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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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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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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Crested Anoles

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The Crested Anole is a small lizard species, but no less impressive because of it. The crest on the males puts them in the same (but miniaturised) league of Basilisks, of which they are distantly related. Growing to around 7-8cm, snout to vent (not including tail) and the ability to change colour (but not as dramatically as chameleons) from light greys to reddish browns they make stunning and interesting subjects for the vivaria. They are also relatively easily catered for, as long as some simple guidelines are followed. To keep them you will need a relatively tall vivaria, in their natural habitat in Puerto Rico they are said to inhabit the lower foliage of rainforests, up to around two metres from the ground. Certainly they will not require a vivarium…
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Bosc Monitors

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Bosc monitors (sometimes referred to as Savannah monitors in US literature) are a largish lizard native to Africa. Over the years they have been a popular choice as pets, but it’s perhaps best to describe this species as needing more advanced care than many pet keepers can offer. Please give careful consideration to their needs, they require a large vivarium once adult, larger than most keepers can provide in the average home. As with many monitor species they can be quite destructive too, so enclosures must be stoutly built and its important to ensure (for the safety of animal and keeper) that all heaters, lights and any other electrical equipment and cables are well fastened, secure and guarded (fire risk). For a baby Bosc a three to four feet vivarium…
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Salmon Pink tarantulas – Lasiodora parahybana

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Salmon Pink tarantulas are regarded as the third biggest tarantula in the world and are an impressive spider. Couple this with their reputation for relative docile nature and ease of breeding it’s easy to see why this species is so popular in captivity.   They occur in the forest regions of Brazil and are a relatively common tarantula. They are commonly bred in captivity. A big spider, with huge fangs and urticating hairs (they flick them from their abdomen with their legs) they should be handled with only when necessary and with care – even though considered a docile species. They are usually set out in the open, so make a great showcase species to keep. They are also easy to fatally damage if dropped, a small fall of only…
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Socotra Island Baboon Tarantula (Monocentropus Balfouri)

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A stunningly beautiful Old World communal tarantula species, electric blue legs and a rich sandy orange body contrast beautifully. An average adult size makes them a mid-sized tarantula species at around 4-5 inches. In the wild they occur, as their name suggests, on one Island off the coast of Africa, Socotra island.   The Island is relatively dry, however in captivity it is necessary to create a microclimate in an area that is quite high humidity, around 70-85{cb5d0a8cf0c44aef2db327d9ab0dba08dd09aed1126b509e5fa01d3aaa87fe47} - this can be achieved by spraying their webs with water.  The rest of the enclosure can be kept at around 60-70{cb5d0a8cf0c44aef2db327d9ab0dba08dd09aed1126b509e5fa01d3aaa87fe47} humidity. They will create quite an intricate system of webbing, especially when kept in communal groups. Provide a relatively large vivarium for groups, so they have room to go about…
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Jungle Carpet pythons – Morelia spilota cheynei

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Jungle Carpet pythons are a smaller, more brighter coloured variety of the Carpet python that occurs through many regions in Australia, Solomon Islands, and Papua New Guinea. Jungle Carpet pythons are found in the rainforest areas of Queensland in North Eastern Australia. Although a relatively easy species to maintain in captivity, they are best kept by those with some experience of keeping snakes. They are a medium sized snake (six to seven feet long) that is often a little bad tempered and many bite frequently in defence. However, for those that have the ability and tolerance they are a truly beautiful snake. Keep this species in tall vivaria as they are an arboreal species – they like to climb on branches and vines. We would suggest a minimum of three…
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