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Monthly Archives: November 2011

New Cockroach, Discovered at a Tourist Resort, Jumps Like a Grasshopper

Bush CockroachHello, Frank Indiviglio here. Roaches are best known to herp enthusiasts as food for captive reptiles and amphibians.  However, these very interesting insects are increasingly being valued as display animals in their own right, and are appearing in the pet trade (I find the lime-green Banana Roach, Panchlora nivea, to be among the most beautiful of all insects…please see photo and article below for information on keeping roaches).  Recently, entomologists were surprised to discover a new species on the grounds of a famous South African resort. Christened the Leaproach, Saltoblattela monistabularis, it is the only one of its nearly 5,000 relatives known to jump, and on first glance looks much like a grasshopper.

A New Species at a Tourist Attraction

The Leaproach was first collected on the grounds of South Africa’s Table Mountain National Park, a mere 10 minute drive from Cape Town (please see photo).  The park is visited by over 4 million people each year.  Read More »

The Best Filters for Red-Eared Sliders and other Aquatic Turtles

C. insculptaHello, Frank Indiviglio here.  Long-lived, responsive and intelligent, Red-Eared Sliders and similar turtles are among the most popular of reptile pets.  However, aquatic turtles feed in water and are quite messy about it, and produce a great deal of waste.  Keeping their water clear and odor-free, and in a state that promotes good health, is a challenge faced by all turtle-keepers.  Today I’ll review some filters that are especially designed for use with aquatic turtles and other reptiles and amphibians; you can view other available models here

General Considerations

Your turtle’s natural history and feeding behavior will greatly influence the type of filter that should be used, so be sure to research these topics before making your selection.  For example, Spotted Turtles will be stressed by fast currents, Soft-shelled Turtles will kick sand about and dislodge intake tubes, the carapaces of Pig-Nosed Turtles are prone to bacterial attack in highly-oxygenated waters, and so on.  Please write in if you need help in selecting a filter. Read More »

Strange but True – Fringe-Limbed Treefrog Tadpoles Consume Father’s Skin

Drawing of a Flying FrogHello, Frank Indiviglio here.  Several years ago, we learned that female Caecilians (odd, legless amphibians) of some species grow extra layers of skin with which to feed their young.  This unbelievable feeding strategy was first documented on film in the BBC series Life in Cold Blood,  and is among the most fascinating (if chilling!) footage I’ve ever seen.  Tadpoles of the recently discovered Fringe-Limbed Treefrogs, Ecnomiohyla rabborum are now known to feed upon living skin as well.  In this case, it is the male parent that provides dinner with its own body – the only frog, and the only male amphibian, known to do so.

Discovery of a New Species

The Fringe-Limbed Treefrog is known only from a single mountainous rainforest in Coclé, central Panama.  It was first collected in 2005, and was described as a new species in 2008.  Its species name, rabborum, was given in honor of noted herpetologists Mary and George Rabb. Read More »

The Best Snake Pets – 5 Top Choices for Snake Keepers

Rosy BoaHello, Frank Indiviglio here. Snake enthusiasts are faced with an embarrassment of riches these days…with so many interesting and formerly rare species being bred, choosing a pet can be very difficult. Today I’d like to spotlight several species that are hardy enough for beginners yet so interesting that they are also favored by specialists and zoos – the Garter, Rat and King Snakes and the Rosy Boa and Ball Python. Please see the articles linked below or write in for detailed husbandry information.

Rosy Boa, Lichanura trivirgata

Common and Red-Tailed Boa Constrictors are among the world’s most popular snakes, but their large size makes them impractical in many collections. The beautiful Rosy Boa, which tops out at a bit over 3 feet long, is a far better choice for most folks.

Many people do not realize that 2 boas are found in the USA, the Rosy and the Rubber Boa (more on this interesting little fellow in the future). Ranging from southern California and southwestern Arizona through Sonora, Mexico, the Rosy Boa is something of a “big snake in a small package”, and provides a great introduction to constrictor-keeping. Read More »

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