Well, first off I am EXCITED because one of my favorite times of year is coming up…



Nope. That’s good & all, but what’s coming to the Tampa area sooner than that?

That’s right. 


Repticon, unlike Christmas, comes to my city three times a year. In February of this year, it was my first time attending. That’s where I got my first three reptiles: the wonderful crested geckos Baby Pineapple, Toe Bean, & Pinwheel Shark. Oh, & I also got to HOLD AN OWL.

The second Repticon of the Year was in June. THAT’s where I got Squiggles (my leopard gecko), Frogecoin (my PacMan Frog), & Molly (my Orthoporus Ornatus, also known as a Texas Gold Millipede). As well as a gaggle of crickets & small superworms & an eff-ton of accessories for my new pets. 

So what am I heading there for this time?


Just kidding, but also kind of serious. Roaches ARE one of the main reasons I’m attending. I’m trying to start a breeding colony of discoid roaches for my critters so I can limit having to deal with crickets (which aren’t my favorite 🙃). I went to my second Repticon with the intention of getting some Dubia roaches.

I did not come home with any roaches, & I learned two things. (A) Get your live bugs FIRST before you spend several hours examining everyone’s tables, or else the booth will be out of the bugs you want. (B) Dubia roaches are apparently illegal in Le State of Le Florida. When I asked for the Dubias, the guy made a WFT face at me & told me they were illegal. (He probably thought I was a secret shopper from the government 😂).

Anyways, so about three months ago, I bought eight discoid roaches from a kind-of-local pet store. By “kind of local”, I mean it was like a 20+ mile drive each way. It was the closest one with discoids that I knew about, so that’s why I went. And I only bought 8 because they were $0.75 EACH & they were small, so I figured I needed to get them ASAP so they could start growing out sooner.

Well, all the roaches are doing great! Every single one of them is still alive & I’m pretty sure they’re almost adult-sized. But there ARE only 8 of them. And that’s just not that many. Not enough to get a good colony going any time soon. So I will definitely get some more roaches at the show  

I’ll also pick up some extra mealworms while I’m there, because what Squiggles (my leopard gecko) doesn’t eat will join the beetle colony, which just produced its first successful batch of baby mealworms! I probably won’t get any extra crickets though, because I don’t go through those very fast so most of them would die before I used them, & it would end up costing me more than getting them at the pet store.

Another main reason I’m going to Repticon is actually for supplies this time! Squiggles will be upgraded to a 20G long aquarium very soon because he’s currently in a 10 & it’s getting small for him because he’s a growing boy. So he needs bigger gecko houses to put in his bigger cage.

But! I also am SUPER EXCITED because I’m starting to get into bioactive & naturalistic setups for my critters & Repticon is the perfect place to buy stuff for these setups. I never really paid much attention to the supplies part of the show before, but this time supplies are one of the main reasons I’m going. There will be another post about bioactive setups & why I’m so excited about them soon. My PacMan frog will be switched to one the soonest because he/she is already on Eco Earth, so it won’t be that big of a switch. When my crested geckos are big enough, they too will be switched over to bioactive enclosures. They have been having some issues growing but they’re doing well & making a lot of progress, so hopefully it won’t be long from now that they’re ready!

As far as supplies, I’m looking to get the aforementioned gecko houses for Squiggles, as well as some naturalistic hides/plants/etc for Frogecoin especially. If I see something really awesome that I just can’t pass up for my crested geckos, I would get it, but as it will likely be a few more months at minimum before they’re big enough to be in their permanent adult-sized enclosures, their stuff would be better left until the next Repticon. So mostly I’m focussing on naturalistic supplies for my PacMan frog & Leopard gecko. 

I’m also hoping to find some of the infrastructure supplies I need for a bioactive setup, such as springtails cultures, while I’m there.  

So, what about the animals?

I’m actually not looking to get any reptiles or amphibians this time. While there are some species & patterns I would like to own as part of my reptile collection in the future, what I have right now is pretty good. I might even get some of these species within the next year. But as I’ve went from zero to five herps this year alone, I figure it’s best not to “spend it all in one place”, & instead wait until next year before acquiring more herps.

I will, however, be on the lookout for invertebrates. 

Tarantulas, you ask?

Tarantulas are pretty cool & I will probably own one at some point. But my mom thinks they’re the creepiest, so I’m probably not going to get one this time. But you never know 😏

So no. Probably no tarantulas. 

But other bugs are up for grabs. I’m especially hoping to find some cool novelty roaches, like the Death’s Head Roach (or green banana roaches, or horseshoe crab roaches, but I’m yet to see either of those two species at Repticon). Or a praying mantis would be cool. Or really any type of non-spider, non-centipede invertebrate. Possibly even including aquatic ones. 

