I am Francesco Munoz, a Biologist with a huge passion for animals, particularly reptiles, amphibians and felines.
I have traveled several parts of the world in order to observe and photograph animals in their natural habitat. I remember being 5 years old when I lived in Italy and first saw a moorish gecko (Tarentola mauriticana). I was so amazed about how easily these animals could run up a wall and the way they could camouflage with their surroundings to go unnoticed. Since then I started looking for lizards, frogs, snakes in city parks, forests, ponds, streams, as I grew I used to catch them and I would hide them in my room inside some small plastic tanks where I tried to recreate their natural habitat. My family members have caught me doing so several times and obliged to free to poor creatures back to their original place.
Nowadays I believe they were absolutely right. Whilst growing I learnt more and more about these animals, and my parents started understanding my big passion and let me keep captive bred animals at home. I have kept hundreds of reptiles species through my life, and have a particular interest for geckos from the genus Uroplatus, Rhacodactylus, Mniarogekko, Correlophus and Amphibians. Although I must say that I have occasionally kept some wild caught animals in my collection, nowadays I do not encourage collection of any kind of animals from the wild, especially for pet trade purposes. I believe animals should be caught from the wild only for conservation purposes.
Why do I love reptiles?
Well, this is definitely not an uncommon question that I have faced through my whole life. Most of my family members, my girlfriend and friends cannot get it! I usually just answer because I find them so cool and interesting, they look so prehistoric. But to people who have a deeper knowledge about animals and reptiles I would say that I find reptiles and amphibians so interesting because they are unique creatures which display the most impressive forms of behaviors and colors in order to survive in the wild. I am definitely very intrigued about searching, observing and photographing reptiles in the wild, but I also enjoy keeping them, and although is hard work taking care of so many animals with so many different needs, I still find it extremely interesting to observe closely the behavior of these small dinosaurs. Reptiles and Amphibians have adapted several survival mechanisms; some have evolved into poisonous creatures which usually display extremely colorful patterns to alert potential predators about their toxicity, others have adopted camouflage mechanisms, which enables them to go unnoticed from predators and preys. I have called my business MOC Reptiles, MOC standing for Masters Of Camouflage since I find camouflage one of the most fascinating behaviors of many reptiles species, the way they can modify their skin cells to resemble their surrounding environment has definitely played a big role in growing my passion for these amazing creatures.