The cricket drought seems to be over. We’re still holding our breath a little, and the jumbo crickets aren’t as jumbo as they used to be, but it looks like the cricket supply is back to something more closely approaching normal.

During the months when crickets were hard to come by, a lot of people gave up their reptile pets, and more turned to alternate food sources, such as mealworms. Mealworms are convenient, quiet and relatively inexpensive, but they’re also not the best food source for most lizards.

A lizard on a diet of mealworms is like a human on a diet of donuts – lots of carbs, lots of fat, not much protein. Crickets are much higher in protein and lower in fat. They’re better for your animal’s overall health.

However, like humans, lizards prefer the taste of fat and carbs to the taste of protein.  Getting your lizard back onto crickets is going to take a bit of patience. The lizard is going to try to psych you out. It’s going to refuse crickets and hold out for mealworms. Bear in mind that no healthy animal will willingly starve itself, and when your lizard gets hungry – and it will – crickets will be back on the menu.

Now for those pictures I promised you. Unfortunately, the spiny mice did not come in. Darn. They’re cute little things, and we’ve been trying to get them for a while. But here are some other critters.

The mudskippers are a goby. They spend a lot of time out of the water. As long as their gills are wet, they can breathe, and they do take frequent dips.

They’re funny-looking little fish, and always make me smile. Mudskippers are a brackish water fish, and need salt content in their water. One-third of the salt concentration you would use for a marine tank is about right.


We’ve also got some African butterfly fish. These surface feeders will take small crickets.  

We like glass tetras, but most of the ones you get in the pet trade have been painted. This isn’t good for the fish. We’ve tried to avoid bringing in painted or strip-dyed fish whenever possible.  Last Friday’s shipment included some glass tetras – unpainted, unvarnished, and, we think, pretty cool.




The volitans lionfish is also pretty cool – one of my favourite marine fish.



Finally, not fish, but birds. We’ve got a few baby budgies on hand along with the society finches and zebra finches.








The fish order today is small; we’ve ordered mainly feeders. But keep watching this space for more new fish, reptiles, birds and small mammals.



Fish order today

We’ve found a second fish supplier, and there’s an order arriving today. No, this is not an April Fool’s Day joke.

We have salt water fish on the order. We’re expecting domino, yellowtail blue and green lyretail damsels. You might know those last as green chromis. We also have a volitans lion coming, and several kinds of shrimp.

We haven’t had mudskippers for quite a while, but we’re getting them today. These odd little guys spend a lot of time out of the water, and are brackish-water creatures rather than marine ones. Pop by and have a look at them.

In freshwater, we have show guppies, catfish of several kinds, including the farlowella , and assorted African cichlids. We’re also expecting hermit crabs and spiny mice! I have to wait for David to get pictures to me before I post them, but they’re coming this weekend.

It’s also coming up to pond season, so we’re bringing in more goldfish, including Chinese black moors, calico telescope eyes, and the bubble-eyed goldfish.

A couple of years ago David told me that a woman had asked him, “Are those bubbles under the fish’s eyes their lungs? If you poked them with a pin and burst them, would the fish drown?”

No, and no. But they look pretty cool in your pond.