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More Information on Our Reptiles

At Petland Iowa City, Iowa, we cater to the experienced hobbyist right down to the entry level Reptile owner. We have Reptiles, Amphibians, and associated animals like Scorpions, Tarantulas, and Venus Flytraps in our inventory.  Some are easy to handle, have moderate care requirements, and whose housing needs will not overwhelm the average Pet Owner, to the high maintenance specialties for the experienced enthusiast.

Visit the store to see what we have in stock today!  Can’t find what you are looking for?  Petland works with professional reptile breeders and we have to ability to fulfill special order requests.

Scientific Name: Python regius
Native to: West Africa
Maximum Length: 3-5 feet; up to 6 feet
Life Span: 15-20 years

Because of their small size, docile nature, and varying colors and patterns, Ball Pythons are one of the most popular pet snakes. Ball Pythons are named for their habit of curling up in a tight ball with their head in the center when they are nervous. These snakes are very active at night and will sleep and hide a lot during the day.

Care Tips
Enclosure: Baby Ball Pythons can be housed in a 20-gallon terrarium. As they get older, a bigger terrarium will be needed. Make sure the terrarium is big enough for the python to exercise. Provide plenty of ventilation and a secure hiding place. Pythons love to climb and are great escape artists.

Substrate: Most Ball Python keepers use aspen shavings, Sani-chips or reptile carpet as a substrate. Do not use cedar shavings or bark chips. They are toxic to reptiles.

Habitat: Provide a hiding area that is big enough for your python to fit snugly into. Provide sturdy branches for climbing.

Temperature and Lighting: Temperatures in a Ball Python enclosure should be up to 95° F on the warm end and the cool end should be around 78° F. An under tank heater can be used as the primary heat source. Ball Pythons need 8-12 hours of light a day. Do not leave white light on during the night. Instead, use a red light.

Food and Water: It might take your new Ball Python a little bit of time to adjust to its new surroundings. Avoid handling your Ball Python until it has eaten on its own a couple of times. In the beginning some Ball Pythons can be stubborn eaters. It is best if you feed your Ball Python at night. Baby Ball Pythons eat fuzzy mice once a week. You can increase the size of the food as the snake grows. Adult snakes should be fed every two weeks. Frozen/thawed foods are the best to feed your python. If you do feed it live food be careful as live food might fight back and bite or injure your python. Provide a bowl of chlorine-free water large enough for the python to soak in. Empty, clean, and refill the dish when it is dirty.

Scientific Name: Rhacodactylus cilatus
Native to: New Caledonia
Maximum Length: 7-9 inches
Life Span: 10-15 years

Our Crested Geckos are captive bred here in the USA. Crested Geckos make very good pets because they are extremely hardy, easy to keep and handle, and come in many different beautiful colors and patterns. They are nocturnal and will spend most of the day sleeping. Once awake in the evening they are very entertaining. They are great jumpers and can tolerate limited gentle handling. Be careful of their tails. If they have a fall or are very stressed, their tails will drop off. If a tail gets broken or detached, these geckos will not regenerate a new tail. The Crested Gecko will look a bit odd, but it will be okay.

Care Tips
Enclosure: Young Crested Geckos can be kept in a small 1-2 gallon cage until they are about 5 inches. Large enclosures should actually be avoided for geckos less than 5 inches because the small gecko will have trouble finding their food. A single adult can be housed in a 20-gallon terrarium, or in a screen cage 1 ft long X 1 ft deep X 2 ft high. Choose a cage that is tall so the gecko will have room to climb. If you have more than one Crested Gecko, do not house males together because they will fight. Juveniles should be kept in groups of animals the same size because larger ones will usually bully the smaller ones.

Substrate: You can use cypress mulch, aspen shavings, dampened sphagnum moss, potting soil with no chemicals or perlite, unbleached paper towels, and pelleted paper.

Habitat: Crested Geckos love to climb so provide branches and shelter for hiding. Live non-toxic plants can be used. Mist every evening to maintain a humidity level above 50%.

Temperature and Lighting: Temperature during the day should be kept around 75-82° F and never above 85° F. Night temperature should be between 68-72° F. Radiant heat is recommended, and you can provide low wattage heat lamp if needed. Crested Geckos need 10-12 hours of fluorescent light to provide a day/night cycle. Because they are nocturnal, they do not require any special UV lighting.

