Posts tagged Exotics
The Red-Footed Tortoise Turning into a Pyramid (Chelonoidis carbonaria)

Out of all reptiles in existence, tortoises are one of the most widely kept as pets. This is not surprising considering that unlike other reptiles, they are perceived as mostly docile and non-threatening to humans. There's also, of course, the cuteness factor. Unfortunately, humans seem to be just as uninformed regarding their needs and husbandry as they are of any other reptilian order.

Before I start ranting about 'bad humans', let me give you a brief overview of the Chelonoidis carbonaria, commonly known as Red-footed Tortoise. If like me you too grew up in Brazil, the 'Jabuti-Piranga' as most Brazilians call them, are not exactly rare. Unfortunately, as expected of such a successfully captive kept species, wild populations are decreasing due to loss of habitat and the capture of wild individuals to meet the demands of the exotic pet trade.

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Review: Bio-Activity and the Theory of Wild Re-Creation by John Courtney-Smith from Arcadia Reptile

Most responsible reptile and amphibians keepers - especially those who do not study herpetology - will rely on books and the internet for information on how to provide the best care they can possibly provide to their herptile. However, finding accurate information and advice based on research and not opinions can be a pretty difficult task at times.

There are a number of reptile and amphibian husbandry guides out there, and let me tell you - being someone who has bought and read quite a few of those, the discrepancies and inaccuracies in some of them are very scary. For that reason, despite studying herpetology, when it comes to the care of these animals in captivity I will often refer to a reputable exotics specialist vet.

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Parasitology: Snake Mites (Ophionyssus natricis)

Parasitic infections are not only one of the most common types of diseases in reptiles and amphibians but it is also one of the main causes of death in reptiles. In this post, we will focus on any reptile keeper's nightmare - mites!

The most common type of mite to infect reptiles is the Ophionyssus natricis, commonly known as Snake Mite. However, please note that reptiles and amphibians can be infected by other types of mites as well. 

Mites are ectoparasites. This means that they live on the surface of their host's body and so are usually visible to the naked eye. They mostly affect lizards and snakes with tortoises showing lower numbers of this type of parasitic infection. They are an absolute nightmare to control if you have a numerous collection of reptiles as they can be transmitted from one reptile to the other and can carry diseases as well as cause disease themselves. Interestingly, snake mites can be transmitted to humans and cause septicaemia by transmitting bacteria - this is known as Zoonoses.

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