▷ The world of Pets: Dogs, cats, birds, reptiles, amphibians

Peters's banded skink
- Scincopus fasciatus

Peters's banded skink

Very rare and very little seen niger skink. It is an animal of terrestrial customs and dry areas, desert and semi-desert type Sahel. The diet is based on insects. It is convenient to put a grotto to make you feel more comfortable, although it is a sociable and very docile animal.

Its price ranges from 90 and 140 EUR.

Alternative names:

1. Peters's banded skink (English).
2. Scinque bandé de Peter (French).
3. Tunesischer Nachtskink (German).
4. Lagartixa de Peters (Portuguese).
5. "Escinco gigante de Níger" (español).

▷ The world of Pets: Dogs, cats, birds, reptiles, amphibians

Mountain horned dragon
- Acanthosaura capra

The Mountain horned dragon is a beautiful lizard that is also called asian chameleon, due to its color changes and its arboreal habits.
Acanthosaura capra
Acanthosaura capra, Cat Tien National Park – Roy Bateman, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons


Distribution and habitat

The range of the species is Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam.

The Mountain horned dragon lives in dense forests on top of tall tree trunks. These lizards prefer the shady area under the treetops, and they rarely look for sunny places.

Like many other arboreal lizards, only flowing water is seen and they would even like a lake.

It is a kind of calm lizard that prefers to remain motionless rather than run away.


The Mountain horned dragon has a thorn above each arch of the brow. They can lose this column, which does not regenerate. Otherwise, this spiny lizard has no thorn on the back of its head, although all other species show it..

The nuchal ridge is quite high and clearly separates from it in a uniformly flattened dorsal ridge.. The eardrum is clearly visible. Body markings are a brown web on an olive background. When they are stressed, these animals only show dull brown colors.

The eyes are surrounded by a light green ring followed by a dark green ring.

Strong toes correspond to being in trees.

The tail is slightly flattened.


Males reach a total length of 30,5 cm.. Females appear larger, 32 cm..

Sex differences

The species has a sexual dichromatism. The male has a large throat pouch, yellowish with a green stripe. The head is also yellowish with a green band under the eye ring.
Females appear more robust in body structure.


Mountain horned dragon
Mountain horned dragon (Acanthosaura capra) at the Prague zoo, Czech Republic – Pavel Hrdlička (Czech Wikipedia user Packa), CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The species is shy in nature and tends to run away.

The terrarium should be thickly covered and deep enough to provide security. Vertically anchored branches are especially important, since animals do not like to stay horizontal.

Otherwise, they are a calm species that does not change position for many hours. Animals are not sun worshipers at all, rather they avoid bright light and remain under the treetops.

Although they are native to the rainforests, I can describe an aversion to direct irrigation. They like running water and prefer swimming pools.

Courtship and mating

The male woos with a beautiful tilt of the head. He also shows his yellow throat bag. Here a tall trunk is important for the female to recognize this beautiful presentation. Neck bite is immediately followed by mating.

Clutches and incubation

Clutches mature in a few 4 weeks and are carried out by the female in a sufficiently high and moist substrate. Dig a hole of about 10 depth cm, put there between 12 and 15 eggs and compacts the substrate with strong head blows.

At 21-25°C the embryo develops in 190 days to hatch.


Simply turn off the power and reduce lighting to a minimum for a few 8 weeks.

Nutrition and supplements

Mountain horned dragon
Mountain horned dragon (Acanthosaura capra) photographed at Chester Zoo – Nabokov at English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Mountain horned dragon has a very diverse nutritional spectrum, in which he does not disdain the lizards.

Earthworms and other worms are preferred. Fish are active prey, young rodents from the nest are also on the menu. Of course, all insects can be offered. Meadowsweet plankton should be preferred, as well as various species of crickets, grasshoppers and cockroaches, and even waxworms and black beetle larvae.

It is essential to guarantee a moderate feeding of the animals according to their calm way of life. How they live in a rather cool climate, tend to become obese quickly if fed too much.

As an example, just to illustrate the amount, they can feed 2 common earthworm (Lumbricus terrestris) big and one Dubia roach (Blaptica dubia) average size per week. If the lizard also actively catches a fish, this is enough.


Insects must be well fed and, of course, continue to be dusted with a multivitamin and mineral supplement. Range is recommended Herpetal or Korvimin ZVT with a mixture of calcium.

Keep in mind that neither fish nor earthworms can complement each other, but they have a very good nutritional value. Earthworms, in particular, they are rich in calcium, and that's why they are so important.


The Mountain horned dragon can be kept in a paludario.

Paludarium already indicates that it is a terrarium with a large basin of water and a waterfall.

Dimensions must not be less than 140 cm x 70 cm x 170 cm. (length x widht x hight). Height is especially important because animals live under a canopy of leaves. But, above the dense vegetation there must be lighting, that animals largely avoid.

The distance to the substrate must also be maintained, since to him Mountain horned dragon he likes to stay on tree trunks.


Presentation terrarium of Sin, mon Acanthosaura capra

The habitat is the subtropical jungle and must be recreated in a terrarium. You should focus on the essentials, that is to say, a basin with fish, a great waterfall, plants and soil.

The back walls are designed so that many plants can thrive there. Can be designed using Xaxim or humus, as this material also retains moisture well. The substrate is filled high enough and moist. Plants and many branches offer the freedom of movement of a tree.

The sunny areas are rather secondary, since the Mountain horned dragon prefers cooler and shady places. Lighting is mainly for plants.


Plants not only regulate the climate in the terrarium, they also serve as protection, residence and welfare for animals.

Planting with ficus species, as the “oak leaf ficus” Ficus quericifolia and Ficus scandens, is the most sensible option. It also, a variety of other plants can be chosen, all of which must tolerate high humidity and be small-leaved. These may include, the Chirita Tamiana, the Pellionia daveauana, the Hemigraphis repanda, and the Parthenocissus inserta they are suitable, but it is also enough to choose the ivy Epipremnum pinnatum.


The choice of substrate is important because it must retain a lot of moisture, must not become moldy and must have good egg-laying properties. An unfertilized soil is recommended, preferably from deciduous forests.

The substrate must have 15 cm in height so that the female has optimal conditions for laying eggs. If the female feels insecure, if the substrate is too poor or not moist enough, this can lead to an egg-laying drought.


Lighting in a forest terrarium plays a subordinate role for animals, not for plants. The Mountain horned dragon they are not usually sun worshipers, rather they avoid a light level. It is important to avoid excess heat through good lighting. Fluorescent tubes have been successful.

Example: for a terrarium of 140 x 60 x 170, 6 BioVital full spectrum tubes, T5, with 54 high output watts, have proven their effectiveness. It also, UV lamp can be offered for a few hours.


In the terrarium a basic temperature of 23-25°C should be offered. A spotlight can also be used to provide a temperature of 30°C, but this should not raise the base values. It is important to keep the temperature at 18°C ​​at night.


Relative humidity should be 50-60% during the day and increase to about 90% At night. Due to the cold night, to the plants, to the moist substrate and to the walls, plus a water basin, humidity inevitably increases at night.

For sale "Mountain horned dragon"

The price of a "Mountain horned dragon" ranges between 35 – 45 EUR.

