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Breeding & keeping info
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.
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.
H. 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.
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).
We use temperature raising, 14 hours day light and keeping of 2 males with 1 female to stimulate mating.
The first clutches were observed in April. After 24-37 days, we have got recurring clutches (usually, 2 eggs in each one).
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.
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.
The most appreciable is a feeding problem of young Hemitheconyx (see above).