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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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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