member is encouraged to attend.


As a current active member of MHS, you are allowed to vote at the Annual Meeting in November to elect the Board of Directors and to vote on any referendums brought to the ballot. Additional voting may take place at other general meetings throughout the year, but only after 60 days’ notice has been given via the newsletter.

Election Rules:

  • Must be a current active member of MHS; corresponding memberships may not vote
  • Members must be wearing MHS nametag to obtain ballots
  • Members must be present to vote; there are no absentee ballots

More information can be found in the General Policies and Bylaws.