Alternative names:

1. Indo-Chinese spiny lizard, Green pricklenape (English).
2. Dragon cornu des montagnes, Lézard cornu des montagnes, Dragon de montagnes (French).
3. Berg gehörnten Drachen (German).
4. Dragão com chifres da montanha, Lagarto espinhoso indo-chinês, Pinheiro verde (Portuguese).
5. Acantosaurio, Dragon cornudo de Vietnam, Camaleón asiático, Lagarto Jesucristo (español).


DREWS, Olive (2009): Kompaktwissen Agamen, VIVARIA Verlag, Meckenheim, 29-31 S.

HALLERMANN, Jacob (2000): The taxonomic status of Acanthosaura fruhstorferi Werner, 1904 and Calotes brevipes Werner, 1904 (Squamata: Agamidae). Mitt. Mus. Natural. Berl., Sole. row, 76 (1): 143 150
HALLERMANN, Jakob (2005): With horns, Combing and gliding - the bizarre tree agamas. reptile 10 (1), NTV publishing house, Münster; 18-25 S.
HARBIG, P. & U. MARONDE (-01/1983): The genus Acathosaurus: Acanthosaura armate, A. capra, A. crucigera und A. lepidogaster. SAURIA publishing house, Berlin, page 31-33
ASK, Werner & H. Hermann SCHLEICH (2000): Quote in: JACOB HALLERMANN (2005) With horns, Combing and gliding - the bizarre tree agamas. Reptilia10(1) NTV publishing house, Münster, 18-25 S.
MANTHEY, U. & N. Schuster (1992): agamem. Herpetological specialist publisher 120 S.
MANTHEY, U. & W. GROSSMANN (1997): amphibians & Reptiles of Southeast Asia. Nature and Animal Publishing House (Münster), 512 pp.
MANTHEY, Ulrich & Norbert SCHUSTER (1999): agamem. NTV publishing house, Münster
MANTHEY, Ulrich (2008): Agamid lizards of Southern Asia, Draconinae 1. Terralog 7, 160 pp.
MANTHEY, Ulrich (2010): Agamas of southern Asia / Agamid Lizards of southern Asia: Draconinae 2 – Leiolepidinae – Frankfurt am Main, Edition Chimaira

▷ The world of Pets: Dogs, cats, birds, reptiles, amphibians

Boa constrictor
- Boa constrictor

In some countries, the possession of the Boa constrictor is regulated by the regulations on the possession of so-called “potentially dangerous animals”
Boa constrictor
Boa constrictor, Terra Fauna exhibition in the Vaňkovka shopping center in Brno – Pavel Ševela, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons



The Boa constrictor bears some of the most distinctive markings of all reptiles. Depending on the habitat in which they try to camouflage themselves, their bodies may be tan in color, green, red or yellow, and display cryptic patterns of jagged lines, Ovals, rhombuses and circles.

Much smaller than anacondas, boas can measure up to 4 meters and weigh more than 45 kg. Their jaws are lined with small hook-shaped teeth to grab and hold prey as they wrap their muscular body around the victim., squeezing it until it suffocates. Boas eat almost everything they can catch, including birds, monkeys and wild pigs. Their jaws can stretch very far to swallow large prey whole.


Boa imperator (Boa constrictor imperator)
Boa imperator (Boa constrictor imperator)

The Boa constrictor (Boa constrictor) is a giant snake that is distributed in several subspecies from South America to Central America.

Just like their premiums, the Anacondas, they are excellent swimmers, but prefer to stay on dry land, living mainly in hollow logs and abandoned mammal burrows.

Several subspecies are bred in captivity, local forms, as well as crosses and color variants, most often the two subspecies:

  • Red-tailed Boa (Boa constrictor constrictor)
  • Boa imperator (Boa constrictor imperator)

Specimens caught in the wild in the trade can also be found. If possible, specimens bred in captivity should be used.

In many countries, snakes Boas are subject to species protection legislation. The two subspecies mentioned are not subject to registration; However, proof of origin is mandatory for the holder.

In some countries, the possession of the Boa constrictor is regulated by the regulations on the possession of so-called “potentially dangerous animals”.

Sex differences

Sex determination based on external characteristics is difficult. Males have longer spurs; females are usually larger and heavier. Other methods of sex determination, as the “popping” y el sondeo, should only be performed by a veterinarian who is familiar with reptiles, due to the risk of injury.

The Boa constrictor in captivity

Boa constrictor
Boa constrictor


The Boa constrictor is a solitary animal, but it can usually be socialized without problems if the animals are expected to be about the same size..

The Boa constrictor it is viviparous. The eggs are not laid by the female - as is often the case with snakes., Rather, they remain in the uterus until the young hatch.. Litter size can be up to 60 pups in large females. So, if breeding is not planned or desired, animals should only be kept individually or in groups of the same sex.

As there is currently an oversupply of Boa imperator and there are hardly any buyers for the young, animals should only mate if there are reliable buyers for the offspring.

The Boa constrictor is twilight and nocturnal, but it also has diurnal phases.

Accommodation (Terrarium)

To keep one or two adult animals, the terrarium must be at least the size 250 x 100 x 200 cm.. For animals with a body size greater than 2 m, even larger base areas needed. Permanent maintenance is not allowed on so-called racking systems.

Terrarium temperature

Like warm-blooded animals, the Boa constrictor you need a temperature gradient in the terrarium that allows you to reach your optimal body temperature. As such, a heating system is installed on the floor outside the terrarium, on one side, to ensure localized heating of up to 35 °C. It is also possible to use radiant heaters with UV components. The soil temperature in the rest of the terrarium should be about 26 – 28 °C; at night the temperature should drop to a few 22 °C.

Terrarium humidity

Humidity should hover between the 60 and the 80 % and can increase up to more than 90 % At night. This can be achieved by spraying the terrarium daily with warm water or using an irrigation system.. Precise thermometers and hygrometers are needed to measure temperature and humidity.

Terrarium lighting

Fluorescent tubes are suitable as basic lighting; the duration of illumination should be 10 to 12 hours. Lighting should be placed out of reach of snakes or secured with a metal mesh basket (Fire danger!).

Terrarium furniture

The shelves, stable rock structures (also imitations), the thickest roots and/or branches, as well as cork tubes and other cave-like hiding places have proven to be suitable. There must be at least one retreat for each animal. The Boa constrictor climb well; Therefore, the furniture must be well installed in the terrarium so that the animals can not harm themselves. The presence of a sufficient number of rough surfaces makes it easier for animals to moult regularly.. It also, a sufficiently large and temperature-controlled water battery, in which animals can also bathe, is part of the basic equipment. An absorbent substrate (for example, bark mulch) is suitable as a substrate, which should always be slightly moist at one point.

Important: There should always be a slightly moist hiding place.


Boa constrictor
Boa constrictor

The Boa constrictor feeds mainly on mammals, reptiles and birds in the wild. Usually, can be fed with rodents or frozen rabbits of suitable size, that thaw quickly (for example, in warm water) and are brought to an approximate body temperature (35 – 40 °C) before feeding them. If required, frozen foods can be vitaminized with suitable preparations. Feeding live animals for food should be avoided due to animal welfare aspects and the risk of animal bite injuries for food. Fresh water must be available at all times.

If several animals are kept in the terrarium, they must be placed individually in boxes to be fed or monitored during feeding. after feeding, the animals need several days of rest and should not be disturbed.

