The key to being a successful exotic animal keeper is to never stop learning about them (from quality resources, that is). This is a curated collection of reptile-related resources, articles, and websites that I personally recommend. Aside from advancing your personal reptile husbandry, you will also become become a better member of the reptile keeping community. Check them out!
10 Basic Rules for Keeping Pet Reptiles — The Exotic Pet Vet Blog
A Primer on Reptiles & Amphibians by Micha R. Petty, Louisiana Exotic Animal Resource Network (affiliate link)
Ethical Reptile Keeping by Olimpia Martinotti, Much Ado About Chameleons
- A Case Against Minimalist Keeping
- A Case for Environmental Enrichment in Reptiles
- A Case for Ethical Breeding
Personal Herpetoculture and Related Reference Library compiled by Melissa Kaplan
Self-Awareness: Not Keeping What You Shouldn’t by Scott Borden
Self Assessment for Choosing the Right Pet Reptile by Dillon Perron, Animals at Home podcast
Ultraviolet Light and Reptiles, Amphibians — Journal of Herpetological Medicine and Surgery
Why Is Feeder Variety Important? by Pete Hawkins
Anatomika Science — Helen Kairo is an anatomist who posts informative videos of postmortem examinations on reptiles that died from illness. Her dissections are one of my favorite sources for learning about reptile health.
Animal Diversity Web — An online database of animal natural history, distribution, classification, and conservation biology from the University of Michigan, and our new favorite research resource! They provide great data on a ton of species, supported by scientific publications.
Arcadia Reptile (Blog) — Arcadia Reptile is the leading manufacturer of top-quality reptile lighting and nutrition worldwide, driven by their unique Theory of Wild Re-Creation. This is a link to their blog, but I also highly recommend reading their published works.
Behavior Education, Studies, and Training — Tips on training and enrichment for snakes by snake training expert Lori Torrini.
Chameleon Academy — The Chameleon Academy is based on the information presented in the award-winning Chameleon Breeder Podcast. It is currently the most up-to-date and comprehensive resource on chameleon care available.
Herp Bytes — Herp Bytes is quite possibly the most informative reptile magazine in the world. Instead of being overloaded with ads and thin content, Herp Bytes focuses on quality content promoting conservation awareness and a higher standard of captive husbandry.
How to Measure Your Snake — An easy-to-use widget that measures your snake based on pictures.
Introduction to Herpetology Blog — Online component of the Primer on Reptiles & Amphibians by Louisiana Exotic Animal Resource Network. Lots of helpful articles on North American reptiles, herping, and conservation.
Legless Army — A Tumblr blog with a “strong focus on the welfare of reptiles in captivity, including enclosure design and how and why keepers should provide species appropriate environmental enrichment. It is important we keep learning and updating standards of care within herptoculture based on scientific evidence so our animals can THRIVE and have a good quality of life. Not just survive.”
Reptile Lighting — Educational Facebook group made by the authors of the UV Guide website.
Reptelligence — A groundbreaking cause that explores the intelligence potential of reptiles through enrichment challenges and training, with both a blog and a Facebook group. This is the next step in reptile husbandry!
Scott Borden on Medium — Scott writes phenomenal, thought-provoking blog posts on social issues within the reptile hobby. If you like ReptiFiles, you’ll love Scott’s work.
The Tortoise Table — Aside from being a great tortoise care resource, this site boasts an enormous database of plants and information about whether they are safe to feed to your reptile. An essential resource for choosing nontoxic plants for planted and bioactive enclosures. Complete with photos for identification!
List of Plants That Can Be Toxic To Reptiles — Quick reference of plants that shouldn’t be used in reptile enclosures, especially for herbivores and omnivores.
United States Association of Reptile Keepers (USARK) — “An education, conservation and advocacy organization for herpetofauna… promoting awareness, responsible care & professional unity.”
United States Herpetoculture Alliance — Discussing the political future of herpetoculture in the United States.
UV Guide — All the information you could possibly want about UV light and how much your reptile needs. A must-read!
UV Tool — Guide to UVB for pet reptiles, includes a chart comparing UVB output of 24 different lamps.
Interesting YouTube Channels
Animals At Home — This podcast is available on YouTube, Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and elsewhere. Dillon interviews a variety of figures in the reptile industry on a wide range of interesting topics, so you’re always learning something new!
Animals Everywhere — This channel specializes in educating people about the ins and outs of keeping venomous reptiles more responsibly, as well as certain other intimidating species like crocodilians.
Celtic Reptile & Amphibian — This channel is a UK-based organization dedicated to native reptile and amphibian conservation and education. They specialize in keeping and breeding native species outdoors, with educational content on European reptiles, how to keep reptiles outdoors successfully, herping, and general reptile topics.
Clint’s Reptiles — Years ago, Clint and his passion for reptiles helped reignite my own passion for them. ReptiFiles wouldn’t exist without him! Now he’s a big YouTube star, with a variety of videos that introduce viewers to reptiles, one species at a time. It’s a great channel for reptile novices and old pros alike.
Dāv Kaufman’s Reptile Adventures — Dāv’s specialty is showcasing reptiles the way they live and thrive in the wild. I’m a big fan of his new series, In The Wild: Are We Keeping Our Reptiles Correctly? There’s nothing quite like observing reptiles in the wild to gauge the quality of your husbandry.
Herp HQ — High-quality general reptile channel with a focus on building better reptile enclosures, including occasional highlights of noteworthy products.
JTB Reptiles — This channel is focused on promoting naturalistic reptile husbandry. Videos are mainly about improving captive reptile husbandry, but also provides educational content related to herpetology, zoology, and high-demand topics such as how to feed a snake and why UVB is important.
Pete Hawkins — Started by the founder of the Reptile Networks on Facebook. Content is focused around bioactive keeping and how to use available technology to improve reptile husbandry. Strong emphasis on how to use Arcadia products.
ReptileMountain.TV — TC Houston is a blue tongue skink breeder, so most of his videos are on the ins and outs of keeping blue tongue skinks. But he also dives into other topics like rosy boas, gila monsters, herping, and hot topics in the hobby.
Reptiles and Research — Science-supported videos on improving reptile welfare in captivity. Offers videos on a variety of topics for a well-rounded reptile education!
Righteous Reptiles — South African channel focused on the realities of keeping venomous snakes responsibly, plus general snake husbandry tips and occasional crocodilian content.
Terrarium Channel — This channel focuses on how to set up beautiful, functional naturalistic terrariums for a variety of reptile species, as well as some venomous and herping content.
The Bio Dude Josh Halter — If you like terrarium building and you’re interesting in going bioactive, this is the channel to follow. Josh has been doing videos for a while, but recently he’s revamped his channel in a great way. We even filmed a few videos together!
Great Facebook Groups
Bioactive Reptile and Amphibian Bioactive Setups — Discussion on all things bioactive. Admins are friendly and make sure things stay civil. A must-join group if you’re thinking about going bio!
Building Reptile Cages — Building your own enclosure is one of the biggest ways you can save money on your pet reptile without reducing their quality of life by reducing enclosure size. This group has helpful blueprints and pro tips on the enclosure building process to help you do it safely.