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Old 05-05-2016, 07:46 AM
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Default Some Lygodactylus williamsi Shots

I currently have a breeding trio of L williamsi and I thoght you all might enjoy some pictures of them and a few of the babies they've produced. I've had them since 2013, before importation became a problem. The male and one female were captive born by another local breeder and one female was wild caught. I've only had 5 babies make it to adulthood, and my husbandry has changed dramatically since I started.

Here's my male, Skaro:






And my WC female, Kaylee:




I don't have any decent pictures of my other female because she doesn't like the camera very much. She'll sit and stare at me for ages, and then she vanishes when the camera comes out.

Here's a few babies:

2 days old, on my small girly hand for scale:


A different one at 3 weeks:


And at 4 weeks:
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Old 05-05-2016, 09:14 AM
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Nice pictures.

I've just started keeping these and would love to know about your husbandry methods.

Are yours calm enough to handle? I'm moving mine to a new enclosure soon hopefully and the thought of having to catch them is bringing me out in a cold sweat!
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Old 05-05-2016, 09:56 AM
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Originally Posted by supatips View Post
Nice pictures.

I've just started keeping these and would love to know about your husbandry methods.

Are yours calm enough to handle? I'm moving mine to a new enclosure soon hopefully and the thought of having to catch them is bringing me out in a cold sweat!
Thanks!

Mine aren't even close to calm enough to handle. When they're babies they don't seem to have that flight response yet, but after about the 5 day mark they end up just like their parents. When I need to catch them I have to leave containers full of food for them and wait until they run in to slam the lid on. The lady I bought my wild caught one from could grab them but I still haven't gotten the hang of it.

As for husbandry, I started out with the trio in an Exo Terra 18x18x24 viv with the front opening door. They had mostly fake plants, a piece of bamboo, a food dish for Repashy, and moss substrate. I kept the temperature at about 25 Celsius. They had a light fixture with a heat bulb and a UVB bulb. I use the Exo Terra UVB200. I would mist them twice a day and aim for 70-80% humidity with a slight drop off to 50% max. This was according to the care sheets I could find at the time.

The adults could escape the cage in multiple ways and would make a run for it every time I opened the door, the babies could sneak out through the pre-made cable holes, the fake plants kept scratching them, it was a mess. I had one juvenile leave his cage, climb the thermometer cable and then enter his parents' cage. So I started over.

After a lot of trial and error, they're now in a big 40 gallon breeder vivarium. They share it with some D. auratus frogs, who mostly stay on the ground while the geckos are up high in the canopy. I have two long florescent tubes for lighting, plus two of the Exo Terra UVB200s on there as well. I've reconfigured the room so that the ambient air temperature is 26C. They don't have a basking spot as they never used it, but they do have little duct tape shelves that they sit on. The temperature drops to 23C in the evenings, which seems to allow the eggs to hatch out either female or male. When I started all I would get was males.

They have all live plants now, the bamboo is still there since they like to lay eggs in it, and I left a few gaps in the backdrop for the females to glue their eggs into. I let the babies hatch out in the enclosure and have never had a case of cannibalism, but you can see my male is very well fed. Once they're 6-8 months old I'll start looking for a new home for the babies. I found that retrieving and moving the babies was too stressful for them when they were young and they would often refuse to eat after being moved into the baby enclosure. Spraying them also proved hazardous as I had a few get stuck to the wall as the water droplets dried and die overnight. And I had one drown in the food dish, so I keep those really shallow now.

The tank has a custom lid on it made of screen mesh with a zipper sewed in the middle. The geckos don't seem to be able to stick to the plastic screen well, so I never get escapees anymore.

Instead of spraying twice a day, I now mist the enclosure once in the morning and have a waterfall feature built in. It trickles down diagonally along most of the back wall, and the frogs and geckos both drink from it.

For food they compete with the frogs for fruit flies and pinhead crickets. My wild caught female will go right down and hunt with the frogs, while the other two catch the stray insects that make it farther upwards. They get a cup of Repashy once a week as well, and share from the dish with no problems. I add a bit of extra calcium every two weeks by mixing the calcium powder for insects into the Repashy. The babies also eat from this and will catch the D. melanogaster flies, and I'll leave out extra snacks when I have a new hatchling. I was feeding Repashy and calcium-powdered fruit flies initially and lost one of my wild caught females to egg binding, which is why I add a bit extra.