Note: In the case of the pups, weekly feeding is adequate; in the case of older specimens, the feeding interval can be extended to 3 or 4 weeks.


Food scraps, molts and droppings should be removed daily. In the case of young animals, water bowls should be cleaned daily. Larger water bowls should be cleaned and filled with fresh water at least once a week or when dirty.

Animal health should be checked daily. The most frequent health problems in the Boa constrictor are the difficulties of molting, skin mites, eating disorders, movement disorders, as well as inflammation of the respiratory tract, skin fungus, feces and mucosal alterations. In case of anomalies, you have to consult a reptile veterinarian. It is recommended to perform fecal examinations once a year to detect endoparasites.

Boas are very susceptible to inclusion body disease, a viral disease that ends up being fatal. As there is still no treatment for this disease, newly acquired animals must be quarantined for at least six months and examined by a veterinarian before they come into contact with the existing population.

The intestinal flora of the Boa constrictor usually includes salmonella, that are harmless to animals, but they can cause disease in humans. Hygiene measures (wash your hands well, etc.) can prevent infection.

Acclimatization and handling

Reptiles are observation animals and NOT companion animals. For this reason, in the first days in their new home, animals need adequate rest to get used to their new environment.

Animals should only be caught if necessary. Boas are usually peaceful, but they can bite sensitively; in the case of aggressive specimens, it is recommended to handle them with the help of gloves and / or a hook for snakes.

Attention: During the molt, animals should not be fed or taken out of the terrarium.

Special features

Colored breeds with reduced pigmentation (for example, albinos) may show increased sensitivity to light.

Buy one Boa constrictor

The price of a Boa constrictor in the exotic animal market ranges from 120 – 150 EUR.

Video Boa constrictor

Boa Constrictor Facts: the Red Tailed Boa facts 🐍 | Animal Fact Files

Alternative names:

1. Red-tailed boa, Common boa (English).
2. Boa devin, Aviosa (French).
3. Königsschlange, Königsboa, Abgottboa (German).
4. Jiboia (Portuguese).
5. Tragavenado, Guio, Mantona, Mazacuata, Tragavenado, Jiboia, Lampalagua, Matacaballo, Limacoa, Ilama (español).

▷ The world of Pets: Dogs, cats, birds, reptiles, amphibians

Madagascar day gecko
- Phelsuma madagascariensis

Thanks to the special adhesive foils on your fingers, the Madagascar day gecko not only moves on the smoothest surfaces, but even clings to the glass upside down without problems.
Madagascar day gecko
One “Madagascar day gecko” in the nursery of Lausanne – Gzzz, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons(Switzerland)



The Madagascar day gecko is native to the eastern coast of Madagascar and usually lives there as a supposed follower of the culture in the proximity of humans. It is not uncommon to find them on the walls of cabins, on rooftops and banana plantations.


The Madagascar day gecko is a lizard of strong constitution, grows quite a lot, with one head-torso length up to approximately 14 cm.. The basic coloring is green, with dark red spots on the back and top of the head. A distinctive feature is the red line that runs from the nostril, passing through the eye, to the temple: like a red Zorro mask!

In case of stress, discomfort or fear, This Gecko can darken its coloration quickly and intensely.
As they do not have eyelids, their “bulging eyes” have a special charm for us. They clean themselves again and again with their own tongues as if they were dirty glasses.


This Gecko lives in the trees of the primary forest, in plantations and even homes. They live in an environment where the degree of humidity is very high (at least the 80%). The daytime temperatures oscillate between the 25 and 30 °C during the day and drop to 20 °C at night. In winter, the temperature drops to about 25°C during the day and 15°C at night, for about two months.

The "Madagascar day gecko" in captivity

Madagascar day gecko
Phelsuma madagascariensis madagascariensis, macho en terrario – Manuel Werner, Nuertingen, Germany, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

With the right care and accommodation, the Madagascar day gecko is a grateful animal that gives a lot of pleasure to its owners. But, the conditions and needs of these animals mentioned here must be met.

Next we want to show you some special characteristics of this species in general for its care in the terrarium. Here, animal welfare comes first.


Terrariums for the Madagascar day gecko must be of sufficient height, since all species are arboreal. As a key to the size of the terrarium we recommend calculating with the head-torso length of the animal. The size of the terrarium is calculated as follows for non-adult animals:

  • Terrarium floor space: Four times x three times the head-torso length of the animal.
  • Height of the terrarium: Four times the head-torso length of the animal.
Terrarium measurements: 100 x 60 x 120 cm. (for 1-2 animals)

Observe the growth of the animal in the coming months (fast-growing animal/slow-growing animal) For adult animals (of legal age), the various institutions in Germany give guidelines on the size of the terrarium.

Terrarium installation

The Madagascar day gecko is an excellent climber, you are almost never seen on the ground. Various cork branches, cork tubes and bamboo canes have a decorative appearance and provide the animal with space to walk, including the coveted spot for sunbathing under the point of ultraviolet light. As such, place a branch or root at the right distance from the light source so that the right temperature is created in it. They will also willingly accept some vertical climbing opportunities..

It also, the terrarium must be well decorated with plants. Artificial plants are a practical option in this case, as they can be easily cleaned of droppings.

The suitable substrate is the bark bed (also called “Cortex”) and the land of the terrarium. Some moss cushions are decorative and regulate humidity. Droppings and food scraps should be removed daily.

Temperature and lighting of the terrarium

The Madagascar day gecko resides in tropical habitats.

Since reptiles are thermal animals, you have to simulate their natural habitat in the terrarium: temperature and humidity. This is achieved by various heat/light sources and water misting/spraying. (sprinkler system).

One thermometer/hygrometer allows the caregiver to control these values. Animals have excellent eyesight and visual acuity. Depend on sufficient lighting. So, is mandatory a good lighting of the terrarium. They also need a sunny spot in the terrarium. This is created by spot lighting, that provides light, heat and UV rays. The highest quality products are necessary here, because only they are equal to the natural light of the sun.

The Madagascar day gecko see the colors in the ultraviolet range, so you can't perceive your surroundings normally without adequate light. It also, only an optimal supply of UV-B light provides enough vitamin D3 for young animals to grow optimally and adults to also be in top shape and display their bright colors.. We recommend the JBL L-U-W Light, which is available in different powers and in the version “Desert” or “Jungle“. This type of lighting provides light, heat and UVA/UVB rays. As a caregiver, can get an especially good climate (and easy to control) using a heating mat under part of the floor of your terrarium.

Although the Madagascar day gecko does not go down to the ground to warm up, yes it heats the basic temperature of the high terrarium -which by design is similar to a fireplace- from below. These terrariums usually have too low temperatures in the lower half of the terrarium outside of summer., so the fry have a hot back and a cold belly. The heating mat must be accompanied by a thermostat. In this way, always get the right climate, as the heating mat turns on automatically when needed. A plus point is the more favorable energy consumption in terms of the environment, since terrariums operated in this way not only require lower power for point lamps, but also, usually, fix themselves with less energy.

For uniform lighting of your terrarium as decoration of your living space, we recommend the LED lighting across the entire terrarium. Light and heating sources are always turned on and off at a daily rate using a timer, 14h on, 10h off.


Exoterra Day Gecko Food
Exoterra Day Gecko Food

The Madagascar day gecko is a fast and agile hunter. The insects that serve as food (crickets, grasshopper, etc.) are always sprinkled with mixtures of vitamins and minerals. This is the only way to avoid irreversible deficiencies, which can often lead to serious illness or even death in young animals and pregnant females, for example.

