In this episode, Myke travels to a rice paddy in Indonesia in search of a Radiated Rat Snake, whose captive bred cousins are a very popular pet in the US. Along the way, another local snake works his way into the spotlight.
Radiated Rat Snakes are hardy animals who do well in captivity, and can adapt to lots of habitats. On average, this type of snake can grow to 4-6 feet long. While this particular snake was found in a rice paddy, they also thrive in forests. Radiated Rat Snakes enjoy feeding on small mammals and smaller reptiles. These snakes are a member of the Colubridae family, which is the largest family of snakes. While most colubrids are non-venomous there are some dangerous exceptions like the African Boomslang.
In search of a Radiated Rat Snake, Myke also runs into a Javan Spitting Cobra. The average size for this cobra is about 4-5 feet long. They can often be found on the jungle floor, or in farmlands like the one Myke is exploring. They eat small mammals and other smaller snakes.
Basking Temperature: 91.2°F (88°F - 95°F Range)
Night Temperature: 79.4°F (75°F - 82°F Range)
Humidity: 83.5% (70 - 90% Range)
While snakes are not as prone to UV related metabolic bone issues as lizards, more recent findings suggest it may still be necessary for many diurnal species.
Basking is important not just for heat but also for UV. UVA and UVB are vital for everything from digestion to calcium absorption. When you buy a UV bulb, be sure to mark the box so you know when it’s time to change it.
In this episode, Myke travels to a river in Java, an island of Indonesia, in search of a water monitor. Water monitors are one of the largest, and arguably most intelligent, lizard species on Earth. The average size for a water monitor is about three to six feet long. The one Myke finds is still young and will grow larger. Water monitors can be found in riverbanks and swamps and feed on fish and semi-aquatic animals.
Water monitors have thick paddle tails which help them move quickly through the water. They are also very good at climbing trees and moving swiftly across land. This makes them a fascinating predator to study.
Water monitors are not a beginner pet because they grow quite large and need a lot of space. In fact, their enclosure requires three microhabitats: water to swim, a large climbing area and an additional space for basking.
During this adventure, Myke also finds a black marsh turtle, a neighbor of the water monitor. These turtles grow to about 7-8 inches and live in marshes and muddy rivers where they feed on invertebrates.
Basking Temperature: 90°F (88°F - 95°F Range)
Night Temperature: 75°F (75°F - 82°F Range)
Humidity: 90% (70 - 90% Range)
A turtle will pollute its own water much faster than most fish species, making it important to have a heavy duty turtle or reptile filter in your enclosure. In addition, cold water can make even the healthiest of reptiles lethargic, so be sure to maintain appropriate aquatic temperatures.
In this episode, Myke traveled to the Borneo rainforest in search of a Borneo Short-Tailed Python, sometimes referred to as a Borneo Blood Python. The average size for this python is 4-6 feet long and they can be found in lowland forests, swamps and floodplains. These snakes are terrestrial, meaning they live predominantly on land. Like other pythons, they feed on small mammals.
While searching, Myke found another important contributor to this ecosystem: the Borneo Giant Millipede. These millipedes and other isopods are the “cleaning crew” of the rainforest and help make it habitable for species like the Borneo Short-Tailed Python.
Basking Temperature: 88.1°F (85°F - 90°F Range)
Night Temperature: 76.8°F (74°F - 78°F Range)
Humidity: 75.4% (65 - 85% Range)
After taking a closer look at the natural substrate surrounding the snake, Myke noted that the ground surface retained a lot moisture without actually being wet to the touch. If you seek to recreate this habitat, use a Zilla Jungle Mix or Zilla Coconut Husk so the moisture and humidity levels can be kept at a healthy level for your snake.
If you have a bio-active enclosure, be sure to seed it with isopods and springtails. These inverts are the base of a healthy substrate ecosystem.
Myke and his team pulled an all-nighter in search of a nocturnal species, the Kuhl’s Flying Gecko. While on the search, Myke found a Tailless Whip Scorpion! These little guys may be freaky looking, but they are actually pretty harmless as they don’t bite or sting.
The team then encountered a White-Lipped Viper, an arboreal snake, about to ambush his prey. These snakes feed on small mammals, prefer heavy brush and orchard biomes, and grow to about 2 - 3 feet long.
