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What does a Leopard Gecko look like?

A medium sized and thick-bodied gecko, with adults normally reaching sizes of around 20cm (8”) total length.

Leopard geckos are from the family group Eublepharidae and are easily distinguished from many other gecko species by their fully functional eyelids. Like many other crepuscular animals, if you look closely at their eyes, during the daytime they will have a slit type appearance, at night-time they dilate widely (much like a cat). These geckos are most active at dawn and dusk when temperatures are more favorable, and during the day they will mostly hide-away in burrows or caves.

Along with its stocky appearance, these geckos have a large and fat-tail containing enough fat reserve to helps geckos through annual periods of brumation. Secondly, the tail serves as a defensive mechanism and can be dropped if the gecko is attacked by a predator, allowing the gecko time to run for cover. It will regrow but is often shorter and stubbier in appearance.

Their skin is bumpy in appearance and the wild-type coloration is predominantly made up of colors of yellow, white, brown and black. Leopard geckos have two or three distinctive bands across their back along with an irregular spotted patterning. Selective captive breeding has also produced some well known morphs/mutations such as tremper albino, jungles, mack snow and murphy patternless.

Unlike many other gecko species, leopard geckos lack the ability to climb any surface and should be treated as terrestrial animals.

Sexing can be achieved once the animals reach a few months of age. Males typically get larger than females, develop a characteristic hemiplegia bulge and femoral pores.

Where are Leopard Geckos from?

In the wild these lizards are found in the rocky arid grasslands and desert regions of Afghanistan, northwestern India, Pakistan and Iran.

How do you keep Leopard Geckos?

Being terrestrial geckos (land dwelling), enclosures provided should be horizontal rather than vertical and with a minimum length of 60cm (24”) for a single adult. Wooden vivariums or terrariums work best for housing leopard geckos due to their heat retaining property.

After many years of keeping and breeding leopard geckos, we’d advise housing these animals singular. It is possible to successfully house groups of females in larger enclosures and even male/female groups, but this will increase the chances of having problems with one or several of your geckos. Symptoms can include, stress and serious weight loss. Importantly, never attempt to house more than one male in the same enclosure or you risk serious injury and even death.

Hatchling and juvenile geckos can be housed in smaller faunariums for rearing purposes, or straight into one of our smaller starter kits.

When setting up a vivarium for any reptile, you need to create a thermal gradient, commonly this is referred to as the ‘hot end’ and ‘cool end’ of the enclosure. Leopard geckos are exothermic and rely on their surroundings to maintain their body temperature. Creating a clear thermal gradient allows the gecko to move to the most favorable area in the vivarium so they can warm and absorb energy.

The overall ambient temperature of the enclosure should be no lower than 24°C (75°F), with a basking (hot end) temperature of 29-32°C (85-90°F). An overall night-time temperature drop of around 5°C is advisable, this can be achieved easily using a good quality thermostat connected to a heat mat and/or a basking spot lamp.

There is much debate over the necessity of providing leopard geckos with any sort of UVB light. Recent studies have shown that their skin is twenty times more absorbent than that of a bearded dragon. With this in mind, it can only be beneficial to your gecko to provide a low level UVB light (2-5%). After all, they are crepuscular and whilst limited, they would have some natural exposure to the sun in the wild. Providing a UVB light will also help stimulate natural daylight and will aid calcium and vitamin D3 absorption.

As leopard geckos are primarily from arid environments, a relatively dry enclosure must be provided. However, a damp area is required to aid geckos shedding its skin. Sphagnum moss in an enclosed cave works well, but you will need to spray the moss frequently with a hand sprayer to prevent it drying out.

Provide a suitably sized water bowl on the cool end of the enclosure for drinking.

For cage decor, provide reptile caves, cork oak branches or bark for them to climb over or hide under, combined with live or artificial plants. Ensure you fill out the enclosure well, to provide plenty of coverage and so that your gecko feels secure. Use a sand/soil based substrate to cover the floor of the enclosure.

Leopard geckos are insectivores. This makes feeding relatively simple as they eat an array of different live food. Favorites are mealworms, crickets, calci worms, locusts, dubia roaches and the very occasional waxworm. Baby or juvenile leopard geckos should be fed daily on 5-10 insects of suitable size, adults should be fed every other day on 3-5 insects.

