In Australia, it is illegal to keep exotic (non-Australian) reptiles in captivity. To keep a reptile one is required to get a license of the state or territory wildlife authority. Reptiles may not be removed from the wild – even the back garden. They must be obtained from another keeper.
Most common reptile pets are pythons, dragons, skinks and turtles. Other reptiles such as geckos, legless lizards, monitors, crocodiles and venomous snakes require more knowledge and experience.
The most popular Australian reptiles include the Blue-tongue Lizard, Central Bearded Dragon and Stimson or Diamond Pythons. Turtles are also popular but they are time consuming.
Having a reptile as a pet is a long term commitment with turtles living more than 30 years, pythons over 15 years and lizards for 20 years. Although the cost of some reptiles may not be expensive, their initial setup cost could be as high as $700.
As reptiles do not eat as much as birds and mammals they are relatively cheaper to feed than conventional pets. However, feeding your reptile should be considered prior to purchase – are you ok with feeding live crickets to a lizard or thawing out frozen mice or rats to feed a snake?
You will also need to ascertain whether or not your local Veterinary Clinic has a reptile Veterinarian in the event your pet requires treatment.
It is illegal to keep a snake in New Zealand.
Do your research and gain some knowledge of the requirements that reptile ownership demands – enthusiasm for it may soon wear off!
For more information:
|Albino Darwin Carpet Python||Albino snakes are best viewed in natural sunlight as they lose a lot of their colour in digital imagery.|
|Banded Pygmy Python||These fellows appear to be confined to the Mount Carbine to Mossman area or Far North Queensland. They are attractive and grow to a maximum length of 50-60cm. They also have stunning blue eyes and are suitable for a beginner.|
|Black Headed Python||The Black-headed Python from Queensland can grow to be huge with the Western Australian ones being much smaller although can grow to over 2m. They are probably not an ideal choice as a first snake.|
|Centralian Carpet Python||One of the larger species in the carpet python family, they can grow to 2.5m. They are well-mannered, easy to keep and suitable for a beginner.|
|Children’s Python||These relatively small pythons are named after the naturalist J.G. Children and not because they are particularly suitable for children, but it does just so happen that they are! They come in variable colour and pattern. They are generally relaxed around people, can be fussy eaters and can be great company.|
|Coastal Carpet Python||The Coastal Carpet can often grow to over 3m. They generally have fairly nice temperaments and don’t often bite. They come in a large variety of colours and patterns.|
|Darwin Carpet Python||The Darwin Carpet Python can vary in colour. They don’t require any special treatment for their care and are suitable for the beginner.|
|Diamond Carpet Python||A beautiful snake! They are generally docile and do well in captivity. They are suitable for a beginner.|
|Green Tree Python||The Green Tree Python is shy and is not recommended for the novice snake keeper. They are best kept for looking at rather than touching. Although prominently green they may also be blue or yellow.|
|Jungle Carpet Python||The Jungle Carpet Python has a most striking appearance. They are suitable for a beginner, however, they do start off being a little snappy but calm down with age.|
|Olive Python||This is a large, powerful snake that is not recommended for beginners or children. They often grow to 3m with some as long as 4m. You can expect to pay about $5,000 for a hatchling.|
|Palmerston Jungle Python||A variable species of the Carpet Python. They come in many patterns and colours. They can be feisty and have a bad attitude.|
|Pygmy Python||These are the smallest of all the pythons. They are a very attractive and hardy species that do well in captivity. They are suitable for a beginner.|
|Rough-scaled Python||The Rough-scaled Python is very similar to the Green Tree Python in that they both prefer to spend their time in branches. They are easy to maintain, breed easily but not suitable for a beginner.|
|Spotted Python||The Spotted Python can grow to 1.5m but are usually around 100cm. They rarely cause any problems and don’t mind being handled, however, the adolescents can often be snappy and aggressive. They are suitable for a beginner.|
|Stephens Banded Snake||This snake is great to black with brown or cream crossbands and grows to 1.2 metres. It is potentially dangerous and always ready to bite. It is a largely nocturnal snake and spends most of its time up a tree.|
|Stimson’s Python||These are a very attractive, small robust python is also docile making it a fantastic pet for everyone. They prefer to curl up in a tight warm space. They are suitable for a beginner.|
|Woma Python||Womas are a wonderful snake with personality, strong appetite and are easy to keep. They are suitable for a beginner.|
|Water Python||Although the Water Python doesn’t actually have a pattern, its spectacular iridescent skin in the sunlight feels as smooth as silk. They can grow to over 2m in length and are suitable for a beginner.|
|Bahaman Anole||This is a pet for older children. He is a fast mover and should not be handled frequently and never by the tail as it could break off.|
|Blue Tongued Lizard||The Blue-tongue can grow to 60cm and is a great pet for the beginner. They are a docile lizard and have, as their name suggests, a rather spectacular blue tongue which they will display when they feel threatened.|
|Central Bearded Dragon||A very popular reptile pet. They are really interesting to watch and make a great pet for beginners and children.|
|Chinese Water Dragon||This dragon will live to about 15 years and is suitable for older children. They prefer to live alone.|
|Eyelash Crested Gecko||Suited as a pet for older children, this fellow is a tree dweller and nocturnal.|
|Fancy Leopard Gecko||An ideal pet for the beginner. This gecko will live to 20 years and is docile.|
|Hypo Central Bearded Dragon||Amazing colours and patterns ranging from white to purple and orange.|
|Hypo Leatherback Bearded Dragon||Amazing colours and patterns ranging from white to purple and orange.|
|Hypo Trans Leatherback Bearded Dragon||Translucent bearded dragons are some of the most spectacular bearded dragons. They display a range of vibrant colours: red, yellow, orange, blue and purple.|
|Hypo Translucent Bearded Dragon||Translucent bearded dragons are some of the most spectacular bearded dragons. They display a range of vibrant colours: red, yellow, orange, blue and purple.|
|Leopard Gecko||Another gecko that likes to live alone and is nocturnal. Suitable for children 10 years and up.|
|Long-Tailed Lizard||Another lizard that is suitable for children over 10 years. This lizard requires a warm and humid environment.|
|Pygmy Bearded Dragon||This is a small species of dragon. They are charismatic and fascinating to watch and make a great pet for beginners and children.|
|Smooth Knob Tail Gecko||A desert dweller, these geckos are a really fascinating pet.|
|Thick Tail Gecko or Barking Gecko||These guys are really interesting. They are also called the barking gecko because when threatened they stand up on all four legs and bark.|
|Veiled Chameleon||This is a reptile for the experienced keeper. It lives to about 7 years, is a tree dweller and also solitary.|