Austin in Arizona U.S.A.

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Location: Arizona

Austin in Arizona U.S.A.

Postby Scincoides » Tue Aug 09, 2016 2:19 am

Merauke (T. g. evanescens):

The Merauke blue tongue is quickly becoming a household staple for enthusiasts everywhere. With basic care requirements, large size, and personable nature, they make great family pets.

Care differs a little bit with Meraukes.

As for temperatures, 98°F in the hot spot and 78°F on the cool side seems to work well. I do have a 7ft Merauke enclosure in my living room with a temp gradient of 110-70°F during the summer months, and if given the opportunity, they do seem to utilize the cooler temperature zones regularly.

Most Gigas varieties require significantly higher humidity. I do my best to provide a humidity gradient ranging from 60% to 80%, which can be done with light misting, either from a spray bottle, a mister, or a fogger system. It’s very important that humidity be increased without having wet bedding. Dumping water into the bedding to increase humidity is often a very bad idea, as together with the heat in the tank and skink excrement, you are asking for bacterial and mold growth. These animals don’t live in swamps or bogs in the wild, therefore wet conditions will often do more harm than good.
In my enclosures I run a mister system that sprays for a few minutes each evening; in my rack-tubs I just use a large water bowl placed closer to the warm side. As the water in the bowl evaporates it raises the ambient humidity.

In a dryer climate, if you are keeping your Merauke in a screen top enclosure, it may be necessary to tape off a portion of the screen to reduce ventilation.

An appropriate bedding mix will help with retaining humidity quite a bit. I’ve tried keeping them on pure cypress mulch, but here in Arizona, even regular mistings do not keep the humidity levels where they should be. In my dry climate, I have found the perfect mix to be: 25% organic potting soil, 25% Sphagnum/Peat moss, and 50% cypress mulch. It looks good, holds humidity well, and facilitates burrowing.

This species occurs in nature so close to the equator that temperatures don’t fluctuate much during the “winter”. Reducing the ambient temperature by 10 to 15 degrees is often more than enough to trigger these animals to shut down. I give mine 6 weeks at about 80°F degrees. Other keepers have had success maintaining average temps year round, in those cases the animals often shut down on their own in response to slight changes in background temps caused by lower household temperatures during the winter.
Austin & Danielle
12.28.12 Northerns
4.6.2 Kei Island
12.6.2 Meraukes
3.4.8 Irian Jayas
2.5.3 Easterns
1.2 Halmahera
1.1 Indonesian
2.3 Tanimbar
0.0.1 Blotched
1.0 Egernia Striolata
1.1 Egernia Cunninghami
1.1 Egernia C. Krefti
1.2 Bellatorias frerei
1.1 H. Gerrardii

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