ABOUT Rufus Darden Reptiles

Rufus Darden Reptiles was born out of a lifelong interest in reptiles. Although I had kept and bred numerous reptile species, it wasn’t until 1999 that I began to focus more intently on the hobby. Since then, I have primarily kept and bred sand boas. I’ve successfully produced various Kenyan sand boa morphs, and also have produced Arabian (E. jayakari) and Russian (E. miliaris) sand boas. As a herpetoculturist, I begin each breeding project with the goal of producing the healthiest and most visually appealing animals possible. Equally as important, I strive to offer others in the hobby high-quality animals from my projects. In order to do this, I spare no expense and cut no corners. Each project starts with the best breeding stock I can produce or obtain. All animals that I make available are produced by me unless otherwise stated. A key priority, one which is integral in maintaining my standard of quality, is to keep and breed only the number of animals that is manageable. This allows me to pass on well-kept, healthy, robust animals with excellent genetics. I never choose to increase production at the sacrifice of quality animals and quality customer service.

About Rufus

I remember being told by countless individuals as a kid, “you’re not normal,” as they shook their head in response to learning about my fascination with reptiles and amphibians. I never thought I was abnormal. As a kid growing up in rural Tennessee I loved to hunt, fish, ride horses, go camping, and spend lots of time outdoors like most normal people. My interest in reptiles, as I saw it, made me “normal plus.” I had normal interests, plus some unique ones. I was never content to just see an animal. I had to interact with it.

I am fortunate to have been able to follow these unique interests throughout my entire life. I spent much of my childhood rummaging through wood piles, dilapidated barns, swamps, fields, and flipping logs in the woods in search of spotted salamanders, box turtles, fence lizards, frogs, and any type of snake. I was able to pursue these interests in college, working in a university’s snake lab while obtaining my Bachelor of Science degree in Biology. I then performed conservation-based research at an Air Force base while completing my Master of Science degree in Biology at Tennessee Technological University. I currently enjoy a career as an Associate Professor of Biology at a community college in the Upper Cumberland region of Tennessee.

As with many herpetologists, I’ve enjoyed keeping various reptiles and amphibians in captivity from my early childhood until today. My hobby of herpetoculture evolved from keeping wild-caught snakes and salamanders in terrariums under my bed as a kid, to keeping leopard geckos and blue-tongue skinks in a retrofitted mini-barn as a teenager. After graduating high school, I began to attend various reptile shows around the U.S. with Tom Harbin, a veteran in the reptile industry. I owe much of my progression in this hobby to him, as well as my parents. Both have been supportive of my interests in various ways. In 1999 I attended an East Texas Herpetological Symposium, where I encountered my first Kenyan sand boas. Their patterns seemed inverted and their eyes not quite right—such an unconventional looking snake… I had to have them. Since then, I’ve bred various sand boa species and genetic morphs. I keep a small thriving collection, working on specialized projects that I enjoy sharing with fellow members of the reptile community through attending reptile shows, posting on social media, and sharing pictures and information on this website.

ABOUT

Rufus Darden Reptiles was born out of a lifelong interest in reptiles. Although I had kept and bred numerous reptile species, it wasn’t until 1999 that I began to focus more intently on the hobby. Since then, I have primarily kept and bred sand boas. I’ve successfully produced various Kenyan sand boa morphs, and also have produced Arabian (E. jayakari) and Russian (E. miliaris) sand boas. As a herpetoculturist, I begin each breeding project with the goal of producing the healthiest and most visually appealing animals possible. Equally as important, I strive to offer others in the hobby high-quality animals from my projects. In order to do this, I spare no expense and cut no corners. Each project starts with the best breeding stock I can produce or obtain. All animals that I make available are produced by me unless otherwise stated. A key priority, one which is integral in maintaining my standard of quality, is to keep and breed only the number of animals that is manageable. This allows me to pass on well-kept, healthy, robust animals with excellent genetics. I never choose to increase production at the sacrifice of quality animals and quality customer service.

About Rufus

I remember being told by countless individuals as a kid, “you’re not normal,” as they shook their head in response to learning about my fascination with reptiles and amphibians. I never thought I was abnormal. As a kid growing up in rural Tennessee I loved to hunt, fish, ride horses, go camping, and spend lots of time outdoors like most normal people. My interest in reptiles, as I saw it, made me “normal plus.” I had normal interests, plus some unique ones. I was never content to just see an animal. I had to interact with it.

I am fortunate to have been able to follow these unique interests throughout my entire life. I spent much of my childhood rummaging through wood piles, dilapidated barns, swamps, fields, and flipping logs in the woods in search of spotted salamanders, box turtles, fence lizards, frogs, and any type of snake. I was able to pursue these interests in college, working in a university’s snake lab while obtaining my Bachelor of Science degree in Biology. I then performed conservation-based research at an Air Force base while completing my Master of Science degree in Biology at Tennessee Technological University. I currently enjoy a career as an Associate Professor of Biology at a community college in the Upper Cumberland region of Tennessee.

As with many herpetologists, I’ve enjoyed keeping various reptiles and amphibians in captivity from my early childhood until today. My hobby of herpetoculture evolved from keeping wild-caught snakes and salamanders in terrariums under my bed as a kid, to keeping leopard geckos and blue-tongue skinks in a retrofitted mini-barn as a teenager. After graduating high school, I began to attend various reptile shows around the U.S. with Tom Harbin, a veteran in the reptile industry. I owe much of my progression in this hobby to him, as well as my parents. Both have been supportive of my interests in various ways. In 1999 I attended an East Texas Herpetological Symposium, where I encountered my first Kenyan sand boas. Their patterns seemed inverted and their eyes not quite right—such an unconventional looking snake… I had to have them. Since then, I’ve bred various sand boa species and genetic morphs. I keep a small thriving collection, working on specialized projects that I enjoy sharing with fellow members of the reptile community through attending reptile shows, posting on social media, and sharing pictures and information on this website.