Here at Wight Vipers, we keep many species of reptile and amphibian, ranging from large Australian Pythons to tiny, colourful, Amazonian Dartfrogs, some the size of a fingernail! All of these animals are kept in their own individual, purpose made habitats where we try as closely as possible to mimic their natural environmental needs.
The colourful Panther Chameleon (Furcifer pardalis) is a large Madagascan Chameleon which inhabits a variety of habitats including forest edge regrowth. This adaptability to human interference has enabled it to thrive where many species have perished. They feed on large insects and even small rodents, catching them with their incredible shooting tongue!
The Woma (Aspidites ramsayi) is a medium sized python from arid regions of central and south eastern Australia. They differ from most other pythons by the lack of heat sensing pits in their jaw. They hunt in burrows for rodents and lizards where due to the space restrictions, they don’t coil around their prey, they crush it against the walls of the burrows.
Unlike many reptiles, pythons actually care for and help to incubate their eggs. Once they have laid the clutch they coil around them and periodically shiver. This helps maintain the temperature of the eggs at 32.5c. During this incubation period they do not eat, only coming off for short periods to drink!
Poison Dartfrogs are well known for their ability to secrete toxins from their skin. Their bright colours warn potential predators they are poisonous and steer clear. Because of this, dartfrogs are very bold and active during the day when they feed on small ants, termites and mites. It is by eating these animals, which are poisonous themselves, that dartfrogs obtain the toxins to protect themselves.