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Photographs:  Learn About Our Animals - Present & Past

Meet Our Snakes, Lizards, Tarantulas, Scorpions & Other Minibeasts at Home

[Tanzanian Fruit Beetle] Meet the current stars of Meet The Beasts.

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(For photos of our animals working in Schools, businesses, Community & Healthcare, Use This Link).

Snakes

Boa Constrictor Imperator (Common Boa) - Meet Geoff The BoaTM

[Meet Geoff - Our Large Boa Constrictor Imperator - Meet The Beasts] Meet Geoff, Our Common Boa (Boa constrictor imperator). Large, Gentle & Beautiful.

Native to Latin America (Colombia) the imperators do not grow as large as their more famous counterparts, Boa constrictor constrictor.

Geoff is an extremely placid & gentle snake who enjoys human contact: an ideal introduction to the World of Wriggly.

Large enough to have a presence & create a buzz in any setting, yet small enough to handle, Geoff is usually our star of the show, making many new friends at each appearance. In fact, he is so popular that he has his own Geoff The BoaTM Facebook Page where he writes about his experiences & how he sees the World.

Available to visit with his Beast friends or on his own, Geoff is guaranteed to draw a crowd wherever & whenever he appears.

Boa Constrictor Imperator (Common Boa) - Meet Baz

[Meet Baz Our Young Sand Coloured Boa Constrictor Imperator - Meet The Beasts] Baz, Another Common Boa (Boa constrictor imperator) with a Sandy Background Rather than the Grey of Geoff.

Baz is younger & currently smaller than Geoff but is also a very placid, beautiful & gentle boa who enjoys human contact.

Boas spend much of their adult life on the forest floor, but they are excellent climbers & also very good swimmers. Although much of the diet consists of small mammals & occasionally other snakes, they may also climb trees to take young monkeys or bird chicks.

They are powerful snakes, constricting their prey to stop the heart (induce a heart attack) which is much more rapid than would be the case if they were suffocating or choking their prey (which many still wrongly believe to be their mechanism for killing).

An excellent snake for handling & a great introduction to the World of Boas. Baz also has the dapper moustache & gotee beard. Another dapper, friendly & popular serpent to meet & greet: another crowd pleaser.

Western Hognose Snake - Meet Wesley

[Meet Wesley Our Western Hognose Snake - Meet The Beasts] A Small Snake with the Mind of an Anaconda, Wesley, Our Western Hognose Snake (Heterodon nasicus) is Loved by Everyone He Meets.

Hognose comes from his little upturned snout that he uses for digging &, in the wild, for finding his prey of small frogs & toads.

Hognose snakes haves a reputation for their hissing, bluff striking (with mouth closed) & playing dead when threatened in the wild. This behaviour rapidly disappears in captive bred snakes as their fears rapidly subside, although they do still excrete musk under threat which smells rather like rotting fish.

Wesley is always highly entertaining & friendly.

However, at 20-years-old he stays at home more often these days ... but he can still be brought to you by special request.

Cute, Funny & Friendly: a different snake with a real personality!

Amelanistic Corn Snake - Meet Charlie

[Meet Charlie Our Amelanistic Corn Snake - Meet The Beasts]Charlie is Our Medium-Sized, Brightly Coloured & Active Amelanistic (Lacking Black Pigment) Corn Snake.

Charlie is a very gentle snake who enjoys meeting people.

Corn Snakes (Pantherophis guttatus) are popular pets & so she brings 'familiarity' to our collection. Around 4-feet long, Charlie's striking colours & high visibility often draws crowds.

Another snake guaranteed to create a buzz at your event.

See videos of our animals here

Lizards

Leopard Geckos - Meet Azuri, Warf & Gloria

[Leopard Gecko Azuri - Meet The Beasts]Leopard Geckos (Eublepharis macularius) Are Small, Friendly, Easy-to-Keep Lizards Found in Rocky, Dry Grasslands & Deserts of South-Asian Afghanistan, Pakistan, North-West India & Some Parts of Iran

Leopard geckos are nocturnal (active at night) & although rarely seen during daytime in the wild, they are more active during the day when kept in captivity.

Azuri is typical of the fully-spotted pattern found in the wild, whilst Warf & Gloria are specially bred 'colour morphs'.

