How do I choose my first reptile?

Reptiles are animals that at first impression can be unpleasant for most people but if you pay a little attention to them and start to know them, you will soon discover that they are a group of fascinating animals and not at all bland or cold like most of the people tend to think out of ignorance.

Is it difficult to care for a reptile in captivity?

Reptiles as animals that need a series of basic care and attention to keep them properly at home. There are certain species or groups of reptiles that are more suitable to start due to their simplicity in maintenance and others that are more advanced and that will require more experience on your part and that are therefore not suitable for beginners.

Is it expensive to keep a reptile at home?

Depending on the species maintained and its requirements, it must be borne in mind that the investment does not consist only in buying the animal, which in the first instance can be very cheap. The first thing to keep in mind is that to keep a reptile in captivity you will need certain elements necessary for its accommodation and survival and that without these basic elements you will not be able to keep the reptile healthy for a long time. As a rule, it is not enough to get them an accommodation to keep them as a container, a plastic box or a terrarium, but they require other items that can be vital for their survival and therefore you must take into account that investment and necessary expense before to acquire the animal.

What are the most common reptile species in pet stores?

Not all best-selling species in pet stores match the ideal species for beginners or the easiest or cheapest to maintain.

The most common species of reptiles for sale in stores are:

Florida turtle: They are by far the most common reptile in captivity and the cheapest. Florida turtles are Galapagos or semi-aquatic turtles that include several different species. Newborns of the size between 5-6 cm are sold but you have to take into account that in 3 years they will reach 20-25 cm of a shell, so they will need a large turtle of at least 80 cm. They are very easy to maintain animals as long as they are properly fed and we do not exclusively give them dried prawns or Gammarus.

To get started with them you can start with the Deluxe Turtle Kit

Land Turtle: They are reptiles much more expensive than the Florida turtles and have more requirements and more care. They are relatively easy to maintain depending on the species purchased. The most common and easy to maintain are desert species such as the Russian Tortoise (Testudo horsfieldii), the African Spurred Tortoise (Geochelone sulcata), and the Mediterranean Tortoise (Testudo hermanni). Tropical turtles like the Red-footed Forest Turtle (Geochelone carbonaria) are somewhat more difficult to maintain due to humidity requirements.

To get started with them you can start with the complete Kit for Land Turtles

Green Iguana (Iguana iguana): It is usually the favorite reptile of people who start with reptiles and is one of the most common in stores, but it is not the most suitable reptile to start in the world. On the one hand, we must bear in mind that what is sold in stores are iguana pups with just 6-8 inches in length but they are animals that exceed 2 meters in length as adults and that very few people have enough space to maintain them properly.

To get started with them you can start with the complete Kit for Iguanas

Chameleon: It is another of the reptiles that attract the most attention but it must be taken into account that they are not easy to maintain animals and that they require some experience and special conditions. The species that is normally seen for sale is the Yemen Chameleon or Veiled Chameleon (Chamaeleo calypratus) which is the hardest and easiest to maintain. There are many other species of chameleons, such as the mountain ones that are only for advanced levels. They are reptiles that are very stressed so if you want a reptile to catch it regularly, the chameleon is not your reptile.

To get started with them you can start with the complete Kit for Chameleons

Pogonas or Bearded Dragons: It is a common species to see in stores and it is relatively easy to keep in captivity as long as we have adequate facilities for them. They are very calm reptiles of moderate size and easy to handle.

 

 

Gecko: It is one of the easiest reptiles to maintain and reproduce in captivity and which in turn requires less investment of money in material to maintain them. They are small reptiles (18-24 cm).

 

 

Royal python (Python regius): It is one of the most common snakes in stores and the most popular, but it is not the most suitable snake to start with since they are very shy and sometimes have problems feeding them. They are small snakes that rarely exceed 1-1.20 meters in length. If we do not take into account that some give problems when it comes to eating, they are very easy to maintain animals and they need a smaller investment than other reptiles when starting to maintain them.

To get started with them you can start with the complete Snake Kit

What are the most recommended species to start with reptiles?

Since not all the best-selling species in pet stores coincide with the ideal species to start in the world of reptiles, we are going to recommend the easiest to keep in captivity according to the group to which they belong:
1-Turtles: Turtle of Florida (Pseudemis floridana, Trachemys scripta, Graptemys geographica, etc.), Russian Tortoise, African Spurred Tortoise (Geochelone sulcata), Mediterranean Tortoise (Testudo hermanni), Soft-shelled Tortoise (Trionyx sp.)
2-Snakes: Corn Snake (Pantherophis guttatus), California king snake (Lampropeltis getula californiae) and other species of king snake, False coral (Lamporpeltis triangulum) and garter snake (Thamnophis sirtalis)
3-Chameleons: Yemen chameleon (Chamaeleo calypratus) and Panther chameleon (Furcifer pardalis)
4- Lizards: Bearded Dragon (Pogona vitticeps), Chinese Water Dragon (Physignathus cocincinus), Green(AnoleAnolis carolinensis), Geco leo Brown (Eublepharis macularius), Blue-tongued(SkinkTiliqua scincoides), Fire Skink (Riopa fernandi). Tokay Gecko (Gecko gekco), Madagascar Diruno Gecko (Phelsuma madagascariensis)