I wasn’t familiar with the term “Herping” until I started seeing the incredible photos posted by 18 year old Alex Roukis on the Long Island Wildlife Photography page.
According to Wikipedia, Herping is the act of searching for amphibians or reptiles. The term, often used by professional and amateur herpetologists, comes from the word “herp”, which comes from the same Greek root as herpetology, herpet-, meaning “creeping”.
What gets even more interesting is that Alex is finding these creatures right here on Long Island rather than a tropical jungle.
Alex is currently a freshman at The State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry near Syracuse, studying Wildlife Science and also volunteers at theTackapausha Museum and Preserve in Seaford.
Alex tells me he has loved small creatures all of his life but only got into photography about three years ago.
Looking at the quality of his images, I imagined some really high end equipment with off camera flash.
Wrong! Alex uses an entry-level Nikon D3100 and a flashlight!
He finds most of his creatures by hiking the Pine Barrens between Manorville and Riverhead at all hours and literally creeping – getting up close and personal in all kinds of weather and terrain.
This is not your typical wildlife photography with a long lens, Alex is crawling on the ground with his flashlight and turning over logs or laying down waiting for action.
Alex tells me more than once passerby have walked by and questioned whether or not he was alive or needed help.
Enjoy all 5 pages of photos, it looks like he works hard for them as you will see on the last page!
Also check out the amazing video footage of frogs and toads calling at night on the bottom of page 5.