Reptile and Exotic Pet Magazine



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Up-to-date information about the Ultimate Exotics


Informative articles on Lizards and how to care for them


Articles about snakes and their care


News about other exotic species
  • House Snakes and Their Mutations. (Part 2) By Rolf Dennison

    Almost everyone that has kept snakes has heard of the House Snake. These African colubrids have always been seen as a fairly common and plain snake but times are changing and House Snakes are starting to make a big name for themselves in the reptile industry with a large and increasing variety of different coloured […]
  • A snake will shed its skin as long as it's growing, and snakes grow all through their lives.

    Snake Shedding 101 – Why Snakes Shed Their Skin by Brandon Cornett

    The fact that snakes can shed their skin has always fascinated those with a curious mind, especially children. There is just something about an animal that can slide out of its skin once or twice a month that fires the imagination. But while snake shedding is the common phrase used to describe this process, it’s […]
  • Snakes and lizards flick their tongues in the air to capture scent particles. A Gila monster lizard

    21 Interesting Facts About Reptiles by Brandon Cornett

    Reptiles are one of the most diverse groups in the animal kingdom. Their behaviors and physical attributes cover a broad spectrum, which is one of the reasons we humans find them so fascinating. There are a lot of myths and misunderstandings about reptiles these days, but (thankfully) not nearly as many as in the past. […]
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    The Orange Dream Morph in Ball Pythons

    As many of you in the reptile hobby will have noticed, the Ball Python market is currently a hot topic in South Africa and the rest of the world. New mutations are showing up all the time and South African breeders, including ourselves at Ultimate Exotics, have already bred out new world-first morphs. Due to […]
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    The Care and Breeding of Day Geckos

    For those of us hobbyists who are passionate about geckos, and especially those of us that enjoy creating natural displays and beautiful viviariums, there are few other geckos that will be more ideal for this kind of setup. Due to the fact that they are active during the day and that they are some of […]
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    Desert Ghost Ball Pythons

    The Desert Ghost morph in Ball Pythons is still rare and not as common as many other morphs we see today. One of the reasons why there are not so many around is that the morph is a recessive morph, so therefore it takes longer to reproduce this morph than the other dominate and co-dominate […]
  • The Pumpkin Patch Tarantula is classified as a dwarf tarantula and is one cute little spider, it appears to have a few pumpkins tattooed on its abdomen.

    The Pumpkin Patch Tarantula (Hapalopus sp Colombia) By Tim Surman from

    The Pumpkin Patch Tarantula is classified as a dwarf tarantula and is one cute little spider, it appears to have a few pumpkins tattooed on its abdomen. When they first emerged on the South African market around 6 years ago they often sold at around R1200 each. Fortunately a few local egg-sacs have brought the […]
  • Poecilotheria-metallica-for-sale

    The Gooty Tarantula (Poecilotheria metallica)

    Poecilotheria metallica has to be one of the most sought after and beautiful tarantulas in the hobby today. As slings they are usually a brownish colour and can often be mistaken for regular pokies but as they mature this brown colour is replaced with a striking metallic blue colour, which has made this tarantula stand […]
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    Emerald Tree Boas, Corallus caninus. Part One: General Care and Husbandry

    Out of all the boas we know the Emerald Tree Boa is one of the most desirable and distinctive out of all the boas in the hobby today. Their beautiful colours and patterns resemble fresh new green leaves spotted with white bird droppings. Occasionally some specimens have yellow on them too. Their scientific name Corallus […]
  • An egg bound Corn Snake

    Egg Binding in Snakes

    Breeding snakes is a rewarding experience. It is a challenging and exciting part of keeping snakes. With reproduction in livestock, in this case snakes, there will be times when complications occur and in this article we will talk about egg binding, which is a fairly common reproductive problem when it comes to breeding snakes. Different […]
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    Asian Vine Snake

