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Thread: Success - Hatchling Crocodile Skinks!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
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    Alberta
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    Red face Success - Hatchling Crocodile Skinks!

    Just wanted to introduce everyone to my little bundles of joy.

    These baby Tribolonotus Novaeguineae A.K.A. Crocodile Skinks or Helmeted Skinks, were hatched during July and August. The babies are 6 weeks apart as female Crocodile skinks only have one ovaduct and as a result, can only lay one egg at a time. The great thing about that is the mother is extremely maternal and this leads to all kinds of kodak moments. Since most geckos and lizards will eat their young, it was especially rewarding to see the mother skink taking care of her little ones. The father has remained in the main skink tank while mom and the babies are in long-term isolation. Incubation for the first egg was between 65-75 days, kept at an consistent 85% humidity and 76-79F. The first egg was left in-tank for incubation, the second egg was cracked by the male and was kept in makeshift incubation outside the tank for the last 3 weeks of it's incubation period (roughly 81 days total).

    The father was obtained from the WCRE and the mother was obtained, very sickly, from Pet Land. As with most wild caught reptiles, her parasite load was extremely high, totaling 7 different types of parasites living in her gut. It took months of rehab, medicine and specialized care to get the female healthy enough to take interest in the male. T. Novaeguineae has seemingly only been bred once in Canada and this is certainly the first pair of CB siblings in Canada. If you have had experience hatching out this species or the red-eyed Tribolonotus Gracilis, I'd love to hear from you. Overall, this is a wonderful but highly misunderstood species that exists in the pet industry almost entirely due to wild caught imports. I would not recommend keeping crocodile skinks due to their stressed and shy nature and their specific habitat requirements also adds to the difficulty in keeping them successfully.

    If anyone is genuinely interested in the species, I would like to think I have amassed almost all available 'laymans' literature on them and can advise on anyone looking to source and invest in crocodile skinks. All photos taken with a crummy blackberry Q10 camera.
    Sorry, the hatchlings are not for sale at this time but typical prices for wild caught specimens are between $175-$250.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by bigshynepo; 12-13-2014 at 05:15 PM.
    Snakes: Thamnophis sirtalis tetrataenia, Lampropeltis pyromelana, Lampropeltis zonata agalma (bartlett phase), Lampropeltis triangulum campbelli
    Lizards & Geckos: Tribolonotus novaeguineae, Goniurosaurus luii, Lamprolepis smaragdina, Eublepharis macularius, Paroedura pictus, Lepidothyris fernandi, Emoia nigra, Uroplatus Sikorae, Plestiodon fasciatus, Leiocephalus personatus, Hemidactylus frenatus

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Alberta
    Posts
    157

    Default Re: Success - Hatchling Crocodile Skinks!

    Notice their extremely well developed eyes, they always see you coming long before you see them hiding. They will eventually lose the white coloring on their face. Lifespan is approx. 10 - 15 years. When placed with the father, he shows no interest or aggression towards the babies, however, they will remain with their mom for the time being.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by bigshynepo; 12-02-2014 at 02:15 AM.
    Snakes: Thamnophis sirtalis tetrataenia, Lampropeltis pyromelana, Lampropeltis zonata agalma (bartlett phase), Lampropeltis triangulum campbelli
    Lizards & Geckos: Tribolonotus novaeguineae, Goniurosaurus luii, Lamprolepis smaragdina, Eublepharis macularius, Paroedura pictus, Lepidothyris fernandi, Emoia nigra, Uroplatus Sikorae, Plestiodon fasciatus, Leiocephalus personatus, Hemidactylus frenatus

  3. #3
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    Jul 2013
    Location
    Alberta
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    157

    Default Re: Success - Hatchling Crocodile Skinks!

    The pictures of the little one on the dirt was during his first 2 days, he was moved to carpeted isolation before receiving his first meal. Also, at the time I was incubating the egg within the skink tank, the increased humidity aggravated the mother's preexisting skin condition. Both her, the father and both babies are in excellent health. Babies are eating mostly 2 week crickets and the occasional smallest of meal worms (which I kill with the tongs as they chomp on the other end). I prefer to get them on mealworms so that I can ween them off crickets before putting them into a paludarium-style tank.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by bigshynepo; 12-02-2014 at 02:10 AM.
    Snakes: Thamnophis sirtalis tetrataenia, Lampropeltis pyromelana, Lampropeltis zonata agalma (bartlett phase), Lampropeltis triangulum campbelli
    Lizards & Geckos: Tribolonotus novaeguineae, Goniurosaurus luii, Lamprolepis smaragdina, Eublepharis macularius, Paroedura pictus, Lepidothyris fernandi, Emoia nigra, Uroplatus Sikorae, Plestiodon fasciatus, Leiocephalus personatus, Hemidactylus frenatus

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Alberta
    Posts
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    Default Re: Success - Hatchling Crocodile Skinks!

