Opinions on what would be better for young children?

Fee4503

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Hey, just looking for opinions for young children - one wants a bearded dragon and the other one wants a spotted python!
Have never personally owned reptiles myself - just been around people who have had them most of my life.
Now my girls are older, I’ve finally agreed to get something...I just don’t know which one would be the best to start off with. Any suggestions or opinions would be greatly appreciated! Cheers!
 

dragonlover1

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there are lot's of great options for a first reptile, beardy,bluey,spotted,stimmy,childrens...the list goes on. It's really up to what you can deal with.
Can you touch a dead mouse ? or do cockroaches turn you off? think about it from that perspective, it might change your mind.
 

Fee4503

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Hey, thanks for replying! Kids are fine with either of those - however I don’t like cockroaches so maybe that helps my decision! Lol Thanks
 

Sdaji

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In your shoes I'd definitely go for at least two of both.

I have no problem with cockroaches, but they aren't your only option for feeding a Beardy. Most people don't use cockroaches, I think they're great; very cheap and easy to breed and great for the lizards, and a colony of insects is a fun, educational thing for kids in itself, but if you baulk at that as most people do, there are plenty of alternatives.
 

dragonlover1

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Hey, thanks for replying! Kids are fine with either of those - however I don’t like cockroaches so maybe that helps my decision! Lol Thanks
As Sdaji says cockroaches ( be aware we are talking about native Australian roaches called woodies which aren't like the filthy things in your kitchen) aren't the only feed option for dragons,they also like crickets,superworms,black soldier fly larvae and silkworms are also a great choice. All of which you can breed yourself if you choose. Which as Sdaji also says are educational for your children.
 

nuttylizardguy

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As Sdaji says cockroaches ( be aware we are talking about native Australian roaches called woodies which aren't like the filthy things in your kitchen) aren't the only feed option for dragons,they also like crickets,superworms,black soldier fly larvae and silkworms are also a great choice. All of which you can breed yourself if you choose. Which as Sdaji also says are educational for your children.

Woodies are great feeders and super easy to breed.
Just be aware they are VERY FAST moving and bloody hard to contain , when I've had them I've had just as many escape as I've managed to feed to the skinks and dragons and gecko.
IMO more bother than they are worth , crickets are much easier to contain and manage.


Feeders for the skink or dragon
mealworms for treats - all stages ( lavae, pupae and beetles are all favs for my gang )
superworms ( some use as staple feeders , better used as treats ( like mealworms ) ) , all stages are useable as feeders ( worms, pupae, beetles )
crickets ( I feed mine dry repcal adult dragon pellets & carrot ,and gut load with buk or puk choy ), great staple feeder if gutloaded and dusted with calcium powder.
BSFL , all stages are useable ( buy mine from Biosupplies , come much cleaner than LiveFoods sent BSFL )
Silkworms , moths and cateplllars are great feeders ( make sure to remove worm poo and dropped food fragments daily , if it goes moldy it'll kill all your silkworms almost overnight. Get the silkworms as eggs , hatch them and raise them on chow or fresh mulberry leafs, if you let some become cocoons and them moths, you'll never need to buy silkworms ever again as you'll get up to 400 eggs from each female moth. Kids can make a little cottage industry of breeding silkworms and earn some serious pocket money by selling surplus eggs, unhatched cocoons and surplus worms on Gumtree or Ebay or even here ( lots of people who have lizards want them but cant be bothered breeding their own ).


my 5c , for kids , it's hard to beat a bluetongue skink as the starter.
 
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Sdaji

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As Sdaji says cockroaches ( be aware we are talking about native Australian roaches called woodies which aren't like the filthy things in your kitchen) aren't the only feed option for dragons,they also like crickets,superworms,black soldier fly larvae and silkworms are also a great choice. All of which you can breed yourself if you choose. Which as Sdaji also says are educational for your children.

Just a bit of unimportant trivia, but while Australian herpers often claim 'woodies' (Nauphoeta cinerea) to be native Australian, they're actually native to Africa. I've occasionally seen them wild in Asia (as introduced pests in urban environments). I'm yet to see them wild in Australia, but some populations might exist.
 

nuttylizardguy

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Just a bit of unimportant trivia, but while Australian herpers often claim 'woodies' (Nauphoeta cinerea) to be native Australian, they're actually native to Africa. I've occasionally seen them wild in Asia (as introduced pests in urban environments). I'm yet to see them wild in Australia, but some populations might exist.

I some times encounter "woodies" in the leaf litter and under fallen bits of bark from my tree , no expert on bugs , but they do like and behave very much like woodies I've bought.
 

Sdaji

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I some times encounter "woodies" in the leaf litter and under fallen bits of bark from my tree , no expert on bugs , but they do like and behave very much like woodies I've bought.

