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  • How to Keep Scorpions
    fresh Food And Feeding Scorpions are active hunters and in the wild consume a wide variety of insects and other prey In captivity they will happily take the normal kind of food items such as crickets and locusts depending on their size but some wild caught bugs from the pesticide free areas of your own garden will certainly be welcomed too Feeding is best done at night since these animals are nocturnal and naturally secretive With scorpions uneaten food can often be the first sign that something is wrong so it is important to pay attention to any change of behaviour or appetite at feeding time Good Starter Species With 1 500 species worldwide of which around 100 are known to be potentially fatal to humans good identification is the key There are some general rules the thinner the pedipalps pincers or the lighter the animal s colour the more venomous it is which hold true at least as a rough guide but it goes without saying that if you aren t convinced that your supplier really knows what s in the tank don t buy Growing to 6 inches 15cm in length and coming from West Africa the Emperor or Imperial Scorpion Pandinus imperator one of the largest of the world s scorpions is an ideal species to keep although its smaller relatives are best avoided This is a species for which the rules hold true a black coloured animal with very robust pedipalps the sting of Pandinus imperator is much the same as that of a bee Alternatively some of the Asian species notably the Thai Black Heterometrus spinifer and the Javanese Jungle Scorpion H javanensis are also good for inexperienced keepers Almost as large as the Imperial Scorpion these animals are very similar in their needs all

    Original URL path: http://www.keepingexoticpets.co.uk/how-keep-scorpions.html (2016-02-16)
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  • Keeping Tarantulas & Spiders
    which naturally live in rainforests Getting both of these right is important since they affect both appetite and the animal s ability to shed its skin Ground dwelling tarantulas also need a generous layer of flooring material sphagnum moss vermiculite or shredded cork bark are ideal which will let them burrow together with some suitable hiding places and a water supply in a shallow bowl or proprietary tarantula sponge Food And Feeding Spiders are carnivorous hunters and will eat almost anything smaller than themselves which is why they should always be housed individually For most varieties their natural prey principally comprises a variety of small insects and other arthropods so a diet of locusts crickets and mealworms will be fine with the occasional supplement of a few wild caught items from your own garden The golden rule is never overfeed pet spiders since over stuffed animals can have problems moulting for tarantulas once or twice a week is normally often enough and always remove any uneaten food or remains of insects that have been devoured promptly Handling Tarantulas It comes as a bit of a surprise to most people that tarantulas are remarkably fragile and even dropping a relatively short distance can cause them injury or even death Humans can be injured too many species have the ability to flick irritant hairs from their abdomen and their bite which though generally no more harmful than a bee sting can cause a bad reaction in some people As a result the British Tarantula Society recommends a no handling policy but this needn t spoil your enjoyment of your pet After all countless fish keepers around the world don t get to stroke their pets either Top Tarantulas Although there are many types commonly seen on sale some of the best ones

    Original URL path: http://www.keepingexoticpets.co.uk/keeping-tarantulasspiders.html (2016-02-16)
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  • Swifts and Fence Lizards
    30 x 12 x 16 inches 75x30x40cm will be adequate for a male and two females though a larger tank would be better Sceloporus are territorial animals so it s unwise to house males together A good lid is also essential as these lizards can jump surprisingly well Woodland and grassland species can be kept on a floor of purpose bought bark chippings sterile compost or sphagnum while desert species will require drier sandier conditions The tank should also contain plenty of hiding places cork bark caves along with suitable logs and stones for clambering over and a shallow water bowl The heating requirements vary slightly with the species but as a general rule the daytime temperature should be around 25 30 degrees C 77 86F with a warmer basking area and a night time drop to 16 or 20C 62 68F though tropical or desert dwellers will probably like a little more warmth Most Sceloporus keepers tend to use ceramic heaters or spot lamps to achieve these requirements rather than heat mats or hot rocks largely because these lizards often burrow and digging themselves down onto heaters runs the risk of getting severe burns Your pets will also need exposure to a suitable UVB source for 12 hours a day to stay healthy Food and Feeding These lizards are carnivorous actively hunting their prey which in the wild comprises a wide range of insects and other assorted arthropods In captivity almost any appropriately sized live food will be acceptable from the normal standbys of crickets and mealworms to any wild caught garden insects larvae and earthworms Sceloporus seem to do best if they have a number of different foods in their diet so it s worth trying to replicate something of the variety they would naturally encounter whenever you