The different patterns on their body are great for helping people to understand camouflage.

Azuri, Warf & Gloria always create an 'Aah!' factor, wherever & whenever they appear.

[Leopard Gecko Azuri - Meet The Beasts]
Azuri
[Leopard Gecko Worf - Meet The Beasts]
Worf
[Leopard Gecko Gloria - Meet The Beasts]
Gloria

Rankins Bearded Dragon - Meet Boris

[Rankins Bearded Dragon Boris - Meet The Beasts]Boris, Our Rankins Bearded Dragon (Pogona henrylawsoni) is a Smaller Relation of the Popular Inland Bearded Dragon (Pogona vitticeps). He is very friendly & comical.

Although he looks fierce & foreboding, Boris is actually very gentle (except for his sharp claws) Covered in fascinating patterns of scales, these really do look like mythical dragons of old.

Bearded dragons get their name from their beard which they can puff out when they are threatened or during courtship. In the males, this beard often turns black as a warning sign. Although much less common, this colour change occasionally occurs in females too.

Boris always creates a buzz at events with his cuteness & appearance.

See videos of our animals here

[Rankins Bearded Dragon: Boris - Meet The Beasts]
Boris
[Rankins Bearded Dragon: Boris - Meet The Beasts]
Boris
[Rankins Bearded Dragon: Boris - Meet The Beasts]
Boris

Tarantulas

PLEASE NOTE: We allow close-up viewing of our tarantulas but for safety reasons (irritant hairs & danger to tarantula) we DO NOT allow them to be handled.

All of our tarantulas are captive-bred & have not been taken from their natural habitats.

Mexican Red Leg Tarantula - Meet Rosy

[Mexican Red Leg Tarantula Rosy - Meet The Beasts]Rosy is Our Beautiful, Large, Powerful Mexican Red Leg Tarantula (Brachypelma emilia).

Like all female tarantulas she is much heavier & stockier than her male equivalent would be. Her striking red legs really make her stand out & her imposing size may make her look threatening. However, she is very docile.

Rosy is very prone to flicking her abdominal hairs by flicking her abdomen with her rear legs if she is startled or feels threatened. . This creates a defensive mist of itchy (urticating) hairs which would deter almost any animal from getting near her, due to the irritation caused to their eyes & respiratory tract.

Definitely a 'look at only' exhibit. Medically insignificant venom for humans.

Her size & colour make Rosy a spectacular visitor with a BIG impact.

Mexican Red Knee Tarantula - Meet Speedy

[Mexican Red Knee Tarantula Speedy - Meet The Beasts]Speedy is Our Mexican Red Knee Tarantula (Brachypelma hamorii), Very Recognisable & a Prized Species Because of Her Beauty.

Mexican Red Knee tarantulas were one of the first to be imported live into the UK. Speedy's striking patterns & colours make her stand out & create a lot of interest wherever she appears.

Although she is very placid, Speedy can be quite skittish, moving quickly & flicking her abdominal hairs with her rear legs if she is disturbed.

Her venom is, once again, very mild & medically insignificant in humans.

A beautiful spider, she is definitely a 'for looking at only' member of our Beast team. Guaranteed to create a buzz.

Mexican Red Rump Tarantula - Meet Flick

[Mexican Red Rump Tarantula Flick - Meet The Beasts] Flick, is Our Mexican Red Rump Tarantula (Tliltocatl vagans), a fast but gentle Tarantula, Who Has Tasted Freedom Once (Which Seems to have Activated Her 'Houdini Gene').

Beautiful velvet black, with a hint of metallic green legs & thorax, off-set by striking, orange/red hairs on her abdomen which she is prone to flick when disturbed.

With a leg-span of 6-inches (15cm) Flick is impressive, feeding mainly on insects in the wild (althhogh she would also take small lizards on occasions). In captivity we feed her crickets.

Once more she has low potency venom presents no threat to humans (unless you have an hypersensitive to histamine e.g., powerful reaction to bee stings).

Another beautiful tarantula but definitely in our 'to look at only' category

See videos of our animals here

Scorpions

PLEASE NOTE: We allow close-up viewing of our scorpions but for safety reasons (they have VERY powerful pincers & may use their sting) we DO NOT allow them to be handled.

