Mexican invertebrates / reptiles

Since I came back from my trip to Mexico ( Guadalajara Jalisco), I was thinking. What if I do an invertebrate/reptile tank themed off of the jungles of Mexico (Or desert doesn’t really matter).
I just think it would be an awesome idea since all my family is from there!!! Do you guys have any beginner species of reptile or invertebrate that comes from that region?

Example of desertGulf of California: Mexico's rich desert coast - Field Guides

Example of jungleMexico Jungle Lookout Photograph by THP Creative


Mexican black kingsnake
There’s a pure Mexican version of the Aphonopelma chalcodes that is beautiful.


Ive given some real good thought on that one, Its a very good choice but i still wanna get some other species on the list.


Desert would be easier because it’s easy to put fake cacti or succulents in an enclosure, sand (not for reptiles) or excavators clay substrate, and a background. Are you open to the idea of arachnids like tarantulas or scorpions?


Of course!!!


I would recommend tarantulas. Research on arachnoboards and use the search to look at good beginner tarantulas that are terrestrial. Also look on arachnoboards for species information. I’d recommend looking into the Brachypelma genus, especially B. hamorii. Here are some quick important points for beginning into tarantulas.

  • They should never, for any reason be handled.
  • Provide them a vertically short enclosure with lots of substrate, the distance between the substrate and lid should be no more than 1.5x DLS (diagonal leg span).
  • Don’t chase humidity numbers and never mist, ignore humidity. To increase moisture only add water to the substrate.
  • All screen lids should be replaced with drilled acrylic.
  • Ttarantulas have urticating hairs which cause extreme itchiness, the hairs can also get stuck in substrate and can be a health concern (if it gets into eyes).

Okay, is there any begginer desert scorpions


Hadrurus arizonensis is a good one. Mild venom, active, dry environment, easy to find. All my bullet points on tarantulas apply except for the last one.


This species, and many tarantulas, are not good for desert environments and need higher humidity that sand won’t provide. @wrai might know if there are any desert tarantulas. Only new world tarantulas have the hairs that can cause irritation btw.


As far as tarantulas go, most that are arid species like Brachylpelma boehmei or B. hamorii still require what’s referred to as scrubland, which basically means that they need a loose mixture of dry substrates while living in a hot, dry and under about 40% humidity climate, but they tend dig burrows and sand doesn’t behave the same way as soil in this application. There’s probably quite a few species of desert/arid scorpion that would work well in sand, and sand blend substrates, I keep a few like that myself, but nothing I’d really recommend to a beginner, aside from maybe Paravaejovis spinigerus, which are small and are less potent as far as venom goes than a bee or comparable. And as most New World species of tarantula have urticating hairs, like @erie-herps mentioned, and there 7 types of these hairs amongst hundreds of species of tarantulas, make sure do your research on exactly what species carries what type and how they can affect you if you decide to go with a tarantula. Really though, if I were to build another desert/arid vivarium similar to the one you asked me about, @godzillao4, I’d probably do it about the same again, blending sands and different soils and substrates, more similar to what you’d find naturally in these settings. Also something to keep in mind, some creatures need a substantial amount of substrate to burrow, such as tarantulas, so you may be limited to what you choose based on the enclosure you use and set up. You also have to be careful how you heat and light the enclosure, because tarantulas don’t typically need heat, not more than room temperatures to mid 80’s for most arid/tropical species, and scorpions in particular you have to careful about supplying heat to, because they burrow deeper if they’re too hot, and if you use a UTH to maintain temperature, you’ll have to either affix it a side or the back of the enclose to avoid them burrowing into what they’re trying to escape from. CHEs are great for scorpions, when used correctly with a thermostat, as well.


How abt Gopher snakes or rosy boas? I know they’re from Baja California(Mexican state)


Sand is not safe for most snakes. Wouldn’t recommend it as substrate for either of these species.


Oh yes i know that but i wanna know are they good begginer species

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I think either of those would be a good beginner species! Gophers are known for being a little feistier, although most of the wild ones I’ve encountered were pretty placid (except the one I rescued from a gopher trap, she was understandably pissed at the world). Gophers also get bigger than rosies and would need more space. Rosies are considered excellent beginner snakes. Small adult size, docile (usually), good eaters.

Per the International Society Of Arachnology (ISA), in case anyone is curious and is interested in better educating themselves.

“Scorpion venoms are optimized for action upon other arthropods and therefore most scorpions are relatively harmless to humans; stings produce only local effects (such as pain, numbness or swelling). A few scorpion species, however, mostly in the family Buthidae, can be dangerous to humans. Among the most dangerous are Leiurus quinquestriatus, otherwise dubiously known as the deathstalker, which has the most potent venom in the family, and members of the genera Parabuthus, Tityus, Centruroides, and especially Androctonus, which also have powerful venom. The scorpion which is responsible for the most human deaths is Androctonus australis, or the yellow fat-tailed scorpion of North Africa. The toxicity of A. australis’s venom is roughly half that of L. quinquestriatus, but despite the common misconception A. australis does not inject noticeably more venom into its prey. The higher death count is simply due to its being found more commonly, especially near humans. Human deaths normally occur in the young, elderly, or infirm; scorpions are generally unable to deliver enough venom to kill healthy adults. Some people, however, may be allergic to the venom of some species. Depending on the severity of the allergy, the scorpion’s sting may cause anaphylaxis and death. A primary symptom of a scorpion sting is numbing at the injection site, sometimes lasting for several days. Scorpions are generally harmless and timid, and only voluntarily use their sting for killing prey, defending themselves or in territorial disputes with other scorpions. Generally, they will run from danger or remain still.”

