Breeding & keeping info

A new success in Uromastyx thomasi breeding at BION Terrarium Center

by Dmitri Tkachev,  Ivan Neizhko  & Anna Golenko

The Omani Spiny-tailed Lizard (Uromastyx thomasi) is one of about 18 species of genus Uromastyx. 

IMG 20150821 0001According to Thomas M.Wilms (Studybook Breeding Programme Uromastyx thomasi Oman-Spiny-tailed lizard, First annual report (2006) Uromastyx thomasi lives in coastal Oman. The status of the wild population is unknown, but preliminary investigations suggest, that this species is not common in wide parts of the range (WILMS, unpublished). The distribution area of U. thomasi has a length of approx. 600 km and a maximum width of 230 km. Obviously not all types of landscape (e.g. mountainous areas) represented in the natural range of the species are suitable for them as habitats. 

U.tomassi desert in Oman U.thomassi shelter

U.thomassi habitat

However, the results of laboratory research and international breeding projects give grounds for creating population ex situ.

U. thomasi are middle-sized mastigures with distinctive appearance and quite attractive coloration. They inhabits arid climate areas and are activedaytime. In fact, they need rather hot day temperatures to live and reproduce. Their diet includes seeds and different plants, but depends on season (live or drained plants, flowers, seeds).

At present this species is quite rare and endangered in nature. The U. thomassi research started  in 2000, when the first successful breeding was obtained in Germany.

BION Terrarium Center has been implementing it`s own breeding project of U. thomasi during last few years, and as of August 2015 we have already got 5 clutches (15 juveniles have hatched and 31 eggs are still on incubation) from 1 male and 4 females. We hope, it`s a beginning of long-term work with these amazing animals.

Typical enclosure conditions:

Cage: we use glass terrarium 90x70x65 cm for keeping adult pair or 1 male and 2 females. During the period of making clutches, females might be aggressive and animals need more control. Sometimes we keep them separately. In winter males are kept in separate cages.

Substrate: bank sand (for adults).

Decoration:  wooden, ceramic and stone shelters – at least 2 per cage.

Water bowl is necessary in breeding season only.

Lighting: we use full spectrum lamps 80 w and 300 w. The day length is 10-12 hours during a period of activity and 14 hours in breeding season. During winter season lighting is not needed but spot lamp only.

Temperature: during a period of activity we usually use a quality  lamps (Osram , Raptor, Zoo Med) 100 w or more depending on cage size, but the temperature at the enclosure should be controlled to avoid overheating. It should be +25-26º C at night and +29-32º C during daytime. The basking spot temperature achieves 55-60º C.

Humidity: around 50%.

Diet:

Adult lisards received food every second day. They prefer seeds (lentil, green peas), motley grass (dandelion, nettle, clover, mulberry, raspberry, blackberry, mint, plantain, knot-grass etc.) and flowers (rose, hibiscus, linden, robinia etc.). Using dried grass and flowers is also very useful out of season.

Mineral supplements: lump Calcium is always in feeding dishes.

Hibernation:

We reduce temperature and lights gradually from the beginning of January. In January-February we arrange about 2 weeks of rest at +23-26º C and without any lighting. The period of temperature and lighting increase follows later.

Breeding:

Breeding season starts with raising temperature and lighting and keeping pairs together.

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After 35-40 days of gravidity the female digs a clutch into a substrate (usually 10 to 15 eggs, 1 or 2 clutches per season). Within  this period the female feeds less.

Temperature of incubation: +29-33º C, usually +32º C.

Humidity for incubation: 60-70% (a drop of water should appear on the surface of substrate (vermiculite) after pressing it). Excessive humidity is dangerous.

Hatching occurs after 75-80 days.

Breeding in BION1212 Breeding in BION111e

 

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 Offsprings:

First time we keep our juveniles in groups of 5 individuals. Terrarium size is 600x400x450 mm.

Substrate: paper towels.

Decoration and lighting are the same, as for adults.

Temperature at the enclosure should be about +35-40º C, and +60º C at the basking spot (where ceramic shelter to seat on should be located).

We spray our babies twice a day (in the morning and over noon) with a small amount of water.

Young animals start feeding at the age of 2 or 3 days. In general, they feed on the same plants, as adults.

Calcium should be always available.

Veterinary

Health problems of U. thomasi aren`t studied enough, and we recommend to keep all rules of responsible care to avoid health problems of your pets.

