Keeping Reptiles Newsletter
  Issue 7 Vol 5 July 2010
True Reptile Monster Pet – The Gila Monster In this Issue

Gila Monster

Those who fear all reptiles may call them all monsters, but there is one species that actually is a monster; the Gila monster. Gila Monsters are actually have very dangerous venom, but that has not stopped reptile enthusiasts worldwide from acquiring these colorful creatures as their own personal pets. What must never be forgotten with Gila monsters is the fact that although they may be a pet, they are in fact hard to tame and can bite without notice.

An unusual trait with the Gila monsters is that they are active both day and night and their level of activity actually depend on the temperature and the season. In the wild, these reptiles live in the desert and they love to burrow. Therefore, if you plan on having a pet Gila monster you should have a cage that is filled with a mixture of gravel and dry sand so that it simulates the Gila monsters natural habitat and allows it plenty of opportunities for exercise.

As Gila monsters love to burrow, they are perfectly content to sometimes spend a great deal of time on the holes in which they burrow. If you have a pet Gila monster you should attempt to keep the bottom of its burrow moistened at all times to help prevent drying out of the Gila monsters skin from occurring.

Gila monsters like to eat foods that are high in protein and in the wild they will customarily eat eggs, birds, any type of rodent, and other small reptiles. In captivity, they will eat about as much as they are fed, but if you feed them too much they become lethargic. Gila monsters are capable of going for several months without food and while you shouldn't wait that long to feed your pet Gila, you also should avoid feeding them too frequently.

Keep in mind that Gila monsters like to soak in water. If you have a pet Gila monster, you should provide it with a soaking bowl of fresh water once a week and leave it in the cage with your pet until it gets a chance to soak for about an hour.

When properly cared for Gila monsters make wonderful pets. Just remember that they are in fact dangerous and will never be as tame as you might like them to be so you always need to be aware when handling them.


ReptiTemp 500R

  1. True Reptile Monster Pet – The Gila Monster
  2. UV Lights – Essential Equipment for any Pet Reptile
  3. Feature Video
  4. In the News
  5. Get Paid to write an article
  6. Tell Us What You Think
  7. Feedback and Updating

Other Issues

Other Articles & Resources

UV Lights – Essential Equipment for any Pet Reptile

When you go out and get a pet reptile there will be many essential pieces of equipment that you will need to obtain in order to keep your new pet both happy and healthy. Perhaps the most important piece of equipment that you can get will be the proper UV lighting.

Reptiles see light differently than humans do and so a common mistake is to choose lighting for a pet reptile that is more pleasing to the owner and not as pleasing to the pet reptile. This mistake can prove to be detrimental or even deadly to a pet reptile so it is important that a new pet reptile owner acquires the proper lighting in the form of UV lighting.

There are two types of UV lights that you can buy for your aquarium or terrarium and both are essential to the health and well being of your pet reptile. These UV lights are:

  • UVA: Unlike humans, who only have three color receptors, reptiles have four. As well as what people can see reptiles have the ability to look past purple into the next category which is known as Ultraviolet A, or UVA. Without proper UVA lighting, a reptile will not see properly and their diminished sight may mean that they have a hard time seeing other reptiles, detecting motion, and even determining what to eat.
  • UVB: UVB lighting is vital to your pet reptile's health. UVB lighting allows your pet reptile to be able to adequately produce Vitamin D3 which is essential to proper calcium absorption. Without proper UVB lighting your pet reptile will be more prone to illness and disease as their immune system will be negatively affected.

As an important side note, UVB lamps will emit both UVA and UVB rays, but a UVA lamp will not emit the essential UVB rays. You can find a wide variety of these types of lamps at your local pet supply store and the owner should be able to help you determine the perfect UV lamp that will be needed in order to properly take care of your pet reptile.

A detailed article on UV lighting and their effectiveness can be found here. Lamps are conswtantly improving and developing so it is always a good idea to talk to your local herp supplier.


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For use in any pet habitat, glass and other surfaces within habitat ie: heat rocks, gravel, artificial plants etc.  Safe for use on all strong animal/reptile odor sources and stains, can even be used when pet is in it's habitat!

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Enzyme Technology
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Feature Video


Reptile Cage Makeover


If you have a favourite video, let us know and we'll feature it.

In the News

Old age not so good for reptiles either

Reptile Super Show

Airport Trash

Reptiles and younguns

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Get Paid to write an article

Keeping Reptiles will pay you to write and article. Ideally it will be 500-1500 words. These can be care sheets, funny stories, herp hunting trips, hints and tips or anything herp related.

Payment will be based on the number of words and published at editors discretion.

Tell Us What You Think!!

We would love to hear what you think of this (or any other) issue of Keeping Reptiles.

And of course, if you have any suggestions, photos, links, care sheets or whatever for upcoming issues that you'd like to share with us, please send those, too!

These could also include:

  • Great herp web-sites
  • Why you pet reptile is fantastic
  • Funny things that happened
  • Dumb**s things that happened
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Remember - there are lots of people who would love to hear your stories. Just e-mail me at: Reptile-Cage-Plans

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