Care & Husbandry Articles

List of non-toxic plants for your terrarium
Feeding Pre-killed Prey to Reptiles

Great information on feeding your reptiles

Increasing Cage Humidity
Dealing with Snake Mites

If you own snakes, or have read about their care, you no doubt have heard of snake mites. Some books make snake mites out to[...]to identify a mite problem in your snake collection, and the steps that we recommend you take to remedy the problem.

Full Spectrum UV Lighting

The main goal for most people who keep reptiles as pets is to provide their animals with the absolute best possible care. [...]species such as bearded dragons and tortoises. In this article, I will discuss the importance of full spectrum lighting.

Tarantulas As Pets

Do tarantulas really make good pets? Well, that really depends on a few factors, namely, what the keeper intends on getting out of having a pet tarantula. If you are in search of a cuddly pet to snuggle with on a cold night, then a tarantula is not for you. If your looking for a critter to carry around with you on your shoulder when you go shopping, then a tarantula is not for you. However, if you are searching for a truly unique and fascinating pet, one that requires minimal daily maintenance and even less physical contact, then look no further. A tarantula is for you.

Handling Reptiles
Water and Hydration for Herps

Water is great stuff. We take it for granted, but we sure would miss it if it was gone. Our bodies are about 70% water. The same goes for our planet; nearly 75% of it's surface is covered by water. Water is quite simply vital for most any form of life to thrive. This goes for bacteria, humans, and reptiles. Many neophyte reptile owners are under the false impression that all herps will drink happily from a bowl of standing water. This is simply not true, in fact many species will ignore water if its is not moving. In this article I hope to inform of the theory and methods behind keeping your reptiles properly hydrated.

Vitamins, Minerals, and Captive Herps

In nature, reptiles and amphibians are exposed to a wide variety of food items, often much more varied and ultimately more nutritious than those diets fed to captive herps. As a result, animals maintained on diets consisting solely of store bought crickets and worms are often deficient of many life sustaining trace minerals and vitamins. Wild insects often have a much more varied and complete gut contents than compared with those that are reared in cricket farms. Additionally, wild animals may feed on as many as a dozen different species of insect in a given day, where as pet herps usually subsist on only a few commonly available bugs.

Is My Reptile Warm Enough?


Reptilian Brumation

Reptilian Brumation: Physiological Aspects and Captive Management Explained

Incubation of Reptile Eggs

Incubation of Reptile Eggs

Feeding Stubborn Snakes


LLLReptile's Interview With Bob Applegate

Interview between LLLReptile's Jonathan Rheins & Bob Applegate

Feeding Insectivorous Reptiles

Many commonly kept species of reptiles and amphibians make insects and other invertebrate prey a large portion of their natural diet. In fact, they may feed upon as many as a dozen different species within a single day, each one containing different levels vitamins and minerals that are vital to health and growth. As with all aspects of captive husbandry, it is our goal as keepers to try and provide our animals with the most natural and beneficial care. Food is certainly no exception.

Responsible Herp Keeping

There is simply no denying the growing popularity of reptiles in our country. We watch them on TV, read about them in the paper, and see them at pet shops. There are even reptile expos. We are clearly a people with a fascination for what is different and new. With growing frequency, households across America are taking things one step further by bringing these animals into their homes as pets. It has already become clear that reptiles can make rewarding pets if cared for properly. However, keeping exotic animals as pets is not without caveats. If we want to maintain our rights as animal lovers to keep reptiles as pets we must do so responsibly and with the consideration of others in mind.

Tips For Raising Baby Tortoises

Tortoises, as a group, have long been among the most popular pet reptiles. Their wide availability coupled with their outgoing personalities and straightforward care have made them favorites among beginning and advanced hobbyists alike.

Notes on the Feeding of Monitor Lizards

Monitor lizards of the genus Varanus have long been popular among reptile enthusiasts of all ages and levels of experience. These large, intelligent creatures can provide an extremely rewarding pet experience if they are properly cared for and their needs met.

Reptile Acclimation

To an experienced reptile keeper, the term acclimation would likely be associated with the (sometimes) lengthy and rigorous process of aiding in the adjustment of a wild-caught animal to a captive lifestyle. And while this is sometimes the case, many beginning hobbyists may not realize that even captive bred herps of all types and sizes will require a acclimation period when first obtained.

