Reptiles Alive at Fall for Fairfax KidsFest!

kids parties - animals for parties - reptile birthday

Reptiles Alive is proud to be returning to Celebrate Fairfax’s 25th annual Fall For Fairfax KidsFest, the premiere fall family festival in the Mid-Atlantic region.

Reptiles Alive will be performing THREE shows this year, Saturday, September 30th at 6 PM, Sunday, October 1st at 1:15 PM and 3:15 PM.  Come meet beautiful animals from all across the world, presented by an engaging Wildlife Educator.  The Educator will tell fun facts, funny stories, and interesting ways you can help protect animals around you and all across the world.  Check out our Kids Page for ways to get your children excited and learning about reptiles.

Fall For Fairfax KidsFest is specially designed for families with elementary and pre-K aged children.

Admission, most activities and entertainment are free of charge.

Creature Feature: Crested Gecko

Crested Gecko (aka Eyelash Gecko)

Rhacodactylus ciliatus

Reptiles Alive Name: Rhacodactylus (aka Rhacky)crestedgecko30int

Hissstory: Rhacky came to us as an unwanted pet in July 2010.

RA Diet: Crickets and fruit.

Natural Diet: Insects and other invertebrates plus fruit and nectar.

Range: New Caledonia.

Habitat: Cool and humid tropical lowland rain forest from the understory to the canopy.

Size: 6-7 inches long.

Lifespan: 10-20 years.

Reproduction: Females lay 1 or 2 eggs which hatch in about 2 months.

Conservation: Crested gecko habitat is threatened by: deforestation, nickel mining, and the introduction of exotic predators.  Most of the crested geckos available for sale as pets in the United States have been captive bred.

Cool Facts: Crested geckos were first discovered in 1866, but were later thought to be extinct.  However, in 1994, two herpetologists on expeditions to New Caledonia “rediscovered” the geckos.

Creature Feature: Prehensile Tailed Skink

Prehensile Tail Skink, aka Solomon Island Skink, aka Monkey Tail Skink

Corucia zebrata

Reptiles Alive Name: “Mortimer”


Hissstory: Mortimer belonged to a former Reptiles Alive animal keeper who left for another job and left Morty here  in May 2002.

Zoo Diet: Greens, vegetables, and fruit.

Natural Diet: Leaves,  blossoms, and fruit.

Range: Solomon Islands near Papua New Guinea and Australia.

Habitat: The canopy of old-growth tropical rain forest.

Size: Prehensile tailed skinks are one of the largest skink species in the world!  They can grow 18-24 inches long, most of which is tail.

Lifespan: Prehensile tailed skinks can live over 25 years.

Reproduction: Unlike most lizards, prehensile tailed skinks bear live young and even care for their babies!  They become very protective of the one or two large baby skinks for about a year after giving birth.

Conservation: Prehensile tailed skinks are sometimes eaten by indigenous people, but their biggest problems are the pet trade and habitat destruction.  They are now listed as CITES Appendix II and are  no longer legally imported for the pet trade.

Cool Facts: Prehensile tailed skinks are nocturnal – they come out at night and sleep in the day.  Because of their funny faces and nightime habits, they are sometimes referred to as “Island Gnomes” or ghosts, by the people who live in the Solomon Islands.

Creature Feature: Schneider’s Skink

Schneider’s Skink

Novoeumeces schneideri


Reptiles Alive Name: “Schneider”

Hissstory: Schneider came to live at Reptiles Alive on June 23, 2003 as an unwanted pet.

Zoo Diet: Schneider LOVES to eat super worms, but we also feed him: meal worms, earthworms, roaches, greens, vegetables, and fruit.

Natural Diet: Schneider’s skinks are omnivores, so they eat both meat and plants.  Insects, vegetation, grasses, fruit, berries can all be a part of their diet.

Range: Northwestern Africa to western Asia.

Habitat: Dry grasslands, rocky steppes, semi-desert, and oasis.

Size: Grows 13 – 18 inches.

Lifespan: Lives over 20 years.

Reproduction: Females lay 3-20 eggs under moist sand and coil around them for the 6 weeks of incubation

Conservation: Most Schneider’s skinks found in the pet trade are still wild caught. This means they have been kidnapped out of the wild and sold to pet stores. Many are shipped to the United States in horrible conditions.

Cool Facts: Like many lizards, they can break off their tail when danger threatens. Nerves in the tail will cause it to wiggle on the ground for several minutes after detaching, giving the lizard time to escape. With enough food and time, the lizard can usually grow the tail back. The tail however, does not grow back as long or as flexible as it once was. This makes it more difficult for the lizard to escape in the future.