What else... The floor of the viv is dart frog friendly, so moss, plants, soil, leaf litter. The geckos never go down that far. Below that I have a layer of pond mesh and then a thick layer of clay hydroballs for drainage and to supply the waterfall pump with filtered water.

Here's some videos of the tank. I just overhauled it because one of my plants managed to root through the mesh and block the pump.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wU6xBkxqz-4
You can see the bamboo on the left and the log in the back is the waterfall. Kaylee was sitting on the top of the bamboo and watching while I was filming the frogs.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CkunWYWA6MY
Skaro shows up just for a moment at 0:34. He's sitting on the duct tape bench at the top of the cage in the middle of the screen.

If I missed anything just let me know!
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Old 05-05-2016, 12:08 PM
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Wow thats a really in depth post thanks.

did you get mostly males at the higher or lower temps? Here in the UK and in Europe female's are difficult and pricey to obtain. When I travelled to Hamm with my friends in march I didn't see any for sale.

A lot of breeders are now keeping hold of females. I noticed that your profile mentions you live in Canada are Williamsi difficult to obtain there. Also do different provinces have different rules regarding keeping reptiles?

I've got lots of questions but I'm on my phone!
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Old 05-05-2016, 02:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by supatips View Post
Wow thats a really in depth post thanks.

did you get mostly males at the higher or lower temps? Here in the UK and in Europe female's are difficult and pricey to obtain. When I travelled to Hamm with my friends in march I didn't see any for sale.

A lot of breeders are now keeping hold of females. I noticed that your profile mentions you live in Canada are Williamsi difficult to obtain there. Also do different provinces have different rules regarding keeping reptiles?

I've got lots of questions but I'm on my phone!
I'm not going anywhere so feel free to post more questions any time!

It seems that higher, stable temperatures produce only males. Higher temps with lower drops of 3-5 degrees Celsius at night produce about a 2:1 ratio of males to females, and lower temps with a lower drop gave me one female but I wasn't comfortable keeping it low like that all the time. This makes the ladies a real pain to produce regularly, which is why we're all seeing a shortage. It seems dramatic fluctuation in temperature is the key.

When I started breeding them they were quite common. I'd even see them at the garbage pet shops that didn't know how to care for them. That was in 2013 though while people were still importing wild caught. I bought the only two captive bred ones I could find from a local club member in very good standing, and filled the gap with wild caughts from an importer I trust. He always used to have a few tubs of them in the back available if anyone wanted them, and they were $120 for a pair, so about 60-80 pounds for 2. Pretty darn cheap considering the state of them now.

Since then I haven't seen a single one at a show, and I attend 4-5 shows a year. I only know of one other team actively breeding them in my province (Alberta) and they're having no luck at all. Last I checked they weren't even interested in swapping one of their females for one of the ones I hatched out. They have only produced one or two adults in several years. The lady I got my CB ones from has moved away from the Lygodactylus species completely and only deals with bigger geckos now.

Unfortunately there doesn't even seem to be a market for them here anymore. The people who do have them are keeping them and doing their best to get them breeding successfully, no one will sell to amateurs for good reason, and on top of that none of the pros want to start working with them because they're so touchy. The zoos aren't even interested! I have an adult female now and I can't get rid of her. Nobody wants her, not even to swap genetics.

Our provinces are all different regarding reptile laws, with the less populated areas in the middle being way more lenient, and BC being oversensitive and banning silly things like all CBB Dendrobates frogs. Alberta has some pretty good clubs who work actively to keep the hobby in tact which is great for enthusiasts here. We can't have Western hognoses which completely breaks my heart, but other than that I think the laws are reasonable.

If I'm remembering correctly, African rock pythons are legal in Ontario, but pitbulls aren't. So typically as long as something doesn't end up in the media it's fine. African pygmy hedgehogs are illegal in Quebec. No idea why. But as for reptiles it's pretty standard. No buying or selling local species, but they're legal to keep. Nothing huge like anacondas or retics, and no perenties or komodo dragons, nothing venomous or poisonous (ssssh don't tell them about the new monitor lizard studies) and that's about it.

