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 Post subject: Scarlet King eggs
PostPosted: May 13th, 2012, 3:12 am 

Joined: August 10th, 2010, 12:57 pm
Posts: 39
Found these yesterday. This will be my first go at these guys, I'm sure it will be a chore.

Image

RUSS


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 Post subject: Re: Scarlet King eggs
PostPosted: May 13th, 2012, 6:08 am 

Joined: July 2nd, 2010, 5:48 pm
Posts: 597
Location: AZ.
Well congratulations on bringing eggs into the world...and you may find yourself "enslaved" when they hatch. Those tiny hatchlings are pretty demanding at times, you will do well to start collecting an array of tiny food items. By most accounts, the tiny brown skinks (Scincella) often do they trick when other items fail. I have never worked with Scarlet's, I am intimidted by them but also attracted by their great beauty. The female in the photo is really nice, is she captive bred? Have you raised them before? Tell us all about the husbandry tricks you have learned! I think we all like Scarlets, but some of us have been scared off or intmidated by the stories of how different they are than larger and perhaps more adaptable species. Good luck and welcome to the forum. There are a couple of highly experienced keepers who post on FHF, maybe they will chime in also?
Vic


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 Post subject: Re: Scarlet King eggs
PostPosted: May 13th, 2012, 9:03 am 
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Congratulations (and condolences ;) ) indeed, Russ! Nice looking eggs! My scarlet kings used to hatch out at around 6" in length and about as thick as a pencil lead. Ground skinks (and at first juvenile ground skinks, at that) are definitely the way to go if you can get them; if you start catching and storing them in the freezer now, you won't regret it. They store well for extended periods if you vacuum pack them. Forcefeeding liquified pinky via a small syringe and dosing needle works well when all else fails.

I agree, from what I can see of the dam, she looks lovely! How about a full body shot of her? And don't forget to post lots of hatchling pictures when the time comes! :)

Gerry


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 Post subject: Re: Scarlet King eggs
PostPosted: May 13th, 2012, 1:16 pm 

Joined: August 10th, 2010, 12:57 pm
Posts: 39
Here's the adults:

The female looks way better than this pic shows:

Image

And the male, rather syspils looking for central NC, but they do run the gammet here:

Image

They're both WC. I got her switched to FT fuzzies rather quickly, he still likes a little skink skin on his.

I actually got to test the waters this year with hatchlings, I found a couple from last year right at the beginning of the season (which was early here this season). They are tiny buggers for sure! I started them on live ground skinks, then graduated them to FT skinks. After a couple of those I swithed them to FT newborn pinkies with a little five-lined skink skin on the head, that's what they're still on now. So IMO they're not difficult at all, IF you have access to the right food items until you can get them switched.

I'll posted pics when they hatch and we'll see how it pans out.

RUSS


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 Post subject: Re: Scarlet King eggs
PostPosted: May 13th, 2012, 4:06 pm 
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Lovely animals!

Yup, having the proper food available is the key.

Gerry


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 Post subject: Re: Scarlet King eggs
PostPosted: May 13th, 2012, 6:08 pm 
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Joined: June 10th, 2010, 7:37 pm
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Location: San Francisco, CA
Russ-
Your female is the one the looks rather red-milky imo! Very pretty snakes, both of them. I love elapsoides.


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 Post subject: Re: Scarlet King eggs
PostPosted: July 7th, 2012, 4:07 am 

Joined: August 10th, 2010, 12:57 pm
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Day 56 @ 82F, let the work begin!

RUSS

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 Post subject: Re: Scarlet King eggs
PostPosted: July 7th, 2012, 7:00 am 
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What an awesome moment, seeing those gorgeous little redheads poking their noses out like that! :)

Thanks for letting us all share in your fun, Russ!