Once the Kuhl’s Flying Gecko was found, Myke was able to get a good look at the gecko’s webbed toes, frilled tail and extra skin on his stomach. These physical traits help this little gecko glide from tree to tree!
Like the White-Lipped Viper, the Kuhl’s Flying Gecko is arboreal, which means they live in trees and are not commonly found on the ground.
Ambient Temperature: 82.3°F (78°F - 88°F Range)
Night Temperature: 73.1°F (70°F - 75°F Range)
Humidity: 87.2% (70% - 95% Range)
The gecko’s natural environment is filled with overlapping trees, so it’s important to keep this in mind as you build an enclosure. Always make sure it’s easy for your gecko to jump from one perch to another, and give them plenty to climb on.
Due to the thin nature of this gecko, it’s very important that their terrarium doesn’t get too hot, or they may overheat.
When building an enclosure for a Tailless Whip Scorpion, maintaining the right humidity level is key, because these invertebrates can dry out quickly. In addition, be sure to purchase an enclosure with plenty of vertical space.
In this spooky Halloween special Myke and his team travel to Bogor, a city in West Java, in search of a Tokay Gecko. They choose a city for their search because these geckos, often called cosmopolitan geckos, don’t mind the human disturbance.
During the search, a House Gecko worked his way into the spotlight. These little guys are arboreal and grow to an average size of 2 - 4 inches. They like to live in rotting trees and buildings!
Eventually, their search took them to a graveyard where the team was very careful to be respectful of both the geckos and the dead. Tokays are very talkative, which helped Myke in his search. Tokay Geckos are a nocturnal species that grow to an average size of 9 - 13 inches long and are commonly found in tree trunks. They are both arboreal and terrestrial. These geckos are a very durable and adaptable species, which makes them well suited for captivity.
Ambient Temperature: 88.6°F (82°F - 92°F Range)
Night Temperature: 73.1°F (72°F - 75°F Range)
Humidity: 82.2% (65% - 90% Range)
It’s important to note that it is really humid in this environment, and the House Geckos kept appearing on walls with moss. Like most tropical geckos, House Geckos and Tokay Geckos need tall enclosures with room to climb.
For both of these geckos, substrates that retain and hold humidity are recommended.
This month, Myke and his team start their adventure by discussing herping etiquette. Before you go field herping, always make sure to check local laws and regulations. In addition, make sure you are “flipping” correctly; always have something to flip with, never use your hands and always remember to flip away from yourself. It’s very important that you leave the environment exactly the way you found it. If you can’t put back what you flip exactly how you found it, don’t flip it.
As he was flipping through grounded coconuts, Myke had the pleasure of finding a Malaysian Pit Viper. These snakes are very common in agriculturally disturbed areas and they are ambush predators which can grow 2 to 3 feet long.
During a hike up a mountain in search of a Burmese Python, Myke and his team also find a Malayan Racer. These snakes also go by the name Black Copper Rat Snakes; they are nocturnal and grow to about 4 to 6 feet long. They can be found in forest clearings and edges and feed on small mammals and herpetofauna.
At long last the team finally manage to find a Burmese Python. The average size for one of these snakes is about 12 - 20 feet long, they are terrestrial and prey on large mammals and birds. Burmese Pythons are ornate snakes, which makes them attractive to the leather trade and this has lead to rampant poaching in the wild. Luckily, they are a protected species in Indonesia, which is why Myke does not touch the one he finds.
Basking Temperature: 92.3°F (88°F - 92°F Range)
Night Temperature: 79.8°F (75°F - 80°F Range)
Humidity: 89.1% (70% - 95% Range)
Copper Rats need tree bark and mulch to recreate the natural substrate of their habitat. They are very active predators and the wrong substrate can lead to problems with feeding.
Burmese Pythons are large snakes that live in very humid environments which means they need a lot of water. A large water bowl in your terrarium is a must, as is providing a bedding that can hold moisture.
When a snake this size eats a big meal, it needs a lot of heat to digest its meal, so be sure it has optimal basking temperatures. A Burmese Python is an advanced keeper species, and definitely not a good choice for beginners.
This holiday season, we want to thank the conservationists around the world who dedicate their lives to saving reptiles. So in this episode, Myke and his team headed to the Ciliwung Reptile Center to meet with Nathan, a friend and fellow conservationist, to talk about his work protecting reptiles and educating others in his community.