This means we see a pretty good variety of reptiles in Alberta, but no lygodactylus species . I don't think we ever even got L. luteopicturatus out here. Show season is about to start next week in Alberta, but I doubt anyone will have any L williamsi available .
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Old 05-05-2016, 03:08 PM
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It's a similar deal to the state by state rules in the US then. I've visited BC (Vancouver) and Ontario (Naturally Toronto!) Rules and regulations were not somthing I'd been able to gain insight into. Being from the UK it's strage getting my head round being able to do somthing in one place but not another!

Back to the Williamsi!

I actually have a trio, I've got one egg at the moment that came with them so I'm not sure if it will be viable or not. I use a heatmat to keep tempratures steady at night but have read that they can go as low as 15oc at night.

I was thinking of making fruit puree for them and freezing it into portions.

I was really lucky to get them and have seen the offspring and couldn't belive they are as small as they are.

I was told that a captive bred female at the moment would be expected to reach £200 or so.Which would be about $370 canadian I think. I'm not sure if there would be many people prepared to pay that sort of money though.

Most keepers seem to be trading females amongst themselves anyway. One European breeder actually kept all of his hatchlings until they were old enough to sex and just sold the males.

There seems to be a lot of interest in them in the UK but actually sourcing them is the problem.

What are the shows like in Alberta? Are there many?

Thanks.
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Old 05-05-2016, 03:34 PM
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Yeah as far as I know the temps can drop quite a bit. My guys are housed in a room with my snakes and hedgehog so I can't risk temperature drops any lower than I'm doing, but if you can I'd say go for it. It seems to produce more females.

My guys don't mind fruit but they really love fruit flies. If there are no insects around they'll go for the fruit but otherwise it's more of an afterthought, really.

They are TINY when they hatch out, which is why mine kept escaping. And when they get out they go strolling everywhere. I had one make it from the pet room which is in a corner upstairs with the door closed, into the kitchen in the basement at the other end of the house. Luckily they're also insanely overconfident unlike the Phelsuma geckos, which makes them easier to spot and catch. They're real people watchers! Every time I've lost one I've found it again by noticing it watching me or my female geckos from somewhere obvious. This was my first post here: http://www.reptileforums.co.uk/forum...williamsi.html. I nearly had a heart attack the first time. And then he just kept escaping.

Wow I had no idea the price had gotten that high. I paid 80 a piece for my captive ones and was selling my new girl at $100 and still couldn't sell her. Maybe everyone thinks there's something wrong with her because she's priced so low .

I'm glad there's interest over there. It seems like most of the breeders here aren't interested at all anymore. Nobody wants such a tiny high maintenance animal. And I honestly think most of the wild caught ones that made it over here have died in the past 3 or so years. Otherwise there would at least be people trading. I guess the market here is more money based and less conservation based, which shouldn't surprise me.

There are typically two shows in Calgary, two shows in Edmonton, and one big show in Red Deer in the middle. The Calgary shows are usually done by TARAS, our provincial reptile club, but they're running out of members so this year one of the new guys on the scene is hosting the spring one instead. The Edmonton shows are done by ERAS, who works with TARAS but are the more Edmonton-focused team. And then the one in the middle is done by a few guys who are just big in the hobby. Greg West and Jim from J&J Reptiles do most of the work, as far as I know; Jim and his wife are who I got my captive williamsis from. Contacting him can be a royal pain in the butt this time of year, but it might be worthwhile to send an email asking if they know of anyone dealing with the little guys in your area. They're on Facebook and have a garbage website with contact info. They seem to have contacts globally though so it could pan out.

The show in Red Deer is the biggest in Western Canada. It's nothing compared to the ones in the States but it's pretty big, usually 50 or so vendors with multiple tables each. Lately all five shows have been 90% cresties, royal pythons, and leopard geckos though, which sucks. There are usually 6-10 colubrid snakes per show, not counting corn snakes, and only a handful of lizards besides cresties and leopards.
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Old 05-05-2016, 04:02 PM
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Finally CITES look like they are going to be lifting these to Appendix 1 later this year.

It could mean that the captive animals that we have now will be relied upon to maintain the species as a whole going forward.

This will be strictly monitored of course if implemented.