    The Asian Vine snake belongs to a genus known as Ahaetulla. It is a small genus of arboreal colubrids commonly referred to as Asian vine snakes or whip snakes. They are mildly venomous and opisthoglyphous, meaning they have enlarged teeth located in the rear of the upper jaw (also known as rear-fanged). Unlike the fangs […]
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    Honduran Milk Snakes (Lampropeltis triangulum hondurensis)

    It has been a long time since we have done any articles on this beautiful species of Milk Snake, so we thought it was time to do an updated article on the large and attractive Honduran Milk Snake. Of all the milk snakes I personally feel that the Honduran Milk Snake is the most impressive, […]
  • By Christopher V Anderson

    The Eight-Year Journey with the Midlands Dwarf Chameleon By Seth Gavin Brendenkamp

    Introduction I have a passion for breeding chameleons, in particular the Midlands Dwarf Chameleon (Bradypodion thamnobates). I have been working with this particular species from South Africa for the last 8 years, since 2006, and have learned so much about them during this time. I first came across The Midlands Dwarf Chameleon when a beautiful […]
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    The Champagne Ball Python Morph

    This year has seen some amazing Ball Pythons being bred in South Africa and, as some of us have seen, some of the prices have dropped a bit as expected. This is not a bad thing, as it opens up new morphs and morph combos to people starting out. I think the really good thing […]
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    The Usambara Eyelash Viper, Atheris ceratophora

    Atheris species in general are truly amazing and very desirable to keep for the more experienced venomous reptile keepers. I have to admit, each Atheris species is so beautiful in their own way, which makes them such a desirable genus to work with. What makes them even better is that they are from our very […]
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    The Gabino By David Viaene

    What is a Gabino? In this article we are going to have a rare look at an exciting form of naturally occurring hybrid called the Gabino. A Gabino is a hybrid between a Gaboon Adder (Bitis gabonica or Bitis rhinoceros) and a Rhinoceros Adder (Bitis nasicornis). In advance I would like to apologize for any […]
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    Keeping a Pet Hedgehog Article By Michelle Malan

      Hedgehogs are becoming increasingly popular pets and are more and more readily available. By their nature they can suit just about anyone’s lifestyle and schedule. Since they are awake at times of both the night and the day, anyone can find a time in which to enjoy them, and unlike other rodent pets such […]
  • Baby white lipped tree viper

    White-lipped Tree Viper Caresheet (Trimeresurus albolabris)

    It has been some time since we have done any articles on White-lipped Tree Vipers. As this is one of the most common arboreal vipers in captivity we thought we would revisit this species. First things first: these are venomous and should only be kept by people who have experience with keeping venomous snakes! They […]
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    Cat Geckos, Aeluroscalabotes felinus

    A truly unusual gecko in appearance and character, the rare Cat Gecko is still new to the gecko-breeding world. Straight away people are curious when they hear of a Cat Gecko and they wonder how they got that name. Their movement looks like the movement of cats and they have a habit of curling up […]
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    Nose-horned Viper

    The Nose-horned Viper (Vipera ammodytes) naturally occurs in southern Europe through to the Balkans and parts of the Middle East. The species name, ammodytes, comes from the Greek words “ammos” meaning “sand” and “dytäs” meaning “diver”. This name “sand-diver” is not really a good name as the snake is not a sand-diver at all. It […]
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    Care and breeding of Fiji banded iguanas – Brachylophus fasciatus. By Tim Surman

    The Fiji banded iguana (Brachylophus fasciatus) is an arboreal (Tree dwelling) lizard found mainly on the south-eastern islands of Fiji. There are also a few other isolated populations that were probably introduced by man, Vanuatu being the most famous. It is one of the few species of iguanas found outside of the New World (North […]
  • Emperor Scorpion

    Roaches as Feeder Insects By Mandie Surman (

    How often do we ask ourselves “what feeder insect would be best for my animals, what are the pros and cons?” For many years crickets have been the main feeder insect, but lately many keepers have started feeding alternative food items. This article will explore the humble roach as one of the options. Well, let’s […]
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    Breeding with your Tarantula

    There comes a time in every Tarantula owners life where they decide that it’s time to breed with their pet. This could be for several reasons. The most common reason being because breeding your tarantulas is where you want to take your new hobby. Whatever the reason may be its always difficult finding a matching […]
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    Gila Monsters

    The Gila Monster is a lizard many of us have seen before, whether it be in a book or in a nature documentary on TV. They are hard to mistake, with their striking orange and black colouring and their beaded reptilian skin. One of the main reasons why the Gila Monster gets so much attention […]
  • Emporer Scorpions (Pandinus imperator) are from West Africa.  They live and thrive in hot, humid regions.  Not aggressive.  Sting hurts, but venom is generally harmless.  A lot of people keep them as "pets."