    The egg for baby #2 was damaged by the male causing the yolk to spill out. It was removed from the tank and was kept humid and safe. Vets and people with experience all said the egg was probably a goner. The last day of the hatch window came and went and no lizard. The egg was knocked over the next day accidentally and when I was picking it up, I noticed 2 divots in the bottom part of the shell, as if something had been trying to get out. I took a sharp kitchen knife and carefully (Disclaimer: this can be potentially fatal to the embryo/hatchling and should be an absolute last resort) started to cut slits in the egg. After the 3rd cut, I noticed a small amount of bright red blood in the yolk that was spilling out. I went to make a 4th cut and the egg moved violently in my hands - my second baby skink burst out! After another minute with his egg sac (which was empty from his prolonged stint in the egg), he righted himself and was ready to conquer the world! I estimate he had been trying to get out of the egg for a 3-5 days prior and had given up due to the top part of the egg being moldy & damaged. The blood during the cutting was residual from the egg and was seemingly not the result of an injury. He showed no signs of bleeding when he was rinsed off. The two baby skinks are practically inseparable now and the little one follows the big one everywhere however they have retained their wild 'freeze or flight' instincts. The 'sibling' behavior I see between the two is another indicator that lizards are far smarter than most people give them credit for.

    Thanks for looking at my wonderful skinks but please don't support the wild importation of these little lizards. I would take them back to the Solomon Islands if I could, they truly aren't meant to be pets.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by bigshynepo; 12-03-2014 at 03:33 PM.
    Snakes: Thamnophis sirtalis tetrataenia, Lampropeltis pyromelana, Lampropeltis zonata agalma (bartlett phase), Lampropeltis triangulum campbelli
    Lizards & Geckos: Tribolonotus novaeguineae, Goniurosaurus luii, Lamprolepis smaragdina, Eublepharis macularius, Paroedura pictus, Lepidothyris fernandi, Emoia nigra, Uroplatus Sikorae, Plestiodon fasciatus, Leiocephalus personatus, Hemidactylus frenatus

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Edmonton
    Posts
    2,115

    Default Re: Success - Hatchling Crocodile Skinks!

    Just beautiful thanks for sharing
    2 Corn snake, 3 Kingsnakes,1Normal Ball Python, 1 pastel Ball python,1 KSB, 1 Childrens Python, 1 African House snake,1 checkered Gartner snake
    3 Leopard Geckos, 1 Bearded Dragon, 1 Coastal python.2 dogs, 3 cats, 3 budgies and 2 Cockatiel

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    Edmonton
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    10,613

    Default Re: Success - Hatchling Crocodile Skinks!

    Thanks for sharing, it looks like a fun project you have going on there
    Ian Kanda

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Edmonton
    Posts
    324

    Default Re: Success - Hatchling Crocodile Skinks!

    If you will consider selling some of these please please send me a message, these are wonderful. Been looking everywhere for this species again with no luck except an indo import that I passed on.
    Last edited by fireshadow; 12-02-2014 at 01:32 PM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Calgary
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    281

    Default Re: Success - Hatchling Crocodile Skinks!

    Congrats! Thanks for sharing! Tribs are really hard to breed in captivity so this is certainly and accomplishment!
    3.5 BRB - 1.2 CRB - 1.0 VRB - 1.1 GRB - 1.0 Nicaraguan - 0.1 Central american - 1.0 Columbian - 1.0 Guyana - 1.0 Panther chameleon
    Future BRB breeder! Join us on facebook today!
    Reptile art of various sorts available here!

  9. #9
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    Jul 2013
    Location
    Alberta
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    Default Re: Success - Hatchling Crocodile Skinks!

    Thanks everyone for the great comments so far!

    These little skinks are so poorly researched that it's hard to determine the impact the pet trade has on their species. With only one baby at a time and only a few possible babies a year, they breed at a lower rate than many lizards. Buying Long-Term-Captive skinks is one way to better your chances of getting a healthy crocodile skink but all skinks newly imported from the South Pacific will require extra time, patience and exacting habitat conditions to rehabilitate them from their horrible trip. A fecal test is all but essential at a cost of around $50 at the vet. Typically, it's in these first few months that wild caught skinks will succumb to invasive parasites, drastic change in diet and varying swings in humidity/photo period/temperature. Though wild-caught reptiles have been essential in establishing the captive-bred markets, I will do whatever I can to help you source a skink from North America that has been bred by loving owners or find a comparable captive bred lizard that will bring you just as much enjoyment. Let's try to keep these wild little skinks in the wild. Contact here with question or (my username) at gmail.
    Last edited by bigshynepo; 12-02-2014 at 04:04 PM. Reason: Added contact info for non-forum members
    Snakes: Thamnophis sirtalis tetrataenia, Lampropeltis pyromelana, Lampropeltis zonata agalma (bartlett phase), Lampropeltis triangulum campbelli
    Lizards & Geckos: Tribolonotus novaeguineae, Goniurosaurus luii, Lamprolepis smaragdina, Eublepharis macularius, Paroedura pictus, Lepidothyris fernandi, Emoia nigra, Uroplatus Sikorae, Plestiodon fasciatus, Leiocephalus personatus, Hemidactylus frenatus

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    Edmonton
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    1,809

    Default Re: Success - Hatchling Crocodile Skinks!

    beautiful little guys and great story , thanks for sharing
    Alexanderyana Aka Ellie
    0.1.0 Bearded Dragon, 40 Leapord/Crestied ,Gargoyle ,Fat Tail Geckos,0.1.0 Cuban Knight Anole,1.1.0 Diamond Back Turtle, 0.1.0 Black Breasted Leaf Turtle. 1.1.0. Corn Snakes, 1.0.0 Sand Boa,1.0.0 Bumblee Bee BP,0.0.1 Lemon Pastel BP, 1.0.0 Mexican Black Kingsnake, 0.0.2 Axolotls,0.0.5 Trantulas, 3 Cats, 2 Dogs.

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