And if they have millipedes for sale there, you can bet I will be bringing more of them home because millipedes are awesome & I love them so much ❤️ 

Another primary reason I’m attending is also so I can do market research on some reptile products I am developing, so attending is actually pretty important for that. And I want to pick the brains of some of the breeders while I’m there.

So, I am so excited for the arrival of Repticon, & I will be waiting impatiently in the corner for it’s arrival. 

The countdown is ON!

PHOTOS! My First Time at Repticon!

Tampa Repticon February 2018

Repticon Tampa on February 24th – 25th, 2018 was my first-ever time at a reptile expo 🦎🐢🐍. It was so awesome! I bought my VIP ticket online about six weeks before. The REASON I was originally going to go was to get a red foot tortoise hatchling. But after thinking about it more, I got cold feet about two weeks before Repticon & decided to go with my original choice of crested geckos instead. Crested geckos seemed both easy to care for & like a much better choice for my first pet reptile than a baby tortoise. Here’s where I wrote about why I decided on crested geckos 🦎.
I had the gecko tank all set up, complete with a custom ABS plastic divider that took me an hour to make. (SPOILER ALERT! On my geckos’ first night, the two bigger ones managed to squish themselves over the top & into the unfurnished side of the cage. This rendered it useless so I had to remove it. Pets are like that 🙂). I had the heat pad running & the humidity up. Everything was ready.
Here’s what I saw at my first expo & my observations (plus kewl emojis)!
  • First off, I bought my first three crested geckos! 😍🦎🦎🦎💕 I got them from Manatee Suncoast Lizards, which seemed like a really nice breeder. Read about my geckos here & see more pictures of them in this article here!
    My crested geckos when I got back in my car at Repticon
  • They had a cool blow-up snake out front that kids were taking pictures of 📸.
    Tampa Repticon 2018
  • Reptile expos are like better versions of pet stores. The people selling you the pets are mostly the people who actually bred them, & can answer your questions better than most pet stores. The quality of the animals is also a lot higher 👍, & the prices can be much lower 💵 because you’re buying it directly from the breeder & there’s no middleman.
    Tampa Repticon 2018
  • It’s awesome being in an environment filled with people who are passionate about reptiles 😍.
  • To let everyone know I was a VIP there, they gave me a tortoise hand stamp which was adorable!
    Tampa Repticon 2018 Tortoise Hand Stamp
    Tampa Repticon 2018 Tortoise Hand Stamp
  • SO MANY SKINNY PIGS! (AKA HAIRLESS GUINEA PIGS). One person had regular guinea pigs but it seemed like at least five were selling the hairless “skinny” guinea pigs. For some reason they were a really popular thing.
  • A large selection of chinchillas chillin’ (pun intended) in a cage. One was perched precariously at the edge of a shelf, sleeping, but it seemed perfectly comfortable 😴. LOOK AT THEIR LITTLE CHINCHILLA FACES!
    Chinchillas at Tampa Repticon 2018
    Chinchillas at Tampa Repticon 2018
    Chinchillas at Tampa Repticon 2018
  • Tons of sugar gliders, including baby ones! I saw some really pretty white sugar gliders with a dark stripe down their backs, & some other sugar gliders eating fruit. 🤗 Their “crabbing” sound reminds me of a combination of a quiet angry squirrel 🐿️ & the sound my guinea pigs make when they’re mad at each other.

  • A whole bunch of baby hedgehogs! 🦔🦔🦔 If I was still interested in getting a hedgie I would have been excited, because they were only $100. But MAN, are those things sharp 😮. Especially when they bounce to poke you with their spikes. You can see me jerk away when it pokes me in the video below! They were all sleeping in a little prickly pile together, & they were adorable 💤.