A part of Nathan’s work in the community is making house calls to safely relocate reptiles that find their way into people’s homes. During Myke’s interview with Nathan, they received a call out to retrieve a snake in someone’s home.
The snake they were sent to retrieve was a Green Rat Snake, who as it turns out, was gravid. Gravid means she is carrying eggs, so the team was extra careful not to stress her out too much. Myke and Nathan safely relocated the expecting mother to a bamboo forest, which is the ideal home for both her and her young.
Green Rat Snakes are a non-venomous rat snake which grow to an average size of 5-6 feet long. They are a diurnal species, which means they are active during the day and they are very common throughout Southeast Asia.
Basking Temperature: 88.4°F (88°F - 94°F Range)
Night Temperature: 75.6°F (74°F - 82°F Range)
Humidity: 77.1% (60% - 90% Range)
As Myke inspected the ground, he noticed that while the top layer was fairly dry, as he dug down, there was plenty of moisture below. This suggests that as you build the perfect environment for Green Rat Snakes, you should consider doing a layered substrate.
Once Myke released the Green Rat Snake, it went right for the bamboo to seek shelter, so be sure to provide a lot of cover and plenty for the snake to climb on.
To learn more about Nathan and his work protecting reptiles, visit ciliwungheretarium on Facebook, Instagram, and other social media platforms.
In this episode, Myke and his team set out to study the Reticulated Python.
As Myke and his team explored the area, they came across tracks that indicated they were actually on the trail of one of two snakes, either an Enhydris Snake or Homalopsis Snake, both of which are very common in this part of Indonesia. They quickly found a baby Homalopsis, more commonly known as a Puff Faced Water Snake. These fully aquatic snakes belong to the family of Mud Snakes. Unfortunately, there is a lot of pressure on the wild population of this snake because they are heavily hunted for their skin and their meat.
Before long, they stumbled on another fully aquatic snake of the same Mud Snake family, a Rainbow Water Snake. These little guys are fish eaters and grow to an average size of 2.5 feet.
After a little digging, Myke finally found what he was looking for, a Reticulated Python. These pythons are the longest snakes in the world, growing to an average size of 15 to 28 feet long. The tunnel where the snake was found was about 10 feet long, and the it was on the smaller end of the spectrum. If you were to keep a snake like this at home, your habitat space would need to be considerably larger than that of a typical pet snake. The Reticulated Python feeds on large mammals and birds, so you’d also need a generous budget for rabbits and other prey.
Basking Temperature: 90.7°F (88°F - 92°F Range)
Night Temperature: 76.3°F (75°F - 78°F Range)
Humidity: 90.1% (70% - 90% Range)
Temp: 79°- 83°
PH: 7.5 - 8.2
GH: 9 GPG / 150 PPM
Salinity: 0SG / 0PPT - 1.0002SG / 0.2PPT
Concerning the habitat of Puff Faced Water Snake and Rainbow Water Snakes. These snakes require very clean water, even the slightest contamination can lead to bacterial or fungal issues. Both snakes rarely leave the water, but it’s still important to provide these snakes with a suitable area to leave the water and dry off.
Many aquatic snakes have fast metabolisms and should have live food readily available.
Reticulated Pythons are not the ideal pet for most hobbyists and require a lot of space, knowledge and funds to be cared for properly. If you’re up to the challenge, these pythons can be a very rewarding species to care for.
When it comes to large snakes like Reticulated Pythons, heating mats are a great way to provide them with the heat they need. If glass enclosures are used at any point, be sure that the enclosure retain sufficient humidity. Reticulated pythons are primarily terrestrial, and floor space is more important than height.
In this episode, Myke heads out to find an animal as mythological as its name – the Dragon Snake.
As he begins his search in a shallow creek, he quickly comes across two species of frogs. The first is a newly metamorphosized Kuhl’s Creek Frog. At this size, it resembles prey for the Dragon Snake that Myke is searching for. Shortly after, he encounters a Javan Horned Frog. This species is a master at camouflage with its strong resemblance of a leaf. This comes in handy since they are not too nimble with their movements.
