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Caresheet for Jeweled lizard Lacerta lepida/Timon lepidus

Posted by Miqe on February 2, 2010

This lizard is mainly a ground-dwelling species that can be found in Spain, Portugal, southern France and northwestern Italy and the northwestern parts of Africa.

In the wild it is living in sunny, rocky and bushy slopes or stone walls. It is one of the largest species in Europe, up to 80cm´s including the tail (body 1/3 and tail 2/3 of total length). It is a heavily built and strong animal. The colour is green, brown or a mixture between those colours. The young animals (juveniles), colour are yellowish brown to green, with ”eyes”/spots. Both sexes have as adults blue spots (Jewels/Eyes), but the males have
often more spots that are brighter in colouration. The head of the male is bigger than the females. Males have clearly visible Feromalpores.
The terrarium:
• For a pair (2 adult individuals) a terrarium that measures L=120cm´s, D=80 cm´s, H=60cm´s is appropriate.
• Sand is a good substrate, 5-15 cm´s thick layer.
• The temperature should be between 24-27 ºC, with a baskingspot that keeps a temperature of 30-35ºC. Spray the terrarium every 2-3 day in the evenings(60-70% humidity), a little extra when the animal/s is shedding.
• Uv-B is necessary for the species.
• Big stones and roots/branches make good interior. Provide the animal/s with a lot of hiding places. Make the interior as a steppenvironment.
Diet:
• In the wild the species consumes insects, snails/slugs, new hatched birds, small rodents and some sweet fruit. In captivity it eats almost anything that is served.
Pinkie-mice, cockroaches, snails/slugs, bushcrickets, crickets, small pieces of
non-fat meat and some sweet fruit such as: Banana, Apricot and Strawberries.
They will also eat egg.
• Dust all food with a vitamin and calcium supplement.
Water:
• Allways provide a waterbowl with fresh drinkingwater.

Breeding:

This species require a hibernationperiod of 2-3 months, with temperatures from+4ºC to +7ºC.• Mating will occur about 1-3 weeks after the hibernation is over and the temperaturesin the terrarium is back to normal.  About 1 week before depositing of the eggs, the female will be acting restless,with a lot of digging and searching in the terrarium. She might stop eating as well.Provide the female with a egg-layingbox, filled to 2/3 with moisted Vermiculite® ormoisted peat/soil (unfetilized). IMPORTANT! Vermiculite®, should be moisted in aratio of 1:1. By weight, not by volume! The clutchsize will be 8-20 eggs and should be incubated in 28ºC – 30ºC in a humidityof 80% – 90%, with a nigt-temperature about 24ºC – 25ºC. The young lizardsshould hatch in 85 – 120 days, with theese temperatures. 1 – 3 clutches are laid inone season.• Juveniles are about 5 cm´s when hatched (tail included), and should be fed withthe same food as the adults (1 – 3 times a week), but smaller in size. Dust all foodwith a vitamin and calcium supplement. Do not overfeed! The young lizards will reach sexual maturity in about 2-3 years.

Hygiene:

The terrarium should be kept clean. Excrements, urine and leftover food should beremoved as it appears. Clean the terrarium and everything inside it carefully 1-2times/year, exchange the substrate at the same time. Allways wash your handsafter holding the animal or after you have been doing something in the terrarium.

Good luck with your animal!

This caresheet is available on the Terrarium Morbidum site, as a free downloadable pdf-file.

Posted in Caresheets, European focus, Herpetology, Lacertids, Lizards, Reptiles | Tagged: , , , , , , | 7 Comments »

Caresheet for Long-nosed viper ( Vipera ammodytes )

Posted by Miqe on January 27, 2010

Origin/Spreading:

• Italy, Austria, , Romania, Bulgaria, Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia-Montenegro, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia, some Adriatic, Ionian and Aegean islands, Albania, Greece, Turkey and Transcaucasia.
Subspecies:

Vipera ammodytes gregorwallneri: Southern to Eastern Austria and to Slovenia.
(Not considered by some as a subspecies anymore)
Vipera ammodytes meridionalis: Southern Macedonia southern Albania, Greece to
western European Turkey.
Vipera ammodytes montandoni: Romania, Northern Bulgaria (to the Black Sea) to European Turkey.
Vipera ammodytes ruffoi: Only surroundings of Bolzano, Alto Adige Italy. (Not considered by some as a subspecies anymore)
Vipera ammodytes transcaucasiana: Northern and western coastal near Turkey to Caucasus. ( Considered by some scientists to be a species of it own V. transcaucasiana )
Please note! The subspecies status is still under investigation!!
Description:

• This strong, heavily built snake becomes up to 80 cm´s long, some individuals reaches even over 95 cm. Males are larger than females. It has a typical triangular head that sets off clearly from the slim neck. On the head tip they have a diagonally forward arranged horn. 21-23 keeled scalerows. Both males and females have a dorsal zigzag-band. Males are brighter in colouration than females and have sharper markings on the dorsal zigzag-band.
Habitat:

• They prefer warm, dry areas like rocky bushy slopes, and can also be found in edge of woods or in glades. Can be found as high as 2000 meters above sea-level.
They are active during daytime till dusk and like sunny places.

Attitude:

• The animals are not aggressive normally. In case of disturbance they hiss loud and bite sometimes.

Allways handle this species with hook or tong!! Never “free handle”!!
Terrarium:

• Theese vipers should be kept in medium sized cages on a mixture of sand, loam and forest earth. Interior with large stones/slabs and roots/branches to make it look natural, make sure that there are hiding places.

SECURITYTIP: Make sure that the terrarium are set up in a way, that makes you able too see the whole interior area without opening it. That way you can always “count-in” you’re animal/s, so that so you don’t become surprised by a hiding snake.

• A drinking container with fresh water is needed at all times.
• Temperatures between 24-28ºC, with a baskingspot under witch 32-35ºC are reached. Temperatures dropping at night to 20 ºC. Spray gently with water in the morning, a little extra in the evening when the animal/s are shedding.
• No UV-B vitamins/lightning are required for the species.
Reproduction:

• The species requires a hibernationperiod for about 8-10 weeks at temperatures between 0-7ºC. Livebearers, 5-18 young that are15-22 cm´s long at birth. Males wrestle with each other before mating with the female. Mating season in the nature is April to May, in captivity 1-3 weeks after hibernation is over and the males have shed.

Venom:

• The venom is probably the strongest of the European vipers, except for
Macrovipera schweizeri and Montivipera xanthina. Haematoxin. Life-threatening or deadly bites are expressed rare, usually it comes to local symptoms of intoxication. Pain is usually strong, a swelling occurs within 2 hours of time.
Among the general symptoms of intoxication one ranks: vomiting, beating of the heart, cramps, shock, possibly swindles and unconsciousness.
In case of bite, visit nearest hospital immediately!
Food:

• Mice, young rats. In the nature they eat rodents, rarely lizards and birds.
Good luck with your animal!

This caresheet can be found at Terrarium Morbidum – Captive bred European herptiles at www.terrariummorbidum.se

Link to the caresheet ( pdf-file).

Posted in Caresheets, European focus, Herpetology, International articles and news., Reptiles, Snakes, Venomous herptiles | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

 
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