Summary

We can indicate few important points from BION’s experience to keep your thomassi healthy & happy and let them to breed:

- always keep high temperature in a basking spot and use a quality lamps like Osram or Zoo Med  on a regular base ;

- keep low humidity level – around 50%;

provide your lizards with proper area = 1 sq.m  for adult  pair or trio;

 use proper diet  including fresh flowers and no fresh fruits at all;

use dry flowers from fall to spring – as the matter of fact they help to fix your lizards stomach problems if any.

Useful sources

 - Frank Glaw - Miguel Vences. 2007: Field Guide to the Amphibians and Reptiles of Madagascar. Vences & Glaw Verlag GbR 3rd Edition. 496 pp. Germany

 - Randall L. Gray. 2003. Desert Lizards: Captive Husbandry and Propagation. Krieger Publishing Company. Malabar. Florida

 - Thomas M. Wilms, Species-Coordinator. 2006. Studbook / breeding Programme Oman-Spiny-tailed-Lizard (Uromastyx thomasi)

- Thomas Wilms. 2005. Uromastyx: Natural History, Captive Care, Breeding (Spiny-Tailed Lizards). Herpeton Verlag. 155 pp. Germany

  

 

Paroedura masobe keeping and breeding at BION Terrarium Center

by Anna Ivanuna & Lilja Krivosheeva

Paroedura masobe is a  interesting ground gecko species. It was described just in 1994, and it remains a jewel in herp collections to present day.

Par masobi  пара  1 IMG 1387

P. masobe is endemic to Madagascar. It`s known from low elevation sites from 300 tom above sea level.

madagascarrah1The extent of occurrence is currently 410 km2, but it probably accounts only 100 km2, according with masobe`s ecological needs. This geckos inhabit low elevation humid primary forests, where prefer height of 1-4 m above the ground.  So, surviving in agricultural land is impossible for them.

P. masobe is a biggest species of the genus Paroedura, maximum total length of individuals attains cm. Animals have unusual external view, with white-spotted dark skin and big eyes. No one subspecies of P. masobe  is known.

They are nocturnal. Their natural diet includes insects and snails.

For October 2014, BION breeding group of masobe includes 6 adult males and 6 females, and we have clutches. We have got an experience of breeding of this species in 2012, 2013 and 2014. So, we are waiting for 2015 season with great hope.

The keeping conditions

We use the vertical glass terrarium not less than 600x400x400 mm for a group of 1 male with 1-2 adult females. Except mating season, we keep individuals separately.

Substrate: soil; recommended depth of layer is 2-4 cm.

Paroedure masobe  juv самцы  3007

Decorations: tree branches, live and plastic plants, bamboo and bark shelters; water bowl, manger with Calcium.

Illumination: full spectrum lamp, 10 hours a day.

Temperature and heating: 23-26° C in day time, 20-23° C at night. The spot lamp is needed in winter (we use 40 W lamp 1-5 hours a day to provide a warm local spot of 25-26° C (not more than 27° C!)).

Humidity: the soil should be moist. Humidity at the enclosure is 70-80 %. We provide spraying twice a day.

Diet: adult animals receive crickets (1,5 cm, 3 ones 3 times per week), Shefordella tartara (3 subadults once per week), snails (1 cm, 1 snail once per week) and wood-louses (1-2 once per week).

Mineral supplements: we give Calcium and vitamins with every feeding, and the dish with Calcium powder is usually at the enclosure.

Hibernation: according to our experience, it`s possible to obtain positive breeding results without any wintering. However, our animals have a delicate winter period during the year cycle.

Breeding

Paroedura masobe individuals become sexually mature at the age of 1,5-2 years. We keep adult animals in pairs or in groups of 1 male with 2 females during all breeding season. One female makes 1-2 clutches during a season, with 1-2 eggs in each clutch. It usually lay eggs on the ground or bury into a soil.

IMG 7668 - копия

The first clutches we observed in November, after 50-60 days of gravidity.

Temperature of incubation: 23-25° C in day time, 18-20° C at night.

We incubate eggs in laboratory conditions, at the dish with vermiculate. Humidity should be 60-80 % (a drop of water should appear on the surface of substrate after pressing it).

Hatchling occurs after 4,5-5 month.

IMG 3286

Offsprings

We use the plastic boxes of useful size, with a substrate of paper towels, for each juvenile.

2 times a day spraying, water bowl, different shelters and plastic plants are necessary.

Ration includes crickets (0,5-0,7 cm, 5 ones 5 times per week) and Shefordella tartara larvae (3 ones 2 times per week).

