at Sun Mar 23 17:02:46 2008 [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by Pilirin ]
Leeway Corucia Research Center (LCRC)
A most enjoyable species.
Giant Plated lizards (Gerrhosaurus validus -underlined) hail from the southern part of Africa where there is more seasonal variation. A spike in temperature after several weeks at a lower temperature ( Mid - 60's) creates a stimulus for breeding. Be sure there is not prolonged excessive humidity at these lower temperatures. Eggs should be incubated between 84 - 87 degrees F. Eggs take slightly more than 3 months to hatch. It will be a little longer beyond this, if the eggs are incubated at the lower range of temperature.
There is no neonate care by the parents.
The eggs are relatively large in relation to the female. They are oval in shape and white. Variation in shell thickness can vary from individual to individual based on health and quantity of calcium in the female's system during egg production. The young are about 3 to 6 inches in length and can be fed like adults. Like most neonate rapidly growing reptiles, they should be fed more calcium and vitamin additives than adults. There should be no additional care except to watch for an ANNULUS that is safe by being way too small for adults to get stuck but just small enough for a neonate to get stuck in and die. Also, due to the smaller size of the neonate, watch for openings where a smaller individual may escape or a predator may seek an easy meal.
There is not much available on reproduction due to the fact there is not been much success in captivity (also, not enough people are trying to breed this species, unfortunately). Part of the problem is the enclosure set up. It is either too small or improperly set-up.
GPL's require a very large indoor set-up or should be outdoor housed (best method) like Argentine Tegu's (Burt Langerwerf style). The substrate should be easy to dig by the female and fairly moist. Since this lizard squeezes between rocks and puffs itself up for defense like a pancake tortoise (Malacochersus tornieri), rocks properly spaced should be provided. Indeed, the female will prefer to lay her eggs in the soil between rocks if possible.
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