Gerry


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 Post subject: Re: Scarlet King eggs
PostPosted: July 7th, 2012, 7:54 am 
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Joined: June 8th, 2010, 5:29 pm
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Location: I love L.A.
Awesome :thumb:


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 Post subject: Re: Scarlet King eggs
PostPosted: July 7th, 2012, 9:16 am 

Joined: October 3rd, 2011, 10:41 am
Posts: 34
Location: Ft. Myers, FL
Everyone seems to push ground skinks as starter food for these guys, but has anyone tried baby anoles? Just in the last week or so I have noticed an explosion of Brown Anole babies and if scarlet kings are dominant lizard feeders it seems like this might be an option to help get them transitioned.
Just a thought...
But definite congrats are in order!


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 Post subject: Re: Scarlet King eggs
PostPosted: July 7th, 2012, 11:49 am 

Joined: June 11th, 2010, 9:42 am
Posts: 308
Location: Utah
crwheeler wrote:
Everyone seems to push ground skinks as starter food for these guys, but has anyone tried baby anoles? Just in the last week or so I have noticed an explosion of Brown Anole babies and if scarlet kings are dominant lizard feeders it seems like this might be an option to help get them transitioned.
Just a thought...
But definite congrats are in order!


I had a similar thought, the following ramble is what I mentally worked through so I decided to share. Please correct me if I have it wrong.

I have zero experience with scarlets, skink, or anole in captivity. I have observed all in the wild however and the textbook answer I would give for why skinks work better is because of the niche they fill in the ecosystem. Scarlets and skinks are both ground litter specialists, anoles (for the most part) seem to be much more arboreal. I have no idea if that translates at all into the captive setting and as food preferences but from an evolutionary standpoint, because of the similar habitat in which they live and the abundunce of skinks as a food source, you would think that those scarlets that have a strong feeding reaction to skinks would be more "fit" than those that don't. Maybe over time the weak response to skinks has been selected against.

Again this is the logic I worked through as the same question went through my head, I could be completely off.

-Thomas


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 Post subject: Re: Scarlet King eggs
PostPosted: July 7th, 2012, 6:38 pm 

Joined: August 10th, 2010, 12:57 pm
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I've tried live and F/T anoles on a scarlet kings (yearlings to adults) and have no takers.

RUSS

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 Post subject: Re: Scarlet King eggs
PostPosted: July 8th, 2012, 6:33 am 
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crwheeler wrote:
Everyone seems to push ground skinks as starter food for these guys, but has anyone tried baby anoles?...

Yup, I tried anoles (including hatchlings) extensively when I was working with scarlet kings. I had one adult that particularly loved them, but not much luck beyond that. Nor with other small lizards. Ground skinks really kick a$$ with this snake species.

Gerry


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 Post subject: Re: Scarlet King eggs
PostPosted: July 8th, 2012, 10:15 am 
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Gorgeous neonates. Good luck with starting them! What county are the WC parents from?


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 Post subject: Re: Scarlet King eggs
PostPosted: July 8th, 2012, 10:28 am 
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I didn't have time to post this before...

For an article emphasizing how much scarlet kings are skink - especially ground skink - specialists, read:

Greene, H.W., E.J. Zimmerer, W.M. Palmer and M.F. Benard. 2010. Diet specialization by the scarlet kingsnake, Lampropeltis elapsoides (Colubridae). IRCF Reptiles & Amphibians 17(1):18-22.

What they found by examining snakes' gut contents and folk's anecdotal observations of snakes' behavior in the field certainly matches my own experience dealing with many wild-caught and captive-bred specimens in FL, except I'm inclined to say that these snakes are even more intent on ground skinks (to the exclusion of other lizards, even other skinks) than their results suggested. The dietary restrictions placed on the snakes by their small gape (also mentioned in the paper above) gives further testimony to their specialization.

And I agree with you, Thomas, that such an evolutionary specialization can readily be explained by the fact that scarlet kings and ground skinks share the same leaf litter habitat (and essentially the same range, too, which I very much doubt is a coincidence).

Those are some awfully pretty hatchlings you're producing, Russ!