For youngs, we use calcium powder with every feeding and calcium gluconate with water every day (2-3 drops into a water bowl or water for spraying).

Veterinary

The main problem for P. masobe is decalcination. That`s why we provide our animals with a high dose of mineral supplements and UV light. Moreover, youngs are very delicate. So, you should keep and take them maximum carefully to avoid causing stress.

Useful sources

 - Frank Glaw - Miguel Vences. 2007: Field Guide to the Amphibians and Reptiles of Madagascar. Vences & Glaw Verlag GbR 3rd Edition. 496 pp. Germany

http://www.luckyreptile.com/tiere/150/en/pid1,467$pid2,59$pid3,195/animals.html 

http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/172883/0

http://reptile-database.reptarium.cz/species?genus=Paroedura&species=masobe

Uroplatus henkeli at BION Terrarium Center: the brief generalization of our keeping & breeding experience

by Anna Ivanuna & Lilja Krivosheeva

The Henkel`s Flat-tail gecko (Uroplatus henkeli) is one of the largest species in the genus (with the total length up to 280 mm). It occurs in four disjunct areas in Madagascar mainland and Nosy Be Island, and is dependent from primary forest habitat. There is not enough information about population status of this species, and breeding projects with these animals are quite important to save them.

Uroplatus henkeli is a terrestrial nocturnal species with arboreal lifestyle. These geckos come down to the ground only to lay eggs. The most preferable prey for them are insects and snails.

madagas23This species is vulnerable because of dependence of humid primary forests.

Our breeding project with U. henkeli started in 2008, and in 2014 our group included 15 adult pairs and 3 juveniles.

The typical enclosure conditions

We provide keeping adult U. henkeli in pairs in glass terrariums not less than 750x700x450 mm.

Substrate: middle-size pieces of bark.

Decorations: the big number of horizontal and vertical branches, live plants, lianas and bark shelters is needed. We also  use feeding dishes and water bowls.

Illumination: we provide 10 hours day light (with 5 UVB full spectrum lamp) during the breeding season and 8 hours long day during autumn and winter period.

Temperature and heating: the normal day temperature is 25-27° C (at the enclosure) and 28-29° C at the basking spot under the spot lamp 40 W (not more than 29° C!). Except the breeding season, spot lamp is not necessary. The night temperature should be 19-22° C.

Humidity: 70-80 %. We spray geckos twice a day.

Diet: henkeli prefer insects not less than 1-1,5 cm length. We feed geckos with crickets, locusts and Shefordella tartara(coacroaches) of this size. We also use Nauphoeta cinerea, but this species of insects should be proposed with the help of tweezers, as insects bury to the substrate. We feed henkeli 1-2 times a week (2-3 insects per each gecko). Sometimes we propose food only 0,5-1 times a week (the diet like this is health-giving for fat individuals).

Mineral supplements: we give Calcium supplements every second feeding (with insects). We also use vitamins once per week.

Wintering: the delicate winter season is provided with the help of short day lighting, not with temperature lowering, during autumn and winter.

Breeding

These geckos become sexually mature in the age of 24-30 month. We keep adults in pairs during all over the year.

One female can make 3-4 clutches per season, with 1-2 eggs in each clutch. We basically get 6 eggs from adult female per year. Eggs are usually placed at the ground.

The period of incubation takes 75-90 days. 

Ur.henkeli от 2.06.204  65 см IMG 9957

 

The temperature of incubation is 25-26° C. The humidity should be 60-80 % (a drop of water should appear on the surface of vermiculite after pressing it).

Ur.henkeli  выход 16.06.2014 IMG 0080

Offsprings

The total length of new-born geckos is near 8,5-9 cm. We keep them separately, sometimes in pairs, in boxes not less than 600x450x450 mm. The box replaces by bigger one, when it`s needed, and after 2 weeks age we place youngs in groups of 2-4 animals.

As a substrate, you can use middle-size pieces of bark. Decorations are similar with adults` enclosures.

Spraying, temperature and light for young U. henkeli are the same, as for adults.

Feeding provides 2-3 times a week (3 insects per one young henkeli). We use the same species of insects, as for adult geckos, but choose individuals of useful size every time.

Calcium is very important for correct growth, but vitamins are not necessary (sometimes gutloading of insects is preferable to avoid poisoning of juveniles).

