Skeleton Tarantula

Skeleton Tarantula

ANIMAL:                                Skeleton Tarantula     Ephebopus murinus
Type of Animal: Tarantula
Habitat: Tropical forest
Location(s): N Brazil, French Guiana, & Suriname
Appearance: Black legs w/ yellowish striping, small brown abdomen, coffee or golden upper body, skeleton-like markings on legs, females larger than males, young have metallic green abdomens
Food/Diet: Flies, crickets, roaches, grasshoppers, worms, beetles, moths, insect larvae, small mammals, amphibians
Status in Wild: Stable
Conservation: Breeding from zoos & breeders
Lifestyle: Solitary
Additional Info:
Males: Females: Young: Group:
Called: Male Female Spiderling Solitary
Weight: 2 oz 3 oz Gestation:

 

Life Span:

1.5 months
Height: N/A N/A
Body Length: 1.96 in 2.36 in Males: 3 years

Females: 12-14 years

Tail Length: N/A N/A
Main predators are parasitic wasps, birds, snakes, lizards, & carnivorous/omnivorous mammals.
They tend to stay on forest floor & burrow there.
Males have leg span of 4.5 inches while females have leg span of 6 inches.
Like many tarantulas, they’re mildly venomous.
Males usually only breed once in a lifetime.
They’re rather shy in the wild.
They’re active at night (nocturnal).
Sexually mature at 2 years.
Fun Fact(s): Due to defensive temperament, these tarantulas are more suited for more advanced keepers.
Never disturb tarantulas when molting due to vulnerable state they’re in at this time.
As defense, they’ll brush irritating hairs from palps (structures lateral to jaws & anterior to 1st pair of walking legs- unique since most tarantulas have these hairs on abdomen. If hairs get on skin, it can leave itchy bumps or rash lasting from 2 hours to a week. If hairs breathed in, it feels as if one scrubbed throat w/ sandpaper. If hairs get in eye, eyes become red & puffy, feeling like eyelash/dust speck you can’t get out, w/ some burning sensation & when blinking, inside of eyelid will feel like sandpaper.

Chilean Rose Tarantula

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ANIMAL:                              Chilean Rose Tarantula       Grammostola rosea
Type of Animal: Tarantula
Habitat: Desert, scrub, burrows, semi-desert, scrub forest, open forest, rocky clearings, lower shrub areas in mountains
Location(s): Chile & bordering areas of Bolivia & Argentina
Appearance: Females larger than males, males have longer legs & fuzzier, females stocky & bulky, males more vibrant in color, 3 color morphs all possessing dark gray undercoat: drab dark gray/brown form w/ lighter beige/pinkish hairs, light pink form, & reddish-copper form, subtle rose casting on most specimens, hard exoskeleton, 8 eyes, 8 jointed legs, all appendages except tubular structures on abdomen called spinnerets attached to cephalothorax (head & thorax).
Food/Diet: Grasshoppers, crickets, moths, beetles, roaches, mealworms, beetle larvae, moth larvae, locusts, fruit flies, small lizards, small mammals, earthworms, insect larvae, smaller spiders (females often prey on smaller males)
Status in Wild: Stable
Conservation: Breeding in zoos, pet trade, aquariums, & breeders
Lifestyle: Solitary
Additional Info:
Males: Females: Young: Group:
Called: Male Female Spiderling Solitary
Weight: 2 oz 3 oz Gestation:

 

Life Span:

1.5 months
Height: N/A N/A
Body Length: 2 in 3 in Males: 2-4 years

Females: 12-15 years

Tail Length: N/A N/A
Main predators are other tarantulas (females often prey on smaller males), hunting wasps, snakes, lizards, carnivorous/omnivorous mammals, & birds. Parasitized by nematodes & roundworms.
Males can get up to 4.5 inches in diameter while females can get up to 5.5 inches.
They’re active at night (nocturnal).
Hairs near mouth capable of sensing chemicals giving spider basic sense of smell/taste.
Digestive system can only deal w/ liquid food, so it vomits mixture of digestive enzymes onto food, breaking tissue down into liquid to be sucked up through mouthparts.
Their droppings mostly dry, chalklike uric acid crystals.
Fun Fact(s): Males usually only breed once in lifetime due to short lifespan.
Females lay 80-1,000 eggs in an egg sac, which she protects.
Like all tarantulas, they’re venomous. This species is mildly venomous.
Hairs on abdomen have sharp tips w/ microscopic barbs & they can kick off hair cloud at attacker.
Very likely most common tarantula kept as a pet.
These tarantulas tend to be docile unless roughly handled but some individuals nippy.