    Breeding Emperor Scorpions (Pandinus imperator) -ARTICLE BY Frank Indivigilo

    There are few species of scorpion that are more impressive than the Emperor Scorpion. These animals can do well in captivity and one of the joys of keeping them is that you can also breed them. The captive reproduction of Emperor Scorpions is a most interesting endeavour (for hobbyists and, I imagine, the scorpions themselves!). […]
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    Mandarin rat snake – (Euprepiophis mandarinus) Article By: Rolf Dennison

    When you first see a Mandarin Rat Snake it is hard to believe that it is real. Its colourings and markings are so unique and different from any other rat snake or even any other snake. They have a grey background colour with horizontal diamond markings along their backs, with black borders and highlights of […]
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    Reticulated Pythons. By Arno Naude

    Giant and not so Giant Snakes. If you ask “What is the longest snake in the world?” everyone will tell you it’s a Reticulated Python. What they don’t tell you is that some island localities will only grow to the size of a Carpet python. We are still learning new things about this amazing python […]
  • Butter House Snake

    House Snakes and Their Mutations (Morphs). By Rolf Dennison

    House snakes for a long time have been a favourite amongst South African snake enthusiasts and reptile keepers. I am sure many of us at some stage have kept a House Snake that they have caught, or a friend has caught in the garden. I am also sure that this specie of snake is responsible […]
  • Hypo Ball Python

    Hypo, Hypomelanistic, Ghost and Orange Ghost. By Rolf Dennison  

    The four names in the title of this article are different names given to the same morph. In this article we will refer to this morph as the Hypo morph. Hypo is a recessive mutation that reduces dark pigments like the blacks and browns and although there are different lines of this recessive mutation like […]
  • Blue Poison Dart frog (Dendrobates azureus)

    Poison Dart / Arrow Frogs (PDF)

    “Jewels of the forests” – That is what these creatures have been called and this is truly the case! My experience with Poison Dart Frogs (PDF’s) has been exciting, rewarding, heartbreaking, and all other emotions you can think of! My passion for these spectacular amphibians started just over 2 years ago, when I walked into […]
  • Red Phase Western Hognose

    The Western Hognose snake (Heterodon nasicus)

    The Western Hognose snake’s ( Heterodon nasicus) unusual appearance has earned this species its descriptive name and makes this snake truly unique in the reptile world. I would describe this snake as almost ‘cute’, just as one would describe many animals with unusual facial features ie ‘pugs’. Its strange up-turned ‘nose’ gives it a pig-like appearance […]
  • Dumeril's Boa

    The Dumeril’s Boa (Acrantophis dumerili). By Warwick von Hagen

    Introduction The Dumeril’s boa has gained popularity amongst reptile keepers due to their calm temperament as well as their relatively small size, which averages around the 1.2 – 1.8 meter mark with the largest reported being 2.5 meters. The habitat region of the Dumeril’s boa is the south/ south west portion of Madagascar as well […]
  • Leopard Geckos

    Leopard Geckos: Their Care and Breeding in Captivity. By Rolf Dennison

    The Leopard Gecko is a step above the rest when it comes to the captive care and breeding of geckos. Leopard Geckos are generally easy to care for and breed which makes them very popular for beginners. Their large variety of mutations is also responsible for their popularity amongst experienced breeders making this an all-round […]
  • Ivory Ornamental (Poecilotheria subfusca)

    Ivory Ornamental (Poecilotheria subfusca)

    Arguably the largest of all Poecilotheria, there is no doubt that these are strikingly-patterned and extremely attractive tarantulas. Their relative rarity in captivity results in consequently higher price for these tarantulas. They are indigenous to either the lowlands or mountainous areas of central Sri-Lanka, which is a moist high altitude climate, so therefore they like […]
  • Black-headed Python (Aspidites melanocephalus) native to Australia.
Dajarra locale, female.