    Original URL path: http://www.KeepingExoticPets.co.uk/swifts-fence-lizards.html#Newcomment (2016-02-16)
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  • Understanding Venom
    The second sort of venom has evolved from natural skin secretions with the South American Poison Arrow Frogs probably being the most well known example of this although other amphibian species are also poisonous to some degree Most are not harmful to humans but some such as the Cane Toad Bufo marinus produce a substance which is very powerful indeed These kinds of venom are intended for defensive purposes if you are a small soft and relatively slow moving creature tasting bad can be a great way to dissuade a predator from seeing you as a potential easy meal The bright colours of many animals including the likes of Poison Arrow Frogs and the European Fire Salamander Salamandra salamandra advertise the fact to warn other animals of their unpalatable natures in advance Which Other Kinds Of Animals Are Venomous Venom is surprisingly widespread in the animal kingdom and many creatures have developed their own versions of these chemical weapons All spiders are venomous including the ones native to Britain and so are all of their relatives the scorpions though obviously many kinds either cannot bite through our skin or don t produce any real symptoms if they do Some species found in the warmer parts of the globe are highly dangerous to man but they re obviously not candidates for the pet market Although many people are firmly convinced that all snakes are instantly deadly contrary to this popular belief only around one in three of the world s species is poisonous and only a very small number of these pose any serious threat to humans Snakes spiders and scorpions all originally developed their venoms to help them catch and eat their prey however if threatened they may make use of this natural weapon to defend themselves although most will typically try to escape first rather than waste venom on a non meal Deadly Venom In any discussion of venom sooner or later someone is inevitably going to ask which is the most deadly snake or spider but it s a difficult question to answer Ranking the potency of the various venoms of the world in terms of number of people they can kill per drop is fairly simple but in many ways it misses the bigger point The venom of sea snakes for instance is widely accepted to be some of the most lethal drop for drop and yet few human fatalities are recorded largely because on the rare occasions sea snakes do bite people they almost never inject any venom By contrast the Puff Adder Bitis arietans is an ill tempered beast and regularly causes all manner of problems in the parts of Africa and the middle east where it is found despite having a technically less potent venom Even two bites from the same kind of snake can have decidedly different outcomes one that has recently fed and so used up its immediate supply of poison can produce no ill effects while one from a fully armed

    Original URL path: http://www.keepingexoticpets.co.uk/understanding-venom.html (2016-02-16)
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  • Safety Issues with Exotic Pets
    pleasant experience a number of spiders flick irritating hairs from their abdomens if they feel threatened while the skin of many amphibians produces toxic secretions As with so much to do with keeping exotic pets the trick is to know your animals learn to recognise the signs that it s feeling a bit insecure or threatened and understand what it s likely to do about it and you should be all right Illnesses And Ailments Like all living things exotic pets are prone to a number of diseases and while some of them may only affect particular kinds of animals a number can be passed to humans Of these Salmonella is probably the single most important The Salmonella bacterium can be carried by many kinds of animals and in the case of several of our exotic pets particularly reptiles the creature itself may show no symptoms to suggest anything is wrong The main symptoms of the disease include diarrhoea vomiting a loss of appetite increased thirst and abdominal pain Salmonella is often passed on when people especially young children handle their pets or clean out tanks so it s important to practice good hygiene and make sure hands are washed thoroughly afterwards Keeping Pets Safe Of course there is another side to the coin we need to consider our pets safety too One of the biggest causes is bad handling or worse dropping animals which can cause some serious injuries Snakes can be easily and very badly bruised by a poor handling technique while tarantulas and other heavy bodied spiders can often be killed by even a seemingly small fall so anyone handling exotic pets really does need to understand how to do it properly If you don t already know find someone experienced and ask them to show you how to do it it s a skill worth learning and can make all the difference to your pet s life Safety is also something to bear in mind with an exotic pet s environment it s a good idea to check it regularly to see if there s anything that might harm your pet and examine any heaters or lights and their cables especially for any signs of wear or damage Also make sure that your pets can t get too close to the heaters or lights snakes in particular have a habit of trying to wrap themselves around them in their search for that extra bit of warmth and some serious burns can result Although from time to time the press seems full of scare stories about terrapins and Salmonella or bites and stings from pet keepers spiders and scorpions keeping exotic pets probably isn t much different from owning any other kind when it comes to safety After all nobody worries too much about having a dog because it can bite or a cat because it can scratch Exotic pets do bring their own spin to the whole safety issue but fortunately a little bit of knowledge

