A bit more detailed Merauke keeping

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Jos
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A bit more detailed Merauke keeping

Postby Jos » Fri Nov 16, 2012 4:17 am

Scientific Name:
Tiliqua gigas evanescence.

Two groups living apart.
One group, 2 mail 2 females.
One group, 2 mail 3 females.
Occasionally switch the females.

Photo time:
7 to max 8 hours a day, summer and winter.

Start Brumate:
Last October begin November till end March begin April.
Depends also on the weather conditions outside.

Temperatures:
Summer, night 20-22C (68-71F), Day Tank temp 25-29C (77-84F), basking temp 35-37C (95-98F).
When the room temperature (caused by outside summer weather) is 29-30C (84-86F) all basking lamps burn less (two till three hours daily), or turned completely off.
This can occurs several times for a few days and we do that only to prevent overheating.

Winter, night 15-17C (59-63F) never lower, Day Tank temp 25-28C (77-82F), basking temp 30-35C (86-95F).
Temperatures drop automatically in the room where the tanks are during the winter time and rise in the summertime.
There can be a slight difference in temperatures causing by outside weather conditions.

The biggest difference is the lower night temperatures in winter and so they have a longer basking period during the day.
Baby’s treated the same way as adults.

Tanks: glass
One 100x50x50cm, two radium floradym 40 watt spotlights.
One 140x 50x50cm, three radium floradym 40 watt spotlights.

Substrate / bedding:
Only reptile bark.
Hiding places, a lot, with cork, wood and plastic plants

Mating:
Starts in February till May.

Baby’s Born:
Mostly expected from mid July till October but in august the most baby’s are born.

Food:
Sheba soft cat food . (4% chicken)
Schesir chicken (33%) , beef (33%) and rice.
Soft cat food is easy to mix with calcium, vitamins etc.

Cat food mixed with calcium (contains no vitamins). (baby’s every feeding, adults less). Calcium is mixed with a little bit Spirulina.
Once a week a few vitamin B complex drops. (baby’s every week, adults less)
Once a month a few vitamin AD3 (p.ml 6000 retinolpalmitaat A, 6000 colecalciferol D3) drops. (baby’s every month, adults less)

Technical adult cat food, weakened in water, sometimes.
Vegetables, occasionally.
Fruits, occasionally.
Baby’s get a treat of bananas once a week or jelly fruit cups from Dragon.
Pinky mouse (frozen), occasionally.
Fuzzy mouse (frozen), occasionally. (only adults)
Insects, dead or alive, occasionally. (Dubia, grasshopper, black crickets, super worms.)
Snails, occasionally. (Achatina fulica.)

Feeding time:
Summer, mostly two, sometimes three times a week.
Winter, once a week.
Feeding only when they are warm enough.
Mostly we feed them so much that they are really full and stop themselves.

Holland summer: (We live at Latitude 51 North and Longitude 6 East.)
Sea climate, so lots of rain but some times really hot weather.

Holland winter:
Cold and wet, sometimes a lot of frost and snow.

UVA-UVB lightning, never.
Outdoors in summer, never.

Probably I don’t threat them by the book but the results are fine with me.
Most likely I am close to there natural needs but I don’t know if they breed every year in there natural habitat? (if they don’t then I do something wrong?)

BTS Merauke are very easy to keep, they eat almost everything, so they are easily spoiled.
I never let them grow to fat.

