Reptile Show Tips | Reptile Show Etiquette

Reptile Show Tips | Reptile Show Etiquette

If you own a reptile or read any of the trade magazines available about the reptile industry you’ve no doubt come across the announcements of the various reptile shows such as NARBC and Reptile Super Show (sponsors) that occur across the United States. You may have even attended one, in case you haven’t I’m now going to give an inside look at what they’re like and why you should attend them as part of your regular schedule. With so many species available today it’s hard, if not impossible for a magazine or any other form of media to cover all of the species available. Brick and mortar pet shops no matter how large are equally forced to cater to their respective customers and this means they too, will carry the more popular species available. So how does one find out about a new species or morph that’s coming to market?

It’s easier than you may think. You don’t have to subscribe to the scientific journals or attend symposiums that are dedicated to captive breeding of reptiles where scientists known as Herpetologists generally speak in terms far beyond the common parlance. All you have to do is get the family together and drive to the local reptile show.  Symposiums and the like can be very costly where as local reptile shows are well within the budget of the budding herpetoculturist running about $10-$20 dollars per entry.

The Reptile Show

You arrive, pay the modest cheap admittance fee and the reptile world quickly becomes your proverbial oyster. Walking through the doors you’re transported to the worlds largest captive reptile collection where you’ll not only see the more common species of reptiles, you can now see first hand all of those incredible color morphs you have read about here on our site as well as in the magazines and books. They’re all waiting for you to come and see them in all their glory. Not only that, you’re given an all access pass to the breeders of these splendid reptiles and all their knowledge they’ve gained throughout the years they’ve been in the industry.

Crowd ShotThe real reason I attend though is to see what new species are coming to market in the coming year.

Breeders will often bring the parents of the babies they’re currently working with to whet the appetite of potential customers.

Generally speaking they’ll often bring their newest creation(s) which are results of careful selective breeding efforts to sell. These new color morphs or species will cost you a pretty penny because they’ve not been released to the market in general but who doesn’t want to be the first person to own a new color morph or species no one else owns yet?

The fun doesn’t stop there though, because if you’re like myself and don’t have the necessary room to house yet another reptile you can still talk with the breeders and pick their brains about subjects such as behaviors that you’ve noticed, or specific dietary needs regarding the species you currently own. Maybe you yourself are interested in breeding a specific species of reptile or amphibian and are wondering about the best way to get started. The reptile dealers are here to answer questions openly and honestly.

Reptile Show Tips

  • Don’t presume that the breeders are OK with you taking pictures of their reptiles always ask. It shows respect for their hard work and opens the door to further conversation.
  • Be courteous of a breeder’s time; don’t presume that just because you purchased an animal they owe you the rest of the show to just answer questions.
  • While common courtesy tells us we shouldn’t listen in on other people’s conversations I would suggest you do just that while attending reptile shows. This ensures you don’t repeat common questions.
  • Don’t ever try to talk a breeder down from their original asking price this shows poor class. If they’re interested in allowing a certain reptile treo be sold at a lower price than what they’re currently asking they will tell you themselves.
Philipe de Vosjoli is one of best known authors in Herpetoculture

Philippe de Vosjoli is one of best known authors in Herpetoculture

Another huge plus when attending reptile shows is you may just run into one of those you look up to, such as a published author like Robert Applegate or Dr. Fry! With the above in mind I look forward to seeing you at the next reptile show! Do you have any tips for people who attend reptile shows? Let us know on Facebook