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Re: Need advice about Kei Island and Merauke breeding

Posted: Fri Jun 15, 2012 4:47 pm
by ewagnerfrog
Interesting discussion about Kei Island skinks... I purchased eight babies that were produced from wild imported females and the are now approaching 3 years old. Having bred Northerns, I had tried to breed Kei Islands by brumating, several years ago with no success. Living in Santa Barbara now,I built an out door cage 16 by 16 feet, laid down 3 wide strip heaters and then piled the whole thing with a great mound of long dried grass. I should mention that I've been a bit lazy and have not tried to determine the sexes of the skinks. For two months I sprayed this enclosure once or twice a day with a garden hose. Whenever I did see a skink, it would usually dive under the grass and during the two month period, it seemed like I would only see the same two or three animals out in the open. I had two feeding stations, one at each end, and I never saw any interaction between any of the skinks, aggressive or reproductive. At the end of two month I broke the cage down and returned the skinks to their individual cages. Now, a year later there has been no babies...
If you look at the climate of the Kei Islands, you will note that there is a definite rainy season starting around June, although it seems to rain every month of the year and this heavier rainy period is when I think reproduction occurs. This is based on gravid females coming into the country in Sept and Oct. There is no cooling period in their native habitat... as occurs in Australia, so I really think breeding is triggered by rains and or changes in barometric pressure.
I am now going to put my group back outside into a setup similar to the original one, but instead of a screen lid, I am going to cover the cage with plastic sheeting with screen strips at the ends for some ventilation. This should help increase the humidity during this period and may make a difference.
Any suggestions, comments or questions would be appreciated. Thanks, Ernie Wagner...My e-mail is ewagnerfrog@gmail.com

Re: Need advice about Kei Island and Merauke breeding

Posted: Fri Jun 15, 2012 7:25 pm
by Richard.C
hi ernie, i havnt looked into the climate where kei,s hale from,with the year round warmth though,is there big fluctuations in night temps at certain times of the year,eg drier season

the monsoonal period is usually sept through to march,june being the dry season,in northern australia and the pacific region,it is hot year round,but night temps drop significantly during the dry season,i guess in indo some areas are more consistant temp/humidity wise than northern australia

but generally northern australia is consistant with day heat year round,though nights fluctuate over the dry season,june / july and its actually the dry season when they mate in nature,northerns,with babies born around december,the peak of the wet season,giving them a chance to put on condition before the next dry

i dont think they brumate because of the cold,but more thats its the dry season and food is scarce,cover is scarce ect ect,as day temps are still generally in the 30,s,nights though are in the teens,some times lower,yet in the wet season its mid 20,s over night,and humidity is generally in the 90,s 24/7 as apposed to the dry season so there cycle is more of a conserve body reserves in leaner times cycle as apposed to say easterns or blotcheds

with the day warmth,my northerns and centralians seem to seek out the cool end when night temps are getting low,i never offer night heat,and live in a temperate climate so it gets quite cool over june july,its like they stay away from the heat during this period to conserve condition,last season they bred in august,well the northerns,hopefully the centralians follow suit,lol


your outdoor set up sounds great to,ive been meaning to experiment with similar for a few of my species,more the arid temperate forms,stumpies,westerns ect,my goal is to keep out cold damp over the cool period,and not have to rely on housing so many indoors