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RE: Caecilians

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Posted by: greyhoundgirl at Wed May 21 16:17:26 2003  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by greyhoundgirl ]  
   

I manage live animal collections at a university. Among other neat critters, we have one Typhlonectes natans, 2 Dermophis mexicanus, and 6 Ichthyophis kohtaoensis (on the way this week). I have been able to read about Ichthyophis care from a German breeder, but I haven't found much for Dermophis care.

My Dermophis are currently in a 36"x18"x18" glass aqu. filled with about 8" of coconut bark soil. There is some sphagnum mixed in, and they have a length of bark for hiding and a shallow water dish. It has a glass top and I do not use any lighting or heating in addition to the room lights. They are at ~75F. I feed nightcrawlers and simply dump in more when I notice the nightcrawlers are becoming hard to find. I also feed my nightcrawlers (of course) veggies and fruit.

I began with 3 adults last year, and one had babies (8 total, but one died before I found them) 3 months later. I do not know if the mother came in pregnant, but this is probably the case. All babies died within a couple months, and I think the parent(s) ate them. I didn't seperate them because I thught they had ample room and food. The smallest adult died a few months later.

I am very dedicated to excellent animal care. All I have been able to find in amphibian husbandry literature is to keep them at mid 70s F and feed earthworms. Am I using the right size tank? Should I seperate the 2 adults? How can I sex them? I'm pretty sure which one is the mother because she got a lot thinner around the time I discovered the babies Am I feeding the right food? The right substrate? I have a difficult time telling if they are in good health - neither look bony or fat. We occasionally see them at the surface, but can always find lots of their tunnels when I dig around.

Thank you so much for your time and advice!
-Shell Stachowicz
greyhoundgirl@usa.net


   

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