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Making a terrarium ready for the hatchlings.

How many tanks you need for rearing young Takydromus depends on the amount of eggs you want to hatch.  Anyway, you have to get a terrarium ready for the baby lizards with somehow different needs than the adults have.

A 40x30x40 terrarium (LxDxH) will be big enough for one litter of about 6 hatchlings. Any more and you will find problems later in the process.

Do not place the hatchlings in big terrariums or in the terrarium with their parents. Adult Takydromus can be nasty to the young ones, sometimes even eat them or will catch away all the food provided for the little one. Next to that, the climate in the adult terrarium will do the hatchling no good. In larger terrariums it’s harder for the hatchlings to find food or water. In a smaller tank they often find food easier and it is easier to observe the little ones.

How to decorate the terrarium.

Light and warmth has to be provided in the same way as you would in an adult terrarium, with maybe a slightly higher night temperature than normal (20/22 degrees celsius). Take care of a  good basking place which can be used by more than one lizard at the time. If possible, keep the heat slightly to one side of the tank, so one side of the tank will reach a higher maximum temperature than the other side.

The biggest killer of young Takydromus sexlineatus is  a too high humidity and a moist substrate. Our biggest advice: Keep it dry!  But aren’t you saying that about adult grass lizard terrariums anyway? Yes I am, but with little Takydromus’s it is even more important and…..it must be even dryer. There for you’ll have to decorate the hatchling’s terrarium slightly different from the adult terrariums.

The substrate should be a thin layer of dry peat (special terrarium peat is the safest), do not place a lot of plants in the terrarium,stick with just one, which is standing in a planter and doesn’t need a lot of water. Provide the terrarium with some twiggs and branches, not too high above the ground. Place a few bottle caps with shallow water so the hatchlings can drink. However you want to provide in a drinking place, keep it small and shallow so that the lizards can not drown in it.

Keep everything as dry as you can, but spray a little water every day.

The hatchlings

As soon as they have hatched you replace the little ones to the special terrarium. The first hours they will probably not eat yet, give them some time to adjust to their new home.

Spray a tiny little bit of water on the leafs of the only plant (a fake one will do too) to provide in an easy way for the lizards to drink. It sometimes takes a while before te youngsters find the little waterbowls and know what to use for.

When you start feeding the baby lizards, take care of good quality and well fed feedinganimals. Some people (especially the ones who’s core hobby is dart frogs instead of lizards) think that providing in fresh and big fruit flies will do the job, but it doesn’t.

Main course for the baby lizards will be baby crickets (the smallest size) completed with fruit flies and other little insects. You’re lucky if you live close to unpolluted grass areas where you can catch different little insects. There is no healthier diet than that. Feed the little ones every day until they are close to adult size.

Do not forget the vitamin and calcium supplements on the feeding animals, with vitamin D3, because especially in this stage, they will have terrible deformities by lack of calcium.

When you want to provide in vitamin D3 throughout a UV B lamp, be sure you have a good quality lamp. The best lamps provide in UV B light and warmth at the same time. Build up the time you leave the UVB lamp on, to let the lizards adjust to the UV radiation.

In all cases, keep an eye on the baby Takydromus. They are so delicate at first that a problem will cause death before you know it.

I make these articles based on my own experience, the research I did on scientific sheets and the information I gathered of other successful (hobby)breeders of Takydromus sexlineatus. The way I described the breeding proces in this article is based on the best results by certain Takydromus breeders, but it doesn’t exlude other methods.

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Part one: Taking care of the adults, get ready and how to incubate the eggs.

Sometimes young Takydromus sexlineatus spontaneously hatch in the vivarium of their parents and some of these hatchlings even grow up to become adult lizards. But in a lot of cases, somewhere along the way something goes wrong in the process, eggs die off, young never hatch, when they hatch they are weak and small and die in the following days or the parents (females especially) die soon after laying eggs.

To do it right, keeping the females healthy and getting a high percentage of young lizards to grow up healthy,  you need to take special precautions.

 What do you need?

1. 3 or more lizardtanks. 2 average sized and 1 or more smaller rearing tanks.

To start up, keep in mind that you will need at least three tanks. Two of them completely ready to the climate requirements for adult Takydromus s.

2. You’ll need containers with air holes (some people use small containers made for growing  plants out of seeds. These have a sloping lid, to prevent drops of dew falling on the eggs which can cause mold on the eggs)

3. Fine Vermiculite.

The parents and there needs.

Make one tank ready for the male Takydromus s. and one for the females. Provide the tank for the females with a thin layer of dry peat and sand and place some plants in planters in the tank. The plants should leave enough soil (eco) open so the females can lay their eggs there. Because only the soil in the planters is moist and Takydromus’ do not like laying their eggs on dry grounds, you can locate  and remove the eggs easier to place in an incubator.

Of course the both tanks need all the requirements for Takydromus in order to climate and moving space.

If you just bought the lizards do not breed with them for a period of half a year to a year. When the lizards are young and just about full grown wait at least a year. You need this time to observe the lizards, make sure they are in a great state of health, their tails are filled and almost round, they are active and eat well of your high quality, gutloaded foodanimals.

You provide the animals with good quality vitamin and calcium powders on the feedinganimals and so now and then (once a week) electrolyte in the drinking water of the parents.

When the situation seems to be alright to start breeding, swop one female with the male and leave the male with first female until she had about two or three litters of eggs (that is about 4 to 6 eggs per litter. Then swop the females and leave the second female  for the same period of time with the male. After she had her second or third litter, swop the female with the male again and let them live in peace for that year.

The eggs.

Of course, as soon as you see eggs, you replace them to a plastic container filled with a thick layer of moist vermiculite, and leave them be in an incubator with a constant temperature of 28 degrees Celsius. The vermiculite has been soaked in water and squeezed until just a few drops of water drip out.

Do not disturbe the eggs bij opening the incubator. Any temperature drop will decrease the chance of the eggs to hatch.

Some Takydromus breeders use spagnum to lay over the eggs, to keep them lightly moist. Others just put the lid on the container. In the first case you’ll have to controle humidity better then in the second. I can’t say though that the one method is better than the other.

Leave some space between each eggs and make sure you didn’t turn them over when you place them In the containers.

Why 28 degrees Celsius?

This is the average temperature for incubating Takydromus eggs. It won’t be such a problem if you have the temperature constant on 27 or 29 degrees, but the more lower or higher the temperature differs from 28 degrees will cause problems.

Between 30 and 33 degrees Celsius will make the young develop to quickly what will make them hatch too soon, what results in undersized weak young.

A lower temperature will  make the period of hatching so much longer that there is more chance on mold and other problems with the eggs. A temperature under 25 degrees Celsius is too low. There is a slim chance that any egg will hatch.

It will take 4 to 6 weeks before the eggs hatch. Are the eggs over 6 weeks old and still looking good, leave them in the incubator. There is a big chance the eggs will still hatch.

Eggs who color brown/grey have died off and so have eggs that have lost more than half of their size. A little shrinking of the eggs is no problem, it tells you that the humidity in the incubator is too low. Just before hatching you will see the eggs will start to dent. This is perfectly normal.

Takydromus dorsalis mating

Next time: Breeding Takydromus sexlineatus part 2. Preparing the rearing tank and rearing the hatchlings.