Non-Native 2

This additional page is also for non-native species of wildlife that I've photographed in captivity.

Humboldt Penguins   (Spheniscus humboldti)

The Humboldt Penguin is a small penguin growing to a maximum length of 70cm and found in South America. They are declining in numbers due to climate change and over fishing.

Atlas Moth   (Attacus atlas)

The Atlas Moth is found in South-East Asia and is generally considered to be the largest moth in the world with a wingspan reaching over 25cm. Females are larger and heavier than the males. In adult form these moths do not feed as they posess no mouth parts. They live for just 5-10 days.


Forest Giant Owl Butterfly   (Caligo eurilochus)

The Forest Giant Owl is a large butterfly found in Mexico and North, Central and South America with a typical wing-span of 100-160mm. As with all the 15 species of Owl Butterflies the name comes from the owl-like eye-spots on the underside of the wings. Adults live for just 21 days and are crepuscular, meaning they're usually most active early in the morning and late in the evening.


Tiger Longwing Butterfly    (Heliconius hecale)     


Chinese Water Dragon

The Chinese Water Dragon originates from South-East Asian countries such as China, Thailand, Malaysia, and Cambodia. The males grow to a length of up to 36 inches (females 24 inches) although much of this length is tail. These bright green lizards are diurnal omnivores feeding mainly on insects but will also eat small mammals. Although predominantly an arboreal species the Chinese Water Dragons as their name suggests love water and are excellent swimmers.


Chestnut-backed Thrush

This Chestnut-backed Thrush is a beautiful little song bird from the forests of Indonesia. It is considered uncommon / rare and the small fragmented populations in Indonesia could be in decline due to trapping and de-forestation. 

 Ringed Teal Duck

This Ringed Teal is a small duck found in the tropical forests and swamps of South America. These ducks are often kept as pets in the UK because both sexes are very attractive birds that retain their bright colours all year round. The male here showing a pinkish chest plumage with black spots.

 Crested Gecko

The Crested Gecko is found living in the wild in the tree tops of the rainforests of New Caledonia (930 miles east of Australia). This placid-natured lizard was thought to be extinct in the wild until it was rediscovered in 1994. It is now commonly kept in the reptile pet industry because of its beautiful colours and excellent temperament. It is also known as the 'Eyelash Gecko' because of the hair like crests above each eye. The Crested Gecko is primarily a nocturnal species feeding on both insects and fruit.

 Panther Chameleon

The Panther Chameleon is native to the tropical forests of Madagascar where the male can grow to lengths of up to 20 inches including its tail. These fascinating lizards can be incredibly colourful especially the males ranging from blue to green to orange and red.. Chameleons change their body colour to exhibit mood changes such as stress, fear or excitement. They can also use this colour changing ability to help blend in with their surroundings. Chameleons have unique eyes that are located in turrets on either side of their heads. These eye turrets can rotate independently to give the chameleon almost 360 degree vision. The Panther Chameleon has a relatively short lifespan for a reptile and rarely lives past 10 years of age.

 Monkey Wax Tree Frog

These are medium sized arboreal frogs from the centre of South America. They are green in colour and their skin is covered in a wax-like substance that allows the frog to bask in the sun during the day without its skin drying out. At night these frogs actively hunt for insects. Although perfectly capable of jumping these frogs usually get about by climbing hence the 'monkey' part of their name. The Monkey Wax Tree Frog doesn't need to leave the safety of the trees during its mating season either. Instead they make a nest from leaves in the branches overhanging water where the female will lay her eggs. Once hatched the tadpoles will simply drop from the nest into the water below.

White's Tree Frog

The White's Tree Frog is found in Australia, New Guinea and now New Zealand. They are a very placid natured frog and even in the wild they can exhibit little fear of Humans. Like the Monkey Wax Tree Frog the White's Tree Frog secretes a waxy substance that it rubs over its skin to prevent moisture from escaping. In captivity one easy way to tell the two species apart is to look at the pupils of the eyes. The White's Tree Frog is one of the few tree frogs to have vertical pupils. These frogs have an average lifespan of 16 years in captivity but they have on occasion lived for over 21 years.


 Cuban Tree Frog

The Cuban Tree Frog is the largest Tree Frog found in North America and is a high invasive species that has adapted well to living around Humans and will eat almost anything it can catch and fit in its mouth. They are readily available in the pet trade but they secrete a mild toxin from their skin which can be irritant to those handling these frogs especially if allowed near the eyes. Cuban Tree Frogs are rapid breeders and populations spread quickly making them a serious threat to other species. In captivity they tend to live for 5-10 years.

Golden Mantella Frog    (Mantella aurantiaca)

The Golden Mantella Frog is one of many frogs found in Madagascar that are facing possible extinction in the wild due mainly due to habitat loss but they are also suffering from collection for the pet trade.

