Exo Terra Incubator Pro

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For several years Exo Terra, and other manufacturers, have provided the more typical reptile egg incubator - the one that looks like a mini fridge. These aren't bad at all as an incubator, they have shelves inside and a front door to gain access. They seem to maintain a reasonably accurate temperature control too - certainly the fluctuations never seem to be too great to cause egg development problems. However Exo Terra have now introduced a different incubator, for those that need to incubate more eggs  with greater control over temperature and humidity. The incubator itself comes with a dimming / pulse proportional thermostat that seems to provide an even greater temperature control than their other incubator. It is reasonably large with internal dimensions of 40.5cm x 40.5cm x 16cm…
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Keeping mantids as pets

Keeping mantids as pets

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Mantid keeping is a fascinating hobby, these are truly unique critters that behave and look like nothing else on earth. There is a huge mind-blowing choice of species too, all with varying requirements and needs – and many with various unique characteristics within mantids too. They are relatively easy to keep and provide some of the most bizarre and fascinating behaviour – including their (possibly gruesome?) hunting and feeding habits. It’s easy to see why keeping mantids can become an obsession – they are up their with spiders as the most compulsive animals to keep. Many keepers start with one only to find they have several dozen shortly afterwards! We would advise that a beginner starts with one that is a little older and past their delicate stages. But for…
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Rankins Dragon (Pagona henrylawsoni)

Rankins Dragon (Pagona henrylawsoni)

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Rankins Dragons are very similar to Bearded Dragons, only smaller – a maximum total size would be around 30cm. For this reason they are a popular lizard to keep as pets – but much less common to see for sale in pet stores. The expected life span is around 6-10 years, as long as they have their needs met correctly. They naturally occur in the Queensland area of Australia in dry arid areas. Like Bearded Dragons, this species is relatively easy to maintain successfully – as long as some simple conditions and procedures are catered for. As they are smaller than Bearded Dragons they will require a smaller vivarium – an absolute bare minimum for one adult is a 3 feet long vivarium, with a four feet long one being…
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Ways to avoid the queue during lockdown

Ways to avoid the queue during lockdown

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We are allowed to be open during lockdown, we an essential business due to animal welfare issues. However we do have stringent measures in place to keep everybody safe, many of which will unfortunately cause queues. Here are some tips to avoid queues; • Use our home delivery services further details can be found here; Home Delivery During Lockdown • Phone ahead and pay for your items on the phone using your debit or credit card. Call us on arrival outside the store, we will bring your purchases to you. Be aware there may still be a slight wait depending on how busy the store is and how many staff we currently have furloughed or not. Only use this service for run of the mill purchases such as livefood and…
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Delivery services during lockdown

Delivery services during lockdown

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We are happy to provide home delivery during the November lockdown for those that cannot get to the store, or it's more convenient. However we are still open throughout as an essential business. We can do our home van delivery service. It is for customers within a 15 mile radius of Darlington - this includes much of Teesside, County Durham and Teesdale. Delivery day is Thursday of each week, in the afternoon / early evening - we will contact you with an hour slot for your delivery. We can carry small or larger orders, up to a four feet long flatpack vivarium. We can deliver everything that is available in store, including animals. Delivery cost is £3.50 within five miles, £5 after five miles, no matter how many items (as…
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Spotted Salamanders – Ambystoma maculatum

Spotted Salamanders – Ambystoma maculatum

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Spotted Salamanders are one in a group referred to as Mole salamanders occurring in Eastern USA and Canada. They tend to occur in deciduous forests and wetlands, living in leaf litter, hiding in burrows or under fallen logs. Their breeding is very interesting, they return to water once a year, but only to temporary pools created by heavy rainfall. They only stay there for a few days to spawn, and do not swim strongly. These pools are perfect for salamander spawn and tadpoles to survive as temporary pools tend not to have fish that would eat them. However there are downsides to temporary pools, sometimes they dry up before metamorphosis is complete. It is now known that a symbiotic relationship occurs between a photosynthetic algae and the spawn / embryos…
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Mossy Frogs

Mossy Frogs

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Mossy frogs are a beautiful species of frog that resemble a clump of moss due to their colouration and lumpy bumpy skin. They occur in the cooler regions of Vietnam and some areas of China occurring in forests, caves and cliff areas, always around water. They are a small to medium sized frog, females are the larger sex growing to around 8-9cm. Many species of frogs are supremely suitable to natural planted terraria or even a paludarium (a natural terrarium with a large water area, often with fish). The balance of nature is relatively easy to achieve with these kinds of housing. The live plants and custodian critters (woodlice etc) sharing the terrarium do a lot of the work for you. Of course a paludarium would also allow you to…
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Moroccan Uromastyx – Uromastix acanthinura nigriventris

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Uromastyx acanthinurus, as a species occurs throughout North Africa, more or less around the Sahara Desert. This sub-species is allocated to occurring in Morocco, but there is much confusion around this species and its several sub-species (and with many of the other Uromastyx species for that matter). It grows to around 45cm long, females perhaps slightly bigger – males are often said to be brighter coloured and have a broader head. They occur in desert areas, favouring softer earth that will clump so they can burrow – but do occur in rocky areas, cliff faces and other areas where they can jam themselves in crevices rather than making burrows. They are primarily herbivorous eating a wide range of desert plants, leaves, succulents etc – but they will eat ants and…
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Reptile Systems New Dawn LED lights

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We have been interested in natural panted eco terraria for many years. I can remember is a child attempting to grow plants alongside my reptiles and amphibians in their vivaria. This was some  four decades ago, and needless to say things were not as developed as they are nowadays – it’s easy to be successful nowadays. There is such a great deal of great products, help and advice that should ensure a good success rate for most people. In constructed a multi-vivarium natural terraia department at Coast to Coast Exotics some years ago, and we have actively followed the development of the products that make a big difference to the hobby. One such development is the LED lighting from Reptile Systems.   The first product we tried, some time ago,…
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Collared lizards

Collared lizards

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Collared lizards are simply one of the prettiest naturally occurring lizards – adult males are gob-smackingly beautiful. The occur in desert and arid regions through Mexico and several southern states of the USA. Not only known for their bright colours, they are a lizard which is known for running on their back legs. Being an arid and desert species they require a vivarium set up likewise. We would recommend a substrate on the floor of the vivarium of ProRep Bio Life Desert which will allow for natural behaviour. Place a choice of hides throughout the vivarium, in the cool and warm areas to give a choice. We always provide some hides that have a level of moisture underneath so the lizards can choose which they prefer, especially when shedding their…
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