In regards to the original thread, Centruroides limbatus happens to be the most venomous species of scorpion in Central America, which happens to be a species of bark scorpion. In North America, the scorpion that holds that belt is the Arizona Bark Scorpion, C. sculpturatus, which is similar in size, basic husbandry and venom potency. Getting back to C. limbatus, a researcher associated with the Smithsonian Institution assures that “this species is not considered dangerous to humans” but warns that nonetheless that they “are venomous and being stung by one is no picnic.”[2] According to another researcher’s firsthand account of being stung while trying to capture a subadult specimen near Tortuguero, Costa Rica:

There was immediate pain, as if being penetrated by a thorn much larger than the actual sting. The site of the sting felt tight and as if it was burning, although there was little visible inflimation [ sic ]. After approximately an hour, the pain had subsided to the point where I was more aware of a sensation of tingling like when you stick your tongue on a 9V battery. After an additional half hour, the pain and tingling had subsided to the point where my thumb felt like it had a sealed paper cut on it – where moving my thumb felt odd but keeping it still was without much sensation. Several hours later, this too had subsided and I felt nothing. At no point did I experience any systemic effects, nor did the symptoms extend beyond the initial sting site – not even as far as my first joint on my thumb.[[5]] (Centruroides limbatus - Wikipedia)

In my experience with highly venomous species of scorpions, particularly C. sculpturatus vs. P. capensis, there is a notable difference in behavior and motion. A larger species such as Parabuthus capensis at a notably higher end of the venom spectrum is a much calmer, and less shy species, as if they know how potentially deadly they are. The smaller Bark Scorpions are anything but calm, extremely shy and much more likely to sting you in defense, are much more likely to bolt and escape, and due to their small size, can be much more difficult to ascertain in the event of an escape. These are both arid species, the Bark Scorpion absolutely a desert dwelling species, located in places such as The Grand Canyon, whilst the P. capensis is naturally from South Africa just north of the Cape Peninsula northwards into southern Namibia and extending eastwards into the Eastern Cape, it inhabits hard packed sandy and gritty soil where burrows are found at the base of shrubs, grass tufts and stones. The husbandry and handling precautions for these species are literally worlds apart, which is why it’s important to do proper research on what you keep, or rather, intend to keep, rather than lumping things into a general category and applying blanket policies for creatures that MOST people, but not everyone you’ll encounter, aren’t fully understanding of. The risk involved in saying “I KNOW” unchecked, without some sort of basis for the knowledge when it comes to anything venomous, arachnids and beyond, is dangerous, both to the experienced hobbyist and beginners alike.


Thank you.

I had an unusually bad reaction to the bark scorpion while doing research in the Sonoran desert. The little fella was hiding in the nest of the species I was studying & I got zapped in the wrist where nerves are bundled before I even knew it was there. The tingly sensation jumped over to the other arm as well for just a few hours. But my pinky and the edge of my hand above the sting site remained numbish for almost six weeks. This is highly atypical and I’d guess that it was the location of the sting that may account for that. It’s prick & localized burning sensation wasn’t nearly as bad as an IV a nurse tried to get into an uncooperative vein of mine recently, as my memory serves.

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Taking a deep dive into the primary sources and having a discussion about proper standardized experimental design, incorporating repeatability measures into the study, sample sizes, appropriate statistical analyses, peer review and publication caliber is far beyond the scope of this forum. I don’t think anyone was accusing you of making things up.

If you’re newer to herp/invert type animal keeping, a Rosy Boa would be a great way to go, as they are not as fragile as many inverts and can be handled. There are a lot of beautiful varieties, and many of them are native to parts of beautiful Mexico.

I have plans to one day do something similar and set up a bioactive enclosure mimicking my home where the Coastal Rosy is native. I know where they hang out in the wild and having a piece of that in my own home, a little friend from the same place, would be fun.


Alright, this has gone on here long enough. Much of your information here about scorpions is not accurate nor is it experience based, and you are spreading misinformation about the safety of and keeping of scorpions. Based on the popularity of your posts, I’m not the only one to notice this. You even started a thread with some explanation about some of the wrong information you were giving out. I have seen many things of this nature from you in regards to this subject and it needs to stop. My “attitude” is that this isn’t Facebook, we aren’t here to be popular, we’re here to give our community unbiased and accurate information, and you can show venom tables to people that don’t understand them all day to try and impress them, but they have absolutely NOTHING to do with actual pertinent information on the keeping and safety of any scorpion other than define venom potency, ON MICE, if you actually read the table you posted a link for, nor does it have anything to do with the difference in husbandry I brought up. Calling an experienced keeper “ignorant” for maintaining a standard in keeping people properly educated, not just spooked about something you don’t think they understand because it sounds cool to talk about it like some Boogeyman…

Isn’t teaching anyone to learn about or respect these creatures with the right attitude, it’s a driving a fear based narrative that is misleading to beginners and the inexperienced alike and again, is just a blanket policy on what is literally hundreds of unique species of arthropods from varying biomes. I recommend you spend more time on education and less on vanity, the quantity of your posts do not define their quality.

No, this is not a fact. And is It isn’t the toxicity that kills per se, it is the vulnerability of who gets stung coupled with the absolute amount injected that can be modified by dose controlled toxicity levels for those who have poorly developed immune systems. Encounter rates can be vast multipliers of fatalities simply because of the increased likelihood of stinging vulnerable recipients. Cows are something like 20x more “deadlier” than sharks and coconuts falling from trees are something like 10x more “deadly” – this is just a quick & dirty example to illustrate the importance of encounter rates and the logical error you are employing.