Posted by: rodentsandreptiles | August 13, 2011


I don’t, as a rule, spend as much time browsing around online as I used to, so I rarely have links of interest to offer. However, this week is an exception, and thus I present the following:
Turtles can potentially choose their sex while embryonic

I’ve long wondered about the evolution of lizards to snakes: owning a skink, somewhere between the two, contributes to that. I was pleased to find this article on the subject.

I seriously doubt I have a future in herpetology, but this article on how to prepare for one is interesting anyway.

Posted by: rodentsandreptiles | August 12, 2011


These photos are a bit out of date now, having been taken on the 3rd of the month, so I really need to take some new ones, however, here are my first photographs of the foster rats:

2011-08-03 babies 01
2011-08-03 babies 02
2011-08-03  Will 02
2011-08-03 Jack 01
2011-08-03 Jack 02
2011-08-03 Jack 02
2011-08-03 Will 01
2011-08-03 Will 03
2011-08-03 Mummy rat
The last one is of their mother, named for now the very original ‘Mummy Rat’.

Posted by: rodentsandreptiles | August 5, 2011

Lyra’s vivarium

2011-08-04 Lyra's vivarium

I’m pleased with the way this turned out. I really must work on Keiko’s a bit more, his is so boring compared with the other three!

Speaking of my most handsome boy, I took a couple of photos of him yesterday:
2011-08-04 Keiko 01

2011-08-04 Keiko 02

I also took some of Deviant:
2011-08-04 Deviant 02
2011-08-04 Deviant 01

Posted by: rodentsandreptiles | July 31, 2011

More newcomers, and my first reptile bite

I have gained another two creatures: two archachatina marginata var sutralis snails:

2011-07-29 Margies

In more invertebrate news, Emily the B. smithi has moulted, so I’ve upgraded her accommodation. I also got a couple of photos of her during the moult: 2011-07-31 Emily molt 02 2011-07-31 Emily molt 01

I’m fairly sure that she is, in fact, a she now, which is nice to know, and I suppose I’d prefer her to be female since they live longer, but I’ve no intentions of breeding her so from that point of view it’s irrelevant. Speaking of breeding, the baby rats are all Berkshires, two black boys and a blue boy, and one blue girl.

On to my bigger news: I have been bitten by one of my scaled charges. Somewhat surprisingly, the culprit was Lyra. If asked, I’d have assumed my first bite would be from Deviant, since she’s somewhat hissy in her vivarium, and a very voracious feeder so could be expected, perhaps, to mistake my hand for food (she did once mistake her tail for a cricket…). Instead it was little Lyra, who was sitting in her food bowl awaiting food, so I offered her a roach on my thumb, she pounced and bit, got the roach but me as well. For a small creature (about the length of my index finger) she’s got sharp teeth and a strong bite!

Posted by: rodentsandreptiles | July 24, 2011


I’ve gained another two spiders since my last update, a Lasidora parahybana and a Brachypelma smithi.

Here’s Gulliver, the L. parahybana:
2011-07-24 Gulliver

He’s unsexed, but looks more male than my other three – more leggy. He looks tiny here, but he’s about the same size as the two Brachypelma – an inch span of about 1.5 inches.

Here’s Emily, the B. smithi:
2011-07-24 Emily

She’s a very stressy sort, and very prone to flicking hairs. She got so nervous when I fed her that she came running out of her tub onto my hand, which was just a tad alarming, but since being transferred to a cricket tub with corners she can hide in she hasn’t done it again. She’s so pretty, isn’t she?

Miss Tequila remains convinced that my sole goal in life is to steal her crickets. She’s normally good-natured, unless I’ve just fed her, in which case she gets very crotchety and tends to kick hairs at me. Clearly she doesn’t realise that if I wanted a cricket I’d catch, kill and eat my own: I’ve no need for the one I’ve just given her!

In actual reptile and rodent news, I’ve transferred Deviant to her big girl vivarium, which looks rather good:
2011-07-24 Deviant's new abode

She loves her bigger space.

I’m fostering a small litter of baby ratties at the moment – no photos of them because I don’t want to stress them, but Mummy’s a black dumbo, and there are four babies.

Posted by: rodentsandreptiles | July 16, 2011

Feeding habits, and a new vivarium has been ordered

I measured young miss Deviant this morning, having fed her her monthly pinkie, and a host of dubia roaches (my heavens she puts away a lot of food!), and she now measures around 12 inches long. It’s time she had a new vivarium. So I have ordered a 4 x 2 x 2 Vivexotic for her, in Tobacco Walnut to match Keiko’s. Once she’s moved into that, I should have two walnut vivaria on the side of the room opposite my bed, Irwin’s vivarium on my bedside table, and Lyra will move into Deviant’s old viv, which will be placed on the shelves to the left of my bed as I’m currently sitting.