Lastly and most importantly you must use a good quality dusting powder to provide essential calcium and vitamins to your leopard gecko. The traditional method of application is to use a spare live food tub or empty cereal container to coat the insects lightly in whichever dusting powder you are providing. We’d advise dusting your insects on every feed when your gecko is growing but to alternate between calcium and vitamin powders with the ratio of (2.1).

What does a Tokay Gecko look like?

One of the largest species of Gecko with adults growing to 255-355mm (8-14 inches), hatchlings are approx. 100mm (4 inches). They are brightly coloured with a grey/blue background with red/orange and light blue spots over the body. Due to them being nocturnal, they have large eyes to help hunt for prey during the night. With adhesive pads on their toes, they can climb on pretty much any surface.

The name of the Tokay Gecko comes from the sound that it makes during the breeding season “To-kay”. They are very vocal with a number of barks and grunts – this can take you by surprise if you are not expecting it. Showing the inside of the mouth while doing this puts you off going near them and it should, they have a painful bite!

Where are Tokay Geckos from?

Although found in human habitats, they usually inhabit rain forests in Asia.

Although this species is mainly nocturnal, only coming out 30 minutes before the lights turn off, they still need a basking spot. This should be at least 32C (90F) under the lamp with a cool end not going below 27C (80F). A drop down to room temperature during the night will be fine, on average it’s an 8C (15F) drop. Spray the viv at least twice each day to help keep the humidity between 70-90%, never let it drop below 50%, this also allows the Gecko to drink. I always provide a humidity hide to help during the shedding of the old skin.

Are Tokay Geckos easy to keep?

Some experience is required.

Tokay Geckos are arboreal, meaning they need more height rather than floor space. The best substrate to use is a soil and sand mix with bark chippings. This species appreciates a well-planted viv with plenty of branches and covering, also add a few hides. As stated above, you need to spray the viv a few times each day to keep the humidity high, but most importantly for the Geckos to drink!

You can keep these together in groups, but only one male for several females as these will fight to the death!

A varied diet of insects should be offered, with the odd pinkie (baby mouse) offered to adults. Feed adults every other day and dust the food with a supplement at least once a week. For young and juvenile Tokay Geckos, feed every day with the appropriate sized food and dust more often.

What does the Bearded Dragon look like?

Bearded Dragons obtain their name due to puffing out their throat during defense and courtship displays. Both sexes do this, but males have a darker throat that turns jet black during a display. There are more morphs becoming available now, but the general color of the Breaded Dragon is a mixture of brown shades. They have small spikes protruding from their throat, on top of their head and around their ears and running down the side of the body.

Bearded Dragons are a large species measuring a total length of 380-610mm (15-24”). Hatchlings are very small compared to the adults measuring 75-10mm (3-4”). Bearded Dragons are long lived and can live up to 10 years in captivity.

Where are Bearded Dragons from?

Bearded Dragons are found within Australia only. They are widely distributed throughout the Eastern states to the Eastern half of South Australia and South-eastern Northern territory.
Their habitat also varies from subtropical woodlands, scrub lands, savannas, shore areas and deserts.

How do you keep Bearded Dragons?

Bearded Dragons are one of the easiest and hardiest species of lizards to keep as long as their requirements are met.

Large enclosures are best for Bearded Dragons so they can maintain their body temperature. Depending on the size of the Bearded Dragon you obtain, there is a high chance you will have to purchase a larger vivarium as the Bearded Dragon grows and matures.
As a rough guideline, we recommend the following sized vivariums for housing a Bearded Dragon:

  • x1 Baby/Juvenile: 180-255mm (7-10”) Use 36x24x24
  • x1/2 Sub/Adult: 330-610mm (13-24”) Use 48x24x24

You should provide a basking area with a daytime temperature between 35-43C (95-110F) the cool end of the vivarium should be in the range of 26-30C (80-85F). During the night the temperature should drop no lower than 16C (60F), most house temperatures don’t drop below this, but if yours does, use a heat mat on the warm side of the vivarium. UV light must be used to help Bearded Dragons obtain the Vitamin D-3 they require. Do not use a UV light with a percentage any lower then 5%.

