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Geckos – Setting Up a Terrarium, Gecko Supplies, and Gecko Facts

Relevance: 17%      Posted on: July 29, 2013

Gecko fans are fortunate indeed (I included, as I’ve worked with a great many in zoos and the field)…over 150 species are available in the pet trade, many of which do quite well in modest enclosures.  Among geckos we find lizards of every conceivable description - rainforest dwellers, desert specialists,…

Has Anyone Observed This?….. Madagascar and Standing’s Day Geckos (Phelsuma madagascariensis grandis, P. m. madagascariensis, P. standingi) maintain excellent health and reproduce without a UVB source

Relevance: 17%      Posted on: August 1, 2008

It is well known that many species of lizard, turtle and crocodilian require ultraviolet light of a specific wavelength (290-310 nanometers) in order to synthesize Vitamin D3.  This vitamin, in turn, allows the reptiles to make use of the calcium in their diets.  Such reptiles (which generally bask in the…

Attracting and Collecting Earthworms – a Simple Technique

Relevance: 16%      Posted on: December 28, 2010

Earthworms are one of the most nutritious food items available for amphibians, and for those reptiles, invertebrates and fishes that will take them.  Collecting them (in one piece!) can, however, be frustrating, and they are quite costly at bait stores.  One trick I stumbled upon years ago has greatly simplified…

Hermit Crab Social Behavior – Not Such “Hermits” After All!

Relevance: 16%      Posted on: May 17, 2010

Researchers at Tuft’s University and the New England Aquarium have uncovered an amazing example of social behavior among the common pet trade Terrestrial or Land Hermit Crab (Coenobita clypeatus). Crab Real Estate Markets Hermit Crabs protect the soft parts of their bodies by moving into the discarded shells of snails…

The Veiled Chameleon: an Ideal “First Chameleon” and its Care

Relevance: 16%      Posted on: April 17, 2009

  Chameleon fanciers are indeed fortunate that the chameleon best suited for captivity, the veiled or concave-casqued chameleon (Chamaeleo calyptratus) is also among the most beautiful and interesting of the group (it is also pathologically anti-social, but so are most of its relatives!).  Turquoise, emerald green, yellow and tan, each…

Leopard Geckos in the Wild – the Natural History of a Popular Pet

Relevance: 15%      Posted on: August 19, 2011

The Leopard Gecko, Eublepharis macularius, is one of the most popular of all reptilian pets, and much has been written on its care and breeding.  But this lizard’s other side – how and where it lives in the wild – is less familiar.  Classification First a bit on where the…

Feeding Captive Savannah Monitors (Varanus exanthematicus) and Black and White Tegus (Tupinambis merianae): Zoo Med’s Canned Tegu and Monitor Diet

Relevance: 15%      Posted on: January 30, 2009

  Browsing the pages of Herpetologica and other journals over the years, I several times came across field studies indicating that certain populations of savannah monitors consumed diets composed entirely of invertebrates.  In certain seasons, the lizards gorged on either locusts or land snails exclusively for months on end.  When…

Raising Springtails as Food for Poison Frogs, Mantellas and other Small Amphibians – Part 1

Relevance: 15%      Posted on: January 11, 2010

The diets of captive Poison Frogs (Dendrobates, Phyllobates, Oophaga), Mantellas, small salamanders (i.e. Red-Backed Salamanders) and tiny, newly-transformed amphibians are usually limited to the two readily available foods of appropriate size – pinhead crickets and fruit flies.  The minute, wingless insects known as Springtails (Order Collembola) are easy to procure…

Live Bloodworms – An Important Food for Small Amphibians and Their Larvae

Relevance: 14%      Posted on: July 16, 2010

Those of us who keep and breed small aquatic amphibians usually have a difficult time providing our pets with dietary variety.  This is especially true as regards salamander larvae and other creatures that usually accept only live foods.  In most cases, such animals must make do with the pet trade…

The Monitor Lizards (Family Varanidae) – Family Overview and Species Accounts; – Some Interesting Monitors and Their Care – Part I

Relevance: 14%      Posted on: October 1, 2008

Note: Please see The Monitor Lizards (Family Varanidae) – Family Overview and Species Accounts for information on the natural history of monitor lizards. Storr’s Pygmy Monitor, Varanus storri This is the smallest monitor regularly available in the pet trade.   Also nearly the tiniest member of the family Varanidae, this species has…

Feeding American Box Turtles – Formulating the Best Diet for Your Pet

Relevance: 14%      Posted on: December 6, 2011

Three of the 4 species in the genus Terrapene – the Eastern, Three-Toed and Ornate Box Turtles - as well as several of the 10 subspecies, have long been popular in the pet trade.  However, they should not be classified as “beginner’s turtles”…in fact, their dietary and other requirements are…

Emperor Scorpion, Pandinus imperator, Care – Part 1

Relevance: 14%      Posted on: March 6, 2009

Please see Scorpions in Captivity - An Overview of Popular Species for information on scorpion venom and natural history. Emperor Scorpion, Pandinus imperator One of the world's largest scorpions, the emperor is also the most widely kept, and captive born specimens are readily available.  Other than females with young on their back, emperor…

World’s Smallest Frogs Added to 2011’s List of Newly-Discovered Amphibians

Relevance: 13%      Posted on: January 2, 2012

Two frog species recently discovered in southeastern New Guinea are smaller than any other 4-legged vertebrate.  Within their pea-sized bodies, they pack a brain, lungs, heart, digestive system and most of the other organs that people have…simply astounding! Tiny Frogs and Fish The frogs, Paedophryne dekot and P. verrucosa, were…

Frog Diets: Supplement Raises Poison Frog Egg Output & Tadpole Survival

Relevance: 13%      Posted on: February 27, 2015

Tulane University researchers have published an important study concerning captive frog nutrition that should be of interest to all amphibian and reptile keepers. A colony of Strawberry Poison Frogs (Oophaga pumilio) was maintained on a diet comprised of fruit flies. When carotenoids were added to the fruit fly diet, the…

Hunting the Huntsman – Keeping the Giant Crab or Huntsman Spider – Part 2

Relevance: 13%      Posted on: December 30, 2009

In Part I of this article I talked a bit about collecting (or trying to collect!) the Huntsman Spider, Heteropoda venatoria, in a most unlikely setting.  Usually purchased as a “curiosity”, the Huntsman often surprises its new owners with a range of interesting behaviors – if you thought that spider…

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