    Black-headed Pythons (Aspidites melanocephalus)

    The Black-headed python is one of the more unique and unusual pythons that are being kept and bred in captivity today. Black-headed pythons, along with the better known Woma pythons, belong to the genus Aspidities, which is a genus known to be one of the most ancient of all pythons. Both of these pythons are […]
  • Green Tree Python with eggs

    6 Steps for Breeding Success with GTPs.

    For those of you who find these beautiful pythons fascinating, there is nothing more satisfying then to reproduce this species in captivity. Green Tree Pythons (GTPs) are a fairly challenging species of snake to keep and are not necessarily the right snake for beginners. Today, fortunately we have a lot more information about successfully keeping […]
  • Tanzanian Striped House Snake (Boaedon lineatus)

    Tanzanian Striped House Snakes (Boaedon lineatus)

    By Dean Boshoff House Snakes of the Genus Boaedon are truly iconic African Colubrids. In recent years they have seen a rise in popularity as both local & international hobbyists have had much success breeding different colour phases of the Cape House Snake, Boaedon capensis. Their popularity can be attributed to a few simple facts: […]
  • Desert Striped Californian Kingsnake

    The Californian Kingsnake. By Ultimate Exotics

    The Californian Kingsnake is a hardy, stocky and attractive snake that does extremely well in captivity, and is a great snake for anybody that has an interest in reptiles, especially snakes. They make lovely pet snakes and are common in captivity due to the fact that they are easy to handle, have striking colors and […]
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    African Fat-tailed Geckos (Hemitheconyx caudicinctus)

    By Ultimate Exotics The African Fat-tailed gecko is a truly beautiful gecko in it own unique way, and is a must have for any keen gecko collector or breeder! African Fat-tailed geckos are members of the primitive gecko family Eublepharidae. This family contains primarily terrestrial geckos that share such characteristics as well developed and fully […]
  • Socotra Island Blue Baboon

    Socotra Island Blue Baboon (Monocentropus balfouri)

    By Laurika v.d Merwe The Socotra Island Blue Baboon (Monocentrophus balfouri) is an interesting species and unlike most tarantulas in the trade is an Old world tarantula as the name suggests. This species is rare and unique from appearance to temperament and has many surprises to offer, some yet to be discovered. Needless to say […]
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    Ball Pythons! Husbandry, Breeding and Morphs.

    By Rolf Dennison, Ultimate Exotics. Ball Pythons are probably one of the most common snake species kept in captivity. Over the last couple of years these small pythons have become increasingly popular and many different morphs are currently being bred in captivity. Ball Pythons can reach an average length of around 110 – 150cm and […]
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    The Variable Kingsnake (Lampropeltis mexicana thayeri)

    The Variable Kingsnake (also known as Thayer’s Kingsnake) has to be one of the more unusual and unique of all the kingsnakes available today. As the name suggests, this species of kingsnake can vary considerably in colour and pattern. The Variable Kingsnake can look quite similar to the Grey Banded Kingsnake, Durango Mountain Kingsnake and […]
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 (Super Pastel: Homozygous form of Pastel Co-Dominant, Enchi: Co-Dominant, Pied: Recessive, Pinstripe: Dominant )

    The Enchi Morph in Ball Pythons

    This morph is a fairly common and affordable morph in today’s market, but what makes it so great is that it adds so much colour and bold defined markings to other morphs. In my personal opinion everything looks better with Enchi in it and it really goes well with any other morph to make some […]
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    The Intelligent Blue-tongued Skink

    Blue-Tongued Skinks have to be one of the best pet lizards. They are very docile and easy to handle, they are hardy and easy to feed, they are average in size, and they have a beautiful appearance with a brilliant blue tongue which they are always sliding in and out of their mouths. What more […]
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    Feeding Non – Rodent Eating Snakes

