Nactus Award

About the Nactus Award

Nactus Award 2018

Now at its 9th edition, the Nactus Award Competition is an international showcase for the very best reptile and amphibian photography. Both professionals and amateurs are welcome to enter as achieving the perfect picture is down to a mixture of skill, vision, originality, knowledge of nature and luck. Each edition thousands of entries are received and judged by a specially selected expert panel. The nominees are announced on the Exo Terra website where public voting will determine the winner of each category. The overall winner will be our jurors out of the 6 category winners.

The competition

The Nactus Award is an herpetological photography competition. Its purpose is to discover the best reptile and amphibian pictures taken by photographers worldwide and to inspire their visionary and expressive interpretations of nature. The competition is open to anyone, amateur or professional, of any legal age and of any nationality. As only digital images are accepted in the competition, the judges will place emphasis on ensuring that the images faithfully represent nature.

There are 6 categories in the competition:

  • Amphibian Portraits
  • Amphibians in their environment
  • Amphibian behaviour
  • Reptile Portraits
  • Reptiles in their environment
  • Reptile behaviour


  • Be part of an internationally renowned reptile photography competition
  • Take centre stage at the Nactus Award ceremony in Tucson, Arizona, USA.
  • A two day photography herping trip to the Chiricahua & Peloncillo Mountains
  • Your image professionally printed & framed with personalised plaque
  • Featured for one year at several reptile art & photography shows
  • Guaranteed media coverage and exposure of your image through the Exo Terra and Nactus Award online community

The Overall Winner receives

  • DJI Phantom 4 Drone
  • The Exo Terra Nactus Award, a prestigious statuette
  • a Ticket to Tucson, AZ to attend the ceremony and the photography trip

All category winners receive

  • a Ticket to Tucson, AZ to attend the ceremony and the photography trip

The award

The Nactus Award gets its name from the gecko genus ‘Nactus’, which inhabit islands in the Pacific, Indian Oceans and Oceania. The 1,5 kg statue is made of solid brass and marble.

The Nactus Award Ceremony will be held at the 2017 Tucson Reptile Show in the Tucson Expo Centre in Arizona, USA on October 7th 2017. All nominees will receive their professionally framed image with personalised plaque.

Nactus Award 2017

Nactus 2017 contest start date: September 20th, 2016
Contest entry closing date: March 5th, 2017
Public voting start date: June 8th, 2017
Voting closed: August 10th, 2017
Announcement winner: September 14th, 2017
Nactus award ceremony: October 7th, 2017

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3rd discovery of a new species during Exo Terra expedition