Reptile & Aquatics

The Reptile & Aquatics Facility provides the Institute’s research staff with the highest quality laboratory animal care and support services for non-mammalian species. Specialized husbandry is provided for a wide variety of animal species.

Species currently housed include:

  • Whiptail lizards (Aspidoscelis spp.)
  • Veiled Chameleons (Chamaeleo calyptratus)
  • Zebrafish (Danio rerio)
  • Cavefish (Astyanax mexicanus)
  • Starlet Sea Anemones (Nematostella vectensis)
  • Planaria (Schmidtea spp., Dugesia spp., Phagocata spp., Girardia spp.)
  • Apple Snails (Pomacea canaliculata)
  • Sponges


A knowledgeable, specially trained staff of dedicated technicians caters to the needs of the researchers. The Facility is fully AAALAC accredited and all housing, husbandry practices, and veterinary care for the animals are in compliance with the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals, and the Public Health Service Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals, as well as all other institutional, state, and local regulations.  

Staff offer a variety of technical services based on researcher needs including breeding, embryo harvest, tissue sampling, genotyping, histology preparation, cryopreservation, and identification services.


The Reptile & Aquatics Facility uses the following equipment in its work:

  • Pentair Fsh Systems - Single and Multi-rack Housing
  • Custom-built, Species-specific Recirculating and Flow-through Housing Systems
  • Aquafine TrojanUVLogic Series Ultraviolet Disinfection
  • Faivre Rotary Drum Filters
  • Process Technology Immersion Heaters
  • Aqua Logic Chillers and Heat Pumps
  • Georg Fischer Signet Water Quality Sensors
  • YSI Pro30 Conductivity/Salinity/Specific Conductance/TDS Meters
  • YSI ProODO Dissolved Oxygen Meters
  • YSI 5200 Recirculating System Monitor
  • Hach DR Series Colorimeters
  • Hach sc200 with LDO Dissolved Oxygen Probe
  • Point Four Tracker Total Gas Pressure Meter
  • Warner Instruments Picoliter Microinjectors
  • Narishige MO-202U Three-axis Joystick Oil Hydraulic Micromanipulator
  • Panasonic MIR Series Incubators
  • Ocean Optics Spectrometer
  • International Light Technologies ILT350 Illuminance Spectrophotometer
  • Leica DM IL Series Inverted Microscopes
  • Leica M165 FC Stereomicroscope with Fluorescence
  • Leica EL 6000 External Light Source for Fluorescence Excitation
  • Leica M205 C Stereomicroscopes
  • Leica M170 HD, DFC3000G, and IC80 HD Microscope Cameras
  • Zebra Technologies Label Printers