If you don't have the degree, you aren't a herpetologist.
Does this mean no degree, know nothing? Of course not. In fact in many cases its the exact opposite as some have mentioned but I don't think anyone should call themselves something they are not. And we as people have decided to make colleges and Universities our way of granting a title to someone and knowing who is credible and has been taught as a such and such. If people just went around calling themselves doctors because they have taken care of injuries in 40,000 people in the last twenty years, then who could we trust? We wouldn't know who is credible, we wouldn't know who had the training at the school or who had an actual degree....that might not matter to some and many would go to anyone who could show the experience, but to many others a degree is a bit of trust. They trust that the school taught this person and the tested them and felt this person was ready for the degree and the priveledge to call themselves "doctor"