Lizard Claws: To Trim or Not to Trim

Most lizard species that are commonly kept as pets are small and docile enough to make the issue of nail trimming inconsequential. However, in larger species, sharp nails can inflict nasty scratches on both owner and themselves if not kept in check. For their relative size, lizards are strong animals, and even friendly specimens used to human contact can inadvertently cause harm with unruly claws.


The inland bearded dragon (Pogona vitticeps) of central Australia, has risen from moderate obscurity to become one of the world's favorite pet lizards in the span of only a few decades. Their personable demeanor, manageable size, and attractive appearance have all contributed to their current level of popularity.


Tortoises are among the most intelligent and responsive reptile pets that one can own. Their personable demeanor and simple dietary requirements further add to their appeal. However, in addition to the aforementioned positive attributes, there are certain aspects of chelonian care that may prove troublesome for all but the most prepared of keepers.


There is no denying or avoiding the fact that Australian bearded dragons (Pogona vitticeps) have made their mark on American herpeteculture, and that they are here to stay. Combine a calm demeanor, dragon-like appearance, a handful of fancy color variants, and a reproductive strategy that would make most rabbits jealous, and you get the bearded dragon, perhaps the perfect lizard pet.

Chameleon Care - An Overview

Old world chameleons are without a doubt one of nature's most beautiful and mysterious creatures. Clad in brilliant colors and equipped with some if the animal kingdom's most unique physical attributes, it is no wonder that these animals have gained such popularity among reptile hobbyists and nature lovers alike.

Feeding Aquatic Turtles

Aquatic turtles have always been popular terrarium subjects, both as a result of their ready availability and physical variety. However, due to their semi-aquatic nature, certain aspects of their husbandry may prove more challenging than those of a terrestrial species.

Multiple Species Habitats

Tips on the pros and cons of Multiple Species habitats

Hay As A Part of a Grassland Tortoise's Diet

Some respected tortoise keepers recommend a diet for grassland species that contains up to 85% high-fiber foraging feed such as alfalfa hay, grass hay, and various other grasses, with only a small portion of the diet being fresh produce commonly found at the grocery store. With this in mind, it is important to understand the differences between the various types of hay available and to provide an appropriate mix of hays and fresh greens for your tortoise.

Review of Reptile Heat Bulbs

A breakdown of the different Heat bulbs commonly available for reptiles.

Captive Breeding of Dwarf Day Geckos

Want to take the next step from just maintaining your Dwarf Geckos to setting them up to successfully breed? This article is for you!

Outdoor Housing for Bearded Dragons

The awesome power of the sun plays a tremendous role in the lifecycle of nearly all reptiles and amphibians. While some species bask in its glory, even those that avoid its brilliance rely on day length as a seasonal clock. Whether in nature or in the terrarium, solar wavelengths and intensity play an integral role in basking behavior, brumation schedules, and reproduction among herps. Indoors, we must make every possible effort to mimic outdoor conditions for our charges, doing our best to ensure that appropriate photoperiods and lighting type and intensity are provided. However, in certain climactic zones, select species have proven quite content to enjoy the region's outdoor weather.

Maternal Incubation In Ball Pythons

Are you a beginner to ball python breeding? Have you had trouble with successful hatch rates incubating your eggs artificially? Are you curious about maternal incubation, and what's involved to allow your female to successfully incubate her own eggs? Then read on, and hopefully this article will help you on the path to successfully allowing your female to incubate her own eggs!

Poecilotheria In the Vivarium

Poecilotheria species can make an unusual and decorative addition to the tropical vivarium.

Crested Geckos: Enriching the Captive Environment

This article should help you find ways to enrich the captive environment for your Crested Gecko, in addition to any of your other Rhacodactylus species - Leachies, Gargoyle geckos, any of those types of geckos.

Raising Grassland Species of Tortoises

With the advances in tortoise husbandry over the last few decades, more and more captive bred baby tortoises of numerous species are becoming more readily available. Having captive bred baby tortoises to start with as pets is typically much easier than trying to acclimate wild caught specimens; however, a new problem arises with the care of baby tortoises as compared to their sub adult/ adult wild-caught counterparts.