The feed animals they must always be adapted to the size of the diurnal gecko. Feed only insects that will be eaten directly. Otherwise, feeding animals would disperse around the terrarium, they would hide away and get rid of the attached vitamins/minerals – the result is malnutrition and malnutrition despite food supplies.

It also, yet Madagascar day gecko in nature likes to lick overripe fruits and nectar.

With “Exoterra Day Gecko Food” small glasses already prepared with a suitable food porridge are obtained. Not offered on the ground, but permanently in the so-called “cupholder” at a high altitude.

Social behavior and reproduction

The Madagascar day gecko can be maintained individually, in pairs or in a group constellation of one male with several females. Males are always incompatible with each other.

Females of the species “Phelsuma” put 1-2 eggs after a few 28 days, until 5 times a year. Some species stick eggs to the substrate. The eggs quickly harden in the air and the females of the “kind of glue for eggs” stick 2 eggs each. They like to do it in small cavities like bamboo canes or cork tubes.. The young hatch after 42-70 days.


Thanks to the special adhesive foils on your fingers, the Madagascar day gecko not only moves on the smoothest surfaces, but even clings to the glass upside down without problems. In doing so, develop true superpowers through the call adhesion: thanks to their feet covered with billions of fine hairs, make use of the forces of Van der Waals and electrostatic forces.

On the sides of the back of the head have small “calcium sacs”, which serve females to store calcium in preparation for egg formation.

In the wild, guarantee their survival against predators by wagging their tails and “moving in a startled way”. If a hunter grabs them by the trunk, the skin sheds and the daytime salamander escapes. Tail and skin regenerate in case of emergency.

For sale "Madagascar day gecko"

The price of a Madagascar day gecko at the exotic animal market, bred in captivity, ranges between 50 – 80 EUR.

Videos "Madagascar day gecko"

Phelsuma Madagascariensis Grandis

Phelsuma madascariensis already adapted (daytime gecko)

Alternative names:

1. Madagascar Giant Day Gecko (English).
2. Gecko de Madagascar, Gecko diurne géant de Madagascar (French).
3. Phelsuma madagascariensi (German).
4. Gecko gigante do dia (Portuguese).
5. Perenquén diurno de Madagascar (español).

▷ The world of Pets: Dogs, cats, birds, reptiles, amphibians

West African mud turtle
- Pelusios castaneus

The West African mud turtle it is extremely adaptable and can be found in all types of waters. Pools, ponds, lakes, rivers…
West African mud turtle
West African mud turtle – Loran, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons


Origin / Distribution

The call Seychelles black terrapin, Seychelles mud turtle or Seychelles aquatic turtle was considered a species of turtle (Pelusios seychellensis) family Pelomedusidae, endemic to Seychelles.

But, genetic analysis of the lectotype has shown that this turtle was never a separate species and, in fact, It Pelusios castaneus.

The West African mud turtle (Pelusios castaneus) it is one of the most widespread turtle species in Africa. It is present practically throughout the Atlantic coast of the black continent: from southern Mauritania, Senegal, passing through Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Togo, Benin, Nigeria, Cameroon and as far north-west of the Central African Republic. It also, looking south from Cameroon, the species colonizes an area of Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Congo, DR Congo and reaches the northernmost part of Angola.

The species is also found in São Tomé, an island off Gabon. There is a human population in the Caribbean, on the island of Guadeloupe, where it probably comes from the slaves who carried the animals as live food (the turtle is still eaten today, it will be discussed later). There is also said to be a feral population in Florida., these animals would have been abandoned by an animal trader.

Characteristics / Appearance

West African mud turtle
Pelusios castaneus by Laurent LeboisFlickr

Large turtle, rather flat, with oval and elongated dorsal carapace, which has the largest width in the back area. Adults have a slightly separated vertebra at the front and a slightly separated vertebra toward the rear. Both vertebrae are wider than they are long.

The margin of the shell is smooth and not sawn. The dorsal carapace is mostly dark brown to black. The ventral shell forms a closed solid plate and is slightly narrower in the posterior region than in the anterior region.. The background color of the plastron is yellow in the center with a brown-black tint towards the edges. The skin is light gray to beige.

The head is mottled with a distinctive pattern, characteristic of each individual, as a fingerprint. On the chin there is 2 short, closed beards. The front legs also have scales and all the feet have strong claws..

Males have a shell length of about 20 cm.. Females can reach up to 38 cm of shell length, but they are usually much smaller (~ 25 cm of shell length). In addition to the usual elongated tail, the most conspicuous secondary sexual characteristic of males is a distinctly concave plastron.


The West African mud turtle it is extremely adaptable and can be found in all types of waters. Pools, ponds, lakes, rivers… is at home everywhere. In much of its range, living waters dry up during 6-7 months per year, time that the P. castaneus passes buried in the substrate. But, there are also rainforest species that have water all year round.

The West African mud turtle nor is it very demanding in terms of food. Feeds on insects, snails, carrion, small fish, amphibians and, occasionally, fruits and seeds. The species is also very fertile. Large females can easily produce two clutches a year with up to 18 eggs.


The West African mud turtle It is carnivorous and feeds on aquatic prey.. The feeding consists of five phases: preliminary fixation of the head on the dam, the adjustment of the head fixation, the final approach of the head, prey grip followed by handling and transport, and suction, which results in the ingestion after which the prey is swallowed. The final phase varies depending on whether the prey is fast, like a fish, or slow, as a gastropod mollusk.

Threats to the species

State of conservation ⓘ

Status Minor Concern ⓘ (UICN)ⓘ

Unfortunately, today one can hardly talk about turtles without talking about the threatened situation of the species. Given its huge distribution area and its great adaptability, the West African mud turtle shouldn't be endangered. But, natural populations in most of its range have not been studied scientifically. Hardly any funds are allocated to field research, so hardly anything is known about the evolution of the population.

Scientists from Nigeria follow a very interesting approach: regularly visit the markets where the “bushmeat”. This includes, of course, these species of turtles. Unfortunately, during these visits it was necessary to verify that the populations of turtles of the genus Kinixys are in clear decline. But, the West African mud turtle not yet considered endangered and not subject to international trade restrictions.

The "West African mud turtle" in captivity


Due to the climatic conditions of the country of origin, the size of the animals (up to a maximum of 38 cm of shell length!) and its activity, the West African mud turtle needs large, air-conditioned aquaterrariums with plenty of space to swim all year round.

The water section for an adult animal must have a minimum size of 150 x 60 cm and a water depth of at least 50 cm.. In addition to the free swimming areas, the water part must be structured with stones, branches and plants to offer animals stimulation and variety.

In addition to a sunny area on land and the mandatory egg-laying area when having females, the facility must also offer shallow water areas. Floating plants on the surface of the water offer protection and invite you to rest on the surface.

Although the West African mud turtle does not sunbathe as extensively as, for example, the “North American ornamental turtles”, the sunbathing area is frequently visited and used, so it must always be available.


West African mud turtle
Pelusios chestnut en Aquaterrarium – Carsten Beeg, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Standard tank technical equipment includes fluorescent daylight tubes, heat radiators over the shallow water/stunning area and, occasionally, on the egg-laying area, external filter, heater, thermometer and timer. As an alternative, instead of daylight fluorescent tubes and heat radiators, powerful HQI radiators can be installed to illuminate a part of the tank and generate sufficient temperatures locally in the sunbathing area.

