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Supporting Cast

The Emperor Scorpion is native to Africa and is one of the largest scorpions in the world.  These scorpions are commonly kept in classrooms because of their distinct looks, large size and lack of potent venom.  Even though the sting is comparable to a bee sting and is relatively harmless to humans, Scorpio stays in his tank for all programs.  As mentioned in Scorpio’s fun fact, he will actually glow in a greenish-blue fluorescent color under a black light, which we demonstrate during our programs. 

Brazilian rainbow boa snakes are universally considered one of the world’s most beautiful snakes and Hendrix is no exception.  They can grow up to six feet long and under the right conditions can live for over 25 years.  Rainbow boas live in heavily forested areas in close proximity to water because they require extremely high humidity levels to thrive in the wild.  They can be relatively difficult to maintain in captivity as it can be a challenge to recreate their natural habit…but we’re up for the challenge and Hendrix is worth the extra effort!  

Tarantulas are known for their fangs and venomous bite, but they can also kick off (or shoot) the hairs from their abdomen into the face of an approaching predator.  These bristles can lodge in the skin or eyes and can cause severe irritation.  Rosie is fairly docile, though.  She’s never threatened in her terrarium, so displays of aggression are very rare on her part.  And while she’s a very popular attraction, children are never permitted to handle her during our programs for safety reasons.   

The Green Basilisk is also known as the Jesus Lizard due to their ability to scamper across the surface of small bodies of water.  Unfortunately, The Flash doesn’t have a lot of opportunities to display this amazing skill during our programs, but his exotic appearance and friendly disposition are just as interesting to our program attendees.  In the wild, the Green Basilisk spends most of their time searching for insects and feeding on tree leaves and other plant life.  The Green Basilisk can grow to up to two feet long and is one of the Central America’s most distinctive and beautiful lizard species.   

Adult leopard geckos can grow to 12 inches long, which is fairly large compared to other geckos.  Another interesting characteristic of the leopard gecko…they have eyelids, which is rare in other species of geckos.  Leo sheds his skin frequently, sometimes as often as once every month.  But no matter how often he sheds his skin, Leo always maintains his trademark leopard skin pattern. Leopard geckos are quick and nimble, which helps them evade predators in the wild.  Unlike other geckos, their toes have small toenails instead of the adhesive plates that allow other gecko species to climb smooth vertical surfaces. 

Our loggerhead musk turtle is right at home here in Georgia.  Unlike most turtles that spend their days sunning themselves in the warm sunlight, the loggerhead prefers the underwater view from the creek beds and steams of Tennessee, Georgia, Florida and Alabama.  How did Lindgren Turtle get his name?  He was the pet of a good friend that was well acquainted with our interest in amphibians, so we jumped at the chance add him to our collection when our friend offered.  And, of course, we had to give him an appropriate name.  Thanks, Aaron Lindgren…we’re still taking good care of him!  

Found only in a small geographic area of southern New Caledonia near Australia, crested geckos have become popular pets since nearly becoming extinct in the 1990s.  In captivity, crested geckos can live up to 20 years.  Since they don’t have eyelids, crested geckos use their tongue to moisten and remove any foreign debris from their eyes.  In the wild, crested geckos prefer to inhabit the rainforests, spending most of the day sleeping in tree canopies and hunting insects at night. 

All it takes is one glance at our White’s Tree Frogs, Smiley and Sly, and you’ll see where they got their names.  While their skin is dark green, other White’s tree frogs skin color can range from brown to emerald blue.  Known for their permanent smile and timid demeanor, the White’s Tree Frog is a popular pet for frog lovers all over the world.  Also known as the Green Tree Frog, they are fairly easy to maintain in captivity and can live up to 15 or more years in captivity, which is fairly long compared to other species of frogs. 

Last But Not Least

Emperor Scorpion - "Scorpio"

Scientific name:  Pandinus imperator

Where am I from originally?  West Africa

What’s for dinner?  Insects

Fun fact:  Scorpions will glow under a black light

Brazilian Rainbow Boa - "Hendrix"

Scientific name:  Epicrates cenchria

Where am I from originally?  Central and South America

What’s for dinner?  Rats

Fun fact:  Rainbow boas give off an iridescent shine in the sunlight

 

 

 

 

Rose Hair Tarantula - "Rosie"

Scientific name:  Grammostola rosea

Where am I from originally?  Chile, Bolivia and Argentina

What’s for dinner?  Crickets and other insects

Fun fact:  Chilean tarantulas can fast for months at a time

 

 

 

 

Name:  The Flash

Scientific name:  Basiliscus plumifrons

Where am I from originally?  Central America

What’s for dinner?  Insects

Fun fact:  The green basilisk can run short distances across the water

 

 

 

 

Loggerhead Musk Turtle - "Lindgren Turtle"                                   Scientific name:  Sternotherus minor

Where am I from originally?  Southeastern United States

What’s for dinner?  Goldfish and dried feeder pellets

Fun fact:  The loggerhead musk turtle lives most of its life submerged in freshwater creeks and streams

 

 

 

 

 

Leopard Gecko - "Leo"                                                                           Scientific name:  Eublepharis macularius

Where am I from originally?  Pakistan and India

What’s for dinner?  Insects

Fun fact:  Leopard geckos have 100 teeth

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crested Geckos - "Noobie" & "Nub"          

Scientific name:  Correlophus ciliatus

Where am I from originally?  South New Caledonia

What’s for dinner?  Crickets

Fun fact:  We named one of the geckos “Nub” because he doesn’t have a tail

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Name:  "Smiley" & "Sly"

Scientific name:  Litoria caerulea

Where am I from originally?  Australia and New Guinea               

What’s for dinner?  Crickets

Fun fact:  The skin secretions of the White’s tree frog have antibacterial properties