As his adventure continues, Myke finds what he was looking for. Hidden away in the rocky edges of the creek, he encounters the very rare Dragon Snake. The three pronounced ridges along its back is just part of what makes these snakes so unique. Dragon Snakes are a bit mysterious and much of their ecology, breeding, and more remain unknown. All in all, this discovery ended up making Myke’s year.
The team had such great success at the creek during the night that they decided to go back to the same spot in the daytime. That is when they came across a Malaysian Blue Coral Snake. They have a bright red underbelly and a blue top, making it a very unique looking snake. Like a Ring-necked Snake, this species curls its tail when it senses danger.
Ambient Temperature: 75.3°F (72°F - 82°F Range)
Humidity Percentage: 95.2% (80% - 95% Range)
Night Temperature: 73.1°F (72°F - 78°F Range)
In terms of captivity, almost nobody has had luck with the Dragon Snake. They are not well understood, so they have only been brought into captivity a few times.
The Javan Horned Frog’s setup in captivity is similar to the Malaysian Horned Frog, which is more commonly kept in the pet trade.
In the latest Beyond the Glass adventure, Myke and his team go on the search for arachnids. While these are not the most cuddliest animals to have as a pet, they sure are fascinating.
Starting out in a field full of ants, Myke uncovers a Vinegaroon, also known as a Whip Tail Scorpion. Though it technically falls under the category of an arachnid, it is not a true scorpion. The vinegaroon does not have a stinger, making it totally harmless. Found in moist, dark areas, these guys love to hide away under fallen logs and brush piles.
The adventure continues through nightfall, with the team utilizing a blacklight to help encounter the unique wildlife. The next exciting find was a juvenile one-of-a-kind Sunbeam Snake. The skin of this snake boasts a prism of color, resulting in a fascinating look. In fact, in Cambodia, they are referred to as “Gasolina,” since their characteristics resemble gasoline on the ground.
It would not be long after that Myke found what he was looking for – the Asian Forest Scorpion. Though this species features a big pair of pinchers, they are typically not the most dangerous scorpion. These guys love to burrow. In the wild, they will come out, grab a little dinner, then go back to bed.
Ambient Temperature: 84.3°F (82°F - 92°F Range)
Humidity Percentage: 85.7% (75% - 90% Range)
Night Temperature: 75.2°F (72°F - 78°F Range)
In the pet trade, scorpions thrive in a moist environment since they tend to be found under debris. When setting up their habitat, make sure to provide a substrate that retains moisture. Be sure to include ample hiding spaces as well.
The Sunbeam Snake can be quite popular at reptile shows or pet stores. They are relatively easy to care for and make great pets due to their docile behavior. Their overly-friendly characteristics also make this snake great for educational purposes.
The latest adventure with Myke and the crew places them out in the thick of the jungle, where they set out on foot for the Vine Snake.
The key to searching for Vine Snakes is movement in the trees. However, the combination of the snake’s camouflage and the strong wind speed forces the team to wait until sundown.
In the meantime, there’d be no shortage of animals. The team would find a Maned Forest Lizard, a Painted Bronzeback Snake, and more. One of the coolest finds of the night was the Long Tailed Grass Lizard. This little guy’s unique looking, long tail really helps it when hanging out on blades of grass.
Eventually, Myke spotted what he was looking for – the Asian Vine Snake. He was able to spot the difference between this species and the other ones the team came across due to the distinct white stripes the snake features.
Ambient Temperature: 85.1° (78°F - 88°F Range)
Humidity Percentage: 80.7% (70 - 95% Range)
Night Temperature: 74.7° (72°F - 78°F Range)
In captivity, Vine Snakes need to have a solid arboreal structure to survive. They won’t be spending much time on the ground and require lots of room for climbing. In the wild, Vine Snakes drink water off of leaves (rain, dew, etc.). This means that to properly care for them, you need to constantly mist the tank.
The season one finale of Beyond the Glass is here! Our final adventure in Indonesia takes Myke and the crew out to find the elusive Mangrove Snake.
The adventure begins with the team embarking out on a boat through a river, searching the overhanging branches for sleeping snakes.
While reptiles were the No. 1 target, the crew spotted an interesting species hanging out among the trees – an orangutan. This animal is critically endangered, with less than 100,000 of them left in the world. Unfortunately, the rain would end the crew’s river quest soon after.