As for water and air temperatures, you must follow the climatic guidelines in the seasonal change of the country of origin (West Africa). In tropical areas there is also a day/night variation, as well as seasonal differences, although less pronounced than here.
A rough guideline is a water temperature of 25-28° and a local air temperature of up to 40° in the sun. You can get a night setback by turning off the heating at night.

Summer lethargy does not necessarily have to be applied in captivity. But, animals should not be kept at constantly high temperatures throughout the year. For a few weeks, or even months, should simulate colder phases at a water temperature of about 20-24°. Transitions should be gradual and the temperature should be increased or decreased over a few days.


The West African mud turtle does not have high food requirements. Eat anything offered to you as animal feed. The spectrum ranges from dry food (Lundi pellets, colored koi pellets, Sera Raffy P pellets, gammarus and dried fish, brekkies), to fish (various freshwater fish, smelts, pollock, etc.), mussel meat, common earthworm, heart of veal and mice (little mice and jumpers).

In addition to the aquatic plants present in the tank (Juncos, duckweeds, horn, duckweed, water hyacinth, water cabbage), green food is regularly offered (dandelion, Canons, oak leaf lettuce, Cucumber, zucchini and tomatoes).


Like almost all male turtles, the males of the West African mud turtle are always willing to mate, but their courtship behavior is more moderate and less aggressive than that of many other species. However, the sexes must be kept separate for a part of the year for the females to rest.

The courtship exhibition of this species can last several hours. First the male tries head and neck movements to attract attention. If the female is interested and does not avoid it, the male seeks direct body contact, pushing your nose. If the female then indicates that she is willing to mate by brief choppy head movements, the male rides. At no time does it try to bite the female.

Adult females need a place of oviposition of at least 60 x 50 x 50, since they bury their laying of up to 22-32 eggs very deep in the sand.


The West African mud turtle does not hibernate due to the climatic demands of the countries of origin (West Africa). However, day/night latency, as well as seasonal differences, must be simulated with technical aids.

Buy one "West African mud turtle"

All turtles pelomedus are not internationally protected species, so wild-caught specimens remain regularly available in the reptile trade. Wild catches are often surprisingly hard, weakened by long transport and numerous intermediate stops. If you have the opportunity, do not hesitate to buy european pups. The young are much more stable and less susceptible to diseases.

The price of a "West African mud turtle" at the exotic animal market, bred in captivity, ranges between 25 – 50 EUR.

Videos "West African mud turtle"

African Mud Turtles (Castaneus Fluff) - Africa Turtles


Alternative names:

1. West African mud turtle, West African side-necked turtle or swamp terrapin (English).
2. Péluse de Schweigger (French).
3. Westafrikanische Klappbrust-Pelomedusenschildkröte, Westafrikanische Seitenhalsschildkröte oder Sumpfschildkröte bekannt (German).
4. Tartaruga de lama da África Ocidental, Tartaruga de pescoço lateral da África Ocidental ou pântano (Portuguese).
5. Tortuga del barro de África Occidental, Tortuga de caja africana (español).

▷ The world of Pets: Dogs, cats, birds, reptiles, amphibians

African helmeted turtle
- Pelomedusa subrufa

The African helmeted turtle is very popular among turtle fans. Animals live both in water and on land.
African helmeted turtle
An African helmeted turtle (Pelomedusa subrufa) closes at ground level. – Charles J. Sharp, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons


Origin / Distribution

Since 2014 ten species have been distinguished. It also, there are two others that have not yet been fully classified:

  • Pelomedusa galeata
  • Pelomedusa subrufa.

  • Other subspecies:

    Pelomedusa barbata, Pelomedusa gehalfie, Pelomedusa kobe, Pelomedusa neumanni, Pelomedusa olivacea, Pelomedusa schweinfurthi, Pelomedusa somailca, Pelomedusa variabilis.

    The African helmeted turtle, whose scientific name is Pelomedusa subrufa, lives in southern and eastern Africa and in the southwestern Arabian Peninsula. The distribution area extends from Senegal in the west to Madagascar in the east and to South Africa.. So far, it was assumed that it was a single species that inhabited this wide area. But, There are many species, some of which have very small home ranges.

    Characteristics / Appearance

    The African helmeted turtle has a very round and flat shell. It is dark brown to olive green in color.. The plastron is usually black, but may also have a yellow/horned coloration.

    The skin is dark in color on top. Like this, the upper part of the tail is black and the extremities dark gray. The underside of the head is light gray, almost white. The African helmeted turtle he has a round head, short snout and round eyes. they also smile. Sex is recognized by the tail. The tail of the males is longer and thicker than that of the females..

    They are called neck spinners. (Pleurodia) and, Therefore, they cannot fit their heads vertically into the S-shaped shell. On the other hand, they put it on its side, horizontal s-shaped, against the body.

    Size: The Pelomedusa reach a length of 14 to 30 cm and weighing up to more than 2 kg, depending on the species. The males grow a little more. The Pelemedusa subrufa it is the smallest species, Medusa galeata the largest.

    Life expectancy: 30-50 years


    Preferred habitat is swamps and still waters. It also sometimes temporarily inhabits existing waters and travels considerable distances to reach new habitats.. If accessible waters dry up, is buried until 5 cm deep in the mud. Depending on the exact area of ​​origin, temperatures can vary greatly between day and night.


    The African helmeted turtle it is a relatively peaceful turtle and predominantly crepuscular or nocturnal. They spend a lot of time on the bottom and also like to burrow in the sand.. In the African winter months, they maintain a dry dormancy and bury themselves in the mud to do so. Dry torpor is followed by the rainy season, during which animals become extremely active.

    Threats to the species

    No conservation status. But, Saudi Arabia is currently working on conservation measures for the various species that are not as widespread. Until very recently, one of the species was assumed to be distributed throughout Africa. But, there are several and one species is already in serious danger of extinction.

    The "African helmeted turtle" in captivity

    African helmeted turtle
    “African helmeted turtle” (Pelomedusa subrufa) in the Natural History Museum and Vivarium of Tournai (Belgium) – Vassil, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons


    The African helmeted turtle needs a large aquaterrarium (minimum requirement 5×2.5 (LxA) of carapace length, that is to say, 130-150 cm length depending on the species). The water level should be 30-40 cm.. It also, They need a large land area that accounts for approximately 1/3 of the total area. This should be filled especially with moist sand or substrate, for the ones pelomedus can dig during dry break. For dry idle, the water level must drop constantly to simulate the desiccation of the natural habitat. The dry break is followed by the rainy season, during which the water level must be replenished.

    Egg laying place: When you have females, an egg-laying place is always necessary. However, these turtles must have a sand pit large enough to rest dry.

    Lighting and temperature

    They should not miss the sources of ultraviolet light and heat. To the African helmeted turtle likes to sunbathe on land and also needs high temperatures. The water must also be heated (to. 22-30°), as our ambient temperatures are well below African conditions. Heaters that are attached directly to the tank are not recommended, since glass bodies don't necessarily support turtles. A heater built into the filter is more suitable. This heater must work with a timer to guarantee night emission. Spot heaters prevent animals from getting cold when they get out of the hot water. If the temperature of the air is lower than that of the water, pneumonia can occur. Fluorescent tubes provide enough light in the tank. In any case, need a big filter. In the case of aquatic turtles, it is said to always use a filter that can handle one and a half times the actual amount of water, since turtles pollute the water more than fish.