Food and Water: Provide fresh de-chlorinated or spring water daily. Feed your Crested Gecko a variety of insects including crickets, mealworms, waxworms, and fruit (peach, banana, mango, etc.) baby food 2-3 times weekly. There is also a commercial Crested Gecko food available that many gecko keepers use. Feed your Crested Gecko every night and remove uneaten food in the morning.

Scientific Name: Pogona Vitticeps
Native to: Australia
Maximum Length: 15-24 inches
Life Span: 8-10 years

Our Bearded Dragons are captive bred in the USA and are very docile and make great pets. Their name comes from the spiny scaled area that covers their throat. The male will “puff” up this “beard” as a sign of dominance and defense. Bearded Dragons will spend part of the day resting in hiding spots. Males should be housed separately because they are very territorial and will fight with each other.

Care Tips
Enclosure: Use a 20-gallon long terrarium for juvenile Bearded Dragons. As the dragons grow, increase the size of the enclosure. Adults need plenty of room to be active. It is recommended that each adult has an area of at least 1.5-2 feet for moving around. Males should never be housed together. Males tend to fight, especially in confined spaces.

Substrate: Use a carpet or sand substrate for Bearded Dragons. Clean sand every few days by using a cat scooper. Change sand completely every three months or more if needed. Clean the carpet weekly. Be sure to feed your dragons on a plate or outside the enclosure to make sure they don’t eat sand when they are feeding.

Habitat: At one end of tank, use a basking light. The other end should be kept as a cooler area. Use branches and potted non-toxic plants or a hide box in the tank. A rock or log, resting firmly on the bottom of the terrarium, is ideal for the basking area.

Temperature and Lighting: Bearded Dragons are from a hot and dry environment in Australia. The temperatures in their enclosure during the day should be keep around 90 – 95° F with a basking area of 100 – 110° F. Night temperature can be as low as 85 – 90° F. Bearded Dragons need 10-12 hours of light per day. Use a heat lamp and UVB-emitting bulbs during the day and a low wattage red bulb for night.

Food and Water: Bearded Dragons are omnivores and eat both live food and finely shredded fruits and vegetables. Bearded Dragons eat crickets, mealworms, small roaches, and wax worms. Make sure you dust the crickets with a calcium supplement daily and vitamins twice a week. Babies should get 1-2 week-old crickets, medium sized dragons should get 2-3 week-old crickets, and large dragons should get 4-5 week-old crickets. As a treat you can feed your Bearded Dragon an occasional pink mouse. Feed your Bearded Dragon every day. Feed your Bearded Dragon a mixture of shredded fruits and vegetables once a day on a plate or a shallow dish. These bite-sized vegetables should consist of red leaf and green leaf lettuce, romaine lettuce, kale, mustard and collard greens, green beans, squash, carrots, banana, apple, grapes, and melons. Provide a bowl of fresh non-chlorinated or spring water for drinking. Bearded Dragons are desert animals and will not always drink from a water bowl, so misting their fruits and veggies with fresh, non-chlorinated water is the best way to make sure they get enough water.

Scientific Name: Eublepharis macularius
Native to: Pakistan, Northern India, Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan
Maximum Length: 7-9 inches
Life Span: 15-18 years

Our Leopard Geckos are captive bred in the USA and they are one of the most popular reptile pets because they are calm, very hardy, and come in a wide variety of morphs. Unlike some other geckos, Leopard Geckos are able to open and close their eyes. Leopard Geckos are active during dusk and dawn hours. Adults become very docile and are easy to breed. Leopard Geckos do shed their skin and their tails are fragile so be careful when you hold them. If there is an accident and the gecko “drops” its tail, it will grow back.

Care Tips
Enclosure: A 10-gallon terrarium with a screen top is recommended for one Leopard Gecko. When housing two or more together, a 20-gallon long terrarium is needed. The ideal group is all females or one male and one or two females. Males should be housed separately.

Substrate: Use a 1/2 play sand and 1/2 coconut fiber or potting soil mixture as a substrate.

