If you don’t like snakes, frogs, lizards, or bugs…best to look away now 😉
Herptile is a broad term covering reptiles and amphibians collectively. I’m throwing some invertebrates into the mix too!
I’ve always been more of a rodent fancier, I usually have at least a one snake (generally a corn snake), but usually my rodents far outweigh my herps. Not so atm!
I have a communal cage of female mice (who occasionally have the odd male chucked in and have litters, a) to keep the numbers up and b) to feed some of my herps…yes, grim, but I want to feed my herps healthy, loved mice, so I would rather raise and feed my own than buy from rodent farms where they’ve lived lives of misery).
And for herps we have a Fire Skink, two Whites Tree Frogs, a Kenyan Sand Boa, and dubia roaches! The dubia roaches are also living as a colony, and fed to the frogs and the skink…quite self sufficient really 🙂
First up is Nakano, our Fire Skink.
Nakano is the first skink we have owned, and she’s fab! Her care requirements are pretty easy; fairly humid substrate she can dig in, heat lamp with thermostat, and a bare light to provide basic UV. A UVB light is not required.
Nakano moves very much like a snake, and she’s extremely fast. She’s a very good climber too, which is surprising. She’s fun to handle, and although she can be wriggly at the start (especially for my partner, oh how she flails for him!!) most the time she just chills in your hand.
She gets fed every 4-5 days, and is a huge foodie that enjoys a varied diet. She has a pinkie once every 2-4 weeks, crickets / locusts about once a month, medium size dubia roaches most feeds, and a single adult roach as a treat!
Her feeding response is off the charts, and she’s an incredible hunter. This roach was a pain for her to catch as it was in the plant, but she got it!
Next up, our Whites Tree Frogs: Lush and Soap!
These guys are fab!!
They have amazing accuracy when jumping, they’re awesome climbers, and can even climb the glass of their terrarium. Then need misting with dechlorinated water several times a day, they CAN be handled and actually come to enjoy it, and we feed ours every 3-5 days.
Their staple is roaches and crickets, with a pinky as an infrequent treat.
These guys are super active every evening, and they usually croak 1-5 times each night. It’s surprisingly loud and doesn’t sound like a frog at all 😛
Next, our new girl! Piggpi the Kenyan Sand Boa.
I fell in love with this species about a month ago, after seeing one on someone’s IG account. They’re very small but VERY stocky snakes (females can reach about 2-2.5ft, males about 1.5ft!) that love to burrow.
At a similar length, a corn snake would be as thin as a shoelace!
Kenyan Sand Boas feed on pre-killed defrosted mice, and are fed every 4-14 days depending on their size and age. They’re one of the best feeders, so much so that you shouldn’t approach them from the front as they may mistake the movement as food!! Other than that they tend to be very well tempered and, obviously, they’re incredible to look at!
Finally, our blaptica dubia 😀
Our dubia roaches actually live in an 80cm draw in a chest of drawers, with a heat mat stuck to the front. They can’t climb surfaces and, despite the fact the males have wings, they can’t fly. This means they’re very easy to own as unlike Hissers, for example, it’s easy to prevent escapes!
These guys are extremely easy to keep and breed. They grow to about 1-1.5 inches, nowhere near as big as Madagascan Hissing Cockroaches.
They prefer warm dark spaces, and feed happily on a variety of fruits and vegetables. They breed readily providing it’s warm enough, and I just blast a corner of their cage and their food bowl with a spray of water once every day or two. The best ratio for breeding is 1 male to ever 3 females.
Also, interestingly, dubia roaches are far nutritionally superior for herps than locusts or crickets 😉
So far we have around 100 babies!!
And that brings you to the end of my herp post haha 😀
We’re planning on adding another herp to our family this October, for my birthday, but we don’t know what!! We were considering a tarantula, but they just don’t seem like a very fun / fulfilling pet to us (our personal opinion 😉 ).
I’ve always wanted a Blue Tongued Skink, but we don’t really have the space for one yet. I love tortoises, so that’s a possibility, especially as you can keep one in a Ferplast 120 for the first few years…but we also love Ocellated Skinks and Cresties too! Any herp lovers have a suggestion? Let us know, we’re very much open to ideas 🙂