Friday, February 13, 2009

Leucistic and Hypo Pastel Morphs

There has been some confusion between the two that I would like to clarify. They are both from the same gene. It is a simple receive gene so both parents have to carry the gene for the offspring to express it. The leucistics have been selectively breed to have little to no color. So when the hypo gene is expressed it reduces the dark pigment and leaves only white. When you add this gene to a dragon with color than when the dark pigment is reduced you'll have a bright colored dragon. The easiest way to tell if a dragon is hypo is to look at their nails. They will have clear nails. Some dragons will have a couple of clear nails and so aren't hypo. If the dragon is het for the gene then it carries it but doesn't express it. Heterozygous means to have the gene on one allele, homozygous means to carry the gene on both alleles. The only way to tell if a dragon carries the gene is to breed your dragon to another one that you know carries the gene. If the offspring are hypo than both parents carry the gene.
This is our Hypo/Leucistic male. He still has some yellow but he is mostly white. Notice his beard still turns black when he is excited.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Tips On Breeding Bearded Dragons

To breed bearded dragons, you must create their natural seasons to bring the females into heat. This is called preconditioning. Before starting preconditioning, you should make sure that both your male, and female bearded dragons are healthy, and mature enough to be bred.
Preconditioning Steps:
The first step is called the photo-period, and is intended to simulate the winter season. Your UVB light will need a timer on it, and you should be gradually reduce the amount of light hours every day until you reach 10 hours of light, and 14 hours of darkness, reduce the heat in the enclosure by changing the wattage of the basking light. Ideally, the basking spot should be a maximum of 78 degrees, while the rest of the enclosure should be kept between 64 to 67 degrees. While you are simulating the photo-period, you should decrease the food being given to the breeding pair. All together, the photo-period should last around 6 weeks. After this period, you can gradually change the lighting back to 12 hours of night, and 12 hours of light.
After the photo-period has ended, you will need to provide more food than usual, and, where possible, offer fattier foods, such as meal worms and crickets. You will also need to ensure the female has plenty of calcium for egg production. This is an important step that will help put weight, and condition your bearded dragons, getting them ready to breed.
After around 4 weeks after the photo-period, you should make sure that the males and females are kept together. If there are more than one pair in the tank, you may notice that the males will become aggressive toward each other, and start to fight. The females will show obvious signs of submissiveness such as waving their arms, and bobbing their heads slowly. Once the female becomes fertile, she will begin looking for a place to lay her eggs. This is usually a soft, sandy place. Make sure that you provide such an area for her, by placing a mixture of play sand, and garden soil. Moisten this mixture and place it on one side of a container so that it slopes to the other side. Make sure it is deep enough so the dragon can dig down and be completely hidden. Put a heat light over the dirt to heat it up. The females are easily identifiable when they are pregnant, as they will appear much heavier than previously. It will be obvious when she is ready to lay because she'll dig constantly in her cage. That is when it is time to put her in the egg laying bin.
The Eggs, And Incubation
Once your female bearded dragon has laid her eggs, make note of the spot they have been placed. Then after she has finished, dig the eggs up with a spoon. It is vital that you are careful not to rotate the eggs when shifting them. Place them in a container with a moist substrate like vermiculite. It is possible to make your own incubator, although it is often easier, and the success rates are much higher with a bought incubator. The temperature must be kept at 85 degrees at all times, and must never go below 83 degrees. Eggs will need to be kept moist; you can do this by placing a small container of water at the bottom of the incubator, and misting the eggs with a fine spray regularly. For the first week check the eggs every other day and remove any that are leaking or moldy.
Hatching, And Caring For New Born Lizards
After 50 to 70 days the eggs should start hatching. The eggs will usually hatch within 24 hours of each other. Sometimes this may take a little longer. Just before the hatchlings emerge, you will notice that the eggs will begin to collapse. Once the hatchlings have emerged from their shells, it is time to place them in a rearing tank. The hatchlings will be very hungry, and need to be fed often to stop them from chewing at tails and toes, which do not grow back. Hatchlings must be fed very small wax worms, and crickets. Make sure that you don’t feed them food that is larger than half the distance between their eyes, or you may cause them damage. Hatchlings need to be fed 3 times a day until they are 4 months old. After this, you can reduce their meal times to once per day. As hatchlings they eat 90% insects and 10% vegetables. As they grow this will gradually flip by the time they reach adulthood. Offer the hatchlings foods such as greens, and flowers as well as worms, and crickets.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Basic Supplies for a Bearded Dragon

