The Aquatic Critter

Captive Bred Vs. Wild Caught

Captive bred animals, while not always the least expensive choice for the initial reptile purchase, are almost always better than wild caught or “farm raised” animals. We carry a large number of species, but always choose the captive bred specimens over wild caught ones when possible. Captive produced reptiles are not only disease free, but are also almost always easier to handle and keep.

Wild caught reptiles have to endure large amounts of stress before they reach the customer. The stress, combined with even a minimal parasite load, produces a heavy mortality rate. Captive breeding bypasses all of the stress and parasites, making them much more suitable for pet purposes.

Leopard geckos, bearded dragons, veiled chameleons, and water dragons are captive bred and born lizards are readily available. Almost all of the snakes we carry are captive bred. Corn snakes, king snakes, red tail boas, and Burmese pythons are just a few.

Ball pythons, available as captive babies, are a good example of the benefits of captive breeding. Wild caught ball pythons are heavily parasitized and extremely prey specific. They sometimes do not adjust to captivity for many months, and are not recommended as pets. Captive bred specimens are preferable because they accept pre-killed rodents readily. All snakes we sell are feeding regularly on pre-killed, frozen and then thawed rodents. There will never be a need to feed a live mouse or rat.

Tarantula buffs, affectionately known as arachnophiles, will actually save money on most species by buying captive bred babies. We’ve just gotten some new exotic species like the Trinidad Chevron, Goliath Birdeaters, Mexican Firelegs, and South American Suntigers. The most rewarding experience in arachnoculture is to rear one of these baby spiderlings to an adult with a 6 to 8 inch legspan and outrageous coloration.

Amphibian lovers shouldn’t feel left out. White treefrogs, horned frogs, and the beloved red-eye treefrog are always on hand.

Captive bred animals are much hardier, but they still require proper husbandry. Verilux full spectrum bulbs and Rep-Cal calcium supplementation are absolutely essential for all basking species. Hagan heatwave pads provide the necessary bottom heat for snake species.

More experienced reptile keepers should not refrain from trying new and interesting wild caught specimens. After all, every established reptile species in captivity originally began as an import. If someone doesn’t strive to establish new captive bred species, then we may lose out on a new and exciting animal. Sad to say, but at the rate many exotic habitats are being lost to clear cutting and burning, many species may only survive as captive bred animals.


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