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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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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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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Re: mystery skinks

Postby Yeshika » Fri Jun 22, 2018 10:44 pm

Update on these two I guess!

First up I'll get the bad news out of the way: I fear that they are stunted, and George has a slight underbite. This doesn't stop him from eating, but I have concerns for when they get bigger, how will he handle larger prey?

While I'm not sure what the growth rate for these guys should be, I know that for around six months, they're still quite small. It could just be that they don't grow much during winter, or there could be an underlying problem. They both eat every single day, baby mealworms in small amounts, fruit flies and just recently frozen bloodworms. I'm not supplementing them with calcium, they have a UVB light. George has shed stuck all over his tail, because he refuses to use the moist hide. Might have to give him a tiny warm water bath.

Good news: They're very nearly hand tame, and despite it being colder they're still very active every day. Planning to set up a tube with holes in it for a timed 'rain' system, so it can rain a little every couple of days for them. Their tank has mosses planted in it to increase humidity on the wetter cool side, and hopefully to get George to shed off all that skin. Fred is becoming a little obese, which isn't awful but I can definitely see mini-rolls on his armpits. Time to cut back feedings a little I think!
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Re: mystery skinks

Postby kingofnobbys » Sun Jun 24, 2018 8:35 am

Two spoilt little skinks :)

Are you feeding them together ?
….., sounds like now they are taming up , it's time give them separate feedings , as one is thriving while the other Is not getting the same share of the food.

Like all lizards, they do not all grow to the same size , even given exactly the same husbandry and exactly the same amount of food - genetics has a hand in this to a large extent.

I've found that allowing access to a shallow pond that they can paddle in and soak in as a option under the basking lamp (which helps warm up the water and makes for nice place for them to lay in while basking) helps enormously with shedding - very common for me go to get a skink out for "play time" and discover old skin floating in the water.
I think you little skinks will appreciate a shallow bathing dish under the spot light too. Needs to be warmed else they will only drink from it but will be reluctant to immerse themselves in it (would you enjoy a cold bath ? )
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Re: mystery skinks

Postby Yeshika » Sun Dec 30, 2018 1:35 am

I know this is a pretty old thread but I thought to do a bit of an update, seeing as it's coming up a year soon since these two were hatched.
Fred and George have been absolutely delightful pets to own, and they are constantly a source of amusement in my house. Their antics are second to none, and they're probably the most lively small pets I've ever taken care of.

This past week has been hard. Really hard. Fred and George have not reached their adult size, and are still fairly small, despite all manner of supplements and things being given to them this past year. The two of them have thrived, until just this week, when George collapsed on the 25th. I fear he has had a seizure, but no veterinary clinic will see him because of his small stature. He is very unresponsive, and if it were not for his breathing and little heartbeat, I'd think he was dead. He's being housed away from Fred, who has noticeably changed his behaviour. Fred has spent the past few days searching the tank.

The whole situation is quite heartbreaking, and far too reminiscent of the way the third skink of their clutch went downhill only days after hatching. Still holding out hope he'll recover from this, as I'm really not sure what to do for Fred if he's alone.

If anyone's had experience dealing with this species or this sort of scenario before, I'm open to any sort of advice. I've had this species before, but never with quite so many problems and oddities as this pair.
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Re: mystery skinks

Postby kingofnobbys » Sun Dec 30, 2018 9:18 am

Keep him separate from the still healthy one in a 60L hospital tub with very basic furnishings and it's own lighting , maybe a heatpad under a tile and maybe he'll come good. You could try offering some Vetafarm Critta Care Reptile form a syringe with a small 14G nozzle on the end , just place it a drop at a time maybe mixed with drop of honey (to encourage him to lick it) on the front side of the little skink's lips.
Separating will help reduce stress , chances are they are territorial and he's been attacked by his sibling or he's been dominated and has not been getting enough food.


If he takes it , if you can get 0.1ml into him a drop at time , it'll help keep his energy levels up and keep him sustained while he's sick. I'm assuming he's only about 10g , my last rescue was 20 g at time of rescue and I was giving her 0.2-0.3 ml of Critta Care 3 times per day and she was near dead at the start but is now thriving and very healthy and happy.