John,
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Old 05-05-2016, 04:07 PM
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Finally CITES look like they are going to be lifting these to Appendix 1 later this year.

It could mean that the captive animals that we have now will be relied upon to maintain the species as a whole going forward.

This will be strictly monitored of course if implemented.

John,
Good, it needs to be done so badly. With a species this unique you just know smugglers are still getting some out of the country. But it also means we need to get our husbandry right before the ones we have all die before producing offspring. It's so frustrating knowing I have viable juveniles and nobody wants to trade with me to help keep this species alive. With smuggling and deforestation they're heading toward extinction.
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Old 05-05-2016, 04:20 PM
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Originally Posted by geckers View Post
Yeah as far as I know the temps can drop quite a bit. My guys are housed in a room with my snakes and hedgehog so I can't risk temperature drops any lower than I'm doing, but if you can I'd say go for it. It seems to produce more females.

My guys don't mind fruit but they really love fruit flies. If there are no insects around they'll go for the fruit but otherwise it's more of an afterthought, really.

They are TINY when they hatch out, which is why mine kept escaping. And when they get out they go strolling everywhere. I had one make it from the pet room which is in a corner upstairs with the door closed, into the kitchen in the basement at the other end of the house. Luckily they're also insanely overconfident unlike the Phelsuma geckos, which makes them easier to spot and catch. They're real people watchers! Every time I've lost one I've found it again by noticing it watching me or my female geckos from somewhere obvious. This was my first post here: http://www.reptileforums.co.uk/forum...williamsi.html. I nearly had a heart attack the first time. And then he just kept escaping.

Wow I had no idea the price had gotten that high. I paid 80 a piece for my captive ones and was selling my new girl at $100 and still couldn't sell her. Maybe everyone thinks there's something wrong with her because she's priced so low .

I'm glad there's interest over there. It seems like most of the breeders here aren't interested at all anymore. Nobody wants such a tiny high maintenance animal. And I honestly think most of the wild caught ones that made it over here have died in the past 3 or so years. Otherwise there would at least be people trading. I guess the market here is more money based and less conservation based, which shouldn't surprise me.

There are typically two shows in Calgary, two shows in Edmonton, and one big show in Red Deer in the middle. The Calgary shows are usually done by TARAS, our provincial reptile club, but they're running out of members so this year one of the new guys on the scene is hosting the spring one instead. The Edmonton shows are done by ERAS, who works with TARAS but are the more Edmonton-focused team. And then the one in the middle is done by a few guys who are just big in the hobby. Greg West and Jim from J&J Reptiles do most of the work, as far as I know; Jim and his wife are who I got my captive williamsis from. Contacting him can be a royal pain in the butt this time of year, but it might be worthwhile to send an email asking if they know of anyone dealing with the little guys in your area. They're on Facebook and have a garbage website with contact info. They seem to have contacts globally though so it could pan out.

The show in Red Deer is the biggest in Western Canada. It's nothing compared to the ones in the States but it's pretty big, usually 50 or so vendors with multiple tables each. Lately all five shows have been 90% cresties, royal pythons, and leopard geckos though, which sucks. There are usually 6-10 colubrid snakes per show, not counting corn snakes, and only a handful of lizards besides cresties and leopards.
When I went to Hamm in March with my friends most of the really unusual stuff was done via pre arranged sales with collection at the show. I actually obtained my G.Spengleri this way. I did see quite a large variety though, as a first timer there it was quite overwhelming. Great trip though.

Thanks for the info, I'll look into them when I'm looking to get more of this species, I'm really enjoying having them.

I didn't realise how expensive and difficult they were to obtain until last year when I tried to get some adults and couldn't find anything besides males. I'd actually given up on ever keeping them but I seemed to end up in the right place at the right time. The market prices seem to be different depending on what country you are in. Some things are more expensive in mainland europe than the UK and vice versa. I don't know the American or Canadian markets though so couldn't comment on that.

Mine are all quite shy at the moment, I'm guessing thats because I've only had them a short amount of time and they are settling in. One of the females is very reclusive, the male isn't too bad but the second female seems the most confident. I've had one female and the male escape so far. I've found putting a tub over them like you would a spider seems the best method. They move like lightning!
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