The bearded dragon is one of the most popular pet reptiles for many reasons. They require minimum maintenance as they are happy to sit under their heat lamp most of the day. Just your basic cleaning and feeding is all that is needed. Their disposition is also desirable. They usually tame down easily as they get older. Bearded dragons are independent lizards that fend for themselves but don't mind being handled.
Below are the basic needs in taking care of a bearded dragon lizard.
1. Housing
The easiest housing for a bearded dragon is a glass aquarium with a screen as a cover. The screen will ensure that enough air circulates in the tank while keeping the lizard securely inside. Glass is preferred for two reasons: maximum visual pleasure for the owner and added light absorption for the pet.
Another option is an enclosure made of wood and plexiglass. Wood cages are quite beautiful but heavy and difficult to clean. Plexiglass will scratch and end up being hard to see through.
2. Food
Bearded dragon lizards are relatively easy to feed. They require a daily diet consisting of little bugs, meal worms, and crickets mixed with a variety of veggies. Cultivated bugs that are available in most pet and reptile stores are the best choice for your lizards. This ensures that they were not contaminated by fertilizers and pesticides that infect most bugs found in open vegetation spaces.
Dark green and leafy vegetables are also ideal for bearded dragon lizards. Tear or cut up the leaves into small bite sizes before feeding. A good rule of thumb to follow is to keep the veggie size between half to 2/3 the space between your dragon's eyes.
3. Lighting
Lizards require exposure to the full UV spectrum daily. You can provide them this need by installing a UV light (long fluorescent lights will do also) inside their cage. The nearer the bearded dragon lizard is to the light source, the better. UV light aids in dragons' digestion and keeps their disposition amicable.
4. Temperature
In keeping a bearded dragon lizard, it is imperative that you employ a temperature gradient inside their housing. The use of a basking light is the easiest. The wattage will depend on the size of cage and the distance the dragon is from the light. Part of their cage should be warm enough for them to enjoy their daily basking and stretching. At night, it should be cold enough to mimic the outside environment.
Temperature regulation is very important because dragons are sensitive to uncomplimentary whether. Too much warmth or coldness can adversely affect their health.
5. Substrate
Kitchen paper towels make good substrates for baby bearded dragon lizards. Not only are they cheap and easy to find, they are also clean and inedible. This safety measure will surely keep your dragon on the safe side. Another beneficial feature of using paper towels is that they are really easy to replace when soiled, no messy cleaning is required.
Other materials that can be used are children's play sand, sand from pet stores, and slate tiles found at a home improvement store. The important thing to remember when using sand as substrate is to sift it first to get any pebbles out to keep your dragon from impacting, clean it daily to maintain a fresh and hygienic environment for the bearded dragon lizard.
6. Reptile tank accessories
Optional tank accessories may be placed inside your bearded dragon lizard's to imitate the natural environment. As lizards are fond of lying around and basking, a mini log may be installed. A pile of rock and a log on the side where the basking light is will make it easier for the dragon to be closer to the light. If you get theses from outside be sure to bleach them to kill any fungus or bacteria. Plastic or natural plants may also be provided to give the tank a more forest atmosphere. Just keep in mind not too clutter the housing too much so as not to encroach in the living and moving space of your pet. Also, keep the housing and all accessories clean at all time.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Why Buy From a Bearded Dragon Breeder

Today, you will learn the reasons you should not buy a bearded dragon from a pet store. When you are in the market for a bearded dragon your first instinct may be to go to your local pet store. This is not always the best place to go. Why, you ask. The answer is very simple. Most pet stores buy their bearded dragons from a wholesaler. A wholesaler is someone that buys large quantities from several breeders than sells them to the stores at wholesale. The majority of these animals have disease and health problems because they don't discern from good breeders and bad ones. When they get these lizards they just group them up and diseases spread. When they get to the pet store they're stressed which can make them sicker. Most pet stores can't afford to have a vet check them and medicate if needed.
So, if you are a person who does not care about all that. There are a few things you can look for to determine if the reptile is in good health. 1. Is the color bright and vibrant? 2. Are the eyes glossy and clear? 3. When you hold the reptile is it wheezing? 4. Is the animal alert and responsive to you when being held, or is it just sitting or lying there? 5. Is the skin tight or is it hanging off? You can also ask the store when it was last fed. You may even request them to feed it for you while you're there to see if it takes the food. Ask them how long they have had it, how old is it.
O.k., so now you bought your reptile and have it at home. If you have other reptiles of the same species DO NOT put them together. You need to quarantine your new pet from all others. Most young reptiles like puppies have worms, go online and buy some Parazap. This will remove them and even help your bearded dragon with other problems that you may not see. After you have quarantined the reptile for about a month and have not seen or noticed any health problems then you are in the clear.
So, good luck with your new pet and make sure to pick up some books and do some online research to find out everything you can about their habitat and their favored food.