    Turtles Pelomedus have a predominantly carnivorous diet. The right food is earthworms, the snails, mussels and fish. A cuttlefish bone should be available. In the wild it also feeds on frogs and carrion.. It has also been observed that pelomedus they snatch and drown the birds that bathe. Plant food includes aquatic plants, estate, flowers and fruits. But, they also eat them only in the water.

    Buy one "African helmeted turtle"

    most of the turtles Pelomedusa found in the animal trade in Europe are called “subrufa” in the shops.

    The price for the offspring of the "African helmeted turtle" at the exotic animal market, ranges between 25 – 40 EUR.

    Videos "African helmeted turtle"

    Pelomedusa Subrufa Y Pelusios Castaneus

    Pelomedusa subrufa (movie 08) - Blood Feeding time.

    Alternative names:

    1. African helmeted turtle, Marsh terrapin, Crocodile turtle, African side-necked turtle (English).
    2. Tortue à cou caché d'Afrique, Péloméduse rousse, Péloméduse roussâtre (French).
    3. Starrbrust-Pelomedusen (German).
    4. Tartaruga-de-capacete-africano, Tartaruga de pântano, Tartaruga de crocodilo, Tartaruga-de-pescoço-africano (Portuguese).
    5. "Tortuga de escudo africana", Tortuga de casco (español).

    ▷ The world of Pets: Dogs, cats, birds, reptiles, amphibians

    Green iguana
    - Iguana iguana

    The Green iguana is a large reptile with a powerful body that can reach a length of almost two meters.
    Green iguana
    Green iguana (Iguana iguana) juvenile, Grand Cayman – Charles J. Sharp, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons


    Origin / Distribution

    The Green iguana (Iguana iguana) belongs to the iguana family (Iguanidae). There are two subspecies, Iguana iguana iguana and Iguana iguana rhinolopha. The latter has two or three horns on the muzzle and thus can be distinguished from the Iguana iguana. A few years ago two other subspecies of the Green iguana: Iguana iguana insularis and Iguana iguana sanctaluciae.

    The native range of the Green iguana (Iguana iguana) stretches from southern Mexico to central Brazil, Paraguay and Bolivia and the Caribbean; specifically Grenada, Aruba, Curacao, Trinidad and Tobago, St. Lucia, San Vicente and Útila. They have been introduced in Grand Cayman, Puerto Rico, Hispaniola (in the Dominican Republic), Guadalupe, Texas, Florida, Hawaii and the U.S. Virgin Islands USA. It also, green iguanas colonized the island of Anguilla in 1995 after being swept away by a hurricane. Although the species is not native to Martinique, in the historic Fort of San Luis there is a small wild colony of green iguanas released or escaped.

    Characteristics / Appearance

    What does a Green iguana?

    The Green iguana is a large reptile with a powerful body that can reach a length of almost two meters. But, the average size of a Green iguana is closer to the 1,50 m, much of which is due to its long tail. The body grows to a few 50 cm in males and some 40 cm in females. When fully developed, the Green iguana weighs about ten kilograms. With good care, They can live up to 20 years.

    Young iguanas are characterized by a strong green color. With the age, green coloration decreases and becomes darker, sometimes even brown or grayish. They have a crest on the back and tail and usually have dark bands on the body and tail.. The head is characterized by a blunt snout, from which hangs a membranous gular pouch with a large jagged crest.

    As inhabitants of the trees, the Green iguana can climb well. Their sharp claws also help them do that.. Diurnal animals can also swim well. As for his character, green iguanas are considered curious, sensitive and relatively confident, although, of course, they are not at all cuddly animals. If the danger threatens, the Green iguana can wag tail like lizards. Then it grows back, but it falls shorter.

    Wide variety of colors

    Green is not the only color that can be shown by Green iguanas. Its hue is usually bluish and can change throughout your life. Many Green Iguanass become more and more pink, brown, grey or almost black. The Green iguanas are characterized by their scaly and delicate skin. A thorny ridge runs through the back of reptiles; have a double chin under their chin.


    The natural habitat of the Green iguana are the rainforests of the lowlands, in the vicinity of large bodies of water. Populations in coastal regions with low rainfall are extremely rare.


    Animals are diurnal and spend most of their time in trees and like to bathe. Although they are considered sociable, there is usually only one adult male in a group. It is important to keep this in mind when keeping them in a terrarium., otherwise fights may occur. A Green iguana can even become meek, which is noticeable in the fact that he greets contact persons by nodding his head..

    Threats to the species

    State of conservation ⓘ

    Status Minor Concern ⓘ (UICN)ⓘ

    The Green iguana is included in Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), which means that international trade is regulated by the CITES permit system. It also, the Green iguana is classified as Least Concern by the IUCN, mentioning that habitat depletion by development is a potential concern for populations of Green iguana in the future. Historically, green iguana meat and eggs have been consumed as a source of protein throughout their range, and are appreciated for their supposed medicinal and aphrodisiac properties. Efforts have been made in the past to breed green iguanas in captivity as a food source in an attempt to encourage more sustainable land use in Panama and Costa Rica..

    The "Green iguana" in captivity

    The terrarium

    • Type of terrarium Jungle or tree terrarium
    • Temperature of 25 to 30 degrees Celsius during the day, 20-25 degrees Celsius at night
    • Humidity High humidity
    • Need for sun A sunny place per animal is required with temperatures of approximately 35 – 40 Celsius degrees.

    If you want to have a Green iguana, you need a lot of space. Since these animals can reach two meters or more, a medium-sized terrarium is not enough for good conservation. Yes, you Green iguana has to live tight, won't feel comfortable with you. The minimum size of the terrarium for a Green iguana adult should be 300 x 200 x 250 centimeters. Young animals are raised in a smaller terrarium. It is important to have a sufficient height with many climbing branches so that the animals can climb. Animals like to rest on horizontal branches under a spotlight.

    If several animals are housed in the same terrarium, they need enough hiding places so they don't look all the time. Thick PVC pipes into which a board or floor is inserted are suitable for this purpose. The ground should be covered with sphagnum, sawdust, linoleum or tiles. Coatings with sharp edges, such as expanded clay or gravel, are absolutely inadequate.

    Even with a spacious terrarium, is controversial among terrarium enthusiasts whether the Green iguana must be kept in a terrarium in general. As an alternative, if you have the opportunity, it's a good idea to host the Green iguana in your own reptile room. As long as you can create in it the right weather conditions, this option is preferable to a large terrarium.

    Temperature and humidity in the terrarium

    Green iguana
    Adult green iguana – Cy, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

    A rainforest or tree terrarium is suitable for maintaining a Green iguana. It doesn't matter which variant you choose: Temperatures and humidity must be adequate for green iguanas to feel comfortable in them. Temperatures should range from 25 and 35 degrees during the day and at least 20 degrees at night. It also creates a warmer place where the temperature is between 40 and 45 degrees Celsius. If you have several animals in the same terrarium, each of them needs what is called a sun point.

