Featured Pet of the Week: The Green Anole

July 25, 2011 by  
Filed under All Posts, Featured Pets, Reptiles

The Green Anole

The Featured Pet for this week is: The Green Anole

I have always thought that anoles were fascinating little lizards. I had the privilege of caring for many of these little guys over the years when I was younger. One really neat feature they have is the ability to change colors (similar to chameleons) to different greens and browns. This can help them blend somewhat with their environment and serve as protection. Males often have very beautiful reddish dewlaps under their chins, which helps distinguish them from the females.

Holding anoles can be a precarious business. Because they are so small (only growing to a maximum size of 7 inches), they can be easily injured if handled incorrectly and/or squeezed too tightly. They will also lose their tails if they are pulled on too hard. However, some people do carefully and successfully handle their pet anoles regularly and with no problems – that is something you as a pet owner will need to decide if you want to hold your anole. Also, all reptiles can (but don’t always) carry salmonella, so if you do decide to hold your pet anole, make sure to use proper sanitation by washing your hands both before and after handling him.

Green anoles are often praised as great first pets due to their hardiness, ease of care, and being relatively inexpensive. This makes them a great pet for a child – they fit both a child’s budget as well as their responsibility level. Anoles are also not generally aggressive and will usually scamper away rather than attack or bite. They usually live 3-5 years, but if given optimum conditions can sometimes live up to 10 years.

I want to emphasize the proper care of anoles. Even though they are inexpensive and easy to care for, they still must be given a proper environment to thrive in, it is very important for their well-being. They are small, so generally one single anole can do very well in even a small 10 gallon terrarium or aquarium. The taller the aquarium, the better, because anoles love to climb and scale their habitats. If keeping more than one anole, you will definitely want to get an even larger habitat, and even larger if keeping several males. On the bottom of the aquarium you will want to put a substrate such as carpet or something such as crushed walnut shells, both of which can be purchased at pet stores. As I mentioned before, they love to climb because they are natural tree-dwellers, so be sure to include wood pieces like driftwood or grapevine for them to climb vertically on.

Lighting and temperature requirements must be taken into consideration as well. Anoles need UVB exposure to keep their metabolism going and to help them synthesize Vitamin D3. And so even though they are more hardy than other lizards, they still must be provided with proper lighting to thrive. Repti-Sun and Repti-Glo are both good lights because they provide both UVB and UVA rays. They also need proper temperatures to regulate their bodies. To achieve this, simply provide a 50 watt daytime bulb in the “basking” area of the terrarium and make sure it is far enough away from the other end of the terrarium so that there is also a cooler area available for them at the other end. You will also want to mist your anoles daily with water.

Feeding is relatively simple and is the main source of on-going expense for your anole. They are insectivores and therefore eat only insects, which includes crickets, mealworms and occasionally wax worms. You do want to make sure your anoles are getting enough calcium, so buy some calcium and vitamin powder to dust the insects in prior to feeding. Anoles are diurnal, so feed them their crickets/mealworms during the daytime. Also make sure to provide fresh water in a clean dish daily.

If you enjoyed these tips on anoles, you can learn much more about anoles as pets by seeing the Green Anole page!

Jasmine is a team member at Animal-World and has contributed many articles and write-ups.

The Best Pets for Apartment Dwellers

Best Pets for Apartments

Just because you live in an apartment doesn’t mean that you are limited in the pets you can own. If you want a cat or dog, it will help to know how to choose one who will love your third floor walk up or that first floor garden unit.

Check your rental agreement

The first place to go is to the rental office. If you are moving to another apartment, checking on their pet policy might want to be your first order of business. For your current apartment, reread your lease. Now that you want a pet, it will be imperative to know if it is even possible where you live.

Some agreements have stipulations even when you are allowed pets so read the fine print. There could be weight limit or size limit. Owning fish may be limited to smaller tanks and not the larger ones you see in doctor’s offices or restaurants.

Don’t forget the cost as well. To own a pet can add another one hundred dollars or more to your monthly rent. Increased cost is most likely due to the possibility of pet stains on rugs and damage to the apartment dwelling itself.

Top Apartment Pets

1. Fish – These are some of the most unobtrusive pets. They amuse themselves by swimming all day and only need to eat at intervals. The size of your fish or the aquarium might be in question but generally fish are allowed as long as the tanks are well maintained.

2. Reptiles and amphibians – Snakes are not the only reptiles. Many apartments will allow them as long as they are non-poisonous and kept in a tank. But, there are also small lizards like newts and salamanders. Don’t forget your friendly neighborhood turtle.

3. Birds – They can sing but don’t let them squawk. Try to stay away from macaws, parakeets in large numbers, cockatoos and other vocal birds. Apartment walls are not thick enough to stop a loud bird from keeping the neighbors up all night.

