Monday, March 23, 2015

Legal Reptiles In Texas

Most reptiles are legal to keep in Texas.

The heat of Texas makes it an ideal native home for a variety of reptiles, including alligator lizards, geckos, anoles and several different kinds of turtles and tortoises. Although most native Texas reptiles are perfectly legal to own, some are classified as threatened or endangered, which makes them illegal to sell or possess. Texas also has laws against owning, breeding or releasing certain kinds of venomous or dangerous reptiles. There may also be additional municipal laws concerning exotic reptiles in your town, so always be sure to check before bringing one home.

Green Anaconda

The green anaconda is the largest snake in the world. A native of South America, green anacondas can grow to more than 30 feet in length and weigh more than 500 pounds, according to the National Geographic website. Green anacondas are legal to own in Texas, as long as you have a permit to own a recreational controlled exotic snake species (RCES), which also includes Asiatic rock pythons, African rock pythons, southern African pythons and reticulated pythons. A permit can be obtained from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. However, the permit does not allow you to sell the snake. A Commercial Controlled Exotic Snakes (CCES) permit must be obtained before being able to legally sell green anacondas, or any other snake on the RCES list.

Green Iguanas

Green iguanas are indigenous to Texas, and are legal to own. Although iguanas are some of the easiest reptiles to own, owners need to take a frank inventory of their living space and finances in order to make sure that the iguanas will get the light, heat, environment, diet and exercise they need. They do not need live feedings; they prefer greens, vegetables and fruit in order to stay healthy. You can add protein to their diets with alfalfa or alfalfa rabbit pellets. It's important to note that iguanas need UVB light to live, and can become rather territorial, so keeping them in a dark apartment with small children or terrified roommates may not be ideal.

African Bullfrogs

African bullfrogs are some of the largest frogs on the planet, and can weigh more than four pounds. Adult African bullfrogs are a muted green color, with either yellow throats (males) or cream-colored throats (females). They are also broad and have strong back legs, which they use to dig. Perhaps the most distinctive feature of the African bullfrog is its set of sharp teeth. Bullfrogs can be aggressive, and jump and bite at things they perceive to be a threat. They are also quite carnivorous, and will eat insects, rodents, birds and other frogs. African bullfrogs can be legally owned, are not threatened or endangered and are not on the RCES list in Texas.

Tags: more than, African bullfrogs, RCES list, rock pythons, that iguanas