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  • Ideal Invertebrates for Beginners
    also one of the best insects to keep as a pet Like the rest of its kin it eats just about anything edible with the added attraction that it really does live up to its name and the big ones sound like an angry snake Not exactly what you d call the world s most active pets Hissing Cockroaches can be kept in any suitably sized container but do make sure the lid attaches firmly While these cockroaches are nowhere near as nimble as some of their more athletic relations parents partners household pets often react badly if they find them unexpectedly running around the living room Keep their tank at a warm 25C 77F or so again a heat pad will do perfectly and provide them with two or three inches 5 8cm of leaf litter and rotten bark as a substrate add a few bits of old cardboard as hiding places and a shallow bowl of water and your cockroach home is complete Giant African Land Snails Giant African Land Snails or GALS to snail enthusiasts are really impressive molluscs the commonest encountered variety from East Africa having a shell some four to six inches 10 15cm long while its even larger Ghanaian relative Achatina achatina takes the title of the world s largest land snail with a shell 10 inches 25cm or more in length When it comes to housing these creatures think big Despite their lumbering appearance during the daytime at night they can be surprisingly active so give them some space and with a bit of luck they ll repay you with a turbo charged display or at least what counts for one if you re a snail Keep them around 25C 77F with a deep layer of moist compost or sphagnum to burrow in feed them almost any kind of vegetable matter and if you have more than one watch out for babies since these creatures breed readily in captivity Indian Stick Insect One of the most commonly encountered of its kind the Indian Stick Insect Carausius morosus is probably the easiest of all unusual pets for the beginner to keep Needing little more than a suitably sized aquarium tank or even a large jar as a home these insects thrive at room temperature and eat a range of easily collected foods such as bramble privet oak and hawthorn The only major demand they make is that it be presented as fresh as possible Like the GALS Indian Stick Insects often breed very easily so don t be too surprised if you end up with a growing population Shield Shrimps Shield Shrimps Triops longicaudatus are about as exotic and usual as it gets With a fossil history almost as long as their Latin name these strange ancient relatives of the crabs and lobsters have been around since long before the dinosaurs and they re one of the easiest invertebrate animals to keep Often sold in a kit which includes Triops eggs a tank and

    Original URL path: http://www.keepingexoticpets.co.uk/ideal-invertebrates-for-beginners.html (2016-02-16)
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  • Emperor Scorpions as Pets
    77F which means some form of heating is necessary to keep the temperature and humidity up to their requirements Heat mats are ideal but it s important to make sure that they only extend under part of the tank since in the wild scorpions burrow to escape excessive heat Obviously if the whole of the tank floor is being heated from underneath their best attempts to stay cool will be doomed to failure from the outset with potentially disastrous results Humidity levels are important for forest scorpions like the Emperor although it s not so critical as it is for tarantulas Adding a small water dish and occasionally misting the floor and tank with a fine plant sprayer should keep things to the animal s liking but keep an eye out for any signs of mould or fungus and change the floor material at once if it starts to rot or smell bad Feeding Emperor Scorpions Feeding exotic pets can sometimes be a bit of a worry especially with those species which have reputations for being a bit picky Fortunately this is seldom a problem with Emperor Scorpions which generally have reassuringly good appetites and can normally be expected to feed very well These active predators will happily eat any appropriately sized prey and for the most part this means locusts crickets and as many wild caught creepy crawlies as you can find Feeding them after dark fits in best with their natural habits and it s often a good idea especially with newly bought scorpions to leave them alone once you ve added the food since they are naturally secretive and tend to prefer to eat in private However it s important to keep a careful track of how well your pets are eating a loss of appetite can

    Original URL path: http://www.keepingexoticpets.co.uk/emperor-scorpions-pets.html (2016-02-16)
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  • Pet Cockroaches and Crickets
    experiment with red light bulbs or even black lights which should allow you to see without unduly bothering them Feeding Cockroaches Cockroaches are omnivores and remarkably good scavengers so they tend to eat just about anything Most species will thrive on a mixture of fresh vegetables fruit and cereals and some keepers add a little cat or dog food to their diet from time to time They aren t finicky eaters so unless it s starting to go off there s no need to remove uneaten food in fact they should always have something available for them to nibble on since many species will start eating their smaller brothers and sisters if an easier meal isn t on hand Crickets as Pets Although many exotic pet keepers in the UK will naturally tend to think of crickets as live food rather than a pet in their own right keeping crickets has a long history especially in many eastern countries where it is believed they bring good luck to a household Many young Japanese and Chinese children keep pet crickets so that their chirruping will act as a lullaby to send them off to sleep and the specially made cricket cages they use can sometimes be found in Oriental gift shops Two species in particular seem to make good pets the House Cricket Acheta domesticus and the Field Cricket Gryllus bimaculatus Caring for Crickets Crickets need very similar conditions to cockroaches though since they are able to jump if anything the security issue needs to be even more carefully thought through Most kinds of crickets will live happily at around 20C 68F but they always tend to sing better when they re warmer up to 30C 86F being ideal As an added bonus at warmer temperatures your pets will almost certainly

