What reptiles will you NEVER* keep and why?

*I realise that tastes, opinions, and circumstances can change over time, but at least as things stand right now, what are some reptile species that you don’t think you’ll ever keep, and why? Do you just not care for them, are there practical issues for you with their upkeep, are they too expensive, etc. We talk a lot about species we want to keep, so I thought it might be fun to flip it around and talk about the species we DON’T want. Keep in mind that the point is not to malign any species or the people who keep them, but just to compare and contrast our various criteria and opinions. :slight_smile:

Here’s my list:
-Most truly arboreal snakes (tree boas, GTPs, ETBs, etc.). I think they’re absolutely beautiful, but I really like being able to be more hands-on with my animals, and most arboreal snakes’ delicate physiology combined with their often nippy temperment doesn’t make them the best for handling, so I think they’re just not for me. Plus CBB green trees and emeralds are pretty pricey.

-Giant snakes (burms, retics, rock pythons, olive pythons, anacondas, etc.). I love them, but I just don’t have the space to give them what they need as adults, and that’s unlikely to change. Plus I don’t have anyone to help me safely handle a truly giant snake. I would, however, consider a dwarf burm or retic at some point, because I think they’re awesome snakes, I just can’t accommodate a full-sized adult.

-Giant lizards (tegus, large monitors, etc.). See above. I just don’t have the space, although I do love them. I would like to get one or two species of smaller monitors at some point, though.

-Front-fanged venomous and spicy rear-fanged snakes (mangroves, boomslangs, kukris, etc.). Because I like to handle my snakes and don’t have a death wish, these just aren’t for me. I take comfort in knowing the worst my snakes can do if they bite me is draw a little blood. That all changes with venomous snakes. There are many venomous species I really love and I have enormous respect for responsible venomous keepers, but venomous snakes are definitely not the right pets for me.

-Most lizards. This is the one I think has the most potential to change in the future, but at least for now, I’m just not that into lizards in general. With the exception of some smaller monitor species (and tegus and large monitors if I ever have the space), most lizards just don’t really appeal to me right now. I’m pretty focused on snakes. I think lots of lizards are really cool, I just don’t have a strong desire to keep them myself right now.

-Most colubrids. For some reason, most colubrid species just don’t really appeal to me. I think many are very beautiful, but I generally prefer the look of pythons and boas. Exceptions would be hognoses (which I guess aren’t technically colubrids…?) and false water cobras, which are two species I would like to keep at some point. But most rat snakes/king snakes/milk snakes, etc. just don’t call to me for whatever reason.

-Anything wild-caught. If I can’t find it/afford it CBB, then it’s not for me. I just don’t want to deal with all the potential problems that often come with WC specimens. Plus I want to support breeders who are working hard to produce quality CBB animals for the pet trade.

Now it’s your turn!


My babies :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


Green vine snakes – Eats anoles, which I couldn’t bring myself to feed them.
Front-fanged snakes – Too much maintenance and risk. Not worth it to me.
Tegus – Monitors are better for me because they are not as hard :slight_smile:


Where did you get that they are hard to car for?


Most things don’t hit that venn diagram of being small enough for me to handle on a bad/weak day, and easy enough to care for, and Sparks Joy enough to be worth the effort for me. I am chronically ill and every tiny thing takes energy I may need for other tasks. Choosing where I spend time and effort has to be done very carefully. Luckily, snakes are fairly low maintenance compared to say, another dog.

I don’t see myself as ever having a big menagerie of multiple reptiles. Maybe one more snake, one day.


Most true venomous snakes i just couldn’t take the risk with my family no matter how secure I make the enclosure


I guess it is just the attention they require (which is still much less than that of a dog or cat), somewhat large enclosure, and possibility of them having a temper. I have definitely met some lovely tegus, but the bite doesn’t seem too pleasant if you don’t tame them well. :confused:

I really don’t have any experience caring for them, that is just what I have heard. :slight_smile:


I know, I’d love to be able to keep them, but it’s just not practical for me unless I end up marrying a wealthy reptile enthusiast somewhere down the line who’s willing to fund and assist my giant snake keeping endeavor :joy:


Don’t large monitors potentially have all those problems too? :thinking:

Unless you were comparing them to smaller monitors, in which case you’re probably right.