Further you can relay on the detailed blue tongued skink care sheet what is published on this forum.
It is very detailed and understandable for everyone.
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Re: A bit more detailed Merauke keeping

Postby Richard.C » Fri Nov 16, 2012 1:04 pm

Usually wild ones dont have the luxury of enough time to bulk up enough before brumation to reproduce annually,captivity with more consistent temps and alot more food availability sees annual reproduction possable,if they get fat reserves up before brumation,easier to do with tropical species as they have babies earlier,though quite do able with temperate forms to,especially indoors

Thats great info jos,pretty much what i do with the northerns,cold outside drops day temps slightly,but night drops very low,usually lower than 15 degrees celcius as i dont offer night heat,no night heat year round

Some young ones brumated even with night heat this year,cool back ground temps obviously were enough
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Re: A bit more detailed Merauke keeping

Postby Jeff » Fri Nov 16, 2012 4:18 pm

Thanks for taking the time to post that. I still don't understand why most people have a hard time breeding gigas in the U.S., but maybe your information will help someone figure out what the problem is.
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Re: A bit more detailed Merauke keeping

Postby Niels D » Fri Nov 16, 2012 6:21 pm

This is almost the same "recipe" I used with succes. A lot of detail Jos. Nice report!
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Re: A bit more detailed Merauke keeping

Postby Bluish » Sat Nov 17, 2012 6:30 am

Thanks for the detailed post!
So you find the males get along all season?
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Re: A bit more detailed Merauke keeping

Postby xxmonitorlizardxx » Sat Nov 17, 2012 11:34 am

Do you keep the animals within the groups together?
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Re: A bit more detailed Merauke keeping

Postby Jos » Mon Nov 19, 2012 7:39 am

xxmonitorlizardxx wrote:Do you keep the animals within the groups together?

Bluish wrote:So you find the males get along all season?


Males are living together year round and get along quite well.
Wen baby’s are expected females get separated from the Group and get a tank by themselves.
After the baby’s are born, sometimes I put a female in another group.
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Re: A bit more detailed Merauke keeping

Postby hurricanejen » Wed Dec 05, 2012 1:23 pm

I wonder if our propensity to house all skinks individually here in the states is part of the reason we don't breed them as regularly here. It can also be hard to really determine gender - my experience is that most folks trying to breed them don't have access to a large enough group to do trial and error until they find a compatible breeding group.

Interesting that multiple males are housed together and do well. How long have you had your skinks, if you don't mind me asking?
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Re: A bit more detailed Merauke keeping

Postby Jos » Thu Dec 06, 2012 10:01 am

hurricanejen wrote:How long have you had your skinks


One male I have over 8 years.
The rest approximately between 4 to 6 years.

Something interesting, once I had to clean the tank with two males and three females. For a schort time they had to stay in another tank and Immediately the males began to fight.
As the tank was cleaned and ready they where moved back the fighting was over.


A hand full with a bunch of baby's from 2012 8)
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Re: A bit more detailed Merauke keeping

Postby hurricanejen » Thu Dec 06, 2012 11:08 am

Hold on, I need a moment to squeal over the babies.

*SQUEEEE*

Okay, back.

That's interesting that they fought in a new area but not in their usual cage. I was reading something a while ago about monitor lizards very likely having some sort of scent gland or pheromone secreting glands on their bodies (I'll have to try and look it up, it was extremely interesting). Makes you wonder if another reptile that has a discerning sense of smell like blue tongues might also do something similar to mark territory. Maybe by removing the skinks from the known territory and known markers of whatever social structure yours had going on, they felt they needed to restablish their roles. Do you know if one of the males is more dominant than the other, or if one picked the fight first when they were fighting in the other cage?

Thank you for answering all my questions! :)
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Re: A bit more detailed Merauke keeping

Postby Jos » Thu Dec 06, 2012 11:57 am

hurricanejen wrote:Do you know if one of the males is more dominant than the other, or if one picked the fight first when they were fighting in the other cage?


I did not saw witch one started.
Next time I observe them more closeley, perhaps I find out witch is the dominant one.
I also believe that pheromones are verry importend also with the mating.

A handfull of adults (more would not fit in)

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Re: A bit more detailed Merauke keeping

Postby hurricanejen » Fri Dec 07, 2012 11:02 am

Interesting. Thanks again! And your blueys are beautiful :) Very nice group you have there!
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Re: A bit more detailed Merauke keeping

Postby Dakota » Sat Aug 24, 2013 4:03 am

I'm surprised that I have not seen this before! This is very interesting. The United States is one of the only countries that is so against housing BTS together.. all the Papuans/Indonesians and Australians do it, why not us?? I'm trying a few different ways of approaching this, and I'm set in key that I'm going to house in groups.. despite everyone giving death threats. Everyone that does has so much success! I'm quite excited. I've been getting some breeding behaviors from my female, but my male is not responding, and just ignoring her. Maybe he'll catch on.



