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Desert Terrarium

Located across the hall from the Biology Main Offices


Creatures in the Desert Terrarium

Common Name: Side-blotched lizard

Scientific Name: Uta Sp.


List of plants found in the desert terrarium. See below for terrarium construction.

Sansevieria cylindrica (Spear Sansevieria)- Native to Angola- The leaves can be braided or left as you see them in their natural fan shape.

Pachyphytum oviferum (Moonstones)- Native to Mexico- Also known as the “Sugar Almond Plant” due to the size, and color of the leaves.

Haworthia fasciata (Zebra Haworthia)- Native to South Africa- This plant favors more acidic sand. 


Sedum pachyphyllum (Jelly Beans)- Native to Mexico- Like many succulents the leaves are filled with water giving it the “Jelly

Bean” appearance.

Rhipsalis cereuscula (Coral Cactus)- Native to South America- Gets its name from the appearance of coral. 

Haworthia mirabilis- Native to South Africa- Grows in rocky areas in altitudes of 500 meters. 


Graptopetalum paraguayense (Ghost Plant)- Native to Mexico- In the same family as the Jade Plant.

Esposta lanta (Old Lady Cactus)- Native to South America- The cotton like substance is used as a sort of sunblock for the plant.

Haworthia angustifolia- Native to Africa- In the same family as the Zebra Haworthia. One can tell the difference by the lack of smoothness on the inside edge of the angustifolia leaves. 


Pachyveria haagei-Native to Cultivation- Beautiful, silver, aqua-blue slender leaves with rainbow pink pointed tip.


Terrarium Construction 

Empty terrarium ready for some desert plants!

ZOO MED™ HYDROBALLS™ were used as a false bottom. Next a screen was placed to keep the substrate from not mixing with the HYDROBALLS™. The layer you can see is sphagnum moss. The sphagnum moss is used to keep the sand from falling down to the bottom.

Various colors of ZOO MED™ Vita-Sand® sand were mixed to give a more natural Utah sand color. Broken clay pots are used to give the terrarium some topography. 


Sand was added in layers to give a sand picture.

Finally the plants are added, along with a rock feature.

View from the lab site.


Finished product!