    Original URL path: http://www.keepingexoticpets.co.uk/pet-cockroaches-crickets.html (2016-02-16)
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  • Keeping Snails as Pets
    to maintain damp conditions but not be prone to going boggy or sour and also be fairly easy and cheap to replace since you ll probably find you need to clean out the tank every few weeks Garden soil or compost are amongst the best but avoid soils that are sandy or gravelly as they are not ideal for the snails to move about on You ll also need to provide them with some places to hide during the day old broken flowerpots or some cork bark are ideal for this job Giant Snails For anyone looking for a rather more exotic kind of a snail to keep as a pet the ever popular varieties of Giant African Land Snails affectionately known as GALS to many of their fans take some beating Achatina fulica the East African Land Snail is one of the most commonly seen growing to a shell length of 4 6 inches 10 15cm this snail is one of the best kinds to keep and will breed very successfully in captivity Other species to be seen on sale include the Tiger or Ghana Giant Snail Achatina achatina which has a shell some 10 inches 25cm long making it the largest land snail in the world the Giant Blond Snail Achatina immaculata and the West African Land Snail Archachatina marginata Caring for Giant Snails Housing Giant Snails calls for much the same kind of set up as for their British relatives though the container obviously needs to be appreciably larger The main difference between keeping these tropical species and our own snails is the need for some additional warmth particularly in the winter months though this can be provided very effectively with heat mats underneath the tank A temperature around 21 26C 70 78F is ideal These snails enjoy burrowing so a good deep layer of flooring material is essential to allow them to bury themselves successfully perhaps as much as 6 or 8 inches 15 20cm being necessary for some of the big ones If you keep two or more of these giants together the deep floor will also provide your pets with somewhere to bury their eggs once they get around to breeding Feeding Snails All of these species British or African are wholly or almost entirely vegetarian and will benefit from as wide a range of diet as you can arrange for them including most supermarket fruit and vegetables and home grown items including many common weeds such as dandelion leaves Whatever you feed them it s important to wash everything thoroughly since snails are susceptible to pesticides and remove anything that is left untouched before it has a chance to go off Snails also need a source of calcium to keep them healthy and encourage proper shell growth which is particularly important for the giant varieties Putting a cuttlefish bone in the tank will allow your pets to meet their needs Whether you choose to collect yours from amongst the UK s native varieties

    Original URL path: http://www.keepingexoticpets.co.uk/keeping-snails-pets.html (2016-02-16)
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  • Keeping Monitor Lizards
    terrarium ten feet by five 3x5m which you ll need to keep heated to 27 30 degrees C 80 86F rising to around 35C 95F at the hot end Ideally there should be an even hotter spot for basking and the temperature should be dropped substantially at night to mimic their natural environment Like other species of lizards they also benefit from UV exposure to help them form strong well calcified bones given their fast speed of growth A range of flooring materials are suitable for these lizards but they tend to be messy feeders and produce a large amount of droppings so it s probably best to pick something that can be easily removed for cleaning such as paper towelling or newspaper Bark chippings and gravel can give a more natural look to the terrarium but if you do use gravel pick a size that is not likely to be ingested along with food since this can cause digestive problems and avoid sand for the same reason Monitors like water so a dish large enough to allow your pets to get a good soak will be a much appreciated addition to their home though you will almost certainly be forever cleaning it Food And Feeding One thing that is very much in their favour is that unlike many varieties of lizards monitors are remarkably unfussy feeders and in the wild they eat almost any suitable prey that they can overpower In captivity various types of insects garden bugs pinkie mice adult mice rats and even eggs will be more than welcome in fact they often eat so well that they are prone to suffer from obesity The relative proportions of live insect to pre killed rodents or day old chicks has often provoked fierce debate amongst lizard keepers Given the habitat that these animals naturally occupy it s probable that insects make up the bulk of their intake perhaps up to 60 or 70 per cent but if your pets are doing well on a different diet it really isn t worth risking changing it Most monitor owners also make use of proprietary supplements to ensure that their pets get all of the essential minerals and vitamins that they need dietary calcium is particularly important for juveniles Although these lizards are challenging creatures to keep if you provide them with the right environment and put in the necessary work Bosc s monitors in particular can make rewarding pets and may live for ten years or more Previous Page Next Page You might also like Ideal Invertebrates for Beginners Emperor Scorpions as Pets Pet Cockroaches and Crickets Keeping Snails as Pets Keeping Hermit Crabs and Land Crabs Share Your Story Join the Discussion or Seek Advice Hi I have a bosc monitor He is about 5 yr old and 3 foot long The past 2 months he has not been eating we have took him to the vet and he had blood tests and x ray which came back ok

