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RE: lace monitor nesting simplified

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Posted by: crocdoc2 at Mon Feb 13 16:33:58 2012  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by crocdoc2 ]  

FR::" Heres the problem Crocdoc, as a scientist, you have forgotten what the word "obligate" means, that is, unless you take it very very loosely.
Its means Lacies are obligated to nest in termite mounds, which means they cannot reproduce without them.
So, how come they have nested in dirt burrows and hollow logs and leaflitter?"

I haven't forgotten anything. In the wild, in at very least much of their range, they must nest in termite mounds in order for the eggs to survive. Yes, they'll make do in captivity in the absence of a termite mound. Yours have nested in dirt burrows, hollow logs and leaf litter.

Yours have also all died of reproductive failure, which is a sign of less than ideal nesting. We seem to keep overlooking this detail.

If you'd seen what a termite mound nest looks like, you'd have recognised the behaviour of the female scraping at the insides of a hollow log for what it was. Digging and/or scraping at things that aren't termite mounds isn't a revolutionary change in behaviour. Clearly the instincts to dig, lay eggs and cover the nest will still be played out, but they play out faster if the conditions are more appropriate. In lace monitors, this means 21-30 days from first mating to egg laying instead of 45 days. You and I both know that delayed nesting is a sign of inappropriate nesting conditions. What's more, under the right conditions the female recovers quickly and lives to breed again.

If you put a monitor in an enclosure with nothing but a bookshelf and she laid her eggs in that, you wouldn't jump to the conclusion that lace monitors nest in bookshelves in the wild, would you? Your animals nested in leaf litter and hollow logs because that's what they were offered, not because that's what they do in the wild.

This still doesn't explain why adding a heated nest box as an added option is such an issue for you. My female has had access to leaf litter (and other substrates I have trialled) and hollow logs, but nests in a heated nest box because there is one on offer.

FR::"I have no idea why you think they can only(obligated) nest in termite mounds. Or why its so important to you."

It's not important to me whether or not it is obligate. It is clearly the most common and widespread behaviour shown by the species, though. Which leads me to the question I had asked which you've overlooked: even if it isn't an obligate behaviour, why base your nesting husbandry on a guess of what a small proportion of the population may do, when you can base it on what the vast majority of the population is known to do.

Especially when your females have been dying of reproductive failure. It isn't important to me what you do - I'm suggesting that it should have been more important to you. If you're happy with your results, then who cares what I say?

FR::" Also as a scientist, I would question the need for Lacie eggs to diapause if they had a naturally consistant perfect temp to incubate at, as you say termite mounds have."

That's an easy one. They don't diapause. Slowed development is slowed development, fast development is fast development. Diapause is a full stop. Variations in temperature and incubation substrate moisture levels both affect incubation times. It's a known scientific fact and there are papers on it. I've also experimented on it with my own clutches, for I used to get staggered hatchings in the beginning and now get coordinated hatchings. In the post in which I showed photographs of a handful of clutches, that's why the earlier ones only showed a few hatchlings whereas the later photographs had large clumps of hatchlings - I usually photograph them when I'm moving them from the incubator into the enclosure and in the early days there were only ever a few out at a time, rather than the whole clutch.

FR::"Lastly your "Termite mound" focus is a bit, off topic to this forum, the keeping and breeding of varanids(in captivity) as lacies have successfully nested without termite mounds.."

Yes, you've told us about that success.

FR::" AND I STILL DID NOT HAVE NESTING RIGHT. As I lost each and every female to early reproductive failure."

FR::" In fact, you do not nest them in termite mounds, you use a wooden box, that contains no termites. Consider, a termite mound is no longer a termite mound if there is no termites."

As I've said probably a dozen times in this discussion, lace monitors don't nest in termite mounds because they like termites, they nest in termite mounds because the termites keep the mound heated and humid, which is how a nest box functions. That you keep repeating this, and also continually compare nest boxes to hollow logs, indicates that this detail has escaped you.

As far as my female monitor is concerned, her nest box is a termite mound, with or without termites. Tell me you can't see similarities in these photographs.

termite mound

nest box

termite mound

nest box

termite mound

nest box

This discussion has been going in circles for a while now and nothing said here hasn't been said several times already. You seem to be happy with your results, so there's no sense me trying to convince you of anything. Although you haven't answered my two questions directly, you have through inference.

I think we've both wasted enough time on this topic. I suspect the difference between us is that we have different goals. I'm achieving my goals, you're achieving yours. It's not up to me to say whether or not you should be happy with your goals, so I'll leave it up to other readers of these threads to decide for themselves.


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