Feeding with Canned Insects
Getting to Know The Tomato Frog
Substrates Ideal for Holding Humidity
Sexing the Painted Agama

Painted Agamas, or Laudakia stellio, are a species of agamid lizard that are beginning to gain popularity among reptile keepers. With flashy colors being the norm for this species, and a smaller adult size than the average bearded dragon, they are an excellent choice to consider as a pet lizard species. They are especially well suited for keepers who would like a smaller, easier to feed option to keep as a pet lizard. Painted Agamas require only insects in their diet, none of the vegetable matter than Bearded Dragons require.

The Standing's Day Gecko

Phelsuma standingi, or Standing's Day Geckos, are an often under appreciated member of the Day Gecko family.

Dangerous Discussions: Part One

Over the last couple of months, I've had the opportunity to discuss with various people the differences between poisons, toxins and venoms a surprising number of times. Having studied chemistry, carried out research in a biochemistry and molecular biology laboratory, and having worked in the reptile industry for close to a decade, I find the topic especially interesting when it pertains to herpetofauna.

Dangerous Discussions: Part Two

In Part I of Dangerous Discussions I gave an overview of the definitions of and differences between poisons, toxins and venom. In Part II, I will go into greater detail in describing what toxins and venoms are and where they occur in nature. Of course, it would be impossible to talk about more than a handful of occurrences, so I decided to choose those that I find most interesting.

Husbandry of Montane Species of Chameleons

For the keeper looking for a more unusual jewel to add to their collection, there are a few species of montane chameleons that are not too much more difficult to keep. My focus in this article is the easier to keep montane species hailing from East Africa, namely those around Tanzania, Kenya, and Uganda, as these species are often seasonally available in the reptile hobby.

Brumation Basics

During weather extremes many ectothermic animals seek refuge from the elements either underground, deep within rock fissures, or within any other acceptably insulated space. This behavior is known as brumation, when the period of inactivity occurs during cold weather, and aestivation, when the weather is too warm for regular activity.

A Guide To Under Tank Heat Pad Installation

Undertank heating pads (UTH) are one of the most efficient and reliable tools for providing heat to reptile and amphibian enclosures. Some varieties are self-adhesive, and bond directly to the glass terrarium bottom. Heating pads of this variety conduct heat directly to the enclosure floor and substrate.

Basic Breeding Part One: Using a Punnett Square

Ball Pythons have some of the most diverse and beautiful combinations of mutations that affect their color and pattern. In the last 10 years, the number of genetically inherited traits that we have discovered in ball pythons is easily several dozen of single, simple traits, with the combination of those traits easily numbering into the hundreds.

The Language of Love

The Language of Love: Breeding Behavior in Reptiles and Amphibians

Inside the Reptile Industry with Loren Leigh

Show Wrap up 2012

The Basking Spot: Clamp Lamps w/ Dimmer

Fluker’s Clamp Lamps with Dimmer

Breeder's Spotlight: Breeding Fire Skinks

In writing this article, I will be making the basic assumption that you, the fire skink keeper, are already familiar with the care and husbandry of successfully maintaining your fire skinks. Breeding is the natural next step in husbandry once you have successfully established your pair or group of skinks.

The Language of Love, part 2

The Language of Love: Breeding Behavior in Reptiles and Amphibians

10 Questions with Phil Goss, President of USARK

10 Questions with Phil Goss - New President of USARK

Phil has taken on the difficult task as the new president of USARK (United States Association of Reptile Keepers). He has been in and around the hobby for years and has a passion forreptiles as we will find out in this interview!

The Basking Spot: Hovabators

With Spring on the way, many reptiles are beginning to emerge from brumation or their winter cool down period, and breeding is starting. Your reptiles will be courting each other and breeding, and love is most certainly in the air. Now is the time to start considering how you are going to incubate your eggs when they come, not in two months when the eggs have already arrived!

Inside the Reptile Industry with Loren Leigh

March 2013 - Inca Trail and Machu Piccu

Venus Flytrap Plant Care Information

Detailed care information on Dionaea muscipula, the Venus Fly Trap