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New G. flavigularis - thoughts and tips?

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Posted by: jmorris at Fri Nov 7 21:11:54 2008  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by jmorris ]  

OK, so I'm a 7thg grade science teacher, and last weekend I went to the California Science Teacher Association's conference. While there, Ward's educational scientific supply had a raffle, and my name was drawn to pick one thing from their booth. I wandered up to their booth, and stared glassy-eyed at all the pricey and amazing technological curriculum-oriented tools like microscope cameras, and digital balances, human anatomy models, and such, but then my eye caught something simultaneously horrible and exciting - an 18" lizard with beautiful red sides and yellow stripe running down its back. The horifying part was that it was being kept in a 10 gallon tank with a hot rock, damp potting soil, and incandescent lighting. Needless to say, I rushed to the poor thing's rescue. I won't go in to how irresponsible I think it is that this educational science supply place is giving away difficult-to-keep wild-caught reptiles.

So, anyway, I now have my beardie's (R.I.P. Levila) old 2'x 2'x 4' cage set up in my classroom with about 3" of sterile natural potting soil, a bunch of securely stacked flat rock providing tons of caves for burrowing under, and a huge piece of grape vine leaning across the length of the cage up to a basking area. The basking area is about 10" under a 100 watt ZooMed Powersun UV Heat bulb, and gets to about 92 degrees F by mid day. ambient temps in the tank are from about 85 on the basking side to 80 on the non-basking side during the day, and I imagine it is a good deal cooler under the caves on the cooler side. There is also a 4' shop light with cool white 40watt fluorescent bulbs in it for extra lighting. I have a 6" wide 1' deep water dish in there as well that I have been keeping clean and full.

So far, I have offered dusted crickets, honeydew melon, bell pepper, and apple, but over this whole week he has eaten only three crickets. I plan on offering meal worms or small super worms, or some phoenix and/or wax worms, and maybe a small pinky next week, as well as some fruit babyfood. I have seen two small poops with white urates so far.

I will not be back into my room until Monday, but I hope the weekend of peace and quiet, and what I hope is a proper environment will help the little guy (actually, i have no idea of the sex) acclimate and be more willing to eat. Let's hope he is still alive and well when I return to my room Monday morning.

Any tips for making this home better for him, and how to make him feel most comfortable in my classroom (I know, I know, they are shy lizards - I hope he can get used to the commotion in the classroom)? Food and dusting suggestions (I have Minerall-0, Herptivite and RepCal w/ D3 still from keeping my beardie and uroplatus geckos)

I will get picks ASAP next week.

Jared (aka - Mr. Morris)

p.s. - Below is a picture of Levila, my 1/2 German Giant female beardie who died this summer at the ripe old age of 10. She is pictured in the aforementioned cage.

With great power, comes great responsibility.
-Ben Parker


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