Madagascan Giant Day gecko – Phelsuma grandis

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A large species of Day gecko, dwarfing most of it’s relatives at up to around 25-30cm in total length. They are a most impressive looking gecko species, bright intense green, many having red bars or spots. Its easy to see why this species is so popular, they are truly beautiful. They come from Madagascar, but have found themselves establishing colonies away from their native lands in such places as Florida. As the name suggests they are a daytime active species (diurnal) in contrast to many of the gecko species being nocturnal. They eat a mixture of insects, and also sweet nectar. This is easy to replicate in captivity with the huge variety of suitably sized livefood – crickets, locusts, waxworms etc. To satisfy their ‘sweet tooth’ there are many mixes…
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Yellow Bellied toads – Bombina variegata

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In the wild the Yellow Bellied toad is a widespread semi-aquatic toad distributed through central Western Europe through to the East and into parts of Asia. Unlike many toads this species never strays far from water and is most commonly found floating on the top of the water in shallow pools, ditches and slow moving streams. They are often found in and around human habitation in temporary bodies of water such as ruts made by tractors and the like. Apart from the bright belly colouration its very notable for its call – a series of calls are made, many liken the sound to a laugh or a cackle. Probably one of the easiest species of amphibian to cater for – decent size shallow water area and a smaller portion of…
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Horsfields Tortoise – Agrionemys horsfieldii

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Horsfield tortoises (note correct spelling, not Horsefields) have a multitude of common names, one being the Russian tortoise. They do occur in Russia, but more correctly they are further widespread - Pakistan, Iran, and Afghanistan, extending into western China and into South Eastern Russia. The occur in mainly dry terrain, but often in areas that will still allow lush vegetation to thrive. Being a widespread tortoise they are a hardy tortoise that can experience high and low extremes of temperature within the range. However it must be remembered that they will dig burrows to escape those extremes, both aestivating and brumating, and in some parts of their range they do both. A very hardy tortoise species indeed. In reality these natural extremes have evolved this species to be a little…
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Komodo Turtle / Terrapin Diets

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Turtles, or more commonly referred to as terrapins in the UK, are a common pet. We at Coast to Coast Exotics have never fully “got behind” selling terrapins as we firmly believe there are better pet reptile species to keep. They can be a more complex animal to keep than many people think, and this is reflected in the amount of terrapins in rescue centres – by far the commonest reptile to find themselves homeless. However in the right hands, with people that can cope with their needs they are an interesting and fulfilling animal to keep. Komodo have come up with this rather well thought out range of foods for terrapins that seems to work very well. They are specific to terrapin species needs. Some eat sunken matter, others…
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Bone Headed toads – Ingerophrynus galeatus

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The Bone Headed toad has several common names including Helmeted toad and Mountain toad. Its easy to see why there is a reference to bony heads, especially with the females – where it is very noticeable. They occur (at least) through Cambodia, Southern China, Vietnam and Laos, at 100-1300m, so the Mountain toad name isn’t as obvious as the reference to bony heads. They are referenced to live close to water, and it would appear they breed in variety of streams and pools. They have been bred in captivity, some years ago, even though they are seldom offered for sale. To keep this species is relatively standard toad husbandry. They don’t want to be kept too wet, toads from this genera prefer to have access to water, but be kept…
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Zoo Med Paludarium system – building a home for aquatic, semi-aquatic and arboreal species

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We have built many paludaria, for those that are unfamiliar with the term, this is a glass constructed terrarium that has an aquarium at the bottom, a land area and then a planted wall to the rear of the terrarium. This allows communal living of compatible aquatic, semi-aquatic and arboreal species altogether in one enclosure. There are some hobbyists that frown on such an enclosure, but it can be done, and now with Zoo Med providing a full range of products designed for this one purpose it has become easier than ever. Perhaps for the more advanced experienced keeper, but it can be done- and very successfully.   Zoo med have brought to market two tall Paludaria, one is 30x30x60cm, the other is 45cmx45cmx90cm. We set up the larger one…
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Golden Sun Skinks – Eutropis multifasciata

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Skinks are a fascinating group of lizards, often sadly overlooked by keepers apart from one or two species such as Blue Tongue Skinks. The Golden Sun Skink is a small to medium sized undemanding skink which are very active and full of character. They are widespread throughout Asia occurring in a variety of habitats, it’s this adaptability that makes them very easy to maintain. They are insectivorous and will readily eat most commercially produced livefood such as crickets, locusts and cockroaches. We’d suggest balancing their diet out even further with not only a varied diet but by also gut loading any livefood offered. This is a simple technique where vitamins and minerals are fed to the insects in their food. In turn, when the insect is eaten that same goodness…
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Zoo Med Lizard and Tortoise Toppers

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It has long been recognised that the methods of providing food for tortoises from the supermarket (lettuce, tomatoes etc) is not a good diet – weed gathering has become the norm for most tortoise keepers. There are many weeds that are suitable as feed for tortoises, all should be washed and taken from areas free from pesticides. Recommended basic food plants: • Dandelion (Taraxacum officianale) • Hawkbits (Leontodon spp.) • Sowthistles (Sonchus spp.) • Hawkweeds (Pictis spp.) • Hawkbeards (Crepis spp.) • Plantains (Plantago spp.) • Clovers (Trifolium spp.) • Honeysuckle (Lonicera periclymenum) • Cat's ears (Hypochoeris spp.) • Vetches (Vicina spp.) • Trefoils (Lotus spp.) • Mallows (Malva spp.) • Bindweeds (Calystegia spp.) • Sedums (Sedum spp.) • Ivy-leaved Toadflax (Cymbalaria muralis) Products like Zoo Meds Tortoise Toppers are…
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Reptile Wound treatment – Vetark Tamodine

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For anybody involved in the hobby for a long time the Name Vetark is associated with quality reptile care, great treatments and supplements that do a great job. One of the tried and tested favourites is Tamodine. It’s a product that every reptile keeper should have in their reptile first aid box. A “tamed” version of Iodine this product is the antifungal and antibacterial and is probably the best way of cleaning reptilian wounds – but its not suitable for amphibians. Easy to use, just apply directly to the cut, with cotton wool or a cotton bud – however we would still recommend seeking veterinary advice. Tamodine is effective against bacteria, protozoa, yeasts, fungi and some viruses without damaging delicate skin. It has all of the activity of free iodine…
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Taurrus Predatory mites for treating infestations of snake mite

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Snake mites, the bind of any snake keepers life. Lets face it nobody fancies the thought of any mite like creature in their home. However, just like fleas for cats and dogs, if you have a snake you may find yourself needing to eradicate snake mites. It’s not just snakes either, we have seen mites on several “non-snake” reptile species. Where do they come from? More often than not it’s a mystery, even a household with only one snake can suddenly find themselves with an outbreak. Luckily, it’s not frequent, and when they do occur they cannot cause humans any problems – unlike fleas. I did hear of one report of human infestation, but its rather debatable – over all the years of being involved in the hobby I’ve not…
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