Like spiders, snakes? Repticon is for you

Repticon will feature tarantulas and other exotic animals.

Well, a scorpion is just not like a tarantula. That’s one thing you ought to know headed into this year’s version of Repticon.

“It’s not nearly as friendly as the tarantulas I work with,” said Michael Dean of Exotic Kingdom, about the predatory arthropod that will accompany his education show. The annual “reptile and other exotic animal” expo is taking place Saturday and Sunday in the Creative Arts building at the Ladson Exchange Park.

Yeah, that’s spiders and snakes and various other creepy- crawlies doted on by a quirkier set of hobby enthusiasts.

The critters will include Dean’s neopedes, “like a really long bug with a lot of legs,” he said. The expo expects to bring 30 vendors to the park for the usual “flea market” mix of demonstrations, presentations and hawking of various animals, gear and supplies.

The trade and transfer of exotics such as spiders is regulated by federal law. State law regulates native reptiles and similar species, but not exotics, said herpetologist Will Dillman of the S.C. Department of Natural Resources. The interest in exotic species like reptiles is good because it promotes conservation of those native animals.

“There are always concerns,” he said. “We certainly promote people taking responsibility for pet animals. Releasing it to the wild is not an option.”

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