Veterinary

Almost all Uroplatus geckos are liable to problems with shedding, which may be caused by low humidity or vitamin A deficit. So, the high humidity at the enclosures is necessary. We also spray animals with solution of vitamin product “Chiktonik” (2-5 times a day, twice a week, with concentration 1 part of  vitamin for 100 parts of water) if any signs of shedding problems are visible.

Sources:

Frank Glaw - Miguel Vences. 2007: Field Guide to the Amphibians and Reptiles of Madagascar. Vences & Glaw Verlag GbR 3rd Edition. 496 pp. Germany

Sacha Svatek and Susanna van Duin. 2001. Leaf-tailed geckos – the Genus Uroplatus. Brahmer-Verlag, 161 p. Germany

http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/178653/0

http://www.uroplatus.org/species-index/fimbriatus-group/uroplatus-henkeli

                                  

 

The long-term breeding work with Uroplatus phantasticus at BION Terrarium Center

by Anna Ivanuna & Lilja Krivosheeva

The Satanic leaf-tail gecko (Uroplatus phantasticus) is known from different localities in the central-east of Madagascar, and it is endemic to the island. The amazing exterior of this animals, specific behavior and small size supported a high popularity of this fantastic species in live collections  all over the world.

U. phantasticus is a forest-depended species, as it prefers humid forests. It occurs from 400 m above sea level, reaching as high as 1300 m.

madagas1According with nocturnal activity, animals are secretive. They prefer habitats over 1,2-2 m above ground, with great quantity of plants. The diet of U. phantasticus includes different invertebrates.

The species is endangered because of Madagascar forests cutting down. No subspecies are described. However, the exterior of individuals from different localities can be considerably different.

BION provide keeping and breeding of U. phantasticus since 2009, and now we have a group of 13 males and 16 females in this project.

IMG 2206 - копия

The typical enclosure conditions

We usually use the glass terrariums not less than 700x500x500 mm for our animals. The group of 1-2 males with 1-2 adult females can be comfortably placed there.

Substrate: small pieces of bark.

Decorations: the big number of thin branches and live plants is rather important for this species. If possible, you can place dried or live leaves into the enclosure. You can use feeding dish and water bowl, too.

Illumination: we provide our animals 10 hours day light (with 5 UVB full spectrum lamp) during the breeding season, and 8 hours long day during autumn and winter period.

Temperature and heating: the optimal temperature for U. phantasticus is 18-21° C (night)/22-25° C (day). The higher temperature can injure animals! The basking spot is not needed.

Humidity: 70-80 %, both youngs and adults. We spray our animals twice a day.

Diet: phantasticus prefer insects not less than 1-1,2 cm length. So, crickets and Shefordella tartara(coackroaches) of this size are the most useful. Our animals receive 2-3 insects 1-2 times per week. Be careful as this geckos demonstrate the high tendency to fatness. So, sometimes the only feeding per week could be health-giving.

Mineral supplements: we propose mineral supplements every second feeding (with insects), and sometimes we use D3 and vitamin complexes.

Hibernation: the delicate winter season is provided with the help of short day lighting, not with temperature lowering. This period goes during autumn and winter.

Breeding

The first mature we observed for 18 month old individuals.

We keep adult animals in pairs, sometimes – 2 pairs in 1 enclosure. 1 female makes 2-3 clutches (1-2 eggs in every clutch) per season. We usually find eggs placed at the ground.

The period of gravidity takes 20-25 days, and incubation length is 85-110 days. 

The temperature of incubation is 18-21° C (night)/22-25° C (day). The humidity should be 60-80 % (a drop of water should appear on the surface of vermiculite after pressing it).

Offsprings

We keep Juveniles separately in plastic boxes not less than 300x300x300 mm. The box replaces by bigger one every 1,5-2 month.

Till obtaining 1 month old, we recommend paper towels as a substrate. Later, you can use pieces of bark. Decorations are common with adults` enclosures.

Spraying, temperature and light for young U. phantasticus are the same, as for adults.

The diet includes the same species of insects, but you should choose the most usual size of larvae – 0,3-0,7 cm for the beginning. We feed young phantasticus 2-3 times a week, and offer 3 insects every time.

Calcium is very important for correct growth, but vitamins are not necessary (sometimes gut loading of insects is preferable to avoid poisoning of juveniles).

Veterinary

Fantastic geckos are liable to problems with shedding, which may be caused by low humidity or vitamin A deficit. To avoid it, the high humidity at the enclosures is necessary. Also, it`s useful to spray animals with solution of vitamin product “Chiktonik” (2-5 times a day, twice a week, with concentration 1 part of  vitamin for 100 parts of water) if any signs of shedding problems are visible.

