February 2017

All the information listed here is based on my own experience, please carry out your own research before attempting to replicate anything on this site.

Alligator Snapping Turtle (Macrochelys temminckii)

A post shared by Paul Edmondson (@insectivore.co.uk) on


"Snapped for cash"

It's got to be about 4 years since I got my first Snapping turtle, a Common Snapper hatchling (Chelydra serpentina) affectionately known as Bourbon. Come to think of it, that's the only affectionate thing about him; he's now a bruiser of an animal with an attitude to match. Still, there's something between the prehistoric appearance and the bad temper that makes snapping turtles fascinating, something that can interrupt a harmless trip to Ikea for furniture and make your re-evaluate your life choices...

I don't think I'm alone in having a reptile 'wish list'; an ever-evolving list of animals which I hope to one day be able to care for and enjoy. It's not a checklist but an idea of focus, something I'm always working towards being ready or planning for. High on this list for a long time has been the Alligator Snapping Turtle (Macrochelys temminckii), so when I called into Blaydon Exotics for a browse whilst on my way to Ikea and saw this little beast, I knew he was going to have to join my menagerie; meet my new Alligator Snapper.

At 4" shell length, he is a long way from huge adult sizes most of us are familar with (record males have been known to measure nearly 3 feet and weigh in excess of 100kg!). In the wild these guys are part scavenger and part ambush predator, using an amazing lure on the tip of their tongue to imitate a worm, and draw fish prey into their waiting jaws. This little guy is quite happy however on frozen lancefish and Hikari Massivore pellets.

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In other parts of my reptile collection I've been playing around with the new Arcadia EarthPro Repti Gold supplements. These neat little shots of fruit powders, vitamins, minerals and bee pollens are easy to use and a great addition to omnivore diets like my Honduran Wood Turtles (Rhinoclemmys pulcherrima incisa). I'm also trying them as a gut-loading addition for my feeder insects, which should ensure my more insectivorous reptiles like the Freckled Monitors (Varanus tristis orientalis) are also getting these superfood supplements.

As always if you have any questions you can catch me at the email address below,

Paul Edmondson

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