All of our scorpions are captive-bred & have not been taken from their natural habitats.

Asian Forest Scorpions

[Asian Forest Scorpions - Meet The Beasts] Meet Our Beautiful, Enigmatic Asian Forest Scorpions (Heterometrus spinifer).

Originating in the forests of Asia (especially Malaysia & Thailand) they grow to around 7-inches (17.5cm) long (pincer to tip of tail).

Large & powerful, they feed mainly on insects & are surprisingly quick. Their main mode of attacking their prey is with their powerful pincers.

Asian Forest Scorpions are quite fast & prone to nipping with their pincers rather than using their sting. Adults rarely use their sting, even on their prey, although youngsters are less predictable!

We were VERY excited recently to discover that our scorpions had bred! So, whilst the young are still small, we can show adults & young together. Heterometrus seem to have a highly organised social system where the adults care collectively for the young. However, introducing strangers to the community may result in cannibalism.

Their venom rated as mild & not medically significant in humans. An adult Forest Scorpion sting is probably equivalent to that of a hornet.

Fascinating, enigmatic & intimidating, our Asian Forest Scorpions cause excitement wherever they appear.

See videos of our animals here

[Mother Asian Forest Scorpion Carrying Babies on Her Back - Meet The Beasts]
Mother Scorpion with Babies
[Close-Up of Adult Asian Forest Scorpion Mouthparts - Meet The Beasts]
Close-Up of Scorpion Mouthparts
[Mother Asian Forest Scorpion Carrying Babies on Her Back - Meet The Beasts]
Mother Scorpion with Babies

Insects

PLEASE NOTE: Some, but not all, of our insects may be handled. We love you to have the opportunity to handle them BUT on some occasions that may not be possible.

All of our insects are captive-bred & have not been taken from their natural habitats.

Giant Hissing Cockroaches

[Giant Madagascan Hissing Cockroaches: Male & Female - Meet The Beasts] Enjoy Our Madagascan Giant Hissing Cockroaches (Gromphadorhina portentosa).

A Male (with horns) may be seen to the right, with 2 females to the left

Hissing cockroaches come in a variety of tones & colours, the most common being a deep burgundy & light tan. They can grow to about 3-inches (7.5cm) long.

Our colony of cockroaches includes both shades (see below) & eats fresh fruit & vegetables, especially carrots & broccoli.

When disturbed they can hiss (hence their name) although this behaviour subsides with time if they become used to handling. Even so, our sound like a gas-leak at night!

Why not change an instinctive "Urgh!" into love for these fascinating & frequently misunerstood animals.

[Madagascan Hissing Cockroach Colony - Meet The Beasts]
Our Hissing Cockroach Colony
[Madagascan Hissing Cockroach Male & Babies - Meet The Beasts]
Adult Male & Young
[Handling Our Madagascan Hissing Cockroaches - Meet The Beasts]
Handling Hissing Cockraoches

Death's Head Cockroach

[Deaths Head Cockroach Adult - Meet The Beasts] Welcome to Our Fast, Winged, But Flightless Death's Head Cockroach (Blaberus craniifer), so-called because of the black spot on the adult's head which is said to resemble a skull.

Native to Mexico, the West Indies & Central America, this cockroach has also been introduced into southern Florida in the USA.

They are usually found on forest floors, hiding in leaf matter & rotting wood where they eat any organic food source available, including leaf matter.

In captivity they are fed with a variety of fresh fruit & vegetables, although they will also take wet dog food and moist cereal.

Their natiural predators include spiders, mantids, centipedes & parasitoid wasps, in addition to fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals.

The nymphs do not grow wings until their adult moult & even when they grow wings they cannot take-off & fly. They can however, jump & glide significant distances to avoid predators or find new territory.

Guaranteed to draw a mixed reaction from visitors.

See videos of our animals here

[Winged Adult Death's Head Cockroaches - Meet The Beasts]
Winged Adults
[Non-Winged Death's Head Cockroach Nymphs - Meet The Beasts]
Wingless Nymphs
[Newly Hatched Adult Death's Head Cockroach - Meet The Beasts]
Newly Hatched Adult

Millipedes

PLEASE NOTE: Due to the relatively short life-span of most millipedes, our collection is CONSTANTLY changing. Although there are some species we try to keep in our stock, the actual individuals that come out to events is likely to vary from the those shown below. Whatever we bring, we will ensure that there is colour & variety.