I’ve noticed some interesting differences between my reptiles’ feeding habits. Deviant is a very eager feeder, and has an almost Pavlovian response to her feeding tub, immediately looking for food whenever she’s in it, regardless of the time of day. Keiko’s a more stealthy eater, and like me he gets the midnight munchies – he prefers to eat later in the day, and exclusively eats in his vivarium. Irwin asks for crickets every evening around 9pm. Lyra seems to eat opportunistically: I haven’t noticed her either asking for food or hunting for it, although her roaches and mealworms are always gone when I check, so she clearly finds them with ease.

Posted by: rodentsandreptiles | July 15, 2011

New snails

I have finally received something that’s been on my radar for quite some time: full albino fulica!

snails 022
Jadatzi and rodatzi fulica.
‘Ah, I spy new snails… I’ll go and say hello.’

snails 019
Friendly snails!

snails 018
Three’s a crowd, even for snails.
‘Oh, you two don’t want me here. I’ll just go, then.’

snails 016
‘Where are you going? Come back!’

snails 015
‘They’re not coming back. Kissing their shell won’t help.’

snails 009
‘Your neck makes a nice pillow. I’ll have a snooze here.’

snails 003
‘And everyone touch the snail to their left…’

snails 002
The full group, comprising, from the top centre clockwise: rodatzi (albino shell, dark skin); jadatzi (full albino); 2 x white jade (white skin, will have dark shells as they mature); rodatzi; jadatzi; rodatzi.

I now have all my ‘coloured’ fulica in one 32l tub, and Snaily and the reticulata in another. Snaily is now 4 inches long, with the reticulata both at about 3 inches, so they should be starting to breed soon.

Posted by: rodentsandreptiles | July 13, 2011

Set-up updates

I’ve decided that Deviant’s a big enough girl to move onto her grown-up substrate, aspen shavings, so I took some photos of her set-up, Irwin’s which ahs changed slightly, and Lyra’s which hasn’t been photographed before.

2011-07-09 Deviant set-up
This shows her full vivarium, which is starting to look small – I’ve sourced a supplier for a new one and that should be coming next month, I’m hoping, as she’s not much shorter than Keiko now – these guys really do grow fast!

2011-07-09 Deviant cool end
This is the cool end, showing her food bowl (with watercress), water bowl, humidity hide and part of her cave.

2011-07-09 Deviant hot end
Deviant’s hot end, featuring the ceramic bulb with bulb guard, and her flat log.

2011-07-05 Deviant 02
The little lady herself.

2011-07-09 Irwin set-up
Irwin’s set-up. Not much has changed here, except for his Magnaturals feeding ledge, which is new. He really likes being able to eat up high, and have somewhere else to jump to and from when he’s doing laps of his vivarium.

2011-07-09 Lyra set-up
Lyra’s set-up. The toilet roll tube is her hot hide, the two bowl caps contain calcium and water, and the big cave thing is the top half of a reptihide. When she’s bigger she’ll have the whole thing, but as she’s so tiny she only has half for now.

Posted by: rodentsandreptiles | July 9, 2011

New spider!

I’m told it’s not possible to be a one-spider person, although for most of my life I intended to be a none-spider man. I now have two tarantulae: Jalapeno, the G. rosea I posted before, and Tequila, a B. Boehmi. Tequila’s a juvenile, rather than a spiderling like Jalapeno, and she looks like an actual big T, just smaller, rather than a fat ugly little thing like Jalapeno. They’re both in cricket tubs at the moment.
2011-07-09 Tequila

And, true to enthusiast (and Asperger’s Syndrome) form, I’m developing a list of spiders I want, although I have no desire for arboreals. My current ‘want list’ is as follows:
G. pulchripes
B. albopilosum
H. lividum (although their reputation scares me)
C. fasciatum

I’m holding off on getting more for now, though – I’ve promised myself no more livestock (I also have two subadult full abino snails coming) until Doncaster in October, and then only invertebrates, so that’s most likely be spiders and phasmids.

I’d also like a couple of these for my spiders when they’ve grown up a bit more. Those enclosures would make my girls look so lovely!

Oh, and I renamed Rosie, so she’s now Jalapeno (Chile/ chilli). Here’s another photo of her. I’ve cut her feeding down to one cricket twice a week, as she’s looking a bit fat.
20-07-09 Jalapeno

Posted by: rodentsandreptiles | July 4, 2011


As promised, here are my first photos of Lyra. She’s eating well on crickets and baby roaches, and she shed the other day, so I’d say she’s settled in well.

2011-07-04 Lyra 01

2011-07-04 Lyra 02

In other news, Deviant is eating well on hatchling snails at the moment – I’ll be keeping three back, I think, but the others are food for Deviant – and I have another batch of snails eggs which were just laid today.

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