    The humidity of the terrarium should be between the 60 and the 80 percent during the day and between 80 and the 95 percent at night. Animals also need UV-B lighting for about twelve hours a day.. To adapt the climate to the natural habitat, animals and terrarium should be sprayed with water daily. During the winter period (December-April), the climate must be maintained 5 cooler and drier degrees Celsius. To avoid bacteria and mold, the terrarium should also be well ventilated.

    Tips for decoration

    Equip the terrarium or reptile room with enough branches and trunks to climb and rest. Branches for climbing should be at least as thick as the trunk of the lizard. Rocks are also useful, the roots and the cork caves. It is also important to have a water basin with a temperature of about 25 degrees Celsius. It is best to heat it with a bottom heater or a heater in the filter.

    You can use real or artificial plants in the terrarium of your iguanas. Real plants are good for the climate, but they can be crushed or eaten. So, real plants must definitely be non-toxic. The substrate must be dry and absorbent.

    Care and nutrition

    Green iguana
    Male Green Iguana (Iguana iguana) of wildlife in the Botanical Garden of Portoviejo, Ecuador – First, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

    So that your Green iguana stays well, prudent care is essential. Good care starts with diet. The green iguanas are vegetarian, so animal foods shouldn't be on your menu. Exceptions are young iguanas and pregnant females, whose diet should consist of a 15% of animal feed (insects and eggs).

    A varied diet is important to ensure a sufficient supply of nutrients. Leafy greens should make up the main part of the diet, around the 60%. These may include, can be fed with dandelion, Canons, clover, rib or parsley grass. To the green iguanas they also like cabbage. The 40% remaining diet should consist of flowers (30%) and fruits (10%). Papaya, strawberries, mandarins or prickly pear figs are suitable. The foliage of trees is particularly greedily consumed by animals. You can supplement your diet with vitamin and mineral supplements to prevent malnutrition. Animal feed should never exceed the 5%. Its excess can cause kidney problems in animals.

    Hygiene also plays an important role in maintaining green iguanas. Infestation with parasites such as mites and worms is relatively common in green iguanas. Thorough hygiene prevents pathogens and, Therefore, diseases. Remove food scraps and droppings every day, change the water daily and clean the entire terrarium regularly. Diseases that are comparatively common in green iguanas include putrefaction of the mouth, tail necrosis and intestinal and respiratory diseases.

    How many green iguanas can you keep together?

    In the wild, the Green iguana lives in groups consisting of one male and several females. So, you should not maintain a Green iguana individually. You can keep them in pairs or in a small group with a maximum of one male.. The latter option is more relaxed for females, since during the mating season a single female is not too harassed by the male.

    It is not recommended to keep several males together. Especially dominant males do not get along with each other. Especially in the season of heat, animals have a marked territorial behavior, which can lead to bloody conflicts between males. In any case, they should only be kept together in very large terrariums with enough hiding places.

    Iguanas also get along well with the turtle (Terrapene) of the warmest regions. On the other hand, the Common basilisk (Basiliscus basiliscus) wave Marine iguana (Amblyrhynchus cristatus) should not be kept together with the green iguanas. The similar appearance in terms of physique and color can cause stress in animals.

    Are green iguanas suitable for beginners?

    It is not the same to have a reptile in the living room of the house than a cat, a dog or rabbit. These exotic inhabitants need adequate climatic conditions and can suffer damage if poorly maintained.. Some species are so demanding that it is desirable or necessary to have previous experience in maintaining terrariums..

    The green iguanas fall into this category. They are less forgiving of breeding errors than other reptiles. So, this species of iguana is not the best choice for beginners. Inadequate breeding conditions can lead to illness or premature death of the animal.

    Just because of the size of the animals, you should think carefully about whether you can really meet the requirements to have green iguanas. A standard terrarium is usually not enough to keep large reptiles. Don't be dazzled by the small size of very young animals in pet stores. Must be able to offer the animal the space it needs when it has grown.

    Buy one "Green iguana"

    The green iguanas can be purchased from reputable breeders. Make sure the maintenance conditions are good and the animals look clean, well fed and, in general, healthy. You can also find them at a rescue center or animal shelter.. The pet shop is also a place to go, but here it is not known where the animals come from or under what conditions they have been raised.

    For reasons of protection of species and the environment, you should not buy wild-caught animals, especially since they are usually in a worse state of health than the offspring.

    The green iguanas cost between 50 and 100 euros per copy. Adult specimens are more expensive, just like the rarest color varieties. The costs of the terrarium and its equipment are much higher than those of the animals themselves. You also have to take into account the costs of food and electricity.

    Frequently Asked Questions about the Green Iguana

    Green iguana
    Green iguana – Photo by David J. pole, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

    How many years do green iguanas live?

    Live some 10 years.

    Where do green iguanas live??

    Its natural habitat is in central and central South America., and prefers rainforests and savannah forests with proximity to water. In the news, the iguana is also native to some Caribbean islands and parts of Florida.

    What size should a terrarium be for an iguana?

    Due to its size, iguanas need very large terrariums with dimensions of approximately 300 x 200 x 250 cm..

    How can I distinguish male iguanas from females??

    Animals are not easy to distinguish. Male iguanas have a larger throat pouch, larger femoral pores, a thicker tail root and a wider head than females when they are between one and two years old. During the mating season, males have a red color, more intense orange or gold. They are also usually more dominant than females.

    How do green iguanas reproduce??

    In the wild, animals copulate at the beginning of the dry season, while in captivity they behave differently. In this case, it may be helpful to keep animals apart for a while to stimulate them. If a couple is lying next to each other, sometimes there is a vigorous courtship with head movements that is followed by a mating.

    Do iguanas become meek?

    If iguanas grow with human contact from an early age, they become tame and you can handle them without leather gloves. Animals that are not used to humans can react aggressively and hit with their tails., scratch with claws and bite. But, with a lot of patience, even the oldest animals can be domesticated by hand.

    How are iguanas domesticated??

    It is best to feed by hand the green iguanas regularly to get them used to. To feed them, you can also put them on your arm and keep them at eye level while you talk to them.. In this way, you can also show the animals to the veterinarian or move them without problems.

    Videos "Green iguana"

    IGUANAS - The green iguana as a pet. How is it? What do you need? What do you eat??

    The fascinating Green Iguana

    Alternative names:

    1. Green iguana, American iguana, Common green iguana (English).
    2. Iguane vert, Iguane commun (French).
    3. Grüner Leguan (German).
    4. Iguana-verde, Iguana-comum, Iguano, Sinimbu, Cambaleão, Senembi, Senembu, Tijibu (Portuguese).
    5. "Iguana verde", Iguana común (español).

    ▷ The world of Pets: Dogs, cats, birds, reptiles, amphibians

    Amazon tree boa
    - Corallus hortulanus

    The Amazon tree boa it is a popular pet with snake fanciers and is a fairly common export in the pet trade.
    Amazon tree boa
    Amazon tree boa – Tambopata, Mother of God, Peru. – Geoff French, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons


    Origin / Distribution

    There are two subspecies of Amazon tree boa. Corallus hortulanus hortulanus is found in the Guianas, the Amazon and southeastern Brazil (to the Tropic of Capricorn). Corallus hortulanus cooki is found in southern Central America, the north of Colombia, the north of Venezuela, Trinidad and Tobago and the southern Windward Islands (San Vicente and the Bank of Granada).

