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 »

Reptile Lighting – Combo Units for UVB Lights, UVA, Heat and Night Bulbs

mediaHello, Frank Indiviglio here.  Although I have kept reptiles and amphibians since childhood, and worked in zoos for most of my adult life, I remain amazed by the array of herp-care innovations that are available to us today.  True, not all are necessary (and some are downright ridiculous!), but many are indispensable to serious hobbyists and zookeepers alike.   Advances in reptile lighting technology, for example, help private keepers to breed animals that, not so long ago, failed to thrive even in large zoos.

I’m particularly fond of combination hoods and fixtures, especially when I recall the rat’s nest of tangled wires and lamps that topped every zoo exhibit and holding cage years ago…thinking back to my early years at the Bronx Zoo, I cannot imagine how we avoided fires and electrocution!  Combo hoods have space for several different types of bulb, allowing us to keep UVA, UVB, heat and night (red/black) bulbs in one place. In addition to the convenience factor, the movable sockets and integrated timers included in some models increase our ability to establish thermal gradients, natural day/night cycles and “dawn/dusk” periods.  Today I’ll review a few reasonably-priced units offered by two well-known leaders in the field. Read More »

Skinks Surprise Researchers – Baby Lizards Hatch Early When Disturbed

Hello, Frank Indiviglio here.   Herpetologists studying Australia’s Delicate Skink (Lampropholis delicata) discovered, quite by accident, that this species’ embryos somehow sense danger when their eggs are disturbed.  In response, the tiny lizards erupt en masse – even if they are not quite ready to hatch!   Also employed by Red-Eyed Treefrog tadpoles (Agalychnis callidryas, please see photo) this unique strategy is just one of many new discoveries indicating that reptile and amphibian embryos are more aware of their environments than we imagined (the embryos of some turtles even seek heat within the egg – please see article linked below).  The fact that the Delicate Skink is a very common species, and that the discovery was made in a park near Sydney, Australia, also shows the value of studying animals that are near-at-hand – all hold secrets!

Delicate Skink

Uploaded to Wikipedia Commons by Peter Woodard

Natural History

The Delicate Skink is a small, greenish-brown lizard that flashes iridescence in sunlight.  This characteristic is responsible for its alternative common name, Rainbow Skink.  Native to eastern Australia and Tasmania, it is often found in gardens, city parks and similar habitats.  Aspirin-sized eggs deposited in flower pots and nursery soil may be responsible for the populations now established on New Zealand and Hawaii (where it has been dubbed the Plague Skink). Read More »

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