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Collecting Live Food for Amphibians and Reptiles: Pitfall Traps

Relevance: 84%      Posted on: July 24, 2009

Prehistoric cave paintings show that the pitfall trap, a simple covered or uncovered hole designed to capture animals, came into being very early in our evolution as a species.  Indeed, they are still used by hunters and field researchers today.  Pitfall traps also provide pet keepers with a simple, effective…

Collecting Live Food for Reptiles and Amphibians: an Entomologist’s Technique

Relevance: 81%      Posted on: May 11, 2009

Wild-caught insects and other invertebrates are valuable, and often essential, additions to the diets of many captive reptiles and amphibians.  During the warmer months, I have utilized them for 50-100% of the diets of many animals in my own collection, and for those under my care in zoos. Beating the…

Leaf Litter Invertebrates as Food for Small Insectivorous Amphibians and Reptiles

Relevance: 73%      Posted on: April 6, 2009

Those of us who keep the smaller varieties of insect-eating reptiles, amphibians and invertebrates (dwarf leaf chameleons, bark scorpions), or who raise the young of others (many newly-transformed frogs and baby lizards), are faced with great challenges when it comes to providing a balanced diet.  Many of these animals consume…

Collecting Insects as Reptile and Amphibian Food – Traps and Tips

Relevance: 52%      Posted on: February 18, 2014

  Although it’s below freezing here in NY, my thoughts are straying to a favorite warm-weather activity – collecting insects for my herp collection.  Invariably, I find species that are new to me, and others that I wind up keeping alive in small terrariums.  Drawing on a lifetime of collecting…

A Monitor First – Male Rosenberg’s Monitors Cover and Guard Nests

Relevance: 46%      Posted on: January 7, 2011

I remain awed by the learning abilities and complex behaviors evidenced by the Water and Lace Monitors I cared for at various zoos…spend time with any species and you’ll quickly see why.  Despite being popular study subjects, monitors are constantly surprising us.  For example, the current issue of The Journal…

The Best Foods for Poison Frogs, Mantellas and Other Tiny Amphibians

Relevance: 43%      Posted on: April 18, 2013

I began working with Poison Frogs and Mantellas in zoos just as the secrets to longevity and breeding were being discovered.  Today, captive-bred animals are almost mainstream.  This is wonderful, but there is a downside – they are sometimes viewed as “simple to keep”.  But while these tiny gems can…

Pet-Safe Cricket and Roach Control for Reptile and Amphibian Owners

Relevance: 34%      Posted on: May 1, 2012

Almost every zoo building in which I’ve worked was home to roach (2-3 species) and House Cricket populations.  In most, pesticide use was not an option. An older animal keeper whom I befriended let me in on his favorite insect pest control technique – the molasses trap.  He was content…

Snake Escapes – Recovering Cobras and other Snakes in Zoos and Homes – Part 2

Relevance: 33%      Posted on: February 3, 2010

Please see Part I of this article for some cobra and python escape stories set in NYC. The “Ditmar’s Trap” I first became aware of snake traps through The Reptiles of North America, written by legendary Bronx Zoo curator Raymond Ditmars.  Mr. Ditmars recounted capturing Northern Watersnakes (Nerodia sipedon) by…

Dart Poison Frog Care and Natural History – An Overview

Relevance: 28%      Posted on: March 28, 2012

Poison Frogs (also known as Dart or Arrow Poison Frogs) exhibit an amazing array of colors and patterns – some so spectacular as to appear unreal. What’s more, they are active by day, exhibit complex social behaviors, and care for their tadpoles in “mammal-like” fashion…and are not at all shy…

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