    Baby Hedgehogs at Tampa Repticom 2018
  • More leopard geckos than you could shake a stick at. 🦎 It seemed like EVERYONE was selling leopard geckos. I saw some really beautiful mostly-white ones.
  • Awesome geckos! 🦎🦎🦎 SO MANY GECKOS! 🦎🦎🦎 The aforementioned leopard geckos, plus a reasonable number of crested geckos. But I also saw some really great Chahouas, Leachies, day geckos, gargoyle geckos, etc. Geckos are super-awesome. 🦎
  • I got to hold a 🦉 rescued screech owl 🦉 from the Friends of Largo Nature Parks! (ARTICLE WITH MORE PHOTOS COMING SOON!) OWLS ARE MY FAVORITE & THIS WAS SO AWESOME! They had a Sulcata tortoise 🐢 with a donation jar taped to its back. It was so awesome. The article has pictures of that too! (Also, I was so excited after holding an owl that I began walking away before I realized my gecko bag was still sitting on their table 😂).
    Me Holding an Owl at Friends of Largo Nature Parks - Tampa Repticon
    Owl at Friends of Largo Nature Parks - Tampa Repticon
    Owl at Friends of Largo Nature Parks - Tampa Repticon
    Owl at Friends of Largo Nature Parks - Tampa Repticon
    Owl at Friends of Largo Nature Parks - Tampa Repticon
    Sulcata Tortoise with Donation Jar at Friends of Largo Nature Parks - Tampa Repticon
    Sulcata Tortoise with Donation Jar at Friends of Largo Nature Parks - Tampa RepticonLook at the little tortoise nose chilling in the bottom right corner too!
  • I got to pet a bearded dragon! I can’t remember the name of the vendor but they made custom stone-looking houses for reptiles. They had this awesome bearded dragon just chilling on a rock & people could pet it. The beardie was so docile & cute! Someone said their bearded dragon always got excited when they came home, like a dog 🤗.

  • There were so many beautiful snakes! 🐍🐍🐍 I wasn’t in the market for a snake so I didn’t spend too much time looking at them, but I saw some gorgeous ones. In my opinion, the most beautiful snake are the banana/candino morph-looking ball pythons. I saw plenty of those. I also saw some cute tiny snakes in cups. I watched vendors put the snakes in white mesh bags & speculated that if I ever get a snake it will totally ride in the cooler on the way home just in case it happens to escape from its mesh bag.
    Banana Ball Python Morph at Tampa Repticon 2018
    Banana Ball Python Morph at Tampa Repticon 2018
    Banana Ball Python Morph at Tampa Repticon 2018
  • Someone was selling pet roaches, which were pretty cool!
    Pet Cockroaches at Tampa Repticon 2018
  • There was someone with fancy bettas & cherry shrimp. 🦐 I will totally have a shrimp tank someday 🦐!
  • One vendor had tiny cups with even tinier baby axolotls. I looked at the axolotls & was very glad I decided not to get one. I would have been too nervous about their water quality.
  • I saw piles of tiny 🐁 pinky mice & fuzzy mice 🐁 huddled together. I took a photo of the fuzzies & the vendor said, “The pinkies are also cute.” They were precious, even though I know they will most likely become snake food. There were also a good number of people selling rats, both pet & feeder rats. I saw some really cute baby rats too!
    Baby Mice at Tampa Repticon 2018
    Pinky Mice at Tampa Repticon 2018

    Baby Rats at Tampa Repticon 2018

    Baby Rats at Tampa Repticon 2018
  • There was a cup filled with baby chicks 🐤🐤🐤. If I lived somewhere zoned for chicks, I would have bought them. I felt sorry for them because I knew that, like the baby mice, they would most likely be eaten.
  • So many people had 🕷️ tarantulas & scorpions 🦂. I heard a guy excitedly telling his father about how poisonous this one tarantula he was getting was & how nasty their bite was. He seemed to know a lot about tarantulas & he sounded like he just loved them. I heard a kid asking a vendor which species she recommended for a beginner. I saw some cute tiny tarantulas 🕷️ that were only about the size of a penny!
  • I hoped to get millipedes 🐛 while I was at the expo. I spent a while looking for them, but didn’t see any. I saw a vendor that seemed focused on invertebrates, so I asked if he had millipedes. He said not right now.
  • TONS OF TORTOISES! 🐢🐢🐢 I saw a huge number of baby red foots & other tortoises. There were also a variety of ages of tortoises. They were so cute. But I was still really glad not to get a tortoise (especially a fragile hatchling) as my first reptile. I freak out enough about my geckos; it would have been so much worse with a baby tortoise despite my obsessive research. There were also turtles. Someone was selling baby red-eared sliders for $10 & baby snapper turtles for $25. Baby snappers look pretty harmless but I know what they grow up to be 😉. 🐢🐢🐢
    Tortoises at Tampa Repticon 2018
    Tortoises at Tampa Repticon 2018
    Tortoises at Tampa Repticon 2018
  • There are a lot of animals I WANT to buy, but I’m good at not impulse-buying them 👏🏆💯
  • IF YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO GET A SPECIAL GOODY BAG BECAUSE YOU GOT A VIP TICKET, ASK FOR IT FIRST 🛍️☹️. Big lesson here. I casually moseyed on over to the welcome booth after I was done looking around. “Is this where I get my bag of free stuff?” I asked. The lady looked at me sympathetically. “I’m sorry, we ran out of those.” I wasn’t offended, just a little disappointed. & I totally made a mental note to ask for it ASAP next time. I wonder what was in the bag.
Going to Repticon was super-awesome. I can’t wait to go back again!