Ada's Exotics: WARNING: Reptiles & Insects

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Post by Adamaris on Wed 23 Jan 2019, 10:19 pm

So I have been keeping various exotic animals for a long time now and I'm starting a youtube channel about it this year. Also a member of my local herp society and an enthusiast who's excited about creating natural bioactive setups. Here are some pictures and updates on fun projects I am working on through the year.

My Current Exotics:

Silkie Chickens
Ada's Exotics: WARNING: Reptiles & Insects 17991185_1659320514085392_8891125704463095584_n.jpg?_nc_cat=102&_nc_ht=scontent-ort2-2

A chicken species originally from China, their skin and even MEAT is all black. Though they are eaten for their medicinal properties in China the silkie chicken is more than that. They are a small species categorized in the bantam category. Rather than having normal feathers they appear to have fur or fluff. This is due to them lacking the protein in their feathers that hold feather strands together. They have domed skulls which give them a pom on their head and certain breeders even breed their birds with beards. They have toes on their feet which are also covered in fluff. White was the only original color though over generations they have been cross bred to obtain more exotic colors. These are 2 of my silkie roosters, Yuki *pink is not a natural silkie color, it's cool aid dye for Easter* and Sora.

Crested Gecko:
Ada's Exotics: WARNING: Reptiles & Insects 28783223_2023193747698065_5210956329655325322_n.jpg?_nc_cat=106&_nc_ht=scontent-ort2-2

This is Tesla my crested gecko, they are a long lived gecko species from New Caledonia. They are able to grop their tales to avoid predation though unlike some other geckos crested gecko's will never grow their tail back again. Crested gecko's are named so because of the crests along their head and they have even been called eyelash gecko's due to the 'eyelashes' they sport. Despite having 'eyelashes' crested gecko's actually have no eyelids. So how do they keep their eyes moist? Well by licking them of course. Tesla is 8 years old which may surprise you but is still very young for a crested gecko who can live twenty plus years. They are arboreal which means they spend most of their time up in the trees and eat mostly bugs and ripe fruit. Nikola Tesla was a rescue I rehomed after his original owner outgrew him.

Lasius Neoniger:
Ada's Exotics: WARNING: Reptiles & Insects 39918015_2260612913956146_6775674267968208896_n.jpg?_nc_cat=109&_nc_ht=scontent-ort2-2

Five Lasius Neoniger ant queens. I captured them in a parking lot early last fall and set them up in their tubes to hibernate. All queens have been mated and come spring when they wake will start laying eggs and growing their armies. Did you know Lasius Neoniger are one of the many species of ants who have been farming since before humans did? They farm aphids for their secretions called honeydo. The ants will defend their aphid crops from threats and even move them to 'greener pastures' just like a human farmer and as soon as it gets too cold the ants will bring the aphids down into their kingdoms to hibernate with them until spring. Talk about dedicated farmers. Once my chosen colony gets large enough I will be cultivating an aphid farm for them to tend to. For those of you who want to learn more about myrmecology or ant keeping check out Ant's Canada's channel.

Classic Indonesia Blue Tongue Skink:
Ada's Exotics: WARNING: Reptiles & Insects 45126518_2353011668049603_8001839048169619456_n.jpg?_nc_cat=105&_nc_ht=scontent-ort2-2

Blue tongue skinks in the pet trade primarily come from two places, the Australian species and then the Indonesia species. My boy Fawkes is from the later. Like his name suggests he has a blue tongue and is an omnivore just like you or I. He can eat veggies, fruit, bugs, and even eat small animals in the wild. They are highly intelligent reptiles and even capable of recognizing faces and voices. Blue tongue skinks when they feel threatened can huff or hiss, especially more known by the Indonesian species. They can get up to 2 feet in length and for my particular species live in warm humid topical environments. So why do their lizards have such tiny legs? Thats because they are a burrowing species. Despite being diurnal they spend a lot of their life digging tunnels and staying safe underground. Cool fact, blue tongue skinks give live birth to babies rather than lay eggs.

Cuban Tree Frog:
Ada's Exotics: WARNING: Reptiles & Insects 48390207_2420689521281817_800104312201019392_n.jpg?_nc_cat=103&_nc_ht=scontent-ort2-2

The Cuban tree frog is one of the largest species of tree frogs. They come from Cuba as their name suggests though they are now invasive in the US. Bojax Bojangles came to me after hitching a ride on some plants from Florida. Rather than be killed as the greenhouse mandates I was asked to take him. I now use him to teach people about invasive species and how destructive they can be on our native wildlife and how important it is to NEVER release your animals out into the wild. Bojax and his species can eat anything that fits into their mouths including their own kind. You can see why our native tree frogs in Florida are having trouble. Aso because of this Bojax lives alone. He and others of his kind are nocturnal, only coming out at night to hunt or in Bo's case be hand fed.