On a tip from a local farmer, the team headed inland into a rubber farm plantation. The first discovery would be a Keeled Slug-Eating Snake. They eat exactly what one might suspect – slugs. One of the main characteristic traits of this species is their large head.
After an unfortunate tumble resulted in camera damage, the crew would have to wrap up their rubber plantation excursion and head to Java to continue the adventure.
That’s where the main target was encountered – the Mangrove Snake. This is a gorgeous animal with its black body and yellow stripes. More and more people are captive breeding this species, as it’s an arboreal colubrid that resembles a lot of arboreal vipers – except less dangerous.
In captivity, the Mangrove Snake requires a lot of room for climbing. Once they have a lot of sticks to maneuver around, they’re easy to please. While an amazing animal, they are rear-fanged and restricted in some cities and states, so make sure to check local regulations before purchasing them.
And with that, season one of Beyond the Glass has concluded. However, season two is on the horizon, this time with Myke and the crew heading out to West Africa. Stay tuned to Zilla for more exciting adventures and reptile/amphibian knowledge.
Ambient Temperature: 89.6° (82°F - 92°F Range)
Humidity Percentage: 82.2% (72 - 97% Range)
Night Temperature: 76.3° (74°F - 80°F Range)
Bornean Orangutan (Pongo Pygmaeus)
Keeled Slug-Eating Snake (Pareas Carinatus)
Mangrove Snake (Boiga Dendrophila Dendrophilia)
Welcome to Season 2 of Zilla’s Beyond the Glass! This season, Myke and the crew venture out to west Africa to explore the habitats of reptiles native to this breathtaking area of the continent.
In the first episode, the team starts out at a quintessential African biome – the savanna. These grasslands provide plenty of basking spots for animals that require loads of sunlight.
Right off the bat, Myke finds the first animal of the season – an Elegant Sand Snake (Psammophis elegans). This species comes in a vast array of colors. An interesting fact about these guys is that they feature a gland on their nose and they rub their bodies down, potentially to retain moisture. When kept in captivity, always offer a basking spot with solid heat and UV. They also require a lot of room, as they love to climb around.
Following their encounter with the Elegant Sand Snake, the team would then travel to the largest voodoo market in west Africa. This featured all the different dried animals used for religious and healing purposes. While the scenes at this market are difficult to see, it showcases the importance of education and conservation in the native habitats of many species and how cultural beliefs create huge obstacles to that progress.
After their trip to the market, Myke and the crew embarked out to find what they were looking for – the Savannah Monitor (Varanus exanthematicus). An exceptionally unique reptile is known for its intelligence and calm demeanor. One defining trait of this species is their dinosaur-like head.
Savannah Monitors’ growth rate is dependent on their food, but a hatchling can easily reach adult size in less than three years, so have a large enclosure prepared!
They have very specific care requirements so make sure to do your research, but they are full or personality, which makes them great pets to keep at home and interact with.
Basking Temperature: 107.6°F
Ambient Temperature: 81.3°F
Elegant Sand Snake (Psammophis elegans)
Savannah Monitor (Varanus exanthematicus)
The second episode of Season 2 of Beyond the Glass is here! In this episode, Myke and the crew venture out to find the gorgeous Emperor Scorpion.
To start off, the team takes an adventure into one of Myke’s favorite biomes – the mountains. The environment of elevation, moisture, and seas of grasslands create a vast field of diversification amongst the wildlife.
Immediately after setting foot in the mountainside, Myke finds the first animal of the night – a Home’s Hinge-Back Tortoise (Kinixys Homeana). Extremely camouflaged, it blends right into the forest scenery and looks like a leaf on the ground. Unlike other more common African tortoises, these guys need moisture in their habitat.
As the jungle switches from day to night, the team makes another friend – a Banded Gecko (Hemidactylus Kyaboboensis). Coming in a radiant golden yellow color, this species is a true arboreal gecko. An interesting fact about these guys is that they are ontogenetic, which means they look different when they are young and change as they mature.
After a grueling climb up the mountain, Myke finally completes his search for the Emperor Scorpion (Pandinus Imperator). Probably the most popular pet scorpion in the entire hobby, these scorpions are large, impressive, and easy to keep. Their preferred biome is layers of rocks/dead trees, and they eat small invertebrates. Always keep scorpions in an area with good airflow. If ventilation is not provided, the chance of mold growth increases.
