May 2011 Editor's Note
There’s no denying that a vivarium containing both herps and plants can be an eye-catcher. Artificial plants can be used, but live plants add their own special, natural appeal. Hobbyists who enjoy naturalistic vivariums should be excited over one article in particular in this issue, a first for us that adds a new wrinkle to the idea of keeping live plants in a vivarium. On page 50 is “Vivarium Plants With Bite,” Paul Riddell’s article about carnivorous plants that can be kept with an assortment of reptiles and amphibians.
Carnivorous plants have a mysterious allure. Who doesn’t find the idea of a meat-eating plant fascinating? I’ve tried my hand at keeping Venus fly traps. They all quickly died, and I suspect Venus flytrap deaths due to ignorance on the keeper’s part may be the horticultural equivalent of the mass deaths of red-eared slider hatchlings in the early days of herpkeeping. Venus fly traps, as the article reveals, are not easy to keep. However, there are other carnivorous plants, such as pitcher plants and other species — some quite attractive — that are more forgiving in regard to care. These can often be kept safely with tropical herps, such as treefrogs, anoles, day geckos, dart frogs and others, so hobbyists with a penchant for naturalistic vivariums may want to consider them.
Carnivorous plants can be very interesting to keep with herps, but choose carefully or you may be missing a favorite treefrog!