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Temps.......

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Posted by: JKruse at Wed Jan 9 23:35:49 2008  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by JKruse ]  
   

After reading your rationale, it can be postulated that a gradual cycle is very appropriate for brumation. Of course, we should always remember that, if at all possible, replicating temps, photoperiods, burrowing/shelter needs, et al are vital to the overall success of not just maintaining proper husbandry/"psychological" well-being, but also with reproduction. As far as the montane species/subspecies, it would really not be appropriate to plunge them into a tremendous drop in temps (i.e.: 45-50F), nor would it be appropriate to thrust them into even immediate "room temps" after a sudden cold spell (which, in my opinion, such room temps ranging from 70-73ish F should be the average ambient temperature for zonata and pyromelana -- let's consider what the topography, elevation weather and temps, etc are in their native range. Most unseasoned folk think "oooh, Mexico/Arizona, bright color, keep 'em hot" -- NOOOOO, not at all). Ideally, a slow and graduated reintroduction to warmer temps would be the most appropriate way to go. My understanding, and some good experience with breeding greeri many years ago, was that a quick shift to a warmer temp IN CONJUNCTION with maintaining them at temps (particularly the male) that were likely too high (i.e.: 78-80F) was the culprit in killing sperm off. I'd used a microscope with 100x power and, through trial and error, I'd found that sperm samples were VERY low subsequent to higher overall temps post-brumation. SO, I think you're absolutely right BUT I do honestly feel that the longer the brumation process goes, the less stress on the animal and the likelihood of greater breeding success (For MONTANE species, i.e.: 65-70F for 2 weeks, about 60F for 2 weeks, drop to about 50F for 6 weeks, then go in reverse but introduce and maintain, especially the male, at no higher than 65-70F with respective photoperiod. And, of course, a moist hide is preferable with montanes. I find my zonatas get a bit irritated over 75F and excessively cruise their enclosure.

Regarding incubation temps, I have also found that (with zonatas and pyros) a lower stabilized temp (optimally around 73F) works very well. I've found that my SR pyros from back in the day hatched much larger and ate w/o much issue at all after 85-90 days incubation. I would never incubate pyro or zonata eggs higher than 75F again. Lastly, with some mexicana such as greeri -- again, montane. I'd follow pretty much the same recipe. Others, such as mex mex, thayeri, alterna, would fare well with a little higher temp both with brumation and incubation (but i still would not go higher than 78 if I could help it, with less substrate moisture and higher overall humidity via evaporation of pooled water in a deli cop within the egg box, et al).
Awesome question and one that others should
jump in on! Keep us posted...

Jerry Kruse



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