Larry Jones, the Lizard Wizard, to Speak Sept. 16—All Are Welcome

Deb Melton

The Democratic Club of Quail Creek (DCQC) will meet on Sept. 16 at 3 p.m. at the Kino Center in the Mesquite Room. This meeting is open to the entire community.

Our speaker will be Larry Jones, known as the Lizard Wizard. I asked Larry to tell us a bit about his presentation, and here is how he described his talk:

Larry is a reptile expert with the Southwest Zoologist League. The title of his presentation is “Venomous Animals of Southern Arizona—and Beyond!”

“Basically I am speaking about the subject matter of my recent book, published in 2022, Venomous Animals of the United States and Canada: A Guide to Vertebrates and Invertebrates of Land and Sea. I will give a brief overview of venom and envenomation, and types of venomous (not poisonous) animals, showing examples of most groups of species found in North America north of Mexico, then zeroing in on Southern Arizona and the Quail Creek and Santa Ritas area. I am a safety-first kinda guy, so the important points are recognition, prevention, first aid, and what to do if envenomated.”

I asked Larry what we might learn from his presentation, and here’s what he said: “I aim to exemplify the awe and wonder of the natural history of these fascinating animals locally and nationally, from land and sea. They would learn more about these animals, how to identify local species and species groups, where to find them, precautions to take (especially around the home and yard), and what to do if bitten or stung.”

Larry is passionate about his subject and wants people to know that “In the U.S., Southern Arizona is Ground Zero for [terrestrial] venomous animals. These animals are a natural part of our environment, and we are the intruders into their domain. They are something to be safely enjoyed, or at least tolerated, rather than loathed and persecuted. While they command respect because of their potential to do harm to humans, they are also critical parts of the ecosystem, so we need to learn to live with them.”

When I asked Larry why people should attend this presentation, he said this: “Most people have been bitten or stung by some venomous animal(s) in their lifetime, and there just seems to be a lot of curiosity about these fascinating animals. I will help participants learn about dealing with venomous animals if encountered. Because many are stunningly beautiful animals, the slide show does have a lot of eye candy.”

Larry’s book will be for sale at the meeting.

All residents of Quail Creek are welcome to attend DCQC meetings. For more information on club activities, please visit our website