Not pictured: My thirty gallon fish tank complete with
1 male betta fish *duble tailed plakat marble*
3 albino cory cats
khuli loaches
1 peacock gudgeon
Olive nerit snails
Shrimp.

Ten Gallon:
4 African Dawrf Frogs

One Hundred and Twenty Five Gallon:
4 comet tailed goldfidh. 12 years old this year and 18 inches long.

Exo Terra Terrarium:
3 brown anoles.

My summer plans are creating my animal room and upgrading many enclosures to all natural setups.
Building an outdoor stock tank pond for my lovely goldfish with live plants for them to nibble.
Raising tadpoles outside to frogdom and setting them free in our local pond to help frog populations.
Possibly hatching common snapping turtle eggs. *Our wild female lays them in my horse pasture and every year they all die, but maybe not this year with some help.*

If you want to see some other pictures of my critters and follow their stories check out AnimalsWithAdamaris on Instagram and Twitter.
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Post by MouseLover on Thu 24 Jan 2019, 5:25 am

Thanks for sharing Smile I've never kept reptiles or amphibians but I'm an animal lover and nature nerd in general so I love seeing other people's exotic pets and learning about them. Those silkie chickens are the most ridiculous thing I've ever seen, I love them. They're like part chicken, part Pomeranian.

I love that you're helping your local frog populations! I've recently been looking into wildlife gardens and all the things you can do even in a small garden to help local wildlife. It's really cool Smile

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Post by Adamaris on Thu 24 Jan 2019, 8:30 am

I would say my passion is reptiles and amphibians. I have had them almost my whole life now. I try to do what I can for native conservation including going out herping and taking down notes on local reptile's and amphibians that can be useful to conservation efforts. I also try to teach people the importance of not taking wild animals out of their habitats to make as your pets. If someone wants a pet salamander or frog especially or turtle there are plenty of captive bred animals you can buy. I have friends who breed those animals and I use to breed salamanders. They aren't hard to find in the pet trade so not worth hurting wild populations over it.
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Post by MerciToujoursMaPetiteBoop on Thu 24 Jan 2019, 7:38 pm

My winter menagerie is not very exciting to watch ...

There was a grass spider that built her web on a hosta leaf, and she was taking full brunt of a series of October storms.  Every few days, her web was shredded.  Seeing she was likely unable to collect food in that situation, I began placing tiny clumps of moistened bloodworms (fish food) at the entrance to her tunnel.  Then one cold morning I found her on a neighboring hosta leaf, with her latest bloodworm clump, too cold to move.  So I brought her indoors to warm up, and to complete her life cycle in my "bug hospital".  And I called her "Prettygirl".

Now I am custodian to her egg pillow.  (Just call me "Wilbur"!)  It is in an empty Bonne Maman* lemon curd jar with a nylon knee-high stretched over the opening to allow for air flow while minimizing the chance of dozens of tiny spiderlets escaping all over the place if they hatch.  (* I thought that brand name was very appropriate!)

Two days after Prettygirl completed her life cycle, just as I was about to sign in on my time sheet at work, I noticed a wee inchworm working its way along the edge of some papers in a tall stack on my work surface.  In OCTOBER!  I had not the heart to put it outside, so I began 9½ weeks of flying by the seat of my pants trying to think of ways to provide what the little one needed.

First it ate parts of some of the remaining calendula flowers.  Then one of the cherry trees began trying to bloom, over and over and over, and the little one eagerly ate cherry blossoms -- petals, pollen balls and stalks, and even some of the green bases.  I gave the little inchworm the name "Lalapua", which is Hawaiian for "cherry blossom".  Finally, it ate some of a holiday pannetone -- just the bread part, no orange peel or sultanas.

On Christmas Eve, Lalapua became very restless, uncharacteristically crawling all over the place, constantly in motion, and then finally settled under a little leaf in its "inchworm condo" and began to arrange some silk webbing around itself.  By the middle of the next day, the final skin was shed, and Lalapua had become a pupa.

