Golden Tegu – Tupinambis teguixin

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The Golden tegu is not as large is its southern relatives, but in some ways does not make a better a better pet for it. It can be a little more unpredictable and more difficult to handle then the Red tegu, or the Black and White. The fill grown size of the Golden tegu is around 60-90cm and is a very impressive lizard. They are stocky, powerful and have claws and jaws that can tear flesh easily. This species naturally occurs throughout the topical forests of northern and central South America. A large sturdy vivarium will be required for this species. A vivarium constructed of melamine faced chipboard is not recommended – they damp conditions required means the longevity will be short and also this means escapes are easy for…
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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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Desert Hairy Scorpions – Hadrurus arizonensis

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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…
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Golden geckos – Gekko ulikovskii

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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…
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