While young, it is best to keep your baby Bearded Dragons on kitchen towel to prevent compaction of the substrate, this can be fatal. When older you can use a Reptile Sand, there are many different products on the market. You should also place cork bark branches and rocks for your Bearded Dragon to climb on.

Bearded Dragons are “Omnivorous” which means they feed on both plant and animal matter. When feeding live insects, ensure that the food is no larger then the width of the Bearded Dragons eyes. If too large, this could cause impaction or they could choke on the food. It is also best to feed young Bearded Dragons three times a day instead of one large meal to prevent this.

Bearded Dragons will eat a number of live insects such as crickets, locusts, mealworms, wax worms and cockroaches. When feeding plant foods, wash and finely chop and place in a dish. Your Bearded Dragon should be fed on 40-60% of plant matter when it is adult, while young offer this along side the live foods every other day.

We have listed below all the plant foods Bearded Dragons will take:

  • Escarole
  • Fancy dark lettuces (not iceberg)
  • Bok Choy
  • Endive
  • Carrots
  • Peas
  • Yellow Squash
  • Zucchini
  • Green Beans
  • Mustard, Collard, Kale and Beet Greens
  • Nasturtium, Hibiscus and Dandelion leaves and flowers

The below foods should be fed as treats only:

  • Romaine
  • Strawberries
  • Raspberries
  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Squash
  • Melon
  • Mice Pinkies

What does a Royal Python look like?

Royal Pythons are also known as Ball Pythons due to them rolling into a ball in defense. This species of Python grows to an average length of 4 foot (1.2 m), with the females being the large of the two. Some specimens have been known to reach more than 5 foot (1.5m) in length.

Royal Pythons have a distinctive head, slender neck and a wide body. The body color is black with yellow, gold or brown markings. The patterns may be banded, broken or reduced in some specimens and some may have a dorsal stripe.

Where are Royal Pythons from?

Royal Pythons are found within Central and Western Africa. They inhabit forests and are equally comfortable on the ground or in trees. These Pythons are active during dawn and dusk and hide away during the day.

Are Royal Pythons easy to keep?

Royal Pythons have to be one of the easiest species of snake to own, as long as the basic requirements are met.

Although these Pythons do grow big, they prefer a smaller enclosure then you would think. If the enclosure is too large, this could cause stress to the Python. There are a number of different enclosures you can use from vivariums, glass tanks and plastic containers. Young Pythons can be housed in plastic containers measuring approx. 20×10” (LxW), sub and fully-grown adults in a 36×15” vivarium.

You need provide your Royal Python with an ambient air temperature of 27-29C (80-85F) throughout the enclosure with a basking spot of 32.5C (90F) during the day. At night, allow the ambient air temperature to drop down to no lower than 23-24C (73-75F), with a basking area of 27C (80F). No additional UV lighting is required for your Royal Python. You can maintain the temperatures by using either a basking lamp with a guard or a heat mat, a thermostat should control both these.

While your Python is young, the best substrate to use would be kitchen towel or newspaper, this is cheap and easy to clean out. Once your Python starts to grow, you can use aspen, bark chips or cage carpet that is washable. A humidity box must be placed in with your Python. Cut a hole out of the plastic container, place vermiculite and sphagnum moss inside. Another hide should be placed in the enclosure so your Python can hide away during the day. To make the enclose look nice, place a large branch with some artificial plants around it.

Feed you Royal Python on defrosted mice and rats. The size of food given depends on the size of the Python, this shouldn’t be any larger then the widest part of the Pythons body. Young Pythons should be fed every 7-10 days, older Pythons every 10-14 days and adults should be fed every 3 weeks with breeding females being fed every 2 weeks.

Fresh water should be provide daily in a dish/bowl so your Python may drink or bathe. This is very important when your Python is due to shed its skin. Once you notice the Pythons eyes go clear after being cloudy, bathe it in luc warm water for 10 minutes, dry off then place back in its enclosure. The Python should then shed within 24hrs.

What does a Common Boa Constrictor look like?