4.
Small furry animals – This would include hamsters, guinea pigs, mice and rabbits. The major hurdle here is the smell. These pets need constant cleaning of their cages. If there is an issue with cleanliness, your landlord may ask them to go.

5. Cats – This furry creature is usually not a problem in most apartments. They keep to themselves and don’t make a lot of noise.

6. Dogs – Large dogs are not a good match for apartments because of the limited space during the day. Even small dogs need to be walked but they often fare better during the day when left alone.

Just because you live in an apartment doesn’t mean that you can’t have a companion of the animal variety. Check with your landlord and then choose a pet to suit your needs.

The Vietnamese Centipede

July 8, 2011 by  
Filed under All Posts, Reptiles

Vietnamese Centipede - Scolopendra subspinipesVietnamese Centipede
Scolopendra subspinipes

"I am found all over Southeast Asia!"

Being very aggressive and large, the Vietnamese Centipede is often depicted as having

a bad attitude!

The beautiful Vietnamese Centipede is not recommended for beginner centipede keepers, however it is a hardy species and it’s care is relatively easy.

Scolopendra subspinipes is found most readily in Southeast Asia, but actually is found all over the world in tropical and subtropical locations. It is not only found in Vietnam, as it’s name suggests. This centipede is also divided into five subspecies… Read More

More about the Vietnamese Centipede!

Painted Turtle

May 28, 2011 by  
Filed under All Posts, Reptiles

Painted Turtle - Chrysemys pictaPainted Turtle
Chrysemys picta

"The Painted Turtle is hardy and often a first reptile pet for many people!"

Because they can handle a vast variety of housing conditions and can become very tame,

painted turtles make great pets!

The four species of Painted Turtles are all good additions for a turtle enthusiast. They are all very alert creatures and love basking in the sun and thereafter jumping into the water! They can become quite tame relatively quickly, and love to surface when they see that food has been offered by their owner! Read More

More about the Painted Turtle!

Malaysian Forest Scorpion

April 10, 2011 by  
Filed under All Posts, Reptiles

Malaysian Forest Scorpion - Heterometrus spinifer<br />
Malaysian Forest Scorpion
Heterometrus spinifer

"Although I am an impressive looking scorpion, I do not settle down in captivity!"

The Malaysian Forest Scorpion is a strikingly beautiful and tough scorpion!

It is often mistaken for an Emperor Scorpion, however is is a much more aggressive scorpion!

The pros of keeping the Malaysian Forest Scorpion include it’s majestical stance, how easy it is to care for, and it’s quiet misdemeanor. The biggest con is that you cannot handle it – they are extremely defensive scorpions and will attack and sting when they believe they are in danger. Read More

More about the Malaysian Forest Scorpion!

White’s Tree Frog

March 13, 2011 by  
Filed under All Posts, Reptiles

White's Tree Frog - Litoria caeruleaWhite’s Tree Frog
Litoria caerulea

"Looking for a great beginner soft coral? I’m a hardy little frog and am great for kids!"

The White’s Tree Frog, a quiet critter with bulging eyes, is one of the most laid back

animals there is!It is a very easy frog to take care of and thus is excellent for beginners and experienced frog owners alike!

It is said that it would take purposeful effort on your part to startle one of these adorable frogs. Unlike many of their relatives, including it’s close ‘cousin’ the White-Lipped Tree Frog, the White’s Tree Frog is not big on jumping, and will generally only do so when startled.

The White’s frog is a very gentle, laid back animal; it is said that it would take purposeful effort on your part to startle one. Unlike many of their relatives, they are not big on jumping, and will generally only do so when startled. One of their most intriguing acts is when they are eating, they stuff their food into their mouths with their front feet and seem to become all legs and elbows… Read More

More about the White's Tree Frog!

Snow Corn Snake

February 14, 2011 by  
Filed under All Posts, Reptiles

Snow Corn Snake - Elaphe guttataSnow Corn Snake
Elaphe guttata

"I do well with being handled frequently!"

The Snow Corn Snake is one of the most beautiful of the corn snakes!

Like all corn snakes the Snow Corn Snake, or Complete Albino Corn Snake, makes an excellent pet for the advanced beginner. These colorful snakes will tame down in a short time becoming very docile, even tempered, and tolerant of frequent handling. They are very hardy and easy to maintain… Read More

More about the Snow Corn Snake!

Yellow-foot Tortoise

January 28, 2011 by  
Filed under All Posts, Reptiles

Click for more info on the Yellow-foot TortoiseYellow-foot Tortoises
Geochelone denticulata

The Yellow-foot Tortoise is a very attractive and sought after tortoise!

Yellow-foot Tortoises are not as colorful as their kin, the Red-footed Tortoise, and they have the reputation of being more delicate. Even so, captive-hatched Yellow-foot Tortoises are among the best pet tortoises. They are very personable and fairly easy to keep… Read More

More about the Yellow-foot Tortoise!

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