Jungle Carpet Python

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ANIMAL:                              Jungle Carpet Python          Morelia cheynei
Type of Animal: Boa/Python
Habitat: Tropical/subtropical forests
Location(s): NE Queensland
Appearance: Females larger than males, yellow ground color w/ black blotches, spots blotchier on adults, different morphs in captivity such as tigers & zebras, hatchlings start drab gray-and-black
Food/Diet: Mammals up to size of puppies, birds, lizards
Status in Wild: Stable
Conservation: Breeding in zoos, wildlife centers, & breeders
Lifestyle: Solitary
Additional Info:
Males: Females: Young: Group:
Called: Male Female Hatchling Solitary
Weight: 3.3 lbs 5.5 lbs Gestation:

 

Life Span:

1.5-2 months
Height: N/A N/A
Body Length: 5 ft 7 ft 2.5 ft 20 years
Tail Length: 1.5 ft Same
Main predators of adults are crocodilians & large eagles. Other birds of prey eat young.
Valued for keeping rodent populations in check but sometimes killed for eating chickens & on rarer occasions, puppies.
They’re semi-arboreal.
Males often stop feeding during breeding season.
Females lay 8-28 eggs per clutch.
Even though not warm-blooded, females can raise body temps by twitching muscles.
Sexually mature at 2.5-3 years.
Females usually nest in tree hollows.
Males use spurs near base of tail during courtship/mating.
Hunted for skins/leather & for preying on chickens.
Like all pythons, they kill prey by constricting & swallowing whole.
Males fight by wrestling each other.
Fun Fact(s): Young snakes rather nippy but adults tend to be fairly docile. Some adults stay aggressive.
These snakes can be good pets for intermediate reptile keepers.
They have a very strong feeding response.
The scientific name, cheynei, named in honor of Cheyne Wellington, who helped classify this snake.

Angolan Python

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ANIMAL:                                    Angolan Python     Python anchietae
Type of Animal: Python/Boa
Habitat: Rocky outcroppings (especially on mountains or brushy plains), riverine bush, areas strewn w/ rocks in brush/grasslands/bush, caves, desert margins, dry rocky areas, crevices, overhangs, ravine bushes,
Location(s): SW Angola & N Namibia
Appearance: Only python w/ bead-like head scales, females larger than males, reddish-brown to brown to almost black ground color, w/ irregular white/cream bands & spots, yellowish belly, some resemblance to the ball/royal python
Food/Diet: Small mammals, birds, lizards, invertebrates
Status in Wild: Stable
Conservation: Breeding from zoos & breeders
Lifestyle: Solitary
Additional Info:
Males: Females: Young: Group:
Called: Male Female Hatchling Solitary
Weight: 3.96 lbs 4.5 lbs 3.5 oz Gestation:

 

Life Span:

2 months
Height: N/A N/A
Body Length: 4.5 ft 5-6 ft 2.5 ft 20-30 years
Tail Length: 2 ft Same
Main predators of adults are rock pythons, lions, wild dogs, hyenas, leopards, large monitors, crocodiles, & honey badgers. Young & juveniles preyed on by birds of prey, snakes, smaller monitors, & carnivorous/omnivorous mammals.
These snakes are rather rare in captivity.
The area where these snakes come from has very little precipitation.
Temps in environment can range from 32 degrees F at night to 122 degrees F during daytime.
These snakes tend to be secretive in the wild.
It is also known as the Angolan Dwarf Python & Anchieta’s Dwarf Python.
Females lay small clutches of 4-5 eggs.
They’re active during the day (diurnal).
Like their close relatives ball pythons, they roll up into a ball if threatened.
They’re the national snake of Namibia.
Sexually mature at 3 years.
Fun Fact(s): These snakes tend to be docile.
The “anchietae” part of scientific name named for Portuguese explorer Jose de Anchieta.
Few people dare risk catching them in wild due to relatively remote/inaccessible habitat, & in Angola, habitat still covered w/ landmines from Angolan Civil War (1975-2002). Also, export not allowed in Namibia.

Trans-Pecos Ratsnake

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ANIMAL:                            Trans-Pecos Ratsnake     Bogertophis subocularis
Type of Animal: Colubrid
Habitat: Desert flats, brushy slopes, rocky outcrops, desert, bush, rock piles, desert fringes, dry basins, desert slopes w/ creosote bush, sotol, lechuguilla, agave, yucca, ocotillo, and/or acacia, mesquite valleys, montane oak-juniper woodland, rocky areas
Location(s): SW Texas, S New Mexico, & NE Mexico in Trans-Pecos region & Chihuahuan Desert
Appearance: Yellow, tan, or yellowish-tan w/ black or dark-brown H-shaped markings, light eyes w/ black pupils, reddish-pinkish tongue, juveniles paler than adults
Food/Diet: Rodents, lizards, bats, birds, smaller snakes (including smaller members of own species)
Status in Wild: Stable
Conservation: Breeding in zoos, wildlife centers, & herpetoculture
Lifestyle: Solitary
Additional Info:
Males: Females: Young: Group:
Called: Male Female Hatchling Solitary
Weight: 8.8 oz 10.5 oz Gestation:

 

Life Span:

2.5-3.5 months
Height: N/A N/A
Body Length: 3.5-4.5 ft 5.5 ft 1.5 ft 15 years
Tail Length: 1 ft Same
Main predators are bobcats, birds of prey, coyotes, corvids, larger snakes, roadrunners, & foxes.
Also called Davis Mountain Rat Snake.
They breed in May & June.
Females lay clutches of 2-11 eggs.
They’re nocturnal (active at night).
While common, they’re not often seen due to nocturnal habits. They’re seen more often in breeding season.
Like all snakes, they lack eyelids.
Sexually mature at 2-3 years.
Young snakes usually hatch from mid-July-mid-September.
These snakes hibernate in cooler winter months.
They tend to be secretive in the wild.
Fun Fact(s): These snakes are often called “subocs.”
These snakes can make great pets, due to their docile temperament.

