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Saturday, November 1, 2008

Getting my License and first Reptile

In this blog I’m just going to run down how I got my license and decided on the first reptile I wanted.

Around the beginning of 2006, I was looking for a different animal, I was getting sick of fish, and hermit crabs, birds, rabbits, all of that, as my parents didn’t let me get a dog I had to look for something else.

I have always thought lizards were pretty cool looking and thought it would be fun to get one. So I applied to get my Class one Reptile Keepers License. It only cost me around $60, and it is valid for 2 years, I received it on the 20th of June, 2006. Then came the hard part, picking which reptile to keep first.

I had found a contact of a man who breeds both blue tongue skinks, and Bearded dragons. So then I started searching online for information on both lizards. What they require, how long they live for, what they eat and what their temperament was like. I made a bit of a graph of the good points of both of the animals.

Bearded dragon:

1. They have great colours, they can come in black, grey, orange, yellow, lavender, white. These are all called “Phases” The most favored colours tend to be orange and yellow phases.

2. They can get some fairly decent size, around 50-60 cm

3. They have superb temperament, if you have handled it every now and then since it was a hatchling, then it will not bite, or run away too much. I have never heard of people getting bitten by their bearded dragons.

4. There is a wide range of different foods that they can eat, They can eat most vegetables and most insects, making them easy to feed.

5. They are known to have “personalities” Just like dogs and humans.

6. If you ever plan to breed, these guys are known to have multiple clutches, they can produce 120 eggs a season!

7.They are different looking, weird to touch, and awesome looking animals.

Blue tongue Lizard:

1. These guys don’t have much colour or patterning.

2. They are slower animals, making them a little better to handle then beardies.

3. They get to be around the same size as a bearded dragon.

4. Also has good temprement, I have heard of these biting.

5. They can eat a bigger variety of food, one of the best bits is that you can feed them dog food if your out of insects.

6. Not too much personality.

7. Breeding isn’t as efficient. They have live babies, instead of eggs, they have around 6 babies per clutch.

8. Pretty plain looking, little boring.

After looking at this, and the different housing requirements, I decided to go with the bearded dragon, as I thought it looks a lot better, and is more active.

NSW has certain laws that prevent petshops from selling reptiles in their shops. Other states, such as Queensland and Victoria, do not have these laws, but this makes it more difficult to buy them in NSW. As I was just entering this world of reptiles I had not made many other reptile contacts and ended up having to travel 2 hours to pick up my baby bearded dragon.

When I arrived at the guys house, he had one enclosure which had a “trio” (2 female and 1 male) of adult bearded dragons, the parents of the babies. In the enclosure next to that was 30 tiny bearded dragons, around 12-15 cm’s in length. I picked up the one I wanted (will go into more detail in further blogs) and went home, with him in a Chinese container.

Here he is, at only 3 months old.



First time herper said...

Ah cool, thanks for listing the facts about both of them! I was wondering what a good first reptile would be as well!

Anonymous said...

Also note that different types of reptile can be kept on the different classes of license ie most basic pythons are on a Class 1Licence but most colubrids are on Class 2 and highly venemous snakes are in a class of their own.

Various types of lizards are on different licences as well ie Centralian Blue tongues are Class 2 which means you need to have kept a class 1 lizard for 2 years before you can have a Class 2.