    By Timothy Zedi Introduction Most of the commonly kept snakes are rodent eaters due to the fact that rodents are freely available in various sizes from newborn rodents for hatchling snakes to full grown rodents for adult snakes. However, not all snake species eat rodents and prey items can consist of fish, frogs, lizards, eggs,and […]
  • Third generation captive bred Aspidelaps lubricus lubricus. This specimen has been selected for its reduced black bands and bright orange colouring. Photo by Rolf Dennison, Ultimate Exotics.

    Coral Cobras/Cape Corals (Aspidelaps lubricus)

    Article By Rolf Dennison, Ultimate Exotics. In my opinion, the Coral Cobra is one of South Africa’s most attractive and exciting snakes; and as a snake keeper who is keen on venomous snakes, this species is hard to beat. There are two sub-species of the Coral Cobra: the Cape Coral Cobra (Aspidelaps lubricus lubricus) and […]
  • Blue-eyed Leucistic House Snake. Photo by Dean Boshoff

    Blue-eyed Leucistic House Snake

    Blue-eyed Leucistic House Snake. By Dean Boshoff And I lost this one… Dismally! I’ve always been passionate about Brown house snakes, so when this gorgeous snake came to be in my possession, I had the opportunity to do something awesome! Pioneer a new morph. The first ever captive blue-eyed leucistic housie! Everything went perfect for […]
  • African Fat-tailed Gecko

    African Fat-tails. Questions & Answers

    Question: I have recently purchased an African Fat-tailed Gecko and was told to keep it the same way as you would keep a Leopard Gecko. I just want to make sure that this is the correct advice, thanks! Hennie Jones Answer: Hi Hennie. I must say that yes, you can keep an African Fat-tailed Gecko […]
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    Breeding Rosy Boas

    Question: I want to breed my Rosy Boas in about a year’s time when they will be big enough. I have heard that you breed them the same way as you would a Milk Snake. I am a bit concerned as my other Boas do not breed that way. Please advise – John Vermulin Answer: […]
  • Banana Ball Python

    The Coral Glow/Banana Ball Python Morph

    This is a remarkable mutation, and probably one of the most sought-after morphs in the Ball Python world. Over the years, especially when this morph was newly discovered, there was a lot of controversy as many people thought that the Coral Glow and Banana were two separate morphs. Then many breeders started claiming that they […]
  • IBD Red-tailed Boa

    The Dreaded Twins….Ophidian Paramyxovirus and Inclusion Body Disease

    Article by: Dr Egbert Compion The Dreaded Twins….Ophidian Paramyxovirus and Inclusion Body Disease These two are the real deal, the worst of the worst. They are the bad twins you never want to meet in a dark alley. They are not actually related at all, but they are so nasty and sneaky, so devastating and […]
  • Two-headed Florida Kingsnake that was bred at Ultimate Exotics.

    Two-headed Snakes!

    Article by Rolf Dennison Early January is the time of the year when our colubrids are all starting to hatch. Each morning we go through the incubator and check to see if anything has hatched and whatever snakes have hatched we then remove them into a separate container where they can shed. One morning this […]
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    The Bingo Ball Python

    Article by Rolf Dennison This is an exciting story of a new Ball Python morph that we have proved out at Ultimate Exotics. It happened completely by chance, as I am sure many new mutations occur. I remember when I bought my first Ball Python pair. There were very few Ball Pythons around in South […]
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    Feeding Frozen/Thawed vs Live

    This is quite a debatable topic. Many keepers and breeders of reptiles and other exotic pets have different points of views and preferences on whether to feed their animals live rodents or frozen/thawed. There is no right or wrong between the two methods: as long as the snake is getting its food and eating it […]
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    The Underrated Blood Python (Python brongersmai)

