By Faith Miller
Matzen’s Morphs, located in Lakeland, is a family-owned business that features snakes along with multiple different kinds of reptiles.
It features several different types of reptiles, including snakes, geckos and blue tongue skinks. There are currently 40 reptiles available for sale and, due to the breeding season beginning soon, it will have many more available within the next six months.
The business began when the owner, Rene Matzen, was convinced by her oldest daughter, Emma Matzen, to get a pet snake. She described that after both of her daughters had one, she was “hooked.”
“They are easy to care for, and the fact that there are so many different kinds, and so many patterns and colors, is a lot of fun,” said Rene.
She later went on to describe and define what a morph was within the reptile world.
“I love breeding to produce certain patterns and colors, which are known as morphs in the industry,” said Rene.
The way the reptiles are contained varies, depending on the type of species. Most of the snakes are kept in ‘rack systems,’ which are tall, black enclosures that feature many drawers that are equipped with heat tape to keep the snakes healthy.
The snakes that are in their own personal glass containers have heat lamps, and the geckos are kept in glass enclosures.
The snakes are fed about once a week and the geckos are fed every few days.
“Snakes are a lot easier than lots of other pets for the fact that they only need to be fed once a week, and they don’t shed on the furniture,” said Rene.
The business participates in six to seven reptile shows throughout Florida through Repticon, a reptile event hosting company. Its next show will take place in Lakeland at the RP Funding Center from Saturday to Sunday, March 27-28.
“It is interesting to see how many people come to the shows. There are lots of reptiles at the show, such as geckos, snakes, monitors and other lizards. There are even frogs, spiders, guinea pigs, birds, fish, goats and rats for sale,” said Rene.
For more information regarding reptile care and ownership, please visit www.facebook.com/matzensmorphs or call 863-602-0259.