So now we wait, hope we are keeping appropriate temperature and humidity conditions, and worry about whether or not all those cherry blossoms provided the needed materials to complete the metamorphosis. Not to mention worry about what to do if there is a winter rebirth.

And just about every day I sing it a silly little song I made up for it:

I know you were a beautiful egg;
You were a beautiful inchworm, that's true;
Now you're a beautiful pu-pa;
You'll be a beautiful moth someday too!

Just so it knows I'm still here, you know. Maybe it can smell my afternoon green tea breath.

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Post by River on Thu 24 Jan 2019, 8:02 pm

Sounds like it'd be an interesting YouTube channel! I love the crested. I've never owned a gecko myself, but my sister has a gargoyle -- they're pretty similar I hear. I like all the information you put below the images. Smile

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Post by Peachy on Thu 24 Jan 2019, 9:02 pm

I LOVED seeing all your pets. Many years ago I was soooo close to getting a crested gecko. I fell so in love with one at the shelter. I decided not to because care sounded too complicated, but now that my husband wants some sort of reptile and I've been through 10 years of the mouse phase (complete with multiple oops litters and a half-wild guy) I'd love to revisit. With my dry, itchy eyes, licking eyeballs sound right up my alley! Laughing



Always love your stories, Mercy!! My hamster had a spider friend living in her cage for a few months (think she finally ate him?) and then I had a spider that moved inside for the winter who was living on a furry cactus! The only experience I’ve had (or want) with spider babies is the spider that had babies on her back... thought she was an acorn and tried to pick her out of the dog dish. Scared Rofl2

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Post by Adamaris on Thu 24 Jan 2019, 10:20 pm

@MerciToujoursMaPetiteBoop wrote:My winter menagerie is not very exciting to watch ...

There was a grass spider that built her web on a hosta leaf, and she was taking full brunt of a series of October storms.  Every few days, her web was shredded.  Seeing she was likely unable to collect food in that situation, I began placing tiny clumps of moistened bloodworms (fish food) at the entrance to her tunnel.  Then one cold morning I found her on a neighboring hosta leaf, with her latest bloodworm clump, too cold to move.  So I brought her indoors to warm up, and to complete her life cycle in my "bug hospital".  And I called her "Prettygirl".

Now I am custodian to her egg pillow.  (Just call me "Wilbur"!)  It is in an empty Bonne Maman* lemon curd jar with a nylon knee-high stretched over the opening to allow for air flow while minimizing the chance of dozens of tiny spiderlets escaping all over the place if they hatch.  (* I thought that brand name was very appropriate!)

Two days after Prettygirl completed her life cycle, just as I was about to sign in on my time sheet at work, I noticed a wee inchworm working its way along the edge of some papers in a tall stack on my work surface.  In OCTOBER!  I had not the heart to put it outside, so I began 9½ weeks of flying by the seat of my pants trying to think of ways to provide what the little one needed.

First it ate parts of some of the remaining calendula flowers.  Then one of the cherry trees began trying to bloom, over and over and over, and the little one eagerly ate cherry blossoms -- petals, pollen balls and stalks, and even some of the green bases.  I gave the little inchworm the name "Lalapua", which is Hawaiian for "cherry blossom".  Finally, it ate some of a holiday pannetone -- just the bread part, no orange peel or sultanas.

On Christmas Eve, Lalapua became very restless, uncharacteristically crawling all over the place, constantly in motion, and then finally settled under a little leaf in its "inchworm condo" and began to arrange some silk webbing around itself.  By the middle of the next day, the final skin was shed, and Lalapua had become a pupa.

So now we wait, hope we are keeping appropriate temperature and humidity conditions, and worry about whether or not all those cherry blossoms provided the needed materials to complete the metamorphosis.  Not to mention worry about what to do if there is a winter rebirth.

And just about every day I sing it a silly little song I made up for it:

I know you were a beautiful egg;
You were a beautiful inchworm, that's true;
Now you're a beautiful pu-pa;
You'll be a beautiful moth someday too!

Just so it knows I'm still here, you know.  Maybe it can smell my afternoon green tea breath.

OMG, you sound like my kind of person. I hope the eggs all hatch into wonderful babies and thank you for caring for her darling children. After all spider mothers die for their next generation. I currently have a little spider I found in fall and put inside my gecko's terrarium. He keeps the fruit fly population at bay and feeds on the springtails.

