mystery skinks

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Yeshika
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mystery skinks

Postby Yeshika » Thu May 03, 2018 3:41 am

About four months ago, my father brought in five tiny skink eggs. They were barely a centimeter long, and very damaged because he had accidentally unearthed them while digging about in a field. They endured a car ride, in which they were rolled around in a hat quite a bit, before being passed on to me.
I had a bit of a freak out because of how dented they were, but about a week later I had three tiny skinks hatch from the little makeshift incubator I set up.
The other two eggs went bad a few days later, and unfortunately one of the newborn skinks went downhill very fast and died within days of hatching.

I am almost certain that these skinks are the 'pale-flecked garden sunskink', or Lampropholis guichenoti. They are referred to as the plague skink here in NZ, because they are an Australian species. They are very very common in the garden, but the issue I face with these two I am raising is this:

Are they the plague skink, or are they actually one of New Zealand's natives?
NZ has many species of skink, but it's not too common to see natives around. They can be observed mingling with the aussies, but definitely in far lesser quantities. If they do indeed turn out to be a NZ species, I will probably have to report them and hand them in to the Department Of Conservation.

For now, I cannot see any clear indicators or defining patterns on them, so I'll be keeping Fred and George. They're very comfortable in captivity, and I feel that they're too domesticated to go out and hunt for themselves. They have no fear instinct left in them, and they come straight up to the front of their tank to greet me and be fed. I fear that they may be a little stunted, as they are still rather tiny, but it may be because the cooler winter months are upon us. Whether or not they'll live a full life span because of the damaged to their eggs, we'll have to wait and find out.

Here are some pictures of them as newborns, I will try to get current photos of them soon.

WIN_20180115_17_02_29_Pro.jpg


WIN_20180121_20_55_05_Pro.jpg


A link to George's first moments out of his egg (He spots me about a minute in and freezes):
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1WMEXZq ... sp=sharing
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Re: mystery skinks

Postby kingofnobbys » Fri May 04, 2018 6:51 am

I believe you have a couple of hatchling delicate skinks (Lampropholis delicata) . You'd need a very good macro-photograph (closeup) to check the scale shapes on their heads to be sure.


Wonderful very inquisitive little skinks ( top out at maybe 6 inches long , they establish colonies and the females protect their eggs and young and those of the other females ). Got lots of these little skinks living under my house, in my shed and in my yard and had some as pets when I was a kid (one of my favorate lizards as a kid) , they do tame up very nicely and are really easy to keep happy ).

If they are both little boys, raise them separately or provide a very large tub (100L or maybe 130L tub) with lots of leaf litter and dry grass to hide and forage through and separate water dishes (vegemite lids are perfect for them) , a 25W UVB150 will be adequate (but a 25W UVB200 better) , same temps as eastern bluetongues (they inhabit similar areas as EBTs).

Everything you would ever want to know about the species is here : http://www.massey.ac.nz/~mbaling/PeaceJ ... Thesis.pdf
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Re: mystery skinks

Postby Suzle87 » Fri May 04, 2018 7:26 am

Whatever they are, all I know is that they are farrrrr too cute for their own good!! I wish we had things like this just hanging around in England!
All the best with them :thumbs:
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Yeshika
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Re: mystery skinks

Postby Yeshika » Fri May 04, 2018 8:34 pm

kingofnobbys wrote:I believe you have a couple of hatchling delicate skinks (Lampropholis delicata) . You'd need a very good macro-photograph (closeup) to check the scale shapes on their heads to be sure.


Will have to check that, as every textbook we have here lists the skinks as Lampropholis guichenoti. May very well be outdated info! Thanks for the possible ID!

kingofnobbys wrote:If they are both little boys, raise them separately or provide a very large tub (100L or maybe 130L tub) with lots of leaf litter and dry grass to hide and forage through and separate water dishes (vegemite lids are perfect for them) , a 25W UVB150 will be adequate (but a 25W UVB200 better) , same temps as eastern bluetongues (they inhabit similar areas as EBTs).


I'm keeping them in my Eastern's juvenile setup, which I quarantined him in for his first few weeks. It's a 60cm long, 40cm deep tank, and they've got a UVB150 in there. I originally had a little basking lamp in there too but they really didn't like it, I think it was a bit too hot for them. I let them sit on the windowsill instead, safe behind a mesh screen. They lap up the warmth there a few hours every day.
Despite the space they have to avoid each other, they always sit together. I'll be watching them closely as they get older, just in case they do start becoming territorial.

