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

Hello, Frank Indiviglio here.  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, burrowers, gliders, giants and many others.  Today I’ll review some guidelines that will help you to set up terrariums for a variety of species.  The following information can be applied to most available geckos, but details will vary.  Please post below for information on individual species.

Frog-Eyed Gecko

Uploaded to Wikipedia Commons by Andrew S. Gardner

Natural History

The family Gekkonidae contains over 1,050 species.  Among lizards, their diversity is exceeded only by the skinks.

Geckos may be found in deserts, rainforests, woodlands and grasslands.  Some associate with people voluntarily –the aptly-named House Geckos favor our dwellings, while Tokay Geckos are established in Miami and other large cities.  Five species are native to the USA, but approximately 15 have been introduced from elsewhere.  Geckos range in size from the 1.2 inch-long Reef Geckos to the stout, 15 inch-long New Caledonian Giant Gecko.

The amazing ability of some geckos to run upside-down on ceilings was first recorded by Aristotle in the 4th Century.  Gecko feet are being studied with a view towards creating new adhesives. Read More »

Amphibians as Pets – Common Frogs, Toads and Salamanders of the USA

Spottted Salamander

Downloaded to Wikipedia by Camazine

Hello, Frank Indiviglio here.  This article covers the care of several native amphibians that live in close proximity to people.  As a result, they sometimes wind up in yards, basements, window wells and other such places.  Most are also seen in pet stores.  While they can make interesting, long-lived pets, all have specific needs that must be met if they are to thrive.  The following information will give you an idea of what is involved caring for amphibians as pets; please see the articles linked below for more detailed information, and post any questions you may have.  If you find an injured animal, or wish to learn how to become a wildlife rehabilitator, please see this article.

It is important to bear in mind that captive-born specimens make far better pets than wild individuals, and that many species are protected by law. Read More »

The Green Anole – Important Supplies for Anoles and other Lizard Pets

Hello, Frank Indiviglio here.  The Green or Carolina Anole, Anolis carolinensis, has introduced generations of herp enthusiasts to reptile-keepingSmall, active, and willing to breed in captivity, this handsome arboreal lizard makes a wonderful pet.  Although associated with “beginners”, Green Anoles are complex creatures, well able to hold the interest of lifelong herpetologists and pet keepers, myself included. A huge array of relatives (there are over 370 anole species!), many available in the pet trade, can be kept in a similar manner.  Today I’ll review supplies for Anoles and similar lizards to get you started off right.  Please see the linked articles, and post questions below, for detailed information on care and breeding.

Male's dewlap

Uploaded to Wikipedia Commons by R. Colin Blenis

The Terrarium

Although small, Green Anoles active and require spacious terrariums; they become stressed in tight quarters.  A single animal can be housed in a 15 gallon tank; pair or trio should be provided with a 20 gallon aquarium.

The Zoo Med Repti-Breeze Aluminum/Screen Cage is perhaps the best option. It provides critical air circulation and, when placed outdoors, also allows for UVB exposure (glass and plastic filter-out UVB rays).

The extra-tall Exo Terra Terrarium can also be fashioned into an excellent anole habitat.

Terrarium Furnishings

Numerous branches should be provided, along with plants and vines.  Anoles will be stressed in a bare terrarium – plants provide “sight barriers” that offer security and ease aggression among tank-mates. Read More »

Reptiles as Pets – Snakes and Turtles Commonly Encountered in the USA

Hello, Frank Indiviglio here.  This article covers the care of several native reptiles that often live in close proximity to people.  As a result, they sometimes wind up in yards, basements, window wells and other such places.  Most are also seen in pet stores.  Often, folks are tempted to keep such reptiles as pets, especially when the “finder” is a child.  The following information will give you an idea of what is involved in their care; please see the articles linked below for more detailed information, and post any questions you may have.  If you find an injured animal, or wish to learn how to become a wildlife rehabilitator, please see this article.

Snapper smileIt is important to understand that captive-born specimens make far better pets than wild individuals, and that many species are protected by law, and we do not recommend taking wild animals from their native habitat and into your home.  Snakes should never be approached unless you have the training and experience to distinguish venomous from harmless species. Read More »

Horned Frogs as Pets – Designing an Ideal Terrarium for “Pac Man Frogs”

Hello, Frank Indiviglio here.  The beautifully-colored and charmingly-pugnacious Argentine Horned Frog, Ceratophrys ornata, may be the world’s most popular amphibian pet.  No matter how many rare and wonderful frogs I encounter, I always save a place for Horned Frogs in the zoo exhibits I manage and in my personal collection.  Despite their size (females are often compared to salad bowls), Horned Frogs require relatively little living space.  However, several important considerations must be kept in mind when setting up a Horned Frog terrarium.  Once this has been accomplished, and if their other needs are met, you can look forward to a pet-keeping experience that may last for several decades.  The following information can also be applied to the other Horned Frog species – there are 8 in all – that appear in the pet trade; please post below for more specific information on these.

C. ornata

Uploaded to Wikipedia Commons by Avmaier

Natural History

Argentine Horned Frogs inhabit seasonally-flooded grasslands, or savannas, in Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil (please see photo). Read More »

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