Saturday, February 17, 2007

Reptiles pick up pace

Well summer is almost over, and reptiles are starting to prepare for the arrival of winter.

At the end of hibernation, reptiles will be quite active in the spring regaining weight losses, though will slow somewhat over the summer and then pick up the pace in the months before winter to build up fat reserves.

This slowing over summer could be due to the hot weather - they can overheat easily.

This is not a steadfast rule with all reptiles, as Ruby the Coastal Carpet Intergrade would happily point out if she did not have her mouth full.
She has been a guts for food all year round and must be kept on a firm dieting regime to avoid her getting too fat to move.
Seen here swallowing a large rat tail first, not the wisest thing to do, she will sit poised for a feed as soon as she feels the vibration of your approach.
It is recommended that hatchling snakes be kept warm enough to eat over winter- a min temp of around 20 Degrees - dependant on the species, though adult snakes should be allowed to hibernate and no food should be supplied during this time.
Limited heat should be offered, as reptiles will come out occasionally to get a little warmth even during times of hibernation.
Please only purchase food for your reptile that has been dispatched in line with RSPCA guidelines, keeping in mind that live food may cause your reptile harm. Ever seen the teeth on a rat?
All reptiles require a licence from NPWS - It is illegal to keep them without one.
Check out the NPWS link for details.

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