Probably good idea to not leave a water dish in his tank with him if he's so sick, he may go to get water or cool off in it and drown in it , I'd try giving some fruit juice via a syringe with 22G catheter tube attached to it , slip the tube into the corner of his mouth and give very small volumes only.


I think keeping him warm and offering some high potency liquid food might help him .
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Re: mystery skinks

Postby Yeshika » Sun Dec 30, 2018 11:00 pm

I separated them the moment it happened, just in case it was some illness and it was contagious. And no, Fred didn't attack George, of this I am very certain. He just stopped walking very suddenly and collapsed.

As for treatment, well, Vetafarm Critta Care Reptile isn't available on shelves anywhere here. I've tried placing tiny drops of water at his mouth, but he barely registers it. His eyes are always closed, and he doesn't move often. I'm not sure I'd be able to give him the Critta Care even if he was up and about, he's less than the size of my thumb so putting a syringe in his mouth is never going to work. Definitely at a loss for what else to do, other than keep him comfortable and warm. Thank you though, for the suggestions.
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Re: mystery skinks

Postby kingofnobbys » Mon Dec 31, 2018 2:01 am

Yeshika wrote:I separated them the moment it happened, just in case it was some illness and it was contagious. And no, Fred didn't attack George, of this I am very certain. He just stopped walking very suddenly and collapsed.

As for treatment, well, Vetafarm Critta Care Reptile isn't available on shelves anywhere here. I've tried placing tiny drops of water at his mouth, but he barely registers it. His eyes are always closed, and he doesn't move often. I'm not sure I'd be able to give him the Critta Care even if he was up and about, he's less than the size of my thumb so putting a syringe in his mouth is never going to work. Definitely at a loss for what else to do, other than keep him comfortable and warm. Thank you though, for the suggestions.


I've sent you a link in a PM that will show you the kind of special feeding gear you need.

Critta care can be bought from VetnPet online , also sent a link in the PM.

I've successfully used a 22G tube on a syringe to get oral antibiotic, calcivet and liquid food into skinks as small as 5g.

The tube is gently pushed into mouth at the back corner of the jaw (where the top and bottom lips meet), so the end of the tube is on the skink's tongue , then the fluid is slowly given 0.1 ml at a time so the skink is not overwhelmed by a large amount of liquid that might end up in it's lungs. I was shown this method by a reptile vet with my first rescue.

You can also try gettings some BSFL or mealworms (lavae or pupae) and snipping the heads off them and then squeezing out their innards onto your finger and then depositing this meaty goo on the skink's snout just below it's nose where it can smell it and on the front of it's lips, it might lick this off and get nutrition this way (been there done that too).

A few small feeds of liquid food (made watery enough to go through the 22G tube and the syringe) is the aim of the game.
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Re: mystery skinks

Postby Yeshika » Mon Dec 31, 2018 4:18 pm

Placed an order for the vetafarm, listed with same-day delivery so hopefully it'll be here in the next day or so. I'll take another trip to the vet clinic, hopefully they'll have equipment small enough. George raised his head up this morning, but he still hasn't made very much effort to move aside from that. He's drinking water at least. Thank you for the info
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Re: mystery skinks

Postby kingofnobbys » Mon Dec 31, 2018 9:57 pm

Yeshika wrote:Placed an order for the vetafarm, listed with same-day delivery so hopefully it'll be here in the next day or so. I'll take another trip to the vet clinic, hopefully they'll have equipment small enough. George raised his head up this morning, but he still hasn't made very much effort to move aside from that. He's drinking water at least. Thank you for the info


When I bought my 22G tubes , I simply asked at the front desk , the vet nurse disappeared out the back and brought out 4 de-needled catheter tubes and charged me $4 . My sick skink was really attacking the tubes and chewing them up (crushing them - he hated the taste of the oral antibiotics and knew it was coming no matter how I tried to hide it til the last moment).
If the vet wont help you , try Ebay , search for TERUMO SURFLO IV CATHETER CANNULA 22G X 25MM . They are dead easy to de-needle , it just slips out of the tube and can then be disposed off at the local chemist in their sharps bin.

If a 22G tube is too wide for your little sick skink, there are 24G versions too.

22G are 0.60mm bore x 0.85mm OD.
24G are 0.47mm bore x 0.67mm OD.

It's a good sign that George is more alert and taking water.

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