at Mon May 14 08:40:14 2007 [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by 7serpents ]
Zonosaurus quadrilineatus: Sexing, Breeding & Incubation of eggs
(Years of experience with several breeding groups/WC)
WC Zonosaurus quadrilineatus will take two or three years to acclimate to North American seasonal changes, mainly dependant on barometric pressure cycles with humidity changes of winter and spring.
“ZooMed Infrared Incandescent Spot Bulbs” are used 24/7 for basking areas. Two 12” sq tiles with cork bark flats/tubes stacked on and around for surface temp variation. Use of two UVA/UVB fluorescent tubes ensures vitamin D3 metabolization, and most important but little known is during the breeding season the waxy secretions from femoral pores rubbed on cage furnishing can be detected under some of these wave lengths (not by humans). Basking area stacks, cages furnishings must allow for 10” to 8” of exposure to UVB/UVA lights. I like to use two light fixtures for maximum exposure radius. Tubes are changed out to new every six months.
Nest box/Humidity box is psychologically and physically good for them as it allow a simulation of underground burrow & egg laying site. I use a Rubbermaid container with lid that measures 6”H x 12”W x 14”L, 2” of Bed-a-Beast with a layer of New Zealand Sphagnum Moss (misted daily), 4 air holes along length sides and 4 air holes in top. Nest box is placed at edge of basking site tiles; the cage is stacked on top of another giving bottom heat range of @ 82F but this can also be achieved with the use of heat tape under the cage setting a probe in the Bed-a-Beast to a temperature range 80f-83f. This setup allows for a warm moist area. Have a water bowl large enough for them to soak in on the cool side of cage.
Zonosaurus quadrilineatus is an insectivore that will eat mostly crickets, small Zoophobias/Superworms, waxworms, and mice pinkies bi-weekly. Late January/February being the end of brumation here in the Midwest (no hibernation or cooling down at all) they are offered crickets daily as to prevent aggression in breeding groups. Dusting with “T-Rex Bone Aid MicroStick Calcium Powder” ensures ample calcification of eggs and minimal calcium loss to egg producing females. Mid February introduction of Greens: shredded collared greens, dandelion, and only the tips of red leaf lettuce/romaine/Kale (tips of these greens hold the most nutritional values); Fruits: diced cantelope, kiwi, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and bananas. Fruit yogurt mixed with a little calcium is offered weekly. Note calcium is not used on greens or fruit as they would not eat it offered this way. Dish feeding is best.
Sexing in possible only in 10” to 14” lizards, which is visible by males having larger femoral pores with long secretions and larger cloacal spurs (which appear as sharp-edged scales/one on either side of vent). Females have smaller femoral pore with secretions and much smaller spurs.
Late February/early March the males actively start rubbing femoral pore secretions on cage furnishings sometimes leaving secretions/spirals behind, this is also when mating begins. Copulation last @ 20 minutes and is usually done either in the nest box or under cork bark (this is only my observations). Within 25 to 30 days eggs where gather from nest box, females seem to shed before egg laying and gravid females only lay 1 to 2 eggs with a maximum of three clutches yearly.
Care of eggs: surgical gloves are used to remove eggs from nest box then a new soft art paint brush is used to remove debris off egg. Vermiculite and “Hatch rite” are good incubation media. “Hovabator” incubators are used, the temperature probe is set inside the incubation media to achieve a temp of 86f or – 1 degree no lower than 82f and no higher than 90f. Incubation lasts 58 to 65 days; hatchlings are born with visible egg tooth & yolk sack. They can be reared in their own cage setup same as adults but on smaller scale. Or you can try what I do and put them in with parents which is dependant on the groups socialization amongst themselves as competitive animals are always separated
April is the end of breeding season and the productive females must replenish lost bone calcium from egg production so more pinkies & dusted bugs. By September all are fat and getting ready for brumation which means change the UVA/UVB cycle to our fall/winter light. Do not lower cage temps as this is not needed and will cause the next year to be barren of eggs. They will become far less active, stay in their burrows more, and feed infrequent.
This is a very basic explanation of Zonosaurus quadrilineatus Husbandry/Reproduction based on my experiences and I hope it helps. Not too many of us out here breeding and producing offspring every year. Gather information from many sources and then see how your plated lizard(s) react to setups and husbandry changes as this will tell you what they want. Will try to help by writting more on breeding/incubation/ specialized care of other Plated Lizard species soon.
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