Habitat: Decorate the Leopard Gecko terrarium with non-toxic plants, branches, logs, cork bark, and caves. Include small hiding places for your gecko. Also include dampened sphagnum moss under the hiding spot to help aid healthy shedding and to keep them hydrated.

Temperature and Lighting: Temperature during the day should be kept around 80-82° F with a warm area of 82-90° F at one end of the enclosure. Night temperature can be as low as 75-82° F. Humidity level should be kept low outside of the hiding spot. Keep the hiding spot around 80° F. We recommend an under tank heater for controlling the cage temperature as these nocturnal geckos do not typically bask under a heat lamp. Leopard Geckos need 10-12 hours of light per day. They are nocturnal, so they do not require UVB lighting.

Food and Water: Provide clean, fresh, chlorine-free or spring water in a shallow bowl that cannot be tipped over. Feed your Leopard Gecko every two to three days. Juvenile Leopard Geckos will eat small crickets and mealworms daily. The juveniles will eat medium-sized crickets, mealworms and wax worms. Adults will eat large crickets, wax worms, mealworms, and pinkie mice. Dust crickets lightly with vitamins and powdered calcium supplement every other feeding. Juvenile Leopard Geckos should be lightly misted twice weekly to help them shed their skin.

Scientific Name: Chameleo calyptratus
Native to: Yemen and southern Saudi Arabia
Maximum Length: 6-12 inches long
Life Span: Up to 5+ years

Veiled Chameleons are one of the most popular chameleon species in the reptile pet world. Veiled Chameleons are able to look in any direction without turning their heads or shifting their body because each eye can swivel nearly 180 degrees. Their eyes can also point in two different directions at the same time. Veiled Chameleons are sensitive animals and are not a pet that tolerates handling well.

Care Tips
Enclosure: Provide a spacious screened enclosure for your Veiled Chameleon. An adult male needs more room to explore and should be housed in a cage that is 36 in long by 36 in wide by 48 in tall. Females and young males can be kept in smaller enclosures. A longer enclosure will allow you to provide a warm end and a cooler end for your animal’s well-being. The more room you provide for your Veiled Chameleon the better. Do not house more than one chameleon together. Chameleons are very territorial and stress easily.
Substrate: No specific substrate is needed but coconut fiber or potting soil with no added chemicals or perlite work well.

Habitat: Provide branches and plants (live or fake) for the Veiled Chameleon to climb on. Create a dense area of non-toxic plants on one side for hiding and on the other side create a more open exposed area of branches for basking.

Temperature and Lighting: Keep the enclosure 100° F on the warmer end and 75° F at the cool end. Use a UVB-emitting bulb and/or a ceramic heater as primary heat source. Provide 10-12 hours of UVB rays and a ceramic heater for a basking area all day and night.

Food and Water: Feed baby Veiled Chameleons once or twice a day and adults every other day. Veiled Chameleons eat a variety of live insects, including crickets, mealworms, and waxworms. Dust the insects with a vitamin and calcium supplement mixture once or twice a week. Also feed your Veiled Chameleon some greenleaf lettuce, redleaf lettuce, or collard greens. They will also eat Pothos ivy and Ficus leaves. Veiled Chameleons prefer to eat insects that are small. It is better to offer them multiple meals of small crickets/small mealworms than to feed them one meal of large insects. They will not usually drink from water bowls, so it is best to mist their enclosure once or twice a day to allow the chameleon to drink moisture off the leaves and branches.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, reptiles make good pets! They don’t take up much room, have little demands, and are cute and entertaining. You are sure to find a pet reptile that is ideal for your family.

There are low-maintenance reptiles available that are suitable for people with small spaces who don’t have room for a lot of equipment, or for people who want to get into the world of reptile ownership but don’t want to get in over their heads.

Reptile diet needs may differ. Live food such as crickets and mealworms are a great source of protein as well as carbohydrates, fats, and fiber. Some reptiles require fresh fruits, vegetables and plant matter to thrive. Fresh food also provides certain vitamins and minerals, as well as a source of moisture. Vitamin/Calcium Supplements ensure your reptile gets proper nutrition in addition to normal diet. Ask our pet counselors for more dietary information.

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