    Original URL path: http://www.keepingexoticpets.co.uk/safety-issues-with-exotic-pets.html (2016-02-16)
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  • Where to Get An Exotic Pet
    around at all the other animals too even the ones that don t particularly interest you Clean cages don t mean that the shop owner knows everything there is to know about exotic pets but it does suggest that he or she cares enough to look after things remember you ll seldom find a great example of any kind of pet in a grubby tank Other Keepers Depending on what you want to keep you may find that getting your pet from another keeper might be something to consider Private sales of exotic animals are like private sales of second hand cars sometimes you can find yourself an absolute beauty and other times In both cases the same advice is good if you aren t yet an expert yourself take someone experienced along with you and don t be afraid to walk away if you don t see anything you like Buying from a fellow enthusiast has its advantages not least in terms of price Quite a few species of exotic pets breed well in captivity so keepers can often have surplus stock and many have been involved in keeping these animals for a very long time making them not only great for acquiring your new pet but also valuable sources of information Society and club newsletters often have for sale adverts which can be a useful way to find out if anyone is offering what you re looking for alternatively ask around the people you know who keep exotics to see if any of them can point you in the right direction Animal Sanctuaries While the local rescue centre may be the place to look if you want to give a poor stray dog or cat a good home the same is not often true of salamanders and scorpions

    Original URL path: http://www.keepingexoticpets.co.uk/where-get-exotic-pet.html (2016-02-16)
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  • Picking the Right Exotic Pet for You
    customers later Space Diet and Needs It s obviously important to match the size of your pet and its container to the space you have available in your home but it s also important to consider what kind of living quarters it s going to want too Some exotic pets can have particular needs so you have to be sure from the outset that you can provide them and part of this also involves meeting the cost of keeping the animal warm properly fed and in good health Some exotic animals have rather strange dietary requirements while others will happily tuck into anything suitable that you put before them It s too late to find this out after you ve already arrived back home with your new creature so make sure you ll be able to provide a regular food supply for it before you part with your cash The best people to ask about all of these issues are those who already keep the type of pet you re thinking about buying for yourself so don t be afraid to benefit from their experience and advice How Big The final adult size of your pet is another serious consideration to take into account and many pet keepers have fallen foul of this one over the years It s all too easy to forget that those be jewelled iguana babies will end up 6ft long or those spider hatchlings will grow to the size of a saucer Make sure you know if you re planning to share your home with a potential giant and if you are that you will still have enough room to accommodate it in a few short years when it gets to be fully grown Either that or start thinking about moving house Whatever group of

    Original URL path: http://www.keepingexoticpets.co.uk/picking-right-exotic-pet-for-you.html (2016-02-16)
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  • Health Care for Reptiles & Amphibians
    habit of checking your animals for likely infections on a regular basis once you know what you re looking for can be a vital part of keeping them in good health Common Health Problems In Reptiles And Amphibians Vitamins A and D3 are particularly important for reptiles Swollen eyes are often the first sign of a lack of vitamin A which if left untreated can lead to serious kidney damage Fortunately if you spot it early and get it treated with injections from your vet soon enough and perhaps administer a few drops of vitamin A liquid by mouth yourself affected animals can make a full recovery Vitamin D3 plays an important part in maintaining the balance of calcium and phosphorus a lack of this vitamin can lead to soft shells in tortoises and terrapins weak bones and poorly developed limbs Dusting the food with a good vitamin supplement is a good preventative measure but don t overdo it Too much of any vitamin can often have effects that are worse than too little Parasites There s no shortage of unwelcome guests waiting to make a nuisance of themselves at your pet s expense Keep an eye out for ticks on the body of your pet often to be found embedded between the scales in the case of reptiles where they will happily feast on its blood If you do find any remove them carefully making sure to get all of the head out if you leave any of the mouth parts behind it may set up an infection Tick removal is a knack worth developing ask your vet to show you how to do it Their smaller relatives the mites are another blood sucking parasite likely to be encountered Small and usually more numerous you may have to look really close to see them unfortunately the first you know about them may be when you find them swarming over you after you ve been handling your pet Get an approved treatment from your vet or exotic pet supplier and develop the habit of routinely treating any new animal for mites as a preventative measure on its arrival Left untreated they will spread to other pets they can also carry a range of diseases so keeping on top of these pests is important Respiratory Problems Respiratory problems are most commonly seen in reptiles which have been chilled It seems to be something that some species of tortoises are particularly prone to especially if their tanks are heated from below by a heat pad for instance This can result in them breathing what is effectively cold air into a relative warmer body with unpleasant consequences Often the affected animal will develop a discharge from the nostrils and sometimes especially with larger specimens start to sound a bit wheezy when breathing If any of your animals start showing any symptoms of respiratory problems swift veterinary treatment with a suitable course of antibiotics is called for If you learn to recognise the symptoms

    Original URL path: http://www.keepingexoticpets.co.uk/health-care-for-reptilesamphibians.html (2016-02-16)
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web-archive-uk.com, 2016-10-23