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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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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Cuban Treefrogs – Osteopilus septentrionalis

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A very large treefrog species that originally occurred in Cuba and the Bahamas - however it is now regarded as an invasive pest throughout many of the southern States of America, most famously in Florida, but into Southern Carolina and Louisiana and other states too. I often see individual reports of sightings much further north - it is reported this species pops up in areas it's unlikely to survive due to the colder climate. These sporadic sightings are likely to be due to hitchhiking in commercial shipments - although the pet trade is also blamed. In the USA there is official advice to euthanise any individuals found, to stop the spread. The size of this species, along with their tendencies to eat smaller frog species accounts for the mass encouragement…
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Keeping Dice snakes (Natrix tessellata)

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Dice snakes (Natrix tessellata) are a harmless European water snake widely distributed throughout Europe, North African and the Middle East. As it is a water snake, its primary habitat is around ponds, slow moving streams and lakes – but also found around human habitation such as irrigation channels and tanks. Although classified as harmless it’s reported to have a well developed gland in its mouth that produces a mild neurotoxin and produces a potent antihemorrhagin in its serum. However this is highly unlikely to effect humans. They also void the contents of their vent, which is a smelly defence. This species when I was a child, was a common pet snake – along with the related Grass and Viperine snakes. I remember visiting pet shops where a tank would be…
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Burgers Zoo – Netherlands

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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…
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