Completely/mostly aquatic reptiles for sure. I mean unless I lived somewhere that has a natural outdoor pond, which I would put a gator in! Seriously though they are too much work for me to try to maintain huge aquariums.

On a side note, when I was younger I never thought I would get a retic. I thought they would take up too much room, get too big, maybe be more aggressive then I could handle, and I had kids and just no way I could do keep one. I was wrong on all accounts! I have a few now and I really regret not starting earlier, they are definitely one of my favorite animals to work with! So never say never, or else you may be missing out on something you really enjoy!


Oh, I agree about aquatics. Turtles and crocodilians are a definite no-go for me unless I have a considerable change in circumstances.

I would love a dwarf or super dwarf retic! I actually really love retics, they’re one of my favourite species, but getting a full-sized mainland variety would seriously cut into what limited space I have, and there’s other stuff I want. I’m not overly concerned about their “aggressive” or “unpredictable” reputation (I never would have got my blood python if I bought into that sort of negative hype, haha :joy:). My concerns are purely logistical, i.e. not having space for a proper enclosure and not having the upper body strength to safely lift and maneuver a very large and heavy snake without assistance. But if getting a giant snake ever becomes a realistic option for me, I’d love to have a big, beautiful mainland retic some day. :heart:


Bearded Dragons. They’re a lot more labor intensive and finicky to keep than people tend to say. They let you know their diet isn’t perfect or their UV bulb aged out by prolapsing or dying. Blue Tongues exist and they’re available. The hobby can stop calling Bearded Dragons beginner lizards :joy:


I really hope one day I can get one


Super true


In my current circumstances I wouldn’t be able to keep any full-sized giant snakes (dwarfs and super dwarfs are still on the table), medically significant venomous snakes (though I would love to get a copperhead someday in the far, far, future), crocodilians, turtles or tortoises, or large lizards (like caiman lizards or large monitors). But, someday I would love to have a dedicated facility and maybe turn reptiles into more than just a hobby, but for now that’s just a dream.


They are distantly related to monitors so they should count haha.
I think monitors can be worse! I know breeders who have alsorts, salvadores/black dragons, Kimberly’s, timors etc.
I think my Ackie is harder than a Tegu. It’s just the space they need that makes them harder, but that’s like big monitors too, and have you seen their bites?.. :sweat_smile:


I really prefer to never say never, a couple years ago I said I’d never consider a tarantula, but here I am researching them, and trying to convince my parents they aren’t so bad lol.

But some things I’m fairly certain I’ll never get on my own accord are:

Large snake species (retics, burms, green anacondas) - the space I’d need for a snake this big I would prefer to use for something that appeals to me more, I would absolutely consider a super dwarf retic though.

Bearded dragons- I absolutely love bearded dragons, but I have pretty much no interest in owning one.

Front fang venomous- for obvious reasons lol

Not technically a reptile but Centipedes- Sorry to anyone that likes them, but I just can’t. Looking at them makes me sick, and I don’t like the way they move.


One I will never keep is a legless lizard. Because my wife said I can’t have one.

So I can’t.


I’m with you on centipedes. It’s funny, because most animals that are the stuff of nightmares for most people are animals I absolutely adore. Spiders, scorpions, snakes, sharks, various insects and arthropods…I love them all. But there are two types of animals that just squick me out on a primal, visceral level, and those are centipedes and jellyfish. I love millipedes, but I can’t do centipedes. Centipedes are like millipedes that have undergone some sort of demonic mutation.

That said, I do kind of get why some people like to keep them. They’re pretty unique and fascinating, and I understand the appeal on an intellectual level, but they’re still a big giant NOPE for me.


Bummer. Legless lizards are so cool! If/when they become more available CBB, I’d definitely consider keeping them.