Gerry


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 Post subject: Re: Scarlet King eggs
PostPosted: July 8th, 2012, 5:22 pm 

Joined: August 10th, 2010, 12:57 pm
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The parents are from Moore County.

I've managed to switch WCs (neonates to adult) rather quickly by peeling skin off of frozen five-lined and/or broadhead skinks and placing a small patch on the head of an appropriately sized F/T pinky or fuzzy mouse. Some will take an unscented mouse after just a couple of these, others take a little longer, but they have ALL taken it.

RUSS


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 Post subject: Re: Scarlet King eggs
PostPosted: July 9th, 2012, 6:24 am 
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Joined: January 1st, 2012, 7:14 am
Posts: 340
Location: Pike County KY
My experiences with elapsoides has been pretty limited. I have had two adults and one of them I kept for many years. He was exclusively a pinky eater in no time. The other (the one pictured as my avatar) I hadnt weened over to pinkies yet and gave him to a friend and wildlife biologist. They both would also take young Fivelines when i offered it to them. I would love to have another for work. Just dont live within their range anymore. They are beautiful animals and had shifting tempers. Unpredictable biters. At least the ones I had. How are yours as far as temperament? I like the variation of the snakes depending on localities. Up here in KY, in western KY, they look much more Red Milkish.

Here are photos of my two.
This first one is my old snake. He was 13 in this photo. He was a South Carolina Snake.
Image

The other was a Mississippi snake.
Image


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 Post subject: Re: Scarlet King eggs
PostPosted: July 9th, 2012, 4:13 pm 

Joined: August 10th, 2010, 12:57 pm
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They tend to vary from day to day in temperament. One day one will handle just fine, a few days later it will strike and thrash. I'll most have tamed to the point that they don't go too crazy as long as you pick them up slowly.

Variety is their claim to fame for sure; all of mine are from within a few miles square miles but vary immensely.

RUSS


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 Post subject: Re: Scarlet King eggs
PostPosted: July 10th, 2012, 5:37 am 
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Most but not all of my scarlet kings ultimately became quite bold, routinely lying out in the open in their enclosures or even racing out from cover into the open at my approach ("Is it feeding time?!? Yay!!!"), but only a few became downright calm in hand. One was unusually calm in hand from the time I caught her. (Perhaps not coincidentally, she was crawling out in the open on the forest floor during broad daylight when I found her.) I didn't put much effort into getting them used to handling, though.

Gerry


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 Post subject: Re: Scarlet King eggs
PostPosted: July 11th, 2012, 8:01 pm 

Joined: August 7th, 2010, 2:48 pm
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Location: Tucson, AZ
Awesome job Russ and best of luck!

I've no experience with hatchlings -- yet, but have been able to get juveniles 9 inches in length to take anole legs, tails and anole-scented day-old f/t pinks and mouse tails. These were from Fla. locale animals.

Day-old pinks seem to go down easier if you sort of crush them up (give the skull, shoulder and hip a firm pinch with the hemostats). I only tried this after watching one of my juveniles give up on swallowing a day-old pink after dragging it around for 20 minutes.


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 Post subject: Re: Scarlet King eggs
PostPosted: July 12th, 2012, 2:32 am 

Joined: August 10th, 2010, 12:57 pm
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I was actually surprised when I got a ~6in WC to switch to pinks. I really didn’t think it could choke one down, but it ate them like a champ.

RUSS


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 Post subject: Re: Scarlet King eggs
PostPosted: July 14th, 2012, 10:30 am 

Joined: August 10th, 2010, 12:57 pm
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Here's a pic after the first shed and some scale.

Image

RUSS


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 Post subject: Re: Scarlet King eggs
PostPosted: July 15th, 2012, 6:46 am 
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That little guy/gal practically glows, Russ! VERY nice!

Gerry


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 Post subject: Re: Scarlet King eggs
PostPosted: July 16th, 2012, 12:32 pm 
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Location: Pike County KY
Georgous youngster their! Tried feeding them yet?


