Breeding Season has begun - with a twist

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dsteamn
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Breeding Season has begun - with a twist

Postby dsteamn » Tue Jan 15, 2013 2:17 pm

Hello everyone,
Its been a long time since I posted anything, but I do lurk here and there to see how you all are doing. For those of you who may not know, or may not remember, I was introduced to the wonderful world of skinks through my almost dead rescue, Stubbs, who not only survived his horrible begining in life, but lived to become a father of now several batches of little ones. No one in the area had ever seen a BTS before, so we bought a baby from Ray in Florida so I would have benchmarks to shoot for. It was a female, so when she was two, we started breeding her.

We kept one of her babies from her first litter. We have an outdoor enclosure that is 12 x 18 feet the three of them stay in during the summer. The female and baby always curled up together so they are kept in the same 75 gallon tank during cooler months. I know it is unusual and not recommended but they are always found in the same basket together outside or under the same hide so I felt comfortable doing it. During brumation, they burrowed down together and that is where they have been throughout the winter.

Speckles, the baby - now 19 months old, woke up about two weeks ago. She has been sunning on her rock and has begun eating. Stubbs, my male has been up and down all winter like he usually does. The female woke up yesterday and popped her head out for the first time. I picked her up and put her in Stubbs' cage to see if they were ready to mate. The did the nipping, circling, rubbing thing but never hooked up - not unusual for their first introduction after her long winter's nap. I held her for a few minutes and then put her back in the cage with the other female.

And then the surprise of the century...

SHE is a HE. He went over, grabbed her, pulled her around, flipped her up, and hooked with her in less than a minute total. We were shocked because we were sure with their behavior it was a female. He has a more slender head and neck, and is very mild and gentle like my other females, not huffy like my male can be, so we were all convinced of its sex. I had never seen hemipenes or sperm plugs in the tank. It was all quite a surprise. I was hoping he was going to be a he since the markings are so beautiful and would make pretty babies but had accepted the fact that it wasn't going to be that way. We are thrilled and can't wait to see what they produce.

These are a couple of pics taken in different light last fall. Speckles (male) is on the left in both pics. Oscar Rose (Mom) on the right. They are a bit closer in size now since he has had another 6 or 7 months growing time since they were taken. Now that I know Speckles is a male, we will definitely be looking at a new residence no matter how much they like sleeping and sunning together.
Speckles and Oscar Rose.jpg
[attachment=0]Speckles and Oscar Rose 2.jpg[/attachment
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Lea
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Re: Breeding Season has begun - with a twist

Postby Lea » Tue Jan 15, 2013 5:08 pm

Congratulations. Hopefully you'll have some lovely little ones. Sooo, speckles and his new fling aren't related? Sorry, I'm a little confused!

Do you keep the same sexes together? It's advisable to separate them, although I'm sure you know that already.
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Lea
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Re: Breeding Season has begun - with a twist

Postby Lea » Tue Jan 15, 2013 5:10 pm

Sorry, I missed the bit about the big enclosure, in summer.
Shinglebacks - Nippy, Lava, Suunto, Lutea, and Hermione
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Re: Breeding Season has begun - with a twist

Postby Richard.C » Wed Jan 16, 2013 1:17 am

Nice looking northerns and nice story to,lea even in large outdoor cages they can be feisty,though some get along great,i still have a trio together with zero issue,though 3 other adults have to be kept singly

For safetys sake it is a good idea to house northerns individually,as many a pr that got along well for a few years together can just decide to end that

I know of outdoor kept ones hurting each other to,even in large enclosures,though with more room than indoors do at least have a chance to get away

Dsteamn,id love to see a pic of your outdoor enclosure if you have one of course,sounds like your guys are folling same coolinging process as mine,mating starting in mid winter,like in the wild as they are dryseason breeders,so babies are born in the middle of the wet season,to help them put on size before the next dry season

Keep us posted on how they go
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dsteamn
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Re: Breeding Season has begun - with a twist

Postby dsteamn » Wed Jan 16, 2013 8:25 pm

LeaBilby wrote:Sooo, speckles and his new fling aren't related? Sorry, I'm a little confused!

They are mother and son.


Do you keep the same sexes together? It's advisable to separate them, although I'm sure you know that already.


Normally, they all have individual 75 gallon tanks in the house. They have floor priveleges when it is too cold for them to go out. We put up baby gates and let them walk around in the den. I only take one male out at a time because they would most certainly fight. The females all seem to be fine with each other on the floor, but I would not confine them in a tank together. These two always pair up when they are together, either walking around together or climbing in the same basket or cave. I've never seen anything like it before. However, now that she will be breeding she will definitely need her own space, especially considering they are are opposite sex.

I don't think I have any current pics of my outdoor enclosure, but I will get some in the spring and post them up for you guys.

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