Tuesday, 6 January 2009


Brian, Brian, Brian, Brian, Brian, Brian, Brian, Brian, Brian, and Brian came into the office today. Brians (as they will henceforth be collectively known) are stick insect nymphs, specifically Trachyaretaon brueckneri, or Giant Thorny Stick insects. They currently look like this:

However they will soon look like this:

One of the benefits of working in a wildlife tv company is that an unusual proportion of my colleagues had a 'wow!' reaction, rather than a 'Ew...' reaction, which is what a lot of people naturally tend towards.

Interestingly though, even the 'ew' people were pretty fascinated once they looked closely at one of the Brians. If you've never looked at an insect up close and face-to-face, you might not realise just how bloody amazing they are. Giant Thorny nymphs (or in this case, Brians) are quite a good starting point for anyone who hasn't had much experience meeting and greeting insects - they're not too big (yet), they don't run fast, and they do a little wavy thing with their feet that makes them quite endearing.

A little more on exactly what makes insects so flippin' cool will follow later. You won't be disappointed - promise!

Monday, 5 January 2009


Hello and welcome to Alt.pet - the place for ordinary people with uncontrollable addictions to extraordinary pets.

First off, you're probably thinking, 'Who is this person? Why is this blog appearing? Why should I care?'. Well actually, much as I'd love to say that there's a top secret ulterior motive that will eventually result in world domination, it's actually just because I'm a bit of a bug/reptile geek myself and I wanted somewhere to put all of the fascinating stuff that I've found out about keeping exotic pets.

A lot of people who keep exotic/alternative pets are... well... a bit weird. Sorry, but it had to be said. Kind of like trekkies, but they think they're cooler, because their snake can kick your ass. Don't be fooled, there are normal people out there who just have a bit of an unhealthy interest in cool things, be they creepy, crawly, slimy or scaly. And this is the place to come to find us. Self-confessed geek, but mostly normal, I promise.

I am currently the proud owner of a bearded dragon (Denzil) and some Giant Thorny Stick Insect nymphs (curently all called Brian). Oh, and a hamster called Hobo, but he's not that exotic. But don't tell him, he thinks he's quite rare. I also used to have a beautiful flower mantis called Xena, who unfortunately is no more, but that's another story.

This blog will soon be filled with all sorts of exciting stuff, so please do keep in touch!