Newborn Common Boa Constrictors are approximately 18 inches. Adults average between 5-9ft, although some large females may reach lengths of 12ft.

The background color is tan with large dark ruby red patterns running along the dorsal of the body, this darken towards the tail. A diamond pattern runs down each side of the body, usually with a lighter pattern inside. They have a dark line running from the nose, through the eye and towards the neck. Youngsters are normally brighter in coloration, they starts to darken with age.

With regular handling, Common Boa Constrictors and become very tame. Caution should always be taken with snakes over 5ft and it is recommended to have two people while feeding and cleaning.

On average, this snake will live for approximately 20-30 years, one has been recorded at 40 years of age.

Where are Common Boa Constrictor from?

Found in tropical rainforest of Columbia and South America..

How do you keep a Common Boa Constrictor?

A young boa can be kept in a minimum 24x15x15 inch vivarium, however a 36x15x15 inch vivarium is a better size. As your boa grows, you will need to increase the size of the enclosure. Small adult males can be housed in a 48x24x24 inch vivarium, large females may need to be kept in a minimum of 72x24x24 inch enclosure.

When providing heat, we recommend using either a ceramic heater or a high wattage red basking bulb. Heat mats can be used to give a general background temperature, although these will not provided enough heat for a large enclosure. A thermostat is required, this will prevent under or over heating inside your boas enclosure. You need to aim for a ambient air temperature of 26.5-29.5C (80-85F) during the day with a night time drop to 25.5 (78F). A basking area or “hot spot” of 35-38C (95-100F) must be provided. The basking area is very important, if this is not met, your boa can suffer from respiratory infections.

The substrate can range from aspen bedding, orchid bark, beech chipping or newspaper. Providing hides for young snakes is easy, this may be difficult for adults. We recommend placing some strong sturdy branches for you boa to climb on. A large water area for your boa to fully emerge will be required, we use clear storage boxes for adults.

As a general rule, the size of the food should not be any larger than the girth of the snake at it’s widest point. Newly born boas should be fed on rat pups for the first few feeds, then placed onto small mice. As they grow, increase their food and feed every 7 days until they reach a length of 3ft. By this time, it should be taking weaner rats or small rats depending on your supplier. Feed every 7-10 days on one or two rats and increase the food as it grows. To reduce growth rate, feed every 10-14 days. When your boa reaches 6ft, you will be looking at feeding this on large to x-large rats or even rabbits every 14 days.

What a Moorish Gecko look like?

Males are grey with a brown pattern along the body and four white marks on the shoulders, females are an overall grey. The females have lots of tubercular scales along the whole body and head, males only have a few along the side of the body. The underside of the Geckos is an immaculate white. These geckos have adhesive toe-pads, along their entire length of the toe for climbing up rocks.

Where are Moorish Geckos from?

Found in dry, rocky areas in the Mediterranean region from southern France to Greece and northern Africa. Some have also been found in California.

Although this species is mainly nocturnal, a basking lamp in the range of 26.5-29C (80-85F) should be provided, as they are active during the day too. A UV light is not required for this species. A drop down to room temperature during the night will be fine. A humidity hide should be provided or keep an area moist to prevent any shedding problems.

Are Moorish Geckos easy to keep?

Some experience is required, but these Geckos are extremely hardy, with few problems.

It has been said, that housing only true pairs of Moorish Geckos is ideal.

Moorish Geckos are arboreal, meaning they need more height rather then floor space. Use a basking lamp for heat, as described above connected to a thermostat. The best substrate to use is either child’s play sand or I have used vermiculite with no problems. Moorish Geckos prefer plenty securely stacked rocks and branches throughout the viv. A humidity hide needs to be placed in a corner – I mainly spray one side of the viv every few days to drip off the rocks and branches. This then collects in the vermiculite, creating a humidity hide behind a rock. You can place a water dish in the viv, or just spray every few days, as they lick up the water droplets that run along the decor.

A varied diet of insects should be offered, with the odd pinkie (baby mouse) offered to adults. For young and juvenile Moorish Geckos, feed every day with the appropriate sized food. Adults can be fed every other day and once a month try feeding a small pinkie. Your Moorish Gecko will actively hunt down and consume anything that moves.