    Original URL path: http://www.keepingexoticpets.co.uk/keeping-monitor-lizards.html (2016-02-16)
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  • Keeping Hermit Crabs and Land Crabs
    be careful to leave them undisturbed when they are actually moulting since they re very vulnerable at this time and easily harmed Land Crabs Large attractive land crabs such as the West African Rainbow Crab Cardisoma armatum a striking purple bodied species with reddish orange legs also make interesting pets In the wild these crabs live in burrows along rivers and the coast so their homes need to have a good deep floor covering to allow them to behave in a natural way and they ll also appreciate a range of bits of cork bark and other hiding places in the tank There are a number of varieties offered for sale as pets from time to time including other Cardisoma species and the Indonesian Land Crab Gercarcinus ruricola Although they spend almost their whole time on dry land they will still need access to water so housing them either calls for an aqua terrarium with a sizeable island area and well filtered water or a terrarium with a big enough water dish to let them submerge fully Food And Water Both kinds of pets are natural born opportunists scavenging and eating almost anything However they seem to bore easily so most owners try to provide a good variety of fruits vegetables cereals meat and even small amounts of cat or dog food but they are inclined to be very messy eaters so it s important to clean up after them thoroughly Crabs need water but chlorinated water seems to be harmful although your pets may take their time before showing any ill effects Since they are sensitive to a range of chemicals especially copper it s probably best to allow tap water to stand for a couple of days before use rather than try any of the de chlorinating treatments

    Original URL path: http://www.keepingexoticpets.co.uk/keeping-hermit-crabs-land-crabs.html (2016-02-16)
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  • Keeping Stick Insects and Praying Mantis
    come from tropical or semi tropical regions they will need to be kept warm around 25 degrees C 77F although some kinds such as the familiar Indian Stick Insect Carausius morosus thrive at room temperature Most but not all stick insects require fairly humid surroundings the commonly sold Indian Stick Insect again being one of those to buck the trend and live in much less moist conditions than many of its relatives Some humidity is required by praying mantis a gentle misting of its container every couple of days usually being all that is needed Food And Feeding Diet is one big difference between these two kinds of insects whereas stick insects are plant eaters and most species can be happily kept together all of the world s 2000 or so species of praying mantis are carnivores and distinctly cannibalistic when the circumstances arise For obvious reasons the mantis is a solitary pet All stick insects seem to find bramble a very acceptable food with many other kinds also enjoying the leaves of oak hawthorn and privet It s important to provide their food as fresh as possible so keep an eye on things and replace it if it s beginning to look wilted and past its best Unless you re sure about pesticide use around the area you re harvesting for food it s a good idea to wash the leaves and stems routinely which is also a good practice to follow if you collect material from the roadside Suitable prey for praying mantis depends entirely on the animal s size since they are very unfussy in terms of what kind of other insects they ll eat Young ones will need fruit flies or very small crickets while adults will consume large crickets and almost anything else you can

    Original URL path: http://www.keepingexoticpets.co.uk/keeping-stick-insects-praying-mantis.html (2016-02-16)
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  • How to Keep Millipedes & Centipedes
    tanks the container should be about as wide as the length of the largest individual it will house and at least twice as long Centipedes need a tank of at least the same relative size but taller to prevent these swift and agile animals from scurrying out if you take the lid off Bear in mind each one you keep will need its own home centipedes are not sociable beasts Most millipedes commonly offered for sale come from the warm forests of Africa Central America or Southeast Asia and so high humidity is called for which is often easiest to achieve by regular misting of the tank from a hand spray Adding a small water bowl or water soaked pad many pet shops sell purpose made sponges for this job also helps maintain humidity as well as obviously giving the animals a drinking place Sterilised potting compost or sphagnum moss makes good flooring material especially since most species like to hide by burrowing down during the day to emerge and forage at night For forest dwelling centipedes the same kind of arrangement will suit them too while any desert species will need a drier sandier environment with a few rocks or stones added to make hiding places Food And Feeding Feeding habits are one of the major differences between these two types of animals with millipedes being gentle herbivores and centipedes active and highly aggressive hunters Although some kinds of millipede can be a bit fussy in their diet most have remarkably wide tastes happily grazing on all manner of things including vegetable peelings dead leaves over ripe fruit salad leaves and mushrooms Ask your dealer for a recommended diet but it s also worthwhile experimenting a little to see what your animals seem to like Millipedes need fairly large amounts of calcium in their diet to stay healthy so it s a good idea to put a cuttlefish bone the sort widely sold for caged birds in their tank Some keepers also add a little fish food or rabbit flakes from time to time to meet their other mineral requirements By contrast centipedes will eat just about anything smaller than themselves which generally makes them fairly easy to cater for in captivity the usual diet of crickets mealworms and assorted garden caught bugs will be readily consumed Most kinds can be relied upon to feed well while the appetite of the various species of Scolopendra is legendary Handling Your Pets Although millipedes are harmless vegetarians many kinds produce a toxic skin secretion as a form of chemical defence and in some varieties this can be very strong so washing your hands after touching them is clearly important Centipedes on the other hand are armed with forcipules a pair of curved jaw like claws through which it pumps venom into its prey or your fingers if the occasion arises and the venom of many of the commonly kept Scolopendra sp is very potent Handling these animals many of which can

    Original URL path: http://www.keepingexoticpets.co.uk/how-keep-millipedes-centipedes.html (2016-02-16)
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