    Characteristics / Appearance

    The Amazon tree boa is well known for its highly variable color and patterns. They have small vestigial hind limb remnants in the cloacal region. Its base color varies from pale tan to black., with yellowish and reddish hues. They are marked by a series of spots or bands that are usually wider in the middle of the back.. The head has five dark stripes that extend from the eyes..

    The color of the belly is also variable, from cream to reddish brown, and with or without darker markings. Eyes may be yellow, grayish or reddish, and they have a reflective membrane that makes them shine at night. the tongue is black. Males and females are similar in size and markings.. Its length varies between 525 and 1880 mm, usually between 1200 and 1500 mm.

    Life expectancy

    There are no records of longevity in the literature. The half life of Amazon tree boa in captivity is about 20 years.


    The Amazon tree boa found in a wide variety of habitats. They are common in arboreal regions with high humidity, especially in the Amazon rainforest. They can also be found in dry areas, such as savannas or dry forests.

    Most of the Corallus hortulanus specimens studied are found at 1 or 2 m or more from the ground in trees or other vegetation. They have also been observed active on the ground. The Amazon tree boa also relatively common along rivers.


    Amazon tree boa
    Corallus hortulanus at the João Moojen Zoology Museum (Museum of Zoology João Moojen, MZUFV) at the Federal University of Viçosa (UFV), in Viçosa-MG, Brazil. – Mateus S. Figueiredo, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

    The Amazon tree boa it is a notoriously aggressive species. when threatened, bites and curls. when it is handled, can form a ball, contract and twist the body. They are solitary and can be active both at night and during the day..


    Courtship behavior consists of “move the tail” around the enclosure. Once it has started, the male and female introduce themselves and the courtship behavior of the male will induce ovulation in the female. Females are also more receptive to mates if they are introduced soon after a molt.. Between March and April, the couple will have begun to actively copulate. Snakes will copulate several times during this period.

    In captivity it is possible for a female to mate with several males., although not recommended, since the males usually become very aggressive and fight each other. In some cases, high levels of aggressiveness have been observed among males, which has caused a dangerous situation for the female.

    In the Amazon tree boa, ovulation occurs in the female several weeks after copulation. During the gestation period, females seek out areas with direct sunlight or other warm areas to bask in the sun. The Amazon tree boa gives birth to live young. The gestation period is 6 to 8 months. Newborns shed their skin between 8 and 14 days after birth. After a few 3 years, the Amazon tree boa reaches sexual maturity.

    Once the pups are born, are immediately independent of their mother. The males of the Amazon tree boa they do not contribute to the care of their young.


    It has been reported that the Amazon tree boa feeds on birds (including Chloroceryle inda, Coereba, Elaenia), bats (probably Phyllostomus bicolor, Myotis), frogs (Elachistocleis), rodents (Akodon, Mus, Rattus), lizards (Anolis, Basiliscus, Iguana) and marsupials (Marmosa). These observations suggest that the Amazon tree boa has a wide diet of mainly vertebrate prey.

    The Amazon tree boa hunts at night using its infrared sensitivity or during the day using vision. They are typically ambush hunters, settling on a branch with the front of its body hanging in an S-shaped curve of the branch. They can attack prey that are at a surprising distance from them. Prey are often pushed off the tree branch when struck, in which case the snake will pick up the body by coiling on it.

    Threats to the species

    State of conservation ⓘ

    Status Minor Concern ⓘ (UICN)ⓘ

    Threats to the population
    The Amazon tree boa not currently considered threatened, However, continued collection for the pet trade could affect their numbers in the future.

    population number
    According to the IUCN, the Amazon tree boa it is locally common and is widespread throughout its range, but no global population estimate is available. In the news, this species is listed as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List and their number is stable.

    ecological niche
    The Amazon tree boa plays an important role in its ecosystem, as it helps to control the populations of vertebrates on which it feeds.

    The "Amazon tree boa" in captivity

    The Amazon tree boa it is a popular pet with snake fanciers and is a fairly common export in the pet trade. In 2002 some were exported 3.000 of these live snakes from Guiana and 1.902 from Suriname in the same year (CITES 2002).

    The Corallus cookii was once an object of trade. But, this type of tree boa is only native to one island (San Vicente), that has stopped exporting herpetofauna for commercial purposes.

    The terrarium

    terrarium for "Amazon tree boa"

    🐍 Good Amazonian Tree (Corallus hortulanus) - The multicolored boa 🐍

    In general, these snakes do well in captivity and are easy to care for in a terrarium. Adult animals need a terrarium of at least 60 x 45 x 60 cm per animal. Large specimens should be housed in a more spacious enclosure.


    Provide adequate shelter, especially in the upper part of the terrarium. Use lots of horizontal branches and hang plants between them where animals can hide. You can also use hollow cork logs for them to climb and hide. Animals will almost never spend time on the ground, but a good soil captures residues and facilitates the maintenance of higher humidity. Think, for example, in a coco peat soil mixed with bark and leaves and/or moss.

    Temperature and humidity

    Young animals need high humidity throughout the year, while adults naturally have a drier period from August to October. High humidity is especially necessary for younger animals to ensure they shed properly. If this species is kept too dry, it usually sheds its skin in parts and it is not uncommon for remains of the old molt to remain attached to the tail. If these debris go unnoticed the circulation at the tip of the tail can be cut off and it could die and fall off..

    The average temperature should be 25C on the cool side and 27C / 29C on the warmer side. Of course, they are not basking animals and to thermoregulate they move between warmer and cooler sections in the forest or garden. in the terrarium, this usually means that the temperatures in the highest section of the terrarium are higher than those in the lower parts. So, make sure there are plenty of places to climb and hide in all areas and sections of the terrarium. Heating can be done with a solar point (ceramic) or a thermal panel against the roof of the terrarium. Make sure that you Amazon tree boa cannot come into contact with the lamp or can curl around it, as this can cause a burn.

    Yes, you Amazon tree boa it's a lot on the ground, this may be due to health problems, to excessive temperatures in the upper part or to the lack of hiding places in the upper layers of the terrarium. Note that also pregnant females usually lie on the ground before giving birth..


    The Amazon tree boa lends itself well to a bioactive setup. In this case, it is best to use an LED or fluorescent tube to illuminate the enclosure. illuminate from 11 to 13 hours a day.


    The Amazon tree boa it is very easy to feed, if it moves and is hot it will be prey. Young animals can be fed pinkies which are replaced by fuzzys as they grow. When they reach 12 months of age usually feed on prey such as the jumping mouse. Adult animals feed well on a diet of adult mice and chicks.. Make sure the dam is not too big, since they are very thin snakes. Hatchlings and juveniles can be fed once a week, While the (sub)adults can feed on one prey every 14 days.

    Buy one "Amazon tree boa"

    The price of a "Amazon tree boa" at the exotic animal market, ranges between 300 – 600 EUR.

    Videos "Amazon tree boa"

    Corallus hortulanus (Amazon tree boa)

    Amazon Tree Boa (Corallus hortulanus)

    Alternative names:

    1. Amazon tree boa, Macabrel, Cook’s tree boa, common tree boa, Garden tree boa (English).
    2. Boa d’Amazonie, Boa de cook (French).
    3. Hundskopfboa, Gartenboa (German).
    4. Suaçubóia, cobra-de-veado (Portuguese).
    5. "Boa arborícola amazónica", Cascabel dormillon, Boa arborícola (español).