Reptile import-export and breeding since 1993

BION Events The keeping & breeding of Costa Rican rainbow stripe galliwasp ( DIPLOGLOSSUS MONOTROPIS ) at BION Terrarium Center

The keeping & breeding of Costa Rican rainbow stripe galliwasp ( DIPLOGLOSSUS MONOTROPIS ) at BION Terrarium Center

Diploglossus is a genus of New World diploglossid  lizards, with 19 described species, commonly known as galliwasps. They are diurnal and terrestrial  lizards .

Distribution: Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, Ecuador 

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 Diploglossus monotropis(KUHL, 1820)occurs in regions of rain forest and monsoon rain forest. This species is not common & hard to find in nature because of their life style. 

Source: On January 2016, the breeding group of Diploglossus monotropis in BION includes 3 adult males and 4 females. This group was imported from Panama in December 2013.

Keeping conditions:

Cage: we use glass terrariums  70x50x50 cm for keeping one adult animal or pair. As the matter of fact we keep them separately due to very aggressive character and   keep pairs together only in breeding season.

Substrate: dried leaves, fine bark, sphagnum moss, coconut copra or chips in one mixture.  The substrate level should be not less than 10-12 cm  for comfortable digging & security of these lizards. According to our observations, they are active only at early morning and at the dusk. 

Equipment: large water bowl is provided because these lizards like to stay in water. Few shelters inside the enclosure are provided. We are using the pieces of bark and bamboo tubes. In breeding season we use moist chamber (box with damp moss)  for female’s cages.

Illumination: full spectrum lamps are provided.  8 hours of artificial light   from August till April and up to 14 hours of  light   from April till August.

Temperature and heating: we don’t use the additional heating and keep the day temperature at  26-28ºC &  22-24ºC at night.

Humidity: we keep 50-60% at the enclosure and 70-80 % of the soil. We provide intensive spraying of the substrate on a regular base.

Diet: feeding 2-3 times per week. We usually propose  crickets and locusts by 5-6 feeding objects for each adult animal. Also  1 pink mouse (one week old) per each animal 1-2 times per month.  

During the molting (10-14 days) lizards do not eat at all.

Mineral supplements: we use Calcium with D3 and vitamins powder every second feeding (with insects).


Animals become sexually mature presumably at the age of 2-4 years old.

2014 year:

No hibernation at all. On 15.04.2014 we put 3 pairs together . The courtship began almost immediately; the mating lasted over 4.5 hours. The male keeps the female behind the head ( several copulations in each case took place). On 27.05.2014 we received the clutch of 5 unfertile eggs from one female. She laid clutch under the water bowl. Pregnancy duration was 42 days.

2015 year:

Hibernation started on 10.11.2014 from the gradual reduction of temperature and day length. Food was offered. From 20.11.2014 illumination was switched off. Food wasn’t offered from this date. Temperature  was 26ºC, humidity - 70-80 %.

19.02.2015 females were put together with males. Day length -  12 hours.

10.03.2015 – matingof group #3.

25.04.2015 – mating of group #1. The male keeps the female behind the head during long time (5-8 hours). Copulations last for 20-30 minutes. Between copulations (1-1.5 hours) the male don’t release the head of the female. 3-5 copulations happened in such way. 

We didn’t observe the mating of groups #2 and #4.

26.05.2015 – we received clutch (4 unfertile eggs) from female #2. She laid under piece of bark in the soil (sphagnum moss & coconut copra).

20.06.2015 – we received clutch (4 unfertile eggs) from female #4.

26.06.2015 – we received clutch (3 unfertile eggs) from female #3.

17.07.2015 – we received clutch (3 unfertile eggs) from female #1.

Breeding statistics:

2014 – we received 1 clutch from 1 female  (5 unfertile eggs)

2015 – we received 4 clutches from 4 females (14 unfertile eggs all together)

Conclusion: For the moment we are informed about only one positive result of D.monotropis  breeding at the zoo in U.S.A and one in outdoors enclosure in Costa Rica. All information concerning captive breeding of these species is appreciated.


Rickets (deformation and softening of bones) could be a problem in case of wrong care. To prevent - the exposure of UV should be increased (“hard” UV over than 280nm during 2 minutes every other day until improvement). Also dose of calcium should be increased (calcium gluconate in liquid should be offered orally by 2-3 drops from 2 ml syringe every other day until the situation improves.

Useful sources: