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Delicate Skink

Posted: Sat Jul 13, 2019 12:35 am
by kingofnobbys
Meet Little T

a 2" plastic petri dish is a great bath and soaking pool for Little T.

Little T is a great eater. !!!
Polishes off 6 to 8 weenie woodies (roaches) , or weenie crickets , or weenie silkworms per day.

Little T is a Delicate (Rainbow) Skink : Lampropholis delicate , and this skink's tongue is blue and it's used lots when hunting and exploring.

Got a few colonies of these charming little skinks on my property , often see these hunting about and basking in my shed, under my house , at the front of my house ( on my messy front patio and hanging about under the aircon out door unit , and in the little shrubbery at the SW corner of my front yard.
T was found by my handy man when he was digging about making my 6m x 3m raised bed and brought the little skink to me , not injured but very cold and sleepy, now warmed up and hungry and curious.

Re: Delicate Skink

Posted: Wed Jul 17, 2019 12:31 am
by kingofnobbys
My builder found another little delicate skink this afternoon when he was completing my south boundary fence's retaining wall , disturbed from brumation and so I have two , a larger one from last week and the new smaller juvenile.

Was starving hungry, destroyed about 12 weenie crickets as soon as I deposited them in the tub.

My is referring to them as "Itchy" and "Scratchy".

Re: Delicate Skink

Posted: Sun Jul 21, 2019 4:49 pm
by kingofnobbys
Itchy the juveniles standing up (on the hunt and exploring).

Scratchy eating cricket under hide.

Looky …. a little blue tongue licking lips.

Itchy in petry dish water pond for a drink

And a bath

I've always liked this species of skink, grew up catching them in my family home's front and back yards at Mayfield NSW, and my granddad's yard ( Waratah) and around the school as a kiddie , and in the local "bush" and on Ash Island . And I've always had a healthy colony of them on my property here.
One of the most common skinks around here - they are literally in every yard if there is no cat in residence.

Re: Delicate Skink

Posted: Sun Aug 11, 2019 12:52 am
by kingofnobbys
Still have them.

The juvenile Scratchy is very much more outgoing than the adult Itchy.

The little skink seems very curious about me, and no longer hides from me when it's napping, not so keen on my wife , it retreats to the little hide with Itchy when she come too close. I seems to respond to my voice when I greet it and speak to it and even crawls onto my hand sometimes when I do a weekly tub clean / swap and when I do the daily water dish top up.

Itchy likes blacksoldier flies , I have to squash the fly's head , but it seems to really enjoy attacking the flies , likes 5-6mm long woodies too ( same deal ) .

Both are great at catching weenie crickets in mid air as they leap to escape them. They're cleaning up 12 - 16 weenie ( 4 - 5mm long ) crickets per day. I don't have any silkworms small enough for them ( more eggs will hatch soon though and in a week or two after that they'll be big enough to use as feeders for Itchy & Scratchy.

One of them shed yesterday, now sure which , but I found a shed skin between their pile of twigs.

Itchy likes to midnight raid, I often hear banging going on , it's Itchy up chasing down and catching crickets , often this is at 10 and 11pm .
Both have adapted well to captivity and are very interesting to watch , they live on my coffee table.

Will be keeping the pair. So I've ordered in a 13W UVB100 and another nano hood , and will soon set the pair up in a 4L Décor TellFresh food tub with the hood glued to the lid ( and hole in the lid to give a clear UV path) , this will increase their floor space by 250% to 300% and will be a very good home for the pair and this way I can be sure they are getting UVA & UVB ( these skinks like shady spots and live in the leaf litter and undergrowth so I think about 180 microW UVB / at 4" from the globe ( the hood will essentially double the UV flux ) will be about right for them I think.
The room temperature at 25 - 27 degC seems about right for them, they are active, feeding and seem to have great appetites.

If I had 3 or 4 of them I'd need a 10L Décor Tellfresh tub I think to avoid overcrowding issues.

I'm hoping I've a male and female and maybe I might be able to get them to breed , ( no fighting so that's a good indication) I don't know of anyone who is breeding these little skinks at all. This species lays eggs and establish colonies and set up nurseries where aunti's and older juvenile female guard related females eggs and hatchlings .

Re: Delicate Skink

Posted: Sat Aug 31, 2019 9:07 am
by kingofnobbys
Still with me , and they are both occasionally coming out, and seem relaxed enough with me to curl in my tummy or hand.
They've discovered my bluetongues , my water skink and the bearded dragons , and seem very curious about them , studying proceedings from the safety of their hide while I'm feeding the other bigger lizards and having quality time with them.

They are really full of character , and I've learnt a lot about their behaviours by simply watching them. Will be upgrading them to a 10L tub shortly and setting them up so they have much more space and can give each other distance when they need it.

I have a sneeking suspicion they've mated , as I've seen what suspiciously looks like courting behavior.

Delicate Skinks - we have eggs.

Posted: Mon Sep 09, 2019 4:06 am
by kingofnobbys
Itchy has been very active today , trying to get my attention, just checked and discovered a pill sized white egg has been laid . There I was thinking that she was just overfed and getting chubby.

and egg #2 laid a few minutes ago

Here's mum :
Not so keen to go back into the tub, but she sure seems to like the warmth of my hand and arm.
I think there are still some eggs inside her judging from her lumps and bumps.

Such a big egg from such a small skink …. will be interesting to see if she lays any more eggs and if they are fertile.
Fortunately I'm in their natural range as a species , and I should be able to get away with just ambient room temperatures ( 24 degC to 26 degC ) to incubate the egg(s).

Since she's using calcium to make eggs, I've added a drop of CalciVet to the water dish to help her replentish her calcium levels and just ordered some housefly gents (rich in calcium).

Re: Delicate Skink

Posted: Tue Sep 10, 2019 4:00 am
by kingofnobbys
3 eggs so far. Itchy is much more settled today ( back to normal self ).

I don't have any perlite incubation gear ( never been interested in breeding / incubating eggs ) so I've simply placed the eggs on a damp piece of kitchen paper towel and folded it over , I'm remoistening it a couple times per day,

These little skinks breeding habits according to A Guide to Australian Skinks in Captivity ( Dr.Brown ) suggests the species Lampropholis delicata typically form communal nests between stacked bricks or pavers or in the holes in bricks or concrete blocks and the females lay 1 to 8 eggs each and sometimes the nest will have up to 160 eggs in a large breeding with females all laying and incubating in the cavity.
(Seems not really necessary to bury their eggs, acid test it seems will be if the eggs swell over then next two weeks.)
The temperatures in my house will be fine.
(ref p 325 - 329).

The moist paper towel will have to suffice for now as I'm not set up to incubate reptile eggs.
Once she stops laying, I'll likely move the eggs to a spare silkworm egg hatching tub and wait to see if any hatchlings emerge in 33 to 42 days.

Re: Delicate Skink

Posted: Thu Sep 12, 2019 10:33 pm
by kingofnobbys
11 September
I've set up a incubator of sorts for the 3 L.Delicata skink eggs, essentially, it's soaked sheet of scot-towel in a round ( ex- BSFL tub ) with a small plastic lid on top, the eggs are on a damp piece of scot-towel which is folder over them. The lid snaps on , and is ventilated.
I've ordered in a small 5L packet of perlite grains but probably wont need them unless Cleo becomes gravid.

I have this incubator tub on the floor of Fluffy's tub ( stays about 26 degC overnight, and about 28-30 degC during the day), Fluffy's ( my pet Eastern Water Skink's) cool zone.
Fluffy was very curious about the tub , she investigates everything that's new right away. She's adopted the lid as a new basking spot.

Itchy has been looking for her eggs since I removed them from her and Scratchy's shared tub , but there isn't space in there.

The slightly sweetened water ( 2 or 3 drops from an eyedropper of CalciVet in the water ) is a hit with Itchy and Scratchy, the solution is quiet sweet tasting and they seem to have a sweet tooth and I've never had a problem getting rescued lizards to take it orally.

Today - Make that 4 eggs.
Itchy was quite active once the newer egg/s "dropped" / moved near her bottom yesterday and overnight - labor pains - trying to lay it (?).

Laid It sometime between 11am and 2pm today , she's much more settled now..

Re: Delicate Skink

Posted: Sun Sep 15, 2019 3:47 am
by kingofnobbys
Two more eggs laid overnight. ==> that makes 6 in total.

Unfortunately (the bigger older female Itchy passed away sometime today) , I discovered her dead and already stiff with sunken eyes , no injuries I can make out except a small mark under her chin ( cricket bite maybe) , I guess the effort of laying so many big eggs was too much for her , she seemed to be struggling to lay the last two eggs over the last two days .

It's a shame , she was a sweet natured girl.

Re: Delicate Skink

Posted: Thu Sep 19, 2019 9:38 am
by kingofnobbys
Ended up with 8 eggs , found 2 more the day she died .
6 of her eggs are now starting to swell ( like balloons ) . Good sign ?

Re: Delicate Skink

Posted: Sun Sep 22, 2019 11:02 pm
by kingofnobbys
Wife and handyman report they've seen stacks of delicate skinks , water skinks and even a bluetongue in my yard near my shed and my feral pots and under the house ,and when out to shop.

Think Scratchy has sensed spring has finally arrived, he's been hyperactive and everytime I take the lid off or even crack it open to give him some bugs he's been wanting out and I nearly lost him a few times when he had a bee in his bonnet and wanted to go exploring, he's well fed and just completed another shed , so I've decided it'll be better for him to release him before he disappears under the furnature.

My garden beds are all built and ready for the fill to go in and to be topped up with premium garden soil . My 6m x 1.2m privacy screen was finished today.
Now moved onto doing some timber ( wet rot in some framing just above slab) and cladding repairs on my old double garage before getting house and garage exteriors painted.

My resident wild lizards ( who live under my house , in my garage, in my yard and garden will be safe now. So now's a good time to release him if I'm ever going to before I become too attached to him.

Still have the eggs …. wont be long now before they start hatching if they are viable.