Animal Care

reptile Accommodation


Here you will find tasks and activities in relation to reptile accommodation. Please work your way through these resources at your own pace, making any additional notes you feel are necessary

Natural environment

                                               REPTILE ACCOMMODATION

Habitat Requirements

Because of the extensive range of from which reptiles originate from, choosing the right cage or for your reptile, is essential. The main microclimates are.

  • Desert

    Desert reptiles such as the Bearded Dragon have the highest requirements of all reptiles. A basking area (an area with a temperature above that of the rest of the enclosure which the reptile uses to for thermoregulation) is a must with these reptiles. In some cases the area should be over 20°f higher than the surrounding area. A high intensity UV lamp (10%) is also required for this purpose. It is recommend that desert animals be kept in a wooden vivarium, as this is the easiest enclosure for maintaining the temperatures which are required.
  • Savannah

    Reptiles originating from Savannah (bush) areas such as the Spiny-Tailed Monitor Lizard, require a similar habitat to the desert, however some areas are required which are best created using wood based decorations such as  Hut caves, cork branches and bamboo root. A basking area is still required but usually at a temperature than those in desert . Again, a high intensity UV lamp (10%) is required and a vivarium is still recommended.
  • River Edge

    This habitat is much than the previous two. Such animals as the Chinese or Green Water Dragons come from these regions. A bark or peat based is normally required for these types of reptiles. Decorate these enclosures with many hiding places, branches and vines. Often reptiles which originate from the river's edge, like to and so ample opportunities should be provided by creating a multi-level habitat giving the reptile the chance to climb if they wish. The temperature of such habitats range from 84-88°f in the vivarium, with a basking spot area up to 100°f. Humidity is also vital for these animals which can be maintained through misting with bottled water, and through the use of large water bowls, and sphagnum moss. A 5% UV lamp is required for these animals.

Tropical Forest

Reptiles such as Emperor Scorpions and Red-Eyed Tree Frogs, should be kept in this habitat. Once again, a bark or peat based substrate is normally used for these habitats, and should be kept quite , which can be maintained by regular spraying of the enclosure. Like the river edge habitat, provide lots of places, such as and branches for the reptile. A more densely planted enclosure is also a requirement, however there is less emphasis on water requirements, so usually a small water dish will suffice. There are no strict rules on UV lighting for this habitat as the different species originating from here have requirements ranging from no lighting through to a 2% or 5% lamp.

Reptiles are this means they use the environment they are in to control their body temperature, for example after eating they may want move to the end of the enclosure to bask and digest their meal. This is why when setting up an enclosure for any Reptile you must provide them with a warm end and a cool end in the vivarium.



domestic environment

After completing these tasks can you have been allocated a reptile species from the list below and research the following information

Reptile species

  • Bearded Dragon - Dale + Emma
  • Turtle - Zena and Helena
  • Gecko - Gemma and Leah
  • Chinese water dragon -Noelle and Orla 
  • Tortoise - Erinn and Katrina
  • tarantula  - Maolissa and Shannan
  • corn snake - Demaire and Kirsty

If you prefer a different reptile please discuss this with me before starting your research

What to research

  • what is their natural environment?
  • what type of vivarium do they need?
  • do they need heat?- what temperatures?
  • Do they need UV light - if so what strength?
  • Do they need branches or hides in their environment?
  • do they need a dry or misty or damp environment?
  • Please add this information to the appropriate wikki on moodle


  • heat bulb
    used to maintain the correct temperature in the environment
  • Vivarium
    name given to a reptiles accommodation
  • Thermometer
    Used to monitor the temperature in the accommodation
  • Heat mats
    should never be used inside the vivarium but can be placed outside to provide ground heat
  • UV light
    some reptiles need this to help them produce vitamin D3 and absorb calcium
  • Moist substrate
    bedding for Amphibians or reptiles who naturally live on forest floors or river banks
  • sand
    bedding used for dessert reptiles. Dessert sand or small grain calci-sand are good for these animals. wood chips or large grain sand can be problematic for these animals causing impactions in their digestive system if consumed
  • Bark
    bedding used for reptiles from a forest environment
  • branches
    essential decorations for reptiles that like to climb
  • glass vivarium
    ideal for reptiles that do not need high temperatures or live in moist or misty environments
  • wooden vivarium
    ideal for retiles that need a high temperature environment