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 Post subject: Re: Scarlet King eggs
PostPosted: July 16th, 2012, 4:56 pm 

Joined: August 10th, 2010, 12:57 pm
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3 of the 4 ate a F/T broadhead skink leg last night, good enough start for me, lol.

Russ


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 Post subject: Re: Scarlet King eggs
PostPosted: July 17th, 2012, 1:42 am 
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Location: San Francisco, California
Verhoodled wrote:

Day-old pinks seem to go down easier if you sort of crush them up (give the skull, shoulder and hip a firm pinch with the hemostats). I only tried this after watching one of my juveniles give up on swallowing a day-old pink after dragging it around for 20 minutes.


This is an excellent suggestion. The less arduous a first feeding is the better.
I have not started scarlets but have raised many other lizard feeding neos - some quite diminutive and I have never fed lizards. I tube feed - it works for me . I feel hesitant to say 100%, but only because of how it sounds - for sincerely I cannot think of an example when it hasnt succeeded. Feeding a specifically prefered natural food item has its own given, sound merit - Yes of course - but humbly and earnestly I offer, that developing good, smooth gavage skills can be one of the most invaluable tools a keeper can have . Many problems can be nipped in the bud.


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 Post subject: Re: Scarlet King eggs
PostPosted: July 17th, 2012, 8:29 am 
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Location: Central Florida
I have found it unnecessary to provide baby SKs with ground skinks, though they will certainly take them. I find it much easier to collect a few big fivelines, freeze them, and cut off pieces. This significantly reduces the amount of effort you need to put into finding food for them. The babies will usually switch to pinky parts scented with skink soon after. Anoles are not the favorite food of SKs from many areas, but I have found that babies descending from the canefields south of Lake Okeechobee are much more likely to take anoles than those from other locales. Most of my subadult to adults will take just about any kind of lizard, though most will readily take pinks or fuzzies, so there is no need to offer lizards at that point.


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 Post subject: Re: Scarlet King eggs
PostPosted: July 18th, 2012, 6:22 am 
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A benefit of a composite slurry is that it is more nourishing than using parts of a feeder animal.


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 Post subject: Re: Scarlet King eggs
PostPosted: July 18th, 2012, 4:57 pm 

Joined: August 10th, 2010, 12:57 pm
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I switched the WC adults to F/T pinkies/fuzzies by placing a piece of skin from a frozen skink on the heads for a few feelings. I use the same technique on baby alterna.

Russ


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 Post subject: Re: Scarlet King eggs
PostPosted: July 18th, 2012, 4:58 pm 

Joined: August 10th, 2010, 12:57 pm
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I switched the WC adults to F/T pinkies/fuzzies by placing a piece of skin from a frozen skink on the heads for a few feelings. I use the same technique on baby alterna.

Russ


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 Post subject: Re: Scarlet King eggs
PostPosted: July 24th, 2012, 6:48 pm 

Joined: July 23rd, 2012, 7:00 pm
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This is the 3rd year I've had SK eggs, both cb from my wc or from gravid, wc females (Duval Co & Charlotte Co, FL). 100% hatching 35 eggs, but only 24 total have survived to become yearlings.

Speaking for SKs from Hattiesburg, MS down through south Florida up to SE South Carolina, they are only for the experienced breeder possessed with determination and an ability to catch as many ground skinks as possible, whenever possible. Any serious breeder of SKs knows that some hatchlings will starve themselves if not presented with ground skinks (live, just killed by accident, or thawed). I cannot tell you how many hours I've spent hunting these amazing little lizards, and I have the upmost respect for them...hence my handle on here. I've spent 5 hours on a hot ass July evening being eaten alive by mosquitoes and only come home with 6 or so - sometimes I catch 10 in 30 minutes; make no mistake, the Mighty Ground Skink is one elusive little skink! I can tell their sound from lubbers, anoles, beetles, small centipedes, etc. and have several proven ways of catching them - if conditions are right. They rarely forage above ground during or after rains on the central to eastern Gulf Coast and Jax to Savannah area. Maybe around homes, but not in forested areas, or those great grassy roadsides next to live oak forests. I know where the little ones go when it does rain (but it took my about 6 months to figure it out), etc. There is a certain temperature range when they are most likely to forage, and it's as accurate as hell.

