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Long Island Reptile Expo showcases lizards, snakes and more

Amy Travers, from the Rainforest Reptile Show, holds

Amy Travers, from the Rainforest Reptile Show, holds a black and white tegu lizard at the 2014 Long Island Pet Expo at Suffolk County Community College. The three-day expo is March 6-8, 2015, with dog and cat agility shows, a petting zoo, a reptile show and lots of vendors. Credit: Linda Rosier

ALERT: Suffolk County Community College in Brentwood is about to be invaded by hundreds of creatures looking to attach themselves to your home. On Sunday, the 10th annual Long Island Reptile Expo will showcase pets for sale, ranging from lizards to frogs to snakes and even . . . tarantulas.

Here are some of the critters you will encounter:


Stemming from New Caledonia off the coast of New Zealand, this nocturnal lizard grows 6 to 8 inches and has a life expectancy of about eight years. "They have frog-like feet and can climb on glass because of their sticky toes," says Ryan Romaine, manager of Repxotica in West Islip, an exhibitor at the show.

FEED ON Fruit paste and crickets

DANGER LEVEL "They are fairly calm," Romaine says. "They have teeth, but they rarely use them."

COST $90 to $300, depending on color

FUN FACT "They get what looks like horns on their head," Romaine says. "Many are a granite color, like a gargoyle on top of a chapel."


This sedentary amphibian from South America starts about the size of a quarter and can grow to be as big as a tennis ball. They come in about 10 different colors.

"They are low-maintenance pets," says "Jungle Bob" Smith of Jungle Bob's Reptile World in Centereach. "They are beautiful to look at, and they can be put in small desktop enclosures that emulate a rain forest."

FEED ON Crickets, earthworms and fruit paste.

DANGER LEVEL "They can get food aggressive sometimes," Smith says. "All frogs have teeth, and therefore, they can bite. But if they latch on, it's more startling than painful."

COST $20-$60, depending on color

FUN FACT "It looks like Pac Man because its mouth is always open," says Smith. "If you put food in front of them, they are going to eat it. They can get quite large quickly."


These snakes are special because of their size -- adults get only 4 feet long and come in hundreds of colors and patterns. Stemming from the middle of Africa, these nocturnal reptiles need a cypress mulch or aspen wood bedding with fluorescent lights and can live up to 50 years.

FEED ON Small rats and mice.

DANGER LEVEL "They are popular because they are good with people and very manageable," says Vin Russo of Cutting Edge Herpetological Inc., a private breeder from the South Shore.

COST $25-$25,000, depending on color

FUN FACT Adult ball pythons only eat once a month


This well-mannered, medium-size lizard from Australia is probably the most common reptile pet, often seen hanging out on its owner's shoulder.

"They are great for kids," says Alissa Kloc, manager of Reptile Addicts in upstate Lockport. "You can hold them and pet them, no problem."

The dragon, which can live up to 30 years, resides in calcium sand or a reptile carpet in high-80-degree temperatures.

FEED ON Dark leafy greens, crickets and mealworms

DANGER LEVEL "They are not dangerous," Kloc says. "But anything with a mouth can bite. Normally they don't, unless they are startled or injured."

COST $35-$400, depending on color

FUN FACT "When the flap around their neck extends, they are asserting dominance," Kloc says.


Reptile fanatics tend to be wild about this eight-legged South American creature, which spins a web in its enclosure decorated with natural coconut fiber, branches and leaves. Growth goes from a quarter of an inch to 5 inches for an adult. Life expectancy runs up to 10 years.

FEEDS ON Crickets and mealworms

DANGER LEVEL "They are not aggressive but rather well natured," Kloc says. "But they can bite if you startle or injure them."

COST $12-$30, depending on size

FUN FACT They are a dark brown color with a pink spot on the bottom of each foot.


WHEN | WHERE 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Sunday at Suffolk County Community College's Heath, Sports and Education Center, Brentwood

INFO 845-526-4845,

ADMISSION $10 ($5 ages 7-12)

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