Thanks for sharing this, if this is not so late. :lol:
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Re: A bit more detailed Merauke keeping

Postby Scincoides » Sat Aug 24, 2013 7:24 am

I would love to see pictures of the enclosures jos, if you don't mind posting them
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Re: A bit more detailed Merauke keeping

Postby Richard.C » Sat Aug 24, 2013 10:18 am

people are equally successful housing singley,it also offers alot of control

group housing only makes it easier with timing ,also probably with compatable pairings,alot choose same mate year after year,more so if a dominant male,main benefit being you dont need as much cages

note the way jos cycles them,hot days year round,warm nights except for winter,the cool winter nights,possably slightly cooler days is what cycles tropical species

temp cycling,being very important,magic bulbs,misting ect may help,but if cycled properley arent needed,nor group keeping them,groups are useless if not cycled right

susann keeps hers seperatly and is doing great with hers,they get cycled and then put together at right time and bozoonga,babies
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Re: A bit more detailed Merauke keeping

Postby Dakota » Sat Aug 24, 2013 12:13 pm

Actually, the people that house together is the ones with most success. In the Indonesian page I'm in, they house together.. and they have babies left and right.. rather than 1 or 2 people that don't thouse together with success.
It's something worth trying.
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Re: A bit more detailed Merauke keeping

Postby Fatal_S » Sat Aug 24, 2013 12:30 pm

Obviously housing together is going to be more successful - it doesn't require any extra skill from the keeper. Leave them together and they'll do their thing. We've known for years that even the tougher species can be bred if simply thrown into a pit together and given basic care (food/water/heat).

The challenge in breeding these species, and the part that interests me particularly, is doing it without having to leave them together. That's what we don't know. When to introduce them, what the conditions need to be, how long for gestation, etc.

EDIT: I realized this makes it sound like I don't respect breeders who house together. I do, especially if the keeper is making sure the animals remain safe and healthy. But I do have extra respect for breeders who manage to get conditions right for breeder animals housed separately. It's not easy, especially to do year-after-year.
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Re: A bit more detailed Merauke keeping

Postby donkeybuff » Sat Aug 24, 2013 1:18 pm

+1 on what Fatal said. To me, the safest, cleanest, and least stressful (for the animals) way to keep blue tongues is to house them singly. The fact that we are keeping solitary animals together in a small, enclosed space is enough to turn me away from housing together in most enclosures.There are some exceptions, like giant enclosures and shinglebacks that don't seem to mind a good pile-up. Once we are able to consistently breed gigas without keeping them together year round is when we will have really mastered their husbandry.
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Re: A bit more detailed Merauke keeping

Postby Dakota » Sat Aug 24, 2013 1:22 pm

I'm sure you can breed shingles without housing in groups, but so many people are so successful with doing so.. if they are already proven to be housed together great, there would be no need in fixing something is isn't broken. But that's my opinion.

I'm definitely going to be trying out different techniques, and see what works best for me.. I actually have about 3-4 in my mind right now.

There are not a "solitary" as the "caresheet" says.. so I hear from a couple of Aussie's in the forum. :wink:
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Re: A bit more detailed Merauke keeping

Postby Susann » Sat Aug 24, 2013 1:45 pm

Dakota Nivens wrote:I'm sure you can breed shingles without housing in groups, but so many people are so successful with doing so.
It's not because people are more successful with breeding that Shingles get housed together, but because they tend to mate for life and live in groups in the wild. They are much more communal than other BTS.

But I obviously agree with trying to figure out how to breed Gigas without housing them together unless you have a huge outdoor nature pit.
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