Forget all the tricks: if you don't have enough ground skinks on hand (or know where you can get them easily) then you're sentencing most to death. Raising 4-5 is easy...but when you get upwards of 15-20 plus hatchlings (double-clutching is not uncommon) prepare to spend most of the time caring for these hatchlings if you have a real job! Just think, you'll need 2 ground skinks every 10-12 days for each hatchling for 30 weeks or so - do the math. When they do take anoles, it's a freakin' blessing.

Let me put it simply to end the debate: I've never encountered a healthy wc/cb hatchling or that has turned down a ground skink presented in some fashion, never; but I've seen every, and I mean every hatchling to yearling SKs at some point turn down green & brown anoles of the right size, small geckos, the living tails of Broadhead, 5-Lined, and SE 5-Lined Skinks even when they were starving, and every other "trick" people have...none of them are reliable with more than 10 SK hatchlings, period. Pinkie parts are too messy and hit and miss until they get some size on them, and some will take rodent prey right away, and others never will. To say the are predisposed at birth for ground skinks is an understatement - probably some small snake species as well.

I've had hatchlings from south Florida come out at 7.5" and able to eat adult ground skinks from day one; sometimes it will be 6 months before a female from coastal SC will be able to take the same-sized ground skink. Thus having different-sized ground skinks is crucial; I catch and let a few females lay eggs and produce hatchling ground skinks that turn out great for skittish eaters.

I love SKs - truly one of nature's living jewels. But breeding them with the hope of developing a new pattern is truly a task and then some - not a chore - because you have to love these little snakes to the point that if you end up with 21 hatchlings (like I did once) you can devote all the time necessary to see that they survive.

The rewards are great - I have some that will produce stunning Florida SKs in a couple of years, but never in quantities more than 20 offspring. But then again I prefer quality of quantity, and if you work with SKs, get used to it!


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 Post subject: Re: Scarlet King eggs
PostPosted: July 24th, 2012, 6:57 pm 

Joined: July 23rd, 2012, 7:00 pm
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Daniel Parker wrote:
I have found it unnecessary to provide baby SKs with ground skinks, though they will certainly take them. I find it much easier to collect a few big fivelines, freeze them, and cut off pieces. This significantly reduces the amount of effort you need to put into finding food for them. The babies will usually switch to pinky parts scented with skink soon after. Anoles are not the favorite food of SKs from many areas, but I have found that babies descending from the canefields south of Lake Okeechobee are much more likely to take anoles than those from other locales. Most of my subadult to adults will take just about any kind of lizard, though most will readily take pinks or fuzzies, so there is no need to offer lizards at that point.


Not so. I have wc from interior FL that have never seen a brown anole but will take it. I have one from just west of the Lake that won't touch them, and you can't walk 5 feet without stepping on those little bastards. Again, the surest way to breed them with a line in mind is with ground skinks - it cuts out all the after-birth guess work at what they will eat.


