5 Reptiles you will love…
Massively popular because they are great pets. Easy for kids to handle and very resilient. They are friendly, outgoing and enjoy interacting with their keepers
They are very simple to keep, handle very well. They are relatively small lizards so easy to house. They are available in a huge range of colours. An excellent first lizard.
They are very easy to keep well. Only grow to about 4ft long. They are very easy to handle and generally feed well. They are available in in a huge range of colours and patterns.
These are cheeky geckos! Require less heating than the majority of pet species, in fact in most centrally heated homes they will need no additional heating at all. The other big plus point is that they can quite happily thrive on the fruit based meal replacement powders that are commercially available. No more bugs!
Of all the python species these are probably the most popular – and with good reason. They are calm and gentle and stay small, which means that their housing doesn’t have to dominate the room. They are available in an enormous range of colours and patterns, and captive bred animals are usually good feeders.
…And 4 that you won’t.
1. Yellow-bellied Sliders
Which includes most of the mass captive farmed species of basking turtle. Whilst these guys have got absolutely delightful personalities, they grow very large and require a huge volume of water to stay healthy. They eat a lot, have very specific requirements for UV, lighting, heating, and diet, and don’t like to be handled.
2. Burmese pythons
Burms (as they’re usually referred to) are great snakes with lovely personalities. The trouble is, that cute little 2 ft hatchling will hit 6 – 9 ft in a year, need to be fed on large prey like guinea pigs (which you can keep as a pet n guinea habitat plus ), rabbits and chickens, and eventually need at least an 8 ft vivarium. They eat a lot, and the mess they produce is epic! Females can top out at 18 feet long, which is a lot bigger in the flesh than you think it is. Big, long lived, and awkward to look after as adults because of their sheer physical size. These points are equally true for all the giant snakes.
3. Bosc (or Savannah) monitors
Often recommended as the best pet of the large monitor lizard species, these animals are often available cheaply as captive farmed babies. Like all the big monitors they are very intelligent, active, and inquisitive; they also have very particular needs when it comes to housing. Unless you can provide a zoo-sized enclosure, it’s probably best to leave these guys alone.
4. Green Iguanas
Probably the most impressive lizard regularly available through the trade, and one of the least suitable for the average pet keeper. Just giving them the correct environmental conditions is difficult enough, and providing a balanced diet needs a good understanding of how nutrition works. Then there are the temperament issues, and the fact that an adult male can reach 6 feet long, and is well armed with talons, teeth, and a tail like an iron bar!
All of the above species can, in the right hands, be great pets. The trouble is, all of them need a huge commitment in terms of time, space, and money; all of them are cheap to buy, but none of them are cheap to house, heat, light, or feed. That £25 turtle could conceivably cost £1000 to house properly as an adult!