Phasmid Study Group

Today I am on my way to London, to the Natural History Museum for the Annual General Meeting of the Phasmid Study Group. They are a group of people who are dedicated to the study of Phasmids – Stick and Leaf Insects. This meeting is a good opportunity to meet new people, find out some more information about Phasmids (I am always hungry for more knowledge – you can never learn or research too much!) and get some new livestock. There is a species exchange which takes place at the…

The Importance of Socialising Skunks

When we got our first Skunk, Rogue, she was 6 months old and had come from a supplier rather than a breeder. She had been raised in an outdoor pen. She had no human interaction for this time, so by the time we got her via a friend’s exotic pet shop, she was a fairly scared little girl. On the day we got her home, we put her down on the sofa, and Jasper (one of our Springer Spaniels) promptly jumped up to see who this new friend was! (he…

Sexing Snakes

Please note, this is not a tutorial on how to sex snakes. This is not a skill you can learn from reading it, it really should be shown to you in person so you can get the feel of it. Reading does not give you the feel for it, nor describe exactly how much pressure to use. This is simply an explanation of the various methods we use to sex snakes here at Mason Exotics. Male snakes have what it called a Hemipenes. So called because they have two! They…

Feeding Snakes

The frequency of feeding your snake depends entirely on the species, age, size and the results you wish to achieve. Some species, like the Western Hognose have a higher metabolism so will feed twice weekly as they grow. These are a species that should be fed smaller amounts more often, rather than a bigger food item less often. Most snakes, however would be happy with regular weekly feeds. A hatchling snake (Royal Python or Corn Snake for example), once it is feeding, will take twice weekly feeds, and will grow…

Feeding Skunks

Skunks have not long been kept in captivity in England, so there is limited information available on their care. I have worked with our Skunk Feeding Expert (Alice the Skunk!) to test out different foods and to work on getting a balanced diet right for her. The basic balance of food types that a skunk needs are 75% Vegetables, 5% fruit, 10% dairy and 10% protein. You can also buy skunk vitamins and minerals which can ensure that they get everything they need, however with a good, balanced diet, it…

Housing Royal Pythons – Really Useful Boxes

Royal Pythons are found in the wild in Western Africa, specifically in the regions of Ghana, Benin and Togo. The weather is hot and tropical, and they mostly live hidden away in rodent burrows, coming out only when hungry and in search of a mate. They are Agoraphobic, which means they are afraid of wide open spaces. If you put a Royal Python in to a large vivarium, that does not have enough cover, they will become stressed out, and anorexic. This can lead to the death of the snake…

Feeding Snakes – Food Sizes

We breed our own food here as we believe it to be higher quality than mass produced frozen rats and mice bought from a shop. It also works out a lot cheaper for us! We realise this is not practical for everyone, so we try and label our feeding cards with the size closest to shop bought sizes as possible. We also use a mixture of fresh food and defrosted to ensure they are not fussy feeders when they leave us! Most snakes are fed approximately once a week. When…

Feeding Stick Insects

Stick Insects are extremely easy to feed. And very cheap! The majority of stick insects will feed on plants readily available nearby. If the food is not available near you, you should reconsider keeping them, however if you go for a walk in your local park, and down your street, you are almost guaranteed to find food for one or more species. Food should not be collected from the side of the road. Roadside verges are often sprayed with pesticides, which are designed to kill insects. This would of course…

Axolotl Care Sheet

About Axolotls (Ax-o-lot-ul) Axolotls come from the Ice Fed lakes of Mexico, specifically┬áLake Chalco. It was native to two lakes ~ Lake Xochimilco also, but sadly only remnants of Lake Xochimilco remain. They are the larval form of the Mexican Mole Salamander, however they never (in their natural environment) perform the metamorphosis in to Salamanders, living their entire lives, throughout sexuality, breeding and adulthood in their larval form. This is known as Neoteny. They can occasionally morph in to salamanders, but this is not something that should be encouraged, as…