Suzle87 wrote:Whatever they are, all I know is that they are farrrrr too cute for their own good!! I wish we had things like this just hanging around in England!
All the best with them :thumbs:


Yes, they're rather gorgeous. Ah, but I am jealous of the amount of exotics you guys have overseas! We only have Blue tongues, Leopard Geckos, Easterns water Dragons and Bearded Dragons here. Not a snake or a tegu in sight! What I wouldn't give to see one of those in person!
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Re: mystery skinks

Postby lifesagame » Sun May 06, 2018 5:22 am

They’re so cute, I love the names, hope you get a positive ID on them soon :) I wish we had more reptiles in the wild in the uk, I’ve only ever seen a few grass snakes as far as indigenous species go. I have to admit until recently I didn’t know how many types of skink there were so it’s interesting to see so many I’ve never heard of before and these are so tiny!
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Current photos

Postby Yeshika » Sun May 06, 2018 10:15 pm

lifesagame wrote:They’re so cute, I love the names, hope you get a positive ID on them soon :) I wish we had more reptiles in the wild in the uk, I’ve only ever seen a few grass snakes as far as indigenous species go. I have to admit until recently I didn’t know how many types of skink there were so it’s interesting to see so many I’ve never heard of before and these are so tiny!


Grass snakes are so adorable though! Really wishing there were some snakes in a zoo here, or even just one. They're classed as unwanted organisms unfortunately :(

A couple more photos of these two. They move around wicked fast, and they're absolutely tiny, so i might have to get them to sit on my hand for a photo shoot

unnamed.jpg


unnamed (2).jpg
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Re: mystery skinks

Postby kingofnobbys » Mon May 07, 2018 1:43 am

Cute ....
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Re: mystery skinks

Postby kingofnobbys » Sun May 13, 2018 11:58 pm

Updates ?
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Yeshika
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Re: mystery skinks

Postby Yeshika » Mon May 14, 2018 9:26 pm

kingofnobbys wrote:Updates ?


https://drive.google.com/file/d/122ke3p ... sp=sharing

Here they were this morning. Cut out long bits where the camera just couldn't focus on them, they're very hard to capture :lol:
Still not handling them aside from having to move them to clean the tank. They seem comfortable enough around me, but I'm honestly scared I'll hurt them accidentally. Pats on the head are as good as it gets right now
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Re: mystery skinks

Postby kingofnobbys » Mon May 14, 2018 9:54 pm

I'd be scared of one of the leaping out of my hand onto the floor and disappearing under/behind something ....

The fact they let you pet them on the head is a great sign that they have learnt to trust you and are taming up nicely.

Are you running a 26W UVB150 or the 26W UVB200 for them to ensure they get heaps of UVA & UVB ?
My Fluffy (a rescued eastern water skink) loves luxuriating in her nice tepid slightly warmed water dish under her 26W UVB200 , stays there for ages every day .
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Re: mystery skinks

Postby Yeshika » Mon May 14, 2018 10:34 pm

kingofnobbys wrote:Are you running a 26W UVB150 or the 26W UVB200 for them to ensure they get heaps of UVA & UVB ?


It's a 26W UVB150. Not sure if they'll want a basking spot this winter, seeing as they all but refused to go near the bulb I had in there before.
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Re: mystery skinks

Postby kingofnobbys » Tue May 15, 2018 5:34 am

Yeshika wrote:
kingofnobbys wrote:Are you running a 26W UVB150 or the 26W UVB200 for them to ensure they get heaps of UVA & UVB ?


It's a 26W UVB150. Not sure if they'll want a basking spot this winter, seeing as they all but refused to go near the bulb I had in there before.



Give it to them anyway , they are young and growing and need the UVB to ensure they grow properly. They may not bask under it very much but if they have access to an area of higher UV , they will visit, especially if it's also the warm spot.

My bluetongues and water skink don't bask all day like my beardie, but they bask for a while when they wake up , and again in the afternoon/early evening everyday. None of my pet skinks have ever shown any inclination to brumate.

I recommend UV light on about 14 hr per day.

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