Red Eyed Crocodile Skinks – Tribolonotus gracilis

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Red Eyed Crocodile skinks are an amazing species that occurs in Papua New Guinea, Admiralty Islands. They have become a very popular species since being imported into the country since the mid-1990’s. Their mini-dragon appearance and their bright red “eye-liner” are no doubt very appealing – add to this their slow movement making them a “tame” species too.   We have bred this species at Coast to Coast Exotics, it is a very easy species to keep and breed. In the wild they have lived on forest floors, in leaf litter and other debris, for tens of thousands of years. Unfortunately this is changing. As coconut plantations have spread into the Red Eyed Crocodile Skinks natural habitat, they are remarkably adaptable and are surviving now under the coconut husks. This…
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Smooth Sided toads – Rhaebo guttatus

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The Smooth Sided toad (Rhaebo guttatus) is a large species of toad found Amazonian Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela, as well as the Guyanas. Females are the biggest quoted as growing to around 25cm. It’s natural habit is tropical lowland forests, living in the leaf litter and debris on the forest floor. They have a relatively potent toxin that they release from the paratoid glands behind their eyes. Generally speaking this poses no threat to humans, but if ingested can cause health complications.   In captivity this species needs a large vivarium as they are relatively active and have been known to inflict wounds by bouncing against the side of enclosures. We suggest a vivarium of around a metre in length, and again to avoid injury a minimum…
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Bearded Dragons

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Bearded dragons are now one of the most popular lizard pets in the world. They have a great character, relatively easy to manage and a great addition to many families – I say this due to the fact that they often become part of the family very much like a dog. This species really is that characterful, they could even be described as cheeky.   They originated from Australian deserts, and have been in the hobby for a couple of decades. In that time they have been selectively bred to produce many different colour morphs – some are startlingly different to the lizard seen in the wild. The topic of colour morphs is far outside the purpose of this small article, it’s fair to say this is now a hobby…
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Painted Dragons

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Painted Dragons are an Agama species occurring throughout many areas of the Eastern side of the Mediterranean. They are a fast moving, heat loving species of lizard which spends most of the daylight hours in the summer months basking in very temperatures. They are commonly found living around the vertical walls of old castles and similar buildings, drystone walls and cliff faces. They move so fast they are difficult to get close to, especially with the type of terrain they live.   In captivity the above factors must be taken into account and catered for. The will require a relatively large, tall vivarium of around (minimum) two to three feet tall and around four to six feet long. The high basking temperatures of around 34-36C can only be safely achieved in…
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False Water Cobra

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A large Colubrid snake, the False Water Cobra is not related to true Cobras. It does however exhibit a small hood when threatened, but does not rear up. It has been recorded as growing to around three metres in length, and although regarded as only mildly venomous caution should be exhibited, especially with a full-grown adult snake. The fangs are at the rear of the mouth, they need to bite and chew – a larger specimen has more chance of envenomation.   They originate from tropical rainforest areas of South America, and are found in wet humid areas such as marshes. For this reason, and the venom, this species is best suited to those with a little more experience. Providing a humid area in captive conditions can be tricky, get…
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Red Foot Tortoise – Chelonoidis carbonarius

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Red footed tortoises are a tropical species originating from northern regions of South America. For this reason they are very different in many ways to their cousins such as Spur-Thighed and Hermanns tortoises. In the wild they live in areas of high humidity, receive more dappled sunlight and UVB and feed on more fallen fruit (and even carrion) than Spur-Thighed or Hermanns. While all species of tortoises are not generally ideally kept outdoors permanently in the UK (especially without supplementary heating) this species is completely unsuitable – it has very specific requirements. As it is a larger species of tortoise it is for this reason we suggest a lot of thought is put into whether a potential keeper can provide what they need. Keeping a larger sized tortoise indoors can…
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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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Vietnamese Blue Flying Treefrogs

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A fantastically impressive looking frog, growing to around 10cm and have that fantastic blue-green colour. It is found throughout China, Vietnam, Burma and Laos. It is generally found in tropical and sub-tropical forest around marshes, lakes, ponds and drainage ditches. They are one of the species of frogs that builds a foam nest when breeding. An easy species to keep, provide a tall glass vivarium – ideally a naturally planted terrarium with sturdy live plants and it’s own eco-system. A temperature of around 24-27C is ideal, and many keepers provide a UV light during the day. As with all amphibians high levels of hygiene is recommended, although a well maintained and balanced eco-system will help in this matter.  
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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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