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fresh batch of lace monitors

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Posted by: crocdoc2 at Sun Jul 1 00:38:08 2012  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by crocdoc2 ]  
   

My first clutch of lace monitor eggs from last season pipped a couple of days ago and are now all out of the egg. Eight in total, all perfect.

First one out:




Second egg box emerging:


After a bit of experimentation over the past few years, I'm a big fan of using the suspension method for incubating these eggs. I've never had an issue with hatch rate and couldn't really improve on that, but the added bonuses of the suspension method are:

1. Far less fiddling than with perlite when the egg boxes are being prepared. No hunting for the perfect perlite, no mixing, no weighing, nada. I use a bit of aquarium filter wool to stop the water from sloshing around when I move the egg boxes around and that's it.

2. Far less fiddling with the eggs during incubation. No need to put damp tissue over dented eggs or move overly-hydrated, turgid eggs to the centre of the egg box to dry them out. In fact, no more moving eggs around within the egg box to make sure they're all equally hydrated so that they hatch at approximately the same time.

3. Always a coordinated hatch. On perlite it wasn't unusual (until I started fiddling around, as mentioned in '2.') to have eggs from the same clutch hatch days, weeks or even months apart. With the suspension method they are all equally hydrated and all pip and hatch within a very short time frame, usually 2-3 days tops.

4. Larger, more robust hatchlings. This was the main reason I started experimenting with this technique to start with, after seeing the babies being produced by a good friend that has been using the suspension technique for years. With perlite, the size and build of the babies would depend on how dry/wet the perlite mix was, or often even the type of perlite used for larger grain perlite with less surface area per volume would remain wetter at the same weight than smaller grain perlite. Although the hatchlings might emerge at similar weights, depending on the incubation conditions (ie moisture levels) some of them might be small in body but with a large yolk reserve whereas others would be large in body, but with little yolk. With the suspension method my average hatchling weight has gone up a full 15% and the babies are all large, with a small yolk reserve. They spend very little time in the egg after pipping and come bursting out of the egg box when I open it. Although I used to leave them in the incubator for a few days after hatching, now I put them into the raise-up enclosure on the day they hatch.

5. Added bonus: No perlite in my nostrils, eyes and throat. Even when wearing a face mask I invariably coughed my guts out when I prepared egg boxes.


   

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