@River: Gargoyle is on my list to get as well, beautiful gecko's along with day gecko's. The care is all pretty much identical so I'll probably wait to have my customized setups down the line where 3 setups are connected to the same lighting and misting system for them. Once I get some good pictures of my hyperactive anoles I'll post about them too. Plus I was holding back because my three Basil, Bazil, and Bailey will be getting a fourth member to the group, a green anole who lost her tail and needs a new home to recover in. Not sure what she will be called yet. I thought of Bayleaf xD

@Peachy cresties are awesome pets though know they can lose their tail at random. Some drop their tails because it's a tuesday or they are stressed you have to do taxes. They don't grow them back but frog butts are still super cute. Then again you get some cresties like mine who won't drop their tail even when it gets caught in the cage door or you friend accidentally steps on it. Tesla has serious vanity issues, he'd rather die than drop his tail. xD It's nice though because it gives me hope someday if he's that brave he can go out and educate people. He just needs to figure out his calming center first so he's not napping on my hand one second and then running to Florida the next.
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Post by MerciToujoursMaPetiteBoop on Mon 28 Jan 2019, 6:40 pm

QUOTE: Always love your stories, Mercy!! My hamster had a spider friend living in her cage for a few months (think she finally ate him?) and then I had a spider that moved inside for the winter who was living on a furry cactus! The only experience I’ve had (or want) with spider babies is the spider that had babies on her back... thought she was an acorn and tried to pick her out of the dog dish. Scared Rofl2

Oh, shucks, THANKS Peachy.  For whatever reason, my existence is just so full of little vignettes about me and the wonderful world of animals -- from the ones I tried to help and failed, and the occasional success stories, to my encounters with horses and pigs and cows and bunnies and goats at various fairgrounds and with wildlife around the places I have worked and run errands, not to mention the adventures with other people's beloved pets (including chickens!), to the mandrill at one zoo that requested me to groom her and the crested capuchin at another zoo who tried to lure me closer and closer by offering me a monkey biscuit through the bars and the female orangutan at still another zoo with whom I was having a non-verbal "conversation" and attracted a crowd circling around us to watch us communicatin'.  It has been a blessed life, and sometimes Pops tells me I'm like Elly May and her critters.  (If you know what that refers to.)

I've been living pretty harmoniously with spiders for a l-o-o-o-o-o-ng time.  One time I went out to a swimming pool at a motel early in the morning after a violent overnight storm, jumped in, and saw that there were black spiders scattered all over the surface of the water -- victims of the wind and rain.  So instead of relaxing in the pool I set myself to rescue as many as I could.  I'd move over close to one, with my shoulders under the water, and then rise up slowly with my shoulder underneath, let it climb on, then move over to the edge of the pool, put the shoulder up against the rim, and let the spider crawl off.

OOPS!  There went another one of my little stories!

And Adamaris --  so far still no hatchlings, either from the spider egg pillow or from the little moth pupa.  They can take all the time they want, all the time they need, but I have to start developing a plan for what to do if stuff happens before spring and warmer weather.  Oh, what hope do I have of that, when only last Saturday I finally mailed all my holiday greeting cards that should have gone out by mid-December?  Happy

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Post by Adamaris on Tue 29 Jan 2019, 11:02 pm

Exciting news, woke up my ant queens from hibernation but no pictures yet. I had to move them all to new chambers so letting them settle and calm down for now. Maybe I'll get some shots of them in a week and if I am lucky I'll have some eggs then too.
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Post by chiroptera on Sun 03 Feb 2019, 5:11 pm

@Adamaris What lovely critters! Love

I've watched some of AntCanada's channel, and I really want to have an ant colony one day!! I'd love to see more from you, please let me know when your channel is live~

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Post by Adamaris on Tue 05 Feb 2019, 10:35 pm

GREAT NEWS EVERYONE

The ant queens have started laying their first eggs. No pictures yet as I don't want to stress the new mama's and cause them to eat their eggs but soon I should have some cute little wigglers and then soon after that have my first worker ants. So proud of my ladies, they are being good mama's and looking after their broad.

Also new member of the family, I have a hornworm named Caterpie. He was originally supposed to be skink food but he is too large and so I decided to feed him and let him turn into a moth.
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Post by Peachy on Wed 06 Feb 2019, 9:28 am

I had that problem when I fed live mealworms to the mice! lol Not that they were too large, but I’d pull them out to eat potatoes and get attached to a couple and let them turn into beetles. Razz

Excited to hear more about these ants. We go to a festival every summer and I drop some popcorn and watch the ants all come out and carry it away. Last year they carried a beetle away too. Don’t upset the ants! Laughing

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