Basking Temperature: 88.4°F (88-92°F)
Ambient Temperature: 72.6°F (72-78°F)
Humidity: 45.3% (40-60%)
Hinge-Back Tortoise (Kinixys Homeana)
Banded Gecko (Hemidactylus Kyaboboensis)
Emperor Scorpion (Pandinus Imperator)
Tonight, we head into the savanna after dark, where Myke and the team are on the lookout for Fat-Tailed Geckos.
The night begins in one of the most serene environments possible -- a sunset in the savanna. As the temperature drops and sun sets, Fat-Tailed Geckos start to come out. During this time of night, they will be foraging for termites and other insects to feast upon.
The first animal that the team comes across is a Dung Beetle (Scarabaeinae Sp.). Even though these guys are best known from Africa, they can be discovered in the deserts of Arizona, and even parts of Florida. Dung beetles are fecal matter specialists. They will gather the droppings of animals into a ball, which the female then puts its eggs in and buries.
An excited Myke rushes into the darkness after a snake. Thankfully, it’s not the highly venomous Boomslang and is instead a Bush Snake (Philothamnus Irregularis) hiding in a tree. There are several species of Bush Snakes. Some are spotted and some are slightly patterned. Their scales allow them to climb up trees and anything they want, making them the Spider-Man of snakes. If they are going to be kept as pets, they need to reside in an arboreal habitat, such as the Zilla Vertical Tropical Kit. They will also need a basking light.
Shortly after letting the Bush Snake get back to the trees, they finally find what they were looking for – a Fat-Tailed Gecko (Hemitheconyx Caudicinctus). With a chubby tail and dark eyes, this is one fascinating reptile. When this species doesn’t get enough food, they will store it in their tail – similar to how a camel stores fat. These geckos do not need UV light to survive, but do benefit from it. They do need calcium and vitamin supplementation like all reptiles kept in captivity in order to thrive. All in all, the Fat-Tailed Gecko makes a great beginner reptile!
Basking Temperature: 89.6°F (88-92°F)
Ambient Temperature: 78.1°F (76-84°F)
Humidity: 43.8% (40-60%) but also provide a humid hide for concentrated humidity to help with shedding.
Dung Beetle (Scarabaeinae Sp.)
Bush Snake (Philothamnus Irregularis)
Fat-Tailed Gecko (Hemitheconyx Caudicinctus)
In the latest adventure of Beyond the Glass, Myke and the team embark out on an exciting challenge – to find the largest lizard in Africa, the Nile Monitor (Varanus niloticus).
The banks of a creek in Togo is where the search begins. These amazing large monitors spend time in these areas hunting for prey, so they make the perfect habitat to begin our search. However, the Nile Monitor is not the first animal Myke spots. Instead, they come across an African Side-Neck Turtle (Pelomedusa Subrufa), only after Myke slightly damages his microphone in the process.
This species is referred to as the Hinged Side-Neck Turtle, as, like a Box Turtle, it can close its shell. Their personality makes them a fantastic pet to keep. Another benefit of Side-Neck Turtles is their manageable size, in comparison to other turtle species such as the Red-Eared Slider. Side-Necks are also allowed to be kept in all states as a pet!
The hunt then resumes for the Nile Monitor. Eventually, Myke discovers a baby on the trunk of a fallen palm tree, revealing its gorgeous pattern of colors.
Though the one Myke catches is young and small, this species will grow to be an average of 5-7 feet, making it the largest lizard in all of Africa. In the wild, the Nile Monitor has multiple basking levels. Closer to the water, it will be cooler than higher up on the top of the rocks. If this lizard is kept in captivity, it’s encouraged to offer the same amenities it has in the wild, but include an option for the animal to escape the heat altogether.
Multiple hiding spots are necessary, as it prevents them from becoming stressed. Climbing areas are also a must, as this species enjoys being active. Lastly, clean water is needed, as its one of the biggest appreciations that the Nile Monitor has.
Basking Temperature: 94.8°F (93-130°F)
Ambient Temperature: 83.4°F (83-92°F)
African Side-Neck Turtle (Pelomedusa Subrufa)
Nile Monitor (Varanus Niloticus)