Millipedes are known to produce noxious chemicals, including cyanide, if disturbed or if they feel threatened. For this reason, we do NOT allow our millipedes to be handled.

Wherever possible, we keep species that breed well in captivity so that animals have not been taken from their natural habitats. However, some species have not yet been bred in captivity so wild-caught specimens may be kept.

About Millipedes & the Range We Exhibit

[Meet our Madagascan Fire Millipedes (Aphistogoniulus corralipes)] We Keep Millipedes in a Range of Colours & Sizes that are Interesting, Indeed Fascinating to Observe.

Millipedes we try to have in stock include Madagascan Fire Millipedes (Aphistogoniulus corralipes), Banded Millipedes (various species), Bumblebee Millipedes (Anadenobolus monilicornis) & Burmese Beauty Millipedes (Spirostreptus spp.).

Millipedes excrete a strong smelling secretion on their skin (containing cyanide) which makes them very unpleasant food to potential predators, many of which have adapted special techniques or chemicals to neutralise their effects.

Millipedes are detritivores feeding on 'detritus' (decaying plant & animal matter) or decaying matter mixed with soil.

In the wild Most millipedes play an important role in breaking down of plant litter. Collectively millipedes may consume nearly all the leaf litter in a given region. The leaf litter is fragmented in the millipede gut & excreted as pellets of leaf fragments, algae, fungi & bacteria, which help decomposition by microorganisms. Some millipedes are herbivorous, feeding on living plants & some species can become serious pests of crops. Others graze algae from bark or feed on fungi. A few species are omnivorous or occasionally carnivorous, feeding on insects, centipedes, earthworms, or snails. Some have piercing mouth parts that allow them to suck up plant juices.

In captivity are fed a variety of fruit & vegetables but their favourite (& most important food is leaf debris & litter from hardwood like Oak, Beech & Birch. They will also feed on rotting woods from the same species.IT IS IMPORTANT NOT to feed them materials associated with coniferous trees as these contain natural insecticides which are lethal to the millipedes.

See videos of our animals here

[Adult Burmese Beauty Millipede - Meet The Beasts]
Burmese Beauty
[Philippine Yellow & Black Banded Millipede - Meet The Beasts]
Philippine Bumblebee
[Pill Millipede - Meet The Beasts]
Pill Millipede

Our Animals That Stay at Home

Meet The Beasts keeps a range of different animals as pets. Some of these travel to the various events we attend whilst some, which may be too nervous, venemous or fragile to display, stay at home.

Below are 3 tarantulas that we enjoy as pets but who DO NOT travel to events. We also have a Lowland Ornamental, a large African Centipede (Cecil) & a large Red Baboon Tarantula, all of which are very secretive & difficult to photograph.

[Philippine Orange Tarantula - Meet The Beasts]
Philippine Orange
[Indian Ornamental Tarantula - Meet The Beasts]
Indian Ornamental
[Juvenile Costa Rican Zebra Tarantula - Meet The Beasts]
Juv. Costa Rican Zebra
[Banded California King Snake - Meet The Beasts]
Banded California King Snake
[Juvenile Red Baboon Tarantula - Meet The Beasts]
Juv. Red Baboon
[Large African Centipede: Cecil - Meet The Beasts]
Lge. African Centipede

Our Past Beasts

Over the 35-years that we have been keeping exotic animals we have been priviledged to keep & enjoy real diversity & beauty in snakes, lizards, tarantulas, scorpions, beetles, centipedes, cockroaches, mantids etc.

Below is a gallery showing some of these which we hope you will enjoy. Thank you for looking!