These frogs are bright orange in colour which serves to warn would-be predators that they are highly poisonous. With a maximum size of just 2.5cm in length (usually smaller) these little frogs would be an ideal food source for many predators if it wasn't for the toxins secreted by their skin. Their main food source is ants and termites. Golden Mantella Frogs lay their eggs under damp moss or tree bark found next to water. Once laid the eggs are left completely unattended and newly hatched tadpoles must find water immediately to survive.

Dyeing Poison Frog    (Dendrobates tinctorius)

The Dyeing Poison Frog is one of the largest poison dart frogs found in South America and usually grows to a length of around 50mm but some can reach 70mm. These are primarily a ground dwelling frog and spend much of their time exploring leaf litter hunting for insects in tropical rainforests. Eggs are laid out of water often attached to leaves. The tadpoles are then carried by the males to puddles (tree holes, etc) where they can develop further.  In captivity these colourful frogs are known as "tincs" and can live for over 20 years. They are considered to breed easily in captivity. Different locales have different morphs but the Dyeing Poison Frog is usually a combination of blue,yellow, and black colours.


 Orchid Praying Mantis

Native to Malaysia the female Orchid Praying Mantis grows to a size of about 7cm in length. The male is much smaller. Both are prolific hunters and feed mainly on flying insects but they will also eat crickets, butterflies and other insects as well as small geckos. They have been known to eat small quantities of banana as well. Because of the vast difference in size the male risks being eaten whenever he attempts to mate with the female and even if mating is successful the female will sometimes begin eating the male before the mating is finished.

 Despite its name the Orchid Praying Mantis is not usually found on orchids. It is normally found on plants with white or pink flowers and the mantis' flower-like colours and leg shape give it amazing camouflage.  The average lifespan of an adult mantis is just 3-9 months depending on the species.

Unlike many other insects the mantis does not start life as a grub. Instead it starts off as an exact replica of a full size mantis. As it grows it periodically sheds its complete exoskeleton.  This process will take place several times before the mantis reaches adulthood.

Yellow-Bellied Slider   (Trachemys scripta scripta)
These Terrapins are frequently found living wild in the UK in rivers, streams, ponds and lakes. Many are bought as cute pets but owners can lose interest as the Terrapin grows and it requires a much bigger enclosure. Adult males usually grow to a length of 19-23cm, but females usually grow to around 20-33cm. As hatchlings, they are almost entirely carnivorous but as they age their diet requires less and less meat. Adult Terrapins have a 95% herbivorous diet, but they are still considered a serious risk to our native wildlife when released into the wild from captivity. This link shows an adult Terrapin successfully preying on a bird:    Terrapin strikes!

Red-Eared Slider   (Trachemys scripta elegans)

Red-Eared Sliders and Yellow-Bellied Sliders are sub-species of semi-aquatic turtle. They are known as "sliders" due to their ability of quickly sliding off of rocks and logs into water if disturbed. They originate from southern USA but due to the pet industry they can now be found right across the USA and regularly turn up living wild in many other countries too.

Bald Eagle   (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)
The Bald Eagle is a large and powerful raptor growing up to just over 1 metre in height and having a wingspan of 2.3 metres. They are found in Northern America, Canada and Mexico. They are powerful fliers and can reach 43mph in a straight line and up to 100mph in a dive. They are found near large bodies of open water and only migrate if the water freezes.

Tawny Eagle   (Aquila raptax)
The Tawny Eagle is found in Africa and tropical south-west Asia to India. They feed largely on carrion but will also kill reptiles and mammals up to the size of a rabbit. The grow to a height of 75cm with a maximum wingspan of 1.9 metres. Their preferred habitat is open dry ground such as desert or plains and their status in the wild is considered to be common.

Hooded Vulture   (Necrosyrtes monachus)
The Hooded Vulture is found on African Savannah / open country, where it feeds on carrion and large insects. These scavengers play a vital role in clearing up dead carcasses and preventing the spread of disease. Growing to a height of 70cm with a wingspan of 182cm. The faces of these large birds can appear white, but when excited they blush to a very bright pink.

Mexican Red Knee Tarantula   (Brachypelma smithi)

Because of its large size, bright colours and docile nature, this species of tarantula is one of the most popular spiders in the pet trade. Females can live for 25+ years whilst males usually only live for 3-6 years. The bite of this spider is not considered dangerous to humans but could be quite unpleasant. The abdomen is covered in urticating hairs which the spider will flick in the direction of anyone it considers to be a threat using its back legs.


 Photos on this page were taken using the Canon 7D and the Canon 40D Cameras, (Some using the Canon 580ex Flash unit) and the following lenses:

  Canon EF 100mm Macro 2.8 L IS,   Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS L  USM,   Sigma 14mm f/2.8 Wide-Angle