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 Post subject: Re: Scarlet King eggs
PostPosted: July 24th, 2012, 7:37 pm 
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I have to admit, I worked with quite a number of scarlet kings - including an awful lot of hatchlings that I produced by captive breeding - for a fair number of years, I became rather skilled at braining, scenting (for some of the harder cases I felt like I was acting out Silence of the Lambs, the way I'd put a ground skink suit on a pinkie to get a snake to start making the switch), etc. or tube-feeding liquified pinkie to those tiny, thrashing hatchlings, and long before I ended my work with the species I reached the conclusion that MGSkink just espoused. If one wants to work with this species to any extent greater than to occasionally breed a pair, I firmly believe the best place to put one's effort is in securing a good supply of ground skinks, and the best time to do so is before hatching out any eggs. Forget two ground skinks every 10-12 days; my hatchlings routinely ate two every week. But then none of my hatchlings ever came out of the egg large enough to eat more than a partly-grown ground skink (so they were getting smaller meals), and I was eager to maximize their growth to promote a fairly quick, solid switch to pinkies. I too became very good at hunting those diminutive lizards, but I couldn't possible keep up with the demand (because of how many pairs I was breeding). Through much effort I found two commercial sources for them (I don't know if these still exist - sorry), but even they could only get the lizards for me sporadically, so I resorted to a strategy of getting the lizards whenever the getting was good; I would buy hundreds at a time and promptly freeze and vacuum-pack them for subsequent use, and still hunted for them whenever I had time and conditions were right. I truly deemed them that essential.

Mind you, I'd love to be shown I'm wrong about this, or to have someone find a new, better way. (I already mentioned elsewhere my unsuccessful attempt to find African pygmy mice, the tiny pinkies of which I still think are worth a try.) And in any event I'm very hopeful for the success by whatever means of Russ and whoever else takes on the species.

Gerry


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 Post subject: Re: Scarlet King eggs
PostPosted: July 25th, 2012, 4:39 pm 

Joined: December 3rd, 2010, 12:06 pm
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Quote:
for some of the harder cases I felt like I was acting out Silence of the Lambs, the way I'd put a ground skink suit on a pinkie


That's pretty funny, I know the feeling. I also espouse a "jeez, just go with what they want" attitude for feeding volumes of baby snakes. A couple-3 gravid tree vipers dropping on you at once (how it usually goes...) can ruin your next couple of months, if you're all hung up on tease-feeding pinky parts. But they sure love frogs and lizards...

As for pulling down boatloads of ground skinks, when I lived in FL I mulched my whole yard (half-shaded w/ live oaks) with live oak leaves. The neighbors were kind enough to rake, bag, and set them on the curb for the trashman, ha ha - that's how I got my mulch. Most of my ground cover plant under the oaks was those invasive Nephrolepis ferns. Awesome Scincella habitat! I had (unused) sprinkler boxes that would really gather the skinks. I also laid some cover objects up against the house wall and perimeter fence where I could better-catch the skinks. (The skinks were the best assist-feeding option I had for some really suicidal little hot snakes. Safer for them and me than tube-slurry feeding, and way more rigid & slick than small anoles. That's why I targeted them.)

So anyway...what I'm getting at, is if you could somehow do it legally, then pitfall-trapping Scincella might be the way to go, to get volume. I think most of the in-range states don't have bag limits on them. You could probably work with the local state wildlife guys to get a trapping permit (or variance on the prohibition) for that one species. Using very small traps (plastic coffee cans?) might help make your case, and diminish concerns about bycatch.

Just a thought.

Cheers,
Jimi


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 Post subject: Re: Scarlet King eggs
PostPosted: July 25th, 2012, 5:27 pm 
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Yeah, that does sound like ideal habitat, Jimi. My wife would never have gone for such a landscaping plan when we lived in FL, unfortunately. :lol:

And I agree, small pitfall traps (where such can legally be used) placed in good habitat would be a nice, low-effort way to get one's hands on a bunch of ground skinks. Some designs of funnel traps set flush with the ground and kind of buried in the leaf litter might work just as well, and would have the advantage of being easily moved when desired. I'm not sure how readily ground skinks can be depleted in a small area (such as one's own yard), though, as I don't know much about their reproductive potential. (I've had some lay eggs while they were in my possession and hadn't yet been frozen or fed out, and I've hatched a bunch of those eggs out, but that's as far as I ever went in that direction.) They can achieve amazingly high population densities in the right places, so I suppose that potential is most likely pretty great.

