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View Full Version : U. milii strange behaviour and amount of food?



Mel
01-10-2006, 04:59 AM
Hi all,

Sorry, this is quite lengthy, but some background. I purchased what I was told were 2 females (1 fully grown, 1 juvenile) last June. The lady I had bought them from had kept them together with no problems (so I was told). The juvenile, I discovered after bringing her home, had what looked like a calcium deficiency (bendy-looking limbs). With the help of a local vet I have treated this now but some of the "bendy" appearance hasn't gone away.

Anyway, when placing them in the same tank the seller had them in, after a couple of nights I caught them fighting. I thought perhaps the bigger female was picking on the smaller one because she was sick and slightly weaker, so I separated them, thinking that I would place them together once the smaller one was fully grown (a few months to go on this). The separation was done with some cardboard down the middle of their tank.

Tonight I noticed some behaviour I hadn't witnessed yet before, and that was that one was digging a big pit next to the cardboard, while the other was actually climbing up the cardboard (she was about halfway up when I sprung her).

Do I have some crazy geckos, some sexually confused geckos, or am I just worrying over something minor? Certainly neither gecko looks unwell or anything, and it is summer over here so I guess this is when they'd normally be getting "busy" but I dunno... I'm still a few months off putting them together again but I must admit I'm apprehensive to, as I'm scared they'll fight again.

Another question I had was I wondered how many crickets other people who keep milii feed them and how often? I've heard conflicting things and don't want to feed them too much or too little.

Many thanks,
Mel

Ari
01-10-2006, 05:57 AM
Hi Mel

Interesting situation with your Underwoodisaurus Milli. I have had abit of experience with this species now - as it was my very first species, which I still have.

Are you 100% sure they are both females? The reason I ask is that I have never noticed females fighting amongst each other at all. Infact I find this species probably the most placid & docile species of all Australian geckos. Are they getting fed enough - probably competing for food if they arent fed enough. They could be both males? Or even a pair? This species has been known to cause abit of confusion when sexing even as adults when not done by a trained eye so to speak.

Also do you feed crickets and if so do you dust every second feed, or supply any extra calcium? This is very important as without specific calcium & certain other elements there can be problems.

What temperature do you keep them at and do you have a moist hide or moist area in your enclosure?

I would be interested to see some pics - especially vent pics if your camera lets you focus close enough.

Ari

Ari
01-10-2006, 06:00 AM
Oh forgot, I feed my adults 5-6 medium size crickets every 2 days.

Mel
01-10-2006, 08:17 PM
Many