Useful sources

 - Frank Glaw - Miguel Vences. 2007: Field Guide to the Amphibians and Reptiles of Madagascar. Vences & Glaw Verlag GbR 3rd Edition. 496 pp. Germany

- Sacha Svatek and Susanna van Duin. 2001. Leaf-tailed geckos – the Genus Uroplatus. Brahmer-Verlag, 161 p. Germany

 

http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/172906/0

http://www.geckosunlimited.com/community/gecko-care-sheets/17665-uroplatus-phantasticus-caresheet.html

                                  

 

Hemitheconyx taylori long-term keeping and the experience of it`s breeding at BION Terrarium Center

by Dmitri Tkachev,  Ivan Neizhko  & Anna Golenko

Hemitheconyx taylori, also known as Taylor`s Fat-tail Gecko, is a middle-sized Eublepharid lizard with a velvety skin, short fat tail and original appearance. Because of these features and peaceful nature, this species becomes more and more popular in herpetoculture.

Hemitheconyx taylori выход 18.08.2014 IMG 0076 - копия

However, the successful breeding of these lizards in captivity is a great luck until now. As the matter of fact they are still rare and hard to get from nature.

Som2ali mapH. taylori inhabits desert landscapes of Somalia. Animals are nocturnal, and it`s not easy to in the natural conditions. These geckos are completely insectivorous. There are a lot of unexplored shades in ecological characteristics of this species, so, we hope to find answers on many questions during our  laboratory research.

For 2014, we have got 2 adult males, 1 female and 1 young individual in our disposal.

 

Keeping conditions

For the adult pair we use  glass terrarium 450x500x450 mm.

Substrate: clay (for adults).

Decoration:  water bowl, bamboo and stones shelters, moist chamber (with moss or wet paper sheets).

Illumination: we always use a full spectrum lamp. Day length is 14 hours during a period of activity. In the winter season lighting is not needed.

Temperature and heating: for our H. taylori we use a spot lamp 40 W, but we usually control the temperature at the enclosure (if it`s too high, we turn the spot lamp off). It should be 29-32º C during daytime and 25-25º C at night, and the basking spot temperature achieves 40º C.

Humidity: 40-60% (with water bowl and without spraying).

Diet: adult animals prefer Shefordella tartara (cockroaches) , crickets (without legs) and pickleworms. They receive insects 2 times per week (4-5 ones per each lisard). We also propose 1-2 white larvae of zophobas to every individual once a week.

Mineral supplements: we give Calcium with every feeding with insects. It is particularly important for young animals and gravid females.

From 2 month age, we also give vitamins – Reptivit (with D3 and without it), Repashi and Mineral Oll every week.

Hibernation: the winter period takes about 4 month (from November till February). Temperature: 24-26º C (day), 22-23º C (night). Water bowl is necessary. We also propose insects 1-3 times a week, even during hibernation.

From February, we start to raise temperature (to 29-32º C in daytime, 25-26º C at night, 40º C in the basking spot).

Breeding

We use temperature raising, 14 hours day light and keeping of 2 males with 1 female to stimulate mating.

DSCF2852 - копия

The first clutches were observed in April. After 24-37 days, we have got recurring clutches (usually, 2 eggs in each one).

IMG 8801-2 - копия

Temperature of incubation: 28º C.

Humidity for incubation: 70-80% (a drop of water should appear on the surface of substrate – vermiculate – after pressing it).

Hatching occurs after 71-78 days.

H.taylori hatched in BION

Offsprings

We keep young animals separately in boxes 200x300x3150 mm.

The temperature should not sink lower than 28º C.

Substrate: paper towels.

Humidity: babies need a moist chamber, as adults.

Feeding: crickets and pickleworms of useful size, 4-5 insects for each lizard every day. Youngs start to feed at the age of 10-14 days, but after this term the forcibly feeding is sometimes necessary.

Calcium should be proposed with every feeding.

Veterinary

The most appreciable is a feeding problem of young Hemitheconyx (see above).

Useful sources:

-http://reptile-database.reptarium.cz/species?genus=Hemitheconyx&species=taylori

- The Eyelash Geckos, Care, Breeding and Natural History by Andreas Kirschner, Yuri Kaverkin, Hermann Seufer (Hollywood Import & Export, Inc. 2005)