Oriental Fire Bellied toads – Bombina orientalis

Care Sheets, Latest Posts
The Oriental Fire Bellied toad occurs throughout Korea, North East China and into Russia. Geographically it varies in body colouration and intensity of the red belly. The belly is used to deter predators, this toad is mildly poisonous – the toad raises its arms, and flattens itself to show off the red belly when under threat. It is reported that they will flip themselves on their back under extreme provocation – but I have never seen such an extreme display. The toxins are very mild, and only likely to (rarely cause skin / eye irritation). Like all Bombina species it lives in areas of shallow water marsh land.   We always advise the use of plastic or glass vivaria. Provide a shallow water area (around 15-20cm deep), many keepers provide…
Read More

Desert Hairy Scorpions – Hadrurus arizonensis

Care Sheets, Latest Posts
The Desert Hairy Scorpion naturally occurs throughout the Sonoran and Mojave deserts in North America. The hairs detect vibrations and aid them catching prey in such harsh hot conditions. They live in long elaborate tunnels, up to around three metres long. They are known for being a grumpy species, however we find them to be a very manageable species that pose no great difficulties to the experienced scorpion keeper. Their venom is described as being comparable to a bee sting, - however even a bee sting can cause an allergic reaction, and fatalities from this scorpion species have been recorded. As with all species, be careful – and we advise only adult keepers. A plastic or glass tank provides the most suitable housing, heated by a heat mat under or…
Read More

Golden geckos – Gekko ulikovskii

Care Sheets, Latest Posts
Golden geckos are a nocturnal species, generally becoming active at dusk, and remaining active throughout the dark hours. They occur in lowland rainforest in Vietnam, often around human habitation – they take advantage of electric lights that attract flying insects that they consume.   This species is generally available as wild caught, and is not a species currently bred in large numbers. We always recommend that wild caught species are only kept by experienced keepers with a view to establishing breeding programmes – there are many captive bred species freely available that will suit the less experienced keeper. Having said this, the Golden gecko is an easy species to keep, and shouldn’t provide any difficulties in breeding.   They are an arboreal species, so provide a tall glass vivarium of…
Read More

For the sake of our Chameleons

Care Sheets, Information Guides, Latest Posts
An interesting article, initially published in a trade magazine, Peregrine Trade News. Written by Petr Necas and Bill Strand. For the sake of our Chameleons, we must understand this (respiratory) disease and answer the crucial questions that will allow us to finally eliminate this plague from our terrariums. To do this we will explore what a respiratory infection is, how it takes hold, what the symptoms are, and how we can treat it. What is a Respiratory Infection? A respiratory infection (RI) is a condition where air borne pathogenic bacteria has been allowed to reproduce unchecked in the respiratory tract and cause inflammation. Bacteria are microscopic living organisms that, like all living organisms, give off waste products as a result of their metabolism. In some cases, this waste product is…
Read More

“True” Tomato frogs

Care Sheets, Information Guides, Latest Posts
For many years the “true” Tomato frog has not been available in the trade, being listed as CITES 1 to protect them within their natural habitat. The species has now joined its closely related species Dyscophus guineti, downgraded to CITES 2, which allows sustainable trade more easily. This is good news! They occur in a small geographical area around Antongil Bay (hence the latin name) in Madagascar, up to around 200 metres elevation. Habitat includes tropical and sub-tropical lowland forests around marshes, slow moving rivers, plantations, parks and gardens in urban areas, ponds and drainage ditches. In captivity they do fine in a moderately warm terrarium of around 22-24C. They like to burrow, a substrate such as  Arcadia EartMix or ProRep BioLife Forest will allows for this. They thrive in…
Read More

Philippine Leaf Insect

Care Sheets, Information Guides, Latest Posts
There are many Leaf Insects, the Philippine Leaf Insect is the commonly available species and easy to cater for. House them at room temperature (around 20-25C), in a glass vivarium with a mesh ceiling (this will aid them shedding their skin). Plenty of twigs and branches for climbing, and food consists of bramble leaves (older leaves, young hairy ones can be toxic to them), rose and oak leaves. Of course make sure all food offered is free from pesticides. Place the bramble twigs, complete with leaves in a jar of water to keep fresh – for safety use a sponge to stop the insects drowning in the water. Winter can be a problem obtaining food, keep this in mind. Spray the vivarium lightly with tepid water every day. Having a…
Read More

Fire Skinks – Lepidothyris fernandi

Care Sheets, Latest Posts
A very impressive lizard species, bright and colourful, the Fire skink inhabits tropical forests in Western Africa. Total length is around 40cm, snout to vet around 20-23cm - but it is their colouration that impresses the most. This species was brought in to the UK hobby originally as wild caught adults. They have not proven to be an easy species to breed, however they are quite an easy species to track down as CB as more breeders produce them. WC are still brought in, but in dramatically reduced numbers, this could cause future issues with inbreeding - WC stock is still important. They are a relatively easy species to care for, and they tame down from their naturally fast and skittish nature in very little time at all. They come…
Read More

Ridleys Beauty snake – Othriophis taeniurus ridleyi

Care Sheets, Latest Posts
A fantastically impressive snake species, best suited to those that are more experienced at snake keeping due to their irritable nature. They originate from Thailand and the Malaysian Peninsula and grow to around six feet long. Some writers report that wild individuals tend to be quite calm - not my own findings. They are often cave dwellers, only active during the day in the caves. Outside of caves they are purely nocturnal, but often take up residence in disused buildings and then revert back to daytime activity in the darkness of the building. They are well documented catching bats in mid-flight and whilst roosting during the day. Birds are also caught on the wing, this ability to catch flying creatures probably accounts for the lightening strikes and their well known…
Read More

Vinegaroons

Care Sheets, Latest Posts
Vinegaroons are an arachnid occurring throughout the world (except Europe and Australia), in sub-tropical and tropical regions. The are a burrowing species often found in burrows under rotting logs and the like. They are named Vinegaroons due to them releasing acetic acid as a defence, which gives them a vinegary aroma. Another common name is Whip Scorpion. They do not use the full eight legs for walking, the front two are used as antennae-like sensory organs. All species also have very large scorpion-like pincers – each pincer has an additional large spine. They have a pair of eyes at the front, three on the side of the head. These are very easy to keep. Maintain a temperature of around 25-28C, a deep layer of damp substrate such as coir, leaf…
Read More

Northern Pine snakes (Pitouphis melanoleucus)

Care Sheets, Latest Posts
There are five sub-species of Pine snakes, all occurring in North America, the Northern Pine snake is the nominate form. It occurs throughout New Jersey, the western Appalachian mountains of Virginia, North Carolina, southern Kentucky, Tennessee, northern Alabama, Northern Georgia, the piedmont area of southern North Carolina and nearly all of South Carolina. Often found in upland, sandy, dry coniferous woodland, mainly pine, and usually in forest openings. It has a large developed rostral plate on the tip of its nose that allows the snake to burrow in the sandy conditions – mainly to escape the hot summer temperatures. It is one of the largest North American snakes at around 2m in length. Often has an irritable nature, huffing and puffing, mouth agape in a typical (for the species) “s”…
Read More