I believe that the commercial sources that I used to patronize skimmed the leaf litter off of suitable ground using something like a small bobcat, then shook/sifted the material they'd skimmed through a largish mesh. Not very nice to the habitat (though it recovers very quickly), and at its most productive only at certain times of the year. My wife wouldn't have approved that plan for our own place, either. ;)

Gerry


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 Post subject: Re: Scarlet King eggs
PostPosted: July 28th, 2012, 3:49 am 

Joined: August 10th, 2010, 12:57 pm
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Funny you mention pitfall traps, I bought some buckets last week to set up. As for SKs being for experienced keepers, the word dedicated is probably more appropriate. Their propensity for lizards is rather straight forward, it is the collection of the food that’s time consuming. And of course I can barely hear the little bastards in the ground cover anymore, so my wife walks with me to point them out (just another valid reason to have one, lol). I definitely wouldn’t want to work with more than a couple of clutches.

RUSS


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 Post subject: Re: Scarlet King eggs
PostPosted: July 28th, 2012, 4:53 am 
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Im just wondering - since tube feeding gray bands and other lizard eaters has worked so well, bringing neos along with good growth and to healthy voluntary pinky feeding - why isnt it considered in this case? It seems SK would be a perfect candidate for the effeciacy of the method. Is there a value judgement or perception that begrudges its merit? One could say the same could be seen by some in regards to collecting wild reptiles to feed captives we choose to keep or produce, no matter how plentiful the skinks or anoles or scelops are. In principle?


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 Post subject: Re: Scarlet King eggs
PostPosted: July 28th, 2012, 5:27 am 
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Scarlet king hatchlings certainly can be tube fed, Kelly, and I've done a fair bit of it. But it takes some practice to get good at it with such tiny, hyper hatchlings (I can't speak to a comparison with gray-banded hatchlings, as I've never dealt with them), and even once one is skilled at it there's some time-consuming fuss involved. Too, although I'm more than reluctant to get into the subject of an animal's happiness (what with us still lacking any kind of scientific metric for it ;) ), it was definitely my overall impression that hatchlings that fed voluntarily generally behaved calmer, even bolder, than their tube-fed brethren. Remember that this is a species that at best prefers light, gentle handling or no handling at all.

Gerry


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 Post subject: Re: Scarlet King eggs
PostPosted: July 28th, 2012, 8:14 am 
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Yes I understand . It would be a subjective action. If it takes longer and is infused with more anxiety than putting in a contact lens - I would make the call that ones technique needs improvement. Anatomically unsound/over-restraint , instead of light strategical points of support and difficulty in opening the mouth are common. I have had to work with some very hyper taxa - and I havent noted a difference in response and I do feel such things as stress and contentment are important - it is of great concern to me. I always feel sentience is present.


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 Post subject: Re: Scarlet King eggs
PostPosted: July 28th, 2012, 12:04 pm 
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Posts: 1959
I won't deny that you make a good point concerning the relative (lack of) skill on the part of the person doing the tube feeding, Kelly. I myself got to where it felt fairly quick and easy, for me especially but I believed also for the hatchlings, but still nowhere near as quick and easy as was simply putting ground skinks in their enclosures. (I should point out, too, that the great majority of the time-consuming fuss I mentioned was not the actual feeding but rather the liquification of the pinkies beforehand and the clean up of the equipment afterward.) And I did believe I was seeing some persisting behavioral effect in the tube-fed animals. But I was self-taught, and would probably have benefitted from someone showing me how to do it or at least watching me do it and offering me advice on my technique, even after I got as good as I got. If I ever go back to working with the species I'll likely try to find someone to do that for me - and now I know to keep you in mind for the job! ;)

Gerry


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 Post subject: Re: Scarlet King eggs
PostPosted: July 28th, 2012, 4:51 pm 
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Location: San Francisco, California
Gbin your generous as always when you speak with me.

my little monkey hands probably help. But in almost all other things in normal life the contemporary chimp has more finesse than me. I cant even drive.