Nelson’s Milksnake

Nelsons milksnake

ANIMAL:                              Nelson’s Milksnake       Lampropeltis nelsoni
Type of Animal: Colubrid
Habitat: Semi-arid coastal thorn scrub, forests, plains, watercourses, coastal bush areas, rocky slopes, prairie, rocky outcroppings, fields, agricultural areas, barns
Location(s): Mexico from S Guanajuato & C Jalisco to Pacific Coast, as well as NW Michoacan & on Tres Marias Islands
Appearance: Red ground color w/ black outer rings & yellowish-whitish inner rings, black & yellow pattern around head, albino morphs relatively common w/ pinkish-whitish ground color, wide red bands, & smaller yellow-white rings
Food/Diet: Small mammals, birds, lizards, amphibians, other snakes (including members of own species & venomous species), eggs
Status in Wild: Stable
Conservation: Breeding in zoos, wildlife centers, & herpetoculture
Lifestyle: Solitary
Additional Info:
Males: Females: Young: Group:
Called: Male Female Hatchling Solitary
Weight: 0.88 lbs 1.10 lbs Gestation:

 

Life Span:

2 months
Height: N/A N/A
Body Length: 3.3 ft 3.5 ft 1.5 ft 15-20 years
Tail Length: 1 ft Same
Main predators are birds of prey, larger snakes, coatis, skunks, foxes, dogs, felines (wild & domestic), corvids, & raccoons.
Sexually mature at 1.5 years.
They kill prey by constriction.
They’re valuable for keeping populations of rodents & smaller venomous snakes in check.
Females lay 2-20 eggs per clutch.
While mostly docile, they may musk & even bite if agitated. Younger animals more likely to do this.
They breed in May-June.
They vibrate tails when threatened, sounding like rattlesnakes.
Warmer egg temps usually create males while cooler temps create females.
Fun Fact(s): Named for American naturalist Edward W. Nelson.
Called milk snakes due to false belief that they drank milk from cow udders, due to being seen in barns & stables.
They can make good pets, due to docile temperament.

Red Milksnake

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ANIMAL:                                    Red Milksnake         Lampropeltis syspila
Type of Animal: Colubrid
Habitat: Forests, forest edges, open woodlands, prairies, grasslands, areas near streams/rivers, savanna, rocky hillsides, agricultural areas, suburbs, fields, barns, rocky areas, rocky woodland clearings, rocky pastures, meadows, burrows
Location(s): Found from S Indiana through NW Mississippi, W Kentucky, & SE S Dakota through E Oklahoma & Kansas. Isolated population in NW Alabama.
Appearance: Red ground color, dorsal color pattern narrow bands of white, pale gray, cream, or tan bordered by black, alternating w/ red dorsal saddles, white belly w/ black checkered pattern, large red blotch w/ black edge on head
Food/Diet: Small mammals, birds, eggs, lizards, other snakes (including own species & venomous species), young turtles, slugs, insects, earthworms, amphibians, fish
Status in Wild: Stable
Conservation: Breeding in zoos, wildlife centers, & herpetoculture
Lifestyle: Solitary
Additional Info:
Males: Females: Young: Group:
Called: Male Female Hatchling Solitary
Weight: 1 lb 2 lbs Gestation:

 

Life Span:

2 months
Height: N/A N/A
Body Length: 1.75 ft 2.3 ft 8.5 in 15-20 years
Tail Length: 8 in Same
Main predators are larger snakes, snapping turtles, bobcats, foxes, coyotes, birds of prey, corvids, raccoons, skunks, opossums, weasels, badgers, cats, dogs, otters, bears, & bullfrogs.
Sexually mature at 1.5 years.
They kill prey by constriction.
They sometimes musk and/or bite if agitated/cornered but usually nonaggressive.
They’re valuable since they eat rodents & venomous snakes.
Young individuals more jumpy than adults.
They’re usually nocturnal but sometimes come out during the day in cooler weather.
They hibernate in winter, usually in burrows or rocky areas.
Females lay 2-20 eggs per clutch.
Fun Fact(s): They can make good pets.
Called milk snakes due to false belief that they drank milk from cow udders, due to being seen in barns & stables.
These snakes look very similar to highly venomous coral snakes & sometimes killed for this reason. One poem often used-red on yellow kills a fellow (coral snake), red on black friend of Jack (milk snake).