    One of the more eye catching and colourful snakes of the larger pythons is the Blood Python. Unfortunately these pythons have been underrated over the years mainly because of a reputation for having a bad temperament, and this is turning out to not always be the case, as we will discuss later on in this […]
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    Hypo Chihuahua Mountain King Snake (Lampropeltis pyromelana knoblochi)

    This is exciting. The baby Chihuahua Mountain King Snake (Lampropeltis pyromelana knoblochi) at the bottom of the picture randomly hatched out of one of our clutches. Looks like a hypomelanistic mutation to me! Above it is a normal sibling for comparison.  
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    March/April 2013 Editorial

    Mice! Who has mice? There has been a serious shortage of mice and rats at the beginning of this year. The shortage has come about mostly due to the change in ownership of one of the major feeder food suppliers in KZN, which has resulted in many of our snakes missing a few meals: definitely […]
  • Durango Mountain King Snake

    The Durango Mountain King Snake (Lampropelitis mexicana greeri)

    The Durango Mountain King Snake, Lampropelitis mexicana greeri  In my opinion the Durango Mountain King Snake has to be one of the most attractive snakes out of all the King Snakes, and through selective breeding certain colour varieties are becoming more and more attractive. They have a light to dark grey background colour that has bright […]
  • Black and White Spitting Cobra Setup

    The Black and White Spitting Cobra (Naja siamensis)

    Before we start this article I would just like to point out that this beautiful species of cobra is for experienced reptile keepers ONLY and should not be kept by anyone who is under the age of 18 and who hasn’t had experience in keeping venomous reptiles. Keeping cobras is a huge responsibility, and it […]
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    The Sinaloan Milk Snake, Lampropeltis t. sinaloae

    The Sinaloan Milk Snake When people think of Milk Snakes the Sinaloan Milk Snake is the first species that comes to mind. This milk snake is perhaps the most beautiful species, with its clean red, black and white markings. They are not only a great snake for breeding projects but also one of the best […]
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    The Mangrove Viper, Cryptelytrops purpureomaculatus

    The Mangrove Viper has often been avoided due to their large size, aggressive nature, and potent venom. This may be true, but in my opinion that is what makes them so appealing to experienced venomous snake enthusiast! It also turns out that there is so much more to this species that keepers can appreciate, especially […]
  • Baby bearded dragons hatching

    Breeding Bearded Dragons

      The Bearded Dragon is by far the most common pet lizard in captivity today. There are many reasons for their popularity as pets. They have a very docile nature, they are easy to handle, and they are diurnal and therefore are active and look great during the day in a display setup. Another reason […]
  • Plumed Basilisk

    The Plumed Basilisk

    The Plumed Basilisks are beautiful, elegant and enjoyable lizards to keep in captivity. There are four species of Basilisks, the Green or Plumed Basilisk (Basiliscus plumifrons), Common or Brown Basilisk (B. basiliscus), Red-headed Basilisk (B. galeritus) and the Striped Basilisk (B. vittatus). All these species can be kept the same way but in this article […]
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    Tarantulas: Old World VS New World

    The origins of the terms New World and Old World came about in the late 15th century at the time when Christopher Columbus made a name for himself as a renowned European explorer. When he returned to Spain having discovered the Americas, an Italian historian referred to him as the discoverer of the New World. […]
  • Green Tree Python Setup

    Green Tree Python Setup

    This is my setup for my female Sorong Green Tree Python. This setup was built by a friend of mine, Byron Zimmerman, who has had many years experience building custom cages for reptile keepers. This cage design was based on Greg Maxwell’s cage design that he describes in his popular book The Complete Chondro. I thought if any […]
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    Breeding Corn Snakes

    Corn Snakes have for many years been the starter snakes in our reptile hobby when it comes to keeping snakes. Today many of us reptile keepers look over Corn Snakes for being very common, but I think that it is important that we still appreciate them as after all they are still a snake! Even […]
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    The White Lipped Tree Viper (Trimeresurus albolabris)

    These are one of the more common of the vipers found in the pet trade due to their large geographic range, being easy to keep, well tempered and having mild venom. These are pit vipers; they are called this because they have little pits just below the eye, which they use to detect prey through […]