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 Post subject: Re: Scarlet King eggs
PostPosted: July 28th, 2012, 5:22 pm 
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Location: San Francisco, California
I only tube feed guys that dont eat. I just dont wait to do it. I started my zonata when I first saw him foraging after his first shed and every time I caught him foraging - I (tube)fed him, let him forage first and before he gave up and retired into hiding gave him nourishment. It took 6 or 7 feedings and I only even offered him ftp after the 3rd feeding. But after his second shed he ate a thawed pink and eats like a champ now every week. But dont get me wrong it makes total sense to me why you would offer SK that eat voluntarily whole little skinks.


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 Post subject: Re: Scarlet King eggs
PostPosted: July 29th, 2012, 7:54 am 
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I know some folks advocate a strategy of just letting hatchlings go hungry for a while if they're unwilling to eat voluntarily, and I know they can actually go hungry a good long while at that without taking apparent harm from it, but I preferred not to wait to get food in them, either. I suppose partly that was impatience on my part, but it was also partly my concern over keeping a healthy hatchling healthy rather than risking its condition degrading at all if such could be avoided.

You make another good point in your comment about monitoring the behavior of the hatchlings for evidence of foraging, Kelly. Appetite is obviously important to voluntary feeding, and it makes sense that tube feeding in response to signs of appetite would hasten the transition to voluntary feeding. Another thing that I always did to maximize use of appetite (and that I believe I recently touched upon in a related thread) was to put animals on a very regular feeding schedule right from the start. Even just as a kid visiting zoos rather than an adult working in them, I couldn't help but notice how a number of the animals there would take up positions near where they were fed shortly before feeding time arrived, in anticipation of the event. Feeding with the same interval of days between meals and at the same time of day for each meal can help generate that very useful anticipation in newly wild-caught or hatched snakes, and even in much more established but still finicky snakes, too.

Hey, isn't it about time for another update, Russ? How are the new kids doing?

Gerry


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 Post subject: Re: Scarlet King eggs
PostPosted: July 31st, 2012, 3:10 am 

Joined: August 10th, 2010, 12:57 pm
Posts: 39
All eating F/T skink parts. One was rather slow out of the gate, but is doing fine now. A couple have eaten the rather large base part of tails, so I may try a scented pink in a week or two. I'll post some updated pics next week.

Russ


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 Post subject: Re: Scarlet King eggs
PostPosted: August 9th, 2012, 2:06 pm 

Joined: August 5th, 2012, 12:35 am
Posts: 1
how much for one of the hachlings?


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 Post subject: Re: Scarlet King eggs
PostPosted: August 12th, 2012, 4:15 am 

Joined: August 10th, 2010, 12:57 pm
Posts: 39
Honestly I haven't decided what I'll do with them once they're up and running on straight pinks.


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 Post subject: Re: Scarlet King eggs
PostPosted: October 14th, 2012, 1:31 pm 

Joined: August 10th, 2010, 12:57 pm
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So they're all feeding on mouse tails now, one unscented. The other three require just so few skink scales to do the job that I'm surprised they haven’t switched. They’re growth is super slow, but I’ve noticed that with a couple of hatchling from last year too.

Image

RUSS


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 Post subject: Re: Scarlet King eggs
PostPosted: October 14th, 2012, 3:42 pm 
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Great news! Thanks for the update - but we need more pictures! ;)

Gerry


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 Post subject: Re: Scarlet King eggs
PostPosted: October 16th, 2012, 12:30 pm 
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Joined: January 1st, 2012, 7:14 am
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Location: Pike County KY
Looking good!


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 Post subject: Re: Scarlet King eggs
PostPosted: October 17th, 2012, 6:05 am 
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Location: Pike County KY
Do you think that the slow growth would have anything to do with limited nutrition from the mouse tails and not being able to take a whole animal?


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