Central American Banded gecko – Coleonyx mitratus

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This species has a passing resemblance to the ever-popular Leopard gecko. They are a little smaller, and are often a little more spirited and less tame than the Leopard gecko. They are a fantastic species to keep, and make a good alternative to Leopard geckos, perhaps for those with a little experience. They occur throughout Central America in semi-arid regions. They are a crepuscular species, meaning they tend to be active and hunting for food in the evening – perhaps the morning too. They live in burrows and crevices during the day. They eat a wide variety of insects. In captivity many keepers provide this species with underfloor heating. This method works well enough, apart from the precautionary advice not to use deep layers of substrate over the underfloor heating.…
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Club Tailed Iguana

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The Club Tailed Iguana occurs throughout Central America, mainly in tropical dry forests. They are not a large Iguana species, unlike some of their relatives. Males grow to around 35cm, females only around 25cm. Even though this species does not grow large, they are still a tricky species to keep in captivity. They are an immensely satisfying species to maintain, but perhaps best in the hands of those with more experience. They can give a powerful bite, move fast and will need a large vivarium. Provide a daytime temperature, for basking of around 34C, and an ambient of around 28-30C – cool end temperature of around 24C. Night-time temperature can drop to around 22C. Both UVB and full spectrum lighting is a must – we would highly recommend one of…
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African Bull Frogs

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Also known as Pixie frog, due to its scientific name - Pyxicephalus adspersus. They are widespread throughout Angola, Botswana, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe. They are found in a wide array of habitats including savannah and shrubland in both high rainfall / humidity and relatively arid. They are found around lakes, marshes, arable land and drainage ditches. A large frog, males being larger at around 25cm (nearly 1.5kg), females much smaller.   They are an easy frog to keep, but the greatest attention to hygiene is critical. They have huge appetites and produce huge amounts of faecal matter for this reason – it’s easy to see why hygiene is so important. Some keepers keep the frogs in shallow water for this reason, easy to…
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Banded Water snakes – Nerodia fasciata

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Banded Water snakes are a stout bodied (unlike most Garter snakes) that occur through several southern States of the USA. They can be found generally in marshy areas, around ponds, lakes and streams and can be described as aquatic to semi-aquatic. They are non-venomous, although the bite of Nerodia species has been documented as an irritant and some people have taken a reaction. In captivity a keeper needs to be mindful that if kept to wet or damp they this species may be prone to skin blister problems. The best way to alleviate this problem is to make sure good hygiene is maintained, and also that the snake has access to somewhere they can spend time to thoroughly dry out. We would suggest a glass terrarium is best suited to…
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Emerald Green Eyed Treefrogs – Hypsiboas crepitans

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A commonly found treefrog in its natural distribution area, a huge area including Brazil, Colombia, French Guiana, Guyana, Panama, Suriname, Trinidad, Tobago, and Venezuela. As well as having a huge range it lives in a wide variety of habitat and can almost be found anywhere from sea level through to nearly 2500m altitude. A very successful species, and tolerant of many conditions. Its variable in appearance, and can also change shades too – I have seen specimens that are golden brown through to a muddy green colouration. Their eye is quite stunning, as the name suggests, and has a distinct set of two colours, around the pupil is a sparkling white grey colour, this is lined with a yellow to emerald green border. They are sexually dimorphic, as in the…
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Cope’s Grey Treefrog – Hyla chrysoscelis (recently reclassified as Dryophytes chrysoscelis)

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Cope’s Grey Treefrog is a species of frog that occurs in Southerly regions throughout North America at lower elevations. As their name ‘Treefrog’ suggests they are generally found in woodland areas. They are easily confused with several species including Hyla versicolor, Grey Treefrog. They breed between May and August, en masse, with choruses of calls by the males. As a point of interest, like many frog species the skin secretions are known to be a known skin irritant to some people – but this is rare. They are an easy species to keep in captivity, with of course some basic needs being met. They are best kept in a tall glass terrarium, of around 90cm tall. They are best kept in naturally planted terraria – and look stunning displayed with…
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Togo Starburst Baboon – Heteroscodra maculata

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A very impressive species, but perhaps left to the more experienced spider keeper. Colouration and larger size (leg span to around 13cm) makes them a very popular species within the hobby. They can be aggressive in nature and have a relatively potent venom. They occur naturally in West Africa, mainly in Togo and Ghana. An arboreal species, although younger individuals will often burrow. We would recommend a tall glass vivarium, with a deep layer of substrate such as ProRep SpiderLife and provide plenty of branches – this will provide for both tendencies. Provide a temperature of around 26C, with a small drop at night. Lighting is not required. Provide a small water bowl for drinking and spray with water daily to maintain a high level of humidity. A reliable source…
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The Lake Cuitzeo Garter Snake – Thamnophis eques cuitzeoensis

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The Lake Cuitzeo Garter Snake is a sub-species for the Mexican Garter snake and only occurs in Lago de Cuitzeo, Michoacán, Mexico. It is a relatively heavy bodied larger Garter snake, but still of a size that would be described as a small to medium sized snake – around a metre in length. It is an attractive species that tends to grow into a black adult, with an appealing blue hue, especially around the neck region. Not a commonly seen or kept species in captivity, one for the Garter snake enthusiast. In captivity they are an easy species to cater for, as long as some basic needs are met. They are a basking diurnal species and are active during daylight hours. We provide 6-7% UVB light during the daytime hours.…
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Mourning geckos – Lepidodactylus lugubris

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Mourning geckos arrived in the reptile keeping scene over the last few years, and have become very popular – especially with natural terrarium enthusiasts. They are a pretty gecko, small and characterful, but in many ways they have captured peoples imaginations due to their breeding habits. This species breeds with no males, they are parthogenic, only females exist and they reproduce without the opposite sex. They do copulate, this is known as pseudo-copulation. They are a very easy species to breed, and produce large amounts in a short time. In the wild they naturally occur in coastal areas in lowland forests in the Indian and Pacific Ocean regions. However they have been introduced, probably by hitch hiking on docked ships, in several areas around the world. A very successful species.…
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Oriental Fire Bellied toads – Bombina orientalis

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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…
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