Keeping a very unusual salamander species – the Siren

Care Sheets, Information Guides, Latest Posts
Sirens are a fascinating fully aquatic salamander species that resembles an eel. They all have a distribution of the Southern United States into Northern Mexico.   As a captive they present few problems to maintain successfully – they are one of natures survivors and for this reason thrive in captivity. They are an evolutionary throw back, and seem to have an answer to every scenario – for example the adults have small lungs and gills too.  This means they have a survival mechanism to survive drought, they can seal themselves in the mud of their pond should it dry up, to venture back out once the rain fills it back up. The long thin body is ideal for aquatic life, but with serpentine action, and small front limbs they can…
Read More

Looking after livefood in the summer months.

Information Guides, Latest Posts
As a seller of thousands of livefood insects we occasionally hear people making comments about shorter lifespan and dead on arrival livefood insects. Much of this is common sense, and some of it is totally out of everybodys’ control. For example whilst in transit conditions can easily kill or shorten the lifespan of livefood.   Temperature problems are the biggest killer of livefoods – it’s that simple. In the winter it gets too cold, and in the summer it can get too hot. The easiest months are spring and autumn! When we pack a tub of livefood in the winter we pack with extra insulation (no heat packs as the tub gets too warm and the livefood is killed). However, in the summer we cannot do this to insulate the…
Read More

Arcadia LampGuardPro

Information Guides, Latest Posts
Arcadia LampGuardPro   LampGuardPro’ is a versatile lamp caging system that protects both your animals and UV lamps alike.   This easy to use lamp cage has been designed by experts to allow as much light through the mesh as possible. This ensures high levels of protection while maintaining maximum levels of essential UV-B. We achieve this by using a specially chosen mesh size and shape, paint colour and by applying a thick gloss coating over the wire. By doing so, we have been able to ensure that as much light as possible passes through the mesh and that your animals remain well supplied for. Commercial mesh coverings can reduce light-flow by 40% from new, LampGuardPro gets this down to around 15%* of total light energy and remains quite stable…
Read More

Speke’s Hingeback tortoises (Kinixys spekii)

Care Sheets, Latest Posts
This species of tortoise is a highly evolved species with excellent protection from predators by means of a fully closable shell design. Once closed the rear legs are not available to be bitten. They have also evolved to live in a very specific habitat – hot and dry most of the year, with a specific wet season. They are quite a flat species, ideal for living in rocky terrain. For this reason they have some very different requirements to more commonly kept tortoise species. They occur in savannah dry bush areas in East Africa. This effects their heat, light and diet requirements – not to mention the challenge of replicating their natural terrain. Speke’s Hingebacks are not a large species rarely growing more than around 20cm. For this reason a…
Read More

Repashy Cherry Bomb

Information Guides, Latest Posts
Repashy Cherry Bomb   We are proud to introduce “Cherry Bomb” a complete gecko diet that builds on the success of our Pineapple Express seasonal blend. Pineapple was such a great appetite stimulant, that we decided to keep a healthy dose of pineapple in this new blend as part of the mix. The new main fruit ingredient is of course dried Cherry fruit. The cherries we are using are not the tart variety, but the sweet black (Bing) type. They have a great smell and sweetness that gecko’s can’t resist.   Some might ask why we are using cherries as a Spring seasonal blend when they are typically a Summer crop…. The answer revolves around the flowers. April is when cherry trees in North America typically are in full bloom.…
Read More

Emerald Swifts (Sceloporus malachitus)

Care Sheets, Information Guides, Latest Posts
When I was a child, over forty years ago I kept wild caught Sceloporus lizard species. They were commonly offered for sale, and were more often than not the spiny desert species originating from the USA. They were often sold as Fence lizards, and almost always kept as a desert species, no matter what their requirements consisted of. I cannot remember if this central American species was available, I don’t think it was, but certainly it’s reputation of being a difficult captive will likely originate from keeping them too dry and hot. Emerald swifts (Sceloporus malachitus) come from Mexico and further into Central America. Their habitat is quite specific, they occur in high elevation cloud forest – it’s quite cool and humid. Keeping them hot, as for example a Bearded…
Read More

Aquarium of Genoa

Information Guides, Latest Posts
Whilst visiting the area, I thought I’d have a look at the aquarium in the historic old port of Genoa, Italy. The area has been developed into a series of attractions, and also includes a Biosphere and a Maritime museum. The aquarium itself boasts it is the largest aquarium in Europe and was opened in 1992 as part of celebrations of Christopher Columbus finding the New World – the whole area is very proud of their connection with Columbus.   For the marine and freshwater vertebrate / invertebrate lover, the aquarium boasts 33,000 square feet of large and small aquaria. Larger species includes manatees, various sharks, dolphins, turtles and Rays. There is a vast array of smaller aquaria with seahorses, fish, jellyfish, crabs and various others.   The reptile and…
Read More

Burgers Zoo – Netherlands

Information Guides, Latest Posts, Uncategorized
Burgers Zoo – Netherlands Burgers Zoo, named after the original owners, opened in 1913 and I one of the largest zoos in the Netherlands. It is a mix of old and new, like many old European zoos, but does not have many of the original buildings. There are several themed areas, when I visited I enjoyed many of the sections including the oceans, bush, desert, mangrove. Safari and the newest, Rimba (South Eastern Asian Rainforest). Much of the signage is supplemented in English too. The ocean section has two large tanks, each 3000000 litres, and in total there is 8000000 litres – sharks, state of the art coral and tropical fish. My least favourite exhibits were the gorillas and chimpanzee enclosure - this has altered little since it was built…
Read More

Taiwan beauty snakes – Orthriophis taeniura friesei

Care Sheets, Latest Posts
Taiwan beauty snakes - Orthriophis taeniura friesei   A large colourful Colubrid snake species that occurs  almost completely in Taiwan . A sub-species, other similar looking sub-species and the nominate occur throughout a wide range of South Eastern Asia. This sub-species can be a large snake, but slender, at a maximum of nearly 3 metres long – most grow to around 2 metres in captivity. When I first bred this species, from wild caught stock, in the 90’s large specimens were quite common, but most seem to be smaller nowadays. Their natural habitat varies, unlike several of the sub-species who mainly occur in caves – this sub-species can be found in wooded, agricultural, human residential and other areas. Often found climbing in trees, under debris and generally active (in the hot…
Read More

Fan Foot Geckos – Ptyodactylus guttatus

Care Sheets, Latest Posts
Fan Foot Geckos - Ptyodactylus guttatus (some imports are hasselquistii) A small to medium sized gecko species that commonly occurs in North Africa and western Asia.They are very adaptable as a species, and are found in a variety of habitats including around human habitation, wooded areas, stone walls, agricultural and many others. They can be found in relatively dry terrain, and also in more humid areas. In captivity they are easy to maintain. A vivarium measuring a minimum of 3x2x2 is fine, three feet tall would be better. Daytime temperatures should be in the region of around 30-32C, dropping by a few degrees at night – perhaps to around 22-25C. Lighting for species like this is a debatable topic, the more recent school of thought is to provide a “scattered”…
Read More