The water tank in which Reptiles are kept need frequent cleaning and disinfection in the same way. Snakes require something rough—such as a bundle of loose twigs—through which they can crawl to slough their skins periodically. When Lizards break off their tails, no alarm need be felt : thev will grow new ones. SNAKES.
Harmless snakes do not appeal to everyone, but they make interesting and inoffensive pets, particularly the beautiful Italian Grass Snake. They eat grubs, flies, and insects, also live toads and frogs. After a full meal, they require nothing else for several days. Some of the grass snakes have an unpleasant habit of discharging an offensive smelling substance, and, therefore, should not be handled when annoyed. They should be kept in cases with glass fronts. They must have warmth, and the cases should be placed in the sun, when it is bright. They require plenty of soft grass in their cages, and the few twigs for sloughing referred to elsewhere..
There are two types of tortoises, Land Tortoises and Water Tortoises. The former is essentially vegetarian, in spite of the wonderful tales told by dealers of their insect-destroying properties. They prefer most green vegetables, as lettuce, cabbage and dandelions, but they also have rather a partiality for certain fruits, such as the strawberry. The Land Tortoise may be left to range the garden, though unless restricted by a small wooden barrier, he is apt to work havoc with growing plants. He will hibernate in the winter; if he buries himself in the ground, the part should be marked, lest the spring gardener disturbs him. It is really better to put him in a large box with plenty of soil to bury himself, and bring him indoors. If kept in a warm greenhouse, however, he will not hibernate.
The Water Tortoise should certainly be kept in a greenhouse or vivarium, where he can spend part of his time in the water. He feeds on worms fish, frogs, newts, and various insects. He is very shy, and difficult to tame.