Unless they're escapees from you, you'll 110% find they're a different species. Woodies don't live in that type of environment. If you're sufficiently interested, take a picture and we can easily confirm it. If you have accidentally released some, they won't be able to maintain a colony long term. They may manage to hang on inside the house or maybe in some areas around the house if you live in the tropics, but a woodie colony in Australia is always precarious and won't last indefinitely, unless, perhaps, you're in a tropical urban area with a lot of food scraps and not much cleaning. The only places I've seen colonies of them existing outside captivity have been Asian wet markets constantly covered in food scraps (the first few times I was very excited and the locals thought I was some completely insane white man wanting to photograph a couple of specific cockroaches, which to them looked the same as all the American cockroaches which are the main species you find all over Asia), and temples build over water where dishes of food are left out to feed wild/stray animals.
 

nuttylizardguy

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Unless they're escapees from you, you'll 110% find they're a different species. Woodies don't live in that type of environment. If you're sufficiently interested, take a picture and we can easily confirm it. If you have accidentally released some, they won't be able to maintain a colony long term. They may manage to hang on inside the house or maybe in some areas around the house if you live in the tropics, but a woodie colony in Australia is always precarious and won't last indefinitely, unless, perhaps, you're in a tropical urban area with a lot of food scraps and not much cleaning. The only places I've seen colonies of them existing outside captivity have been Asian wet markets constantly covered in food scraps (the first few times I was very excited and the locals thought I was some completely insane white man wanting to photograph a couple of specific cockroaches, which to them looked the same as all the American cockroaches which are the main species you find all over Asia), and temples build over water where dishes of food are left out to feed wild/stray animals.

I only had woodies for a short period (last year) , these ones I've encountered have been over many many years, I didn't know they were woodies until I actually bought a batch to try as feeders for my gecko, skinks and dragons.
There is the possibility someone in my neighborhood had Woodie excapes that have spread and bred up over the years.
 

Sdaji

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I only had woodies for a short period (last year) , these ones I've encountered have been over many many years, I didn't know they were woodies until I actually bought a batch to try as feeders for my gecko, skinks and dragons.
There is the possibility someone in my neighborhood had Woodie excapes that have spread and bred up over the years.

I'll bet London to a brick they're not woodies. Woodies won't spread like that. They won't even properly infest a house. Even in Asia I've never seen them infest houses, only wet markets permanently covered in food scraps, and temples built above water (on stilts over lakes) with plenty of feed left out for wild/stray animals. They just don't colonise houses, especially Australian/western houses, and they sure aren't going to colonise your garden or spread. I guarantee, if you've been seeing them for years they are not woodies.
 

nuttylizardguy

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I'll bet London to a brick they're not woodies. Woodies won't spread like that. They won't even properly infest a house. Even in Asia I've never seen them infest houses, only wet markets permanently covered in food scraps, and temples built above water (on stilts over lakes) with plenty of feed left out for wild/stray animals. They just don't colonise houses, especially Australian/western houses, and they sure aren't going to colonise your garden or spread. I guarantee, if you've been seeing them for years they are not woodies.

You're an expert entomologist ?

I know I'm not. But recently bought a copy of Insects of South-Eastern Australia (Roger Farrow)
https://www.publish.csiro.au/book/7435/
so if I ever see them again , I'll be equipped to identify them. Not that I bought the book for this reason though.
 

Sdaji

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You're an expert entomologist ?

I know I'm not. But recently bought a copy of Insects of South-Eastern Australia (Roger Farrow)
https://www.publish.csiro.au/book/7435/
so if I ever see them again , I'll be equipped to identify them. Not that I bought the book for this reason though.

I wouldn't make that claim, but I did study entomology at university (came top of the class), and I worked with insects for a couple of years in laboratories, and culturing and studying insects has been a hobby for about 35 years, so I guess I know a little.

Your field guide is not a comprehensive list of all species found in south eastern Australia, it's one of those picture books for flipping through for fun, mainly for kids. Does it have woodies in it? I'd be surprised, but it would be interesting if they included them. I have a copy of the CSIRO's definitive reference book, The Insects of Australia (the insect equivalent of a Cogger) and being an African species which doesn't occur in the wild in Australia I don't think woodies are even in that.
 

nuttylizardguy

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I wouldn't make that claim, but I did study entomology at university (came top of the class), and I worked with insects for a couple of years in laboratories, and culturing and studying insects has been a hobby for about 35 years, so I guess I know a little.

Your field guide is not a comprehensive list of all species found in south eastern Australia, it's one of those picture books for flipping through for fun, mainly for kids. Does it have woodies in it? I'd be surprised, but it would be interesting if they included them. I have a copy of the CSIRO's definitive reference book, The Insects of Australia (the insect equivalent of a Cogger) and being an African species which doesn't occur in the wild in Australia I don't think woodies are even in that.

No , I've not bothered to check if woodies are listed .
 

Sdaji

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No , I've not bothered to check if woodies are listed .

I'm pretty confident they won't be. In any case, you don't need a field guide to see the difference between woodies and any native Australian species. We don't have anything which could easily be confused for them.
 

Flaviemys purvisi

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you're right regardless John, as a keeper of woody colonies for over a decade... both inside AND outside, they will not colonise a house or garden situation period. Those that exit a controlled setup with supplied food scraps, warmth and moisture quickly perish.
 

Molly039

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What are the thoughts about a Stimson Python for children?


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Sdaji

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What are the thoughts about a Stimson Python for children?


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Any of the common Antaresia (Children's, Stimson's and Spotteds) are ideal for first snakes. They're more or less the same things with different paint jobs. You'll get people who have only kept a few who will say whatever they have is best, or sometimes they'll have a snappy Stimson's or something and say they are no good, but after more than 25 years working with a total of thousands of them, I'd say go with whichever one you like the look of most.
 

Molly039

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I'm getting a Stimson tomorrow as my first ever snake. I thought it best as I've heard it only needs a heating mat rather than a basking lamp. Sounded a bit easier.
Would you suggest I get it checked over by a vet when I bring it home?


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