[Hybrid African Jewel Beetle - Meet The Beasts]
Jewel Beetle
[Purple African Jewel Beetle - Meet The Beasts]
Jewel Beetle
[Hybrid African Jewel Beetle - Meet The Beasts]
Jewel Beetle
[Mixed Fruit & Jewel Beetles - Meet The Beasts]
Mixed Beetles
[Fruit Beetle & Jewel Beetle - Meet The Beasts]
Mixed Beetles
[Mixed Jewel & Fruit Beetles - Meet The Beasts]
Mixed Beetles
[African Fruit Beetle - Meet The Beasts]
Fruit Beetle
[Spotted African Fruit Beetle - Meet The Beasts]
Fruit Beetle
[African Green & Brown Fruit Beetle - Meet The Beasts]
Fruit Beetle
[Fruit Beetle Underwing - Meet The Beasts]
Fruit Beetle Underwing
[Male Fruit Beetle Horns - Meet The Beasts]
Male Fruit Beetle Horns
Jewel Beetle Underwings - Meet The Beasts]
Jewel Beetle Underwing
[Giant Blue Ghanaian Fruit Beetles - Meet The Beasts]
Giant Blue Fruit Beetles
[Fruit Beetle Colony - Meet The Beasts]
Fruit Beetle Colony
[Giant Green Fruit Beetle - Meet The Beasts]
Giant Green Fruit Beetles
[Fruit Beetles - Meet The Beasts]
Fruit Beetles
[3 Fruit Beetles - Meet The Beasts]
Fruit Beetle Details
Costa Rican Zebra Tarantula: Quickstep - Meet The Beasts]
Costa Rican Zebra
[Adult Male Greenbottle Blue Tarantula- Meet The Beasts]
Male Greenbottle Blue
[Male Mexican Red Knee Tarantula - Meet The Beasts]
Male Red Knee
[Female Cobalt Blue Tarantula - Meet The Beasts]
Female Cobalt Blue
[Female Honduran Curly Hair Tarantula - Meet The Beasts]
Female Curly Hair
[Poecilotheria metallica: Gooty Ornamental Tarantula - Meet The Beasts]
Female Gooty Ornamental
[Fringed Ornamental Tarantula - Meet The Beasts]
Female Fringed Ornamental
[Male Brazilian White Knee Tarantula - Meet The Beasts]
Male Brazilian White Knee
[Juvenile Male Blue Fang Tarantula - Meet The Beasts]
Juv. Male Blue Fang
[Female Singapore Blue Tarantula - Meet The Beasts]
Female Singapore Blue
[Female Bairds Rat Snake: Cheese - Meet The Beasts]
Baird's Rat Snake
[Chihuahua Mountain Kingsnake: Eric - Meet The Beasts]
Chihuahua Mountain Kingsnake
[Grey x Yellow Rat Snake Cross: Jigsaw - Meet The Beasts]
Grey x Yellow Rat Snake Cross
[Colombian Rainbow Boa: Reg - Meet The Beasts]
Colombian Rainbow Boa
[Blairs Grey Banded King Snake: Lucy - Meet The Beasts]
Blair's King Snake
[Young Brazilian Rainbow Boa: Bertie - Meet The Beasts]
Young Brazilian Rainbow Boa
[Female Bearded Dragon: Beardie - Meet The Beasts]
Bearded Dragon
[Albino Giant Land Snail - Meet The Beasts]
Albino Giant Land Snail
[Cameroon Banded Millipedes - Meet The Beasts]
Cameroon Banded Millipedes
[Madagascan Fire, Philippine Bumblebee, Malaysian White Leg Millipedes - Meet The Beasts]
Mixed Millipedes
[Rainbow Millipede - Meet The Beasts]
Rainbow Millipede
[Tanzanian Pink Leg Millipede - Meet The Beasts]
Tanzanian Pink Leg
[Madagascan Fire Millipedes Matings - Meet The Beasts]
Mating Fire Millipedes
[Madagascan Fire & Philippine Bumblebee Millipedes - Meet The Beasts]
Fire & Bumblebee Millipedes
[Malaysian White Leg Millipede (above Philippine Bumblebee Millipede) - Meet The Beasts]
Malaysian White Leg Millipede
Giant Indian Mantis - Meet The Beasts]
Giant Indian Mantis
[Fluorescing Emperor Scorpion - Meet The Beasts]
Emperor Scorpions
[Giant Land Snails - Meet The Beasts]
Giant Land Snails

Meet The Beasts:  Contact Information

More Information From:

Dr Stuart Wood
c/o Meet the Beasts
31 Burder Street
Loughborough
Leics
LE11 1JH

Telephone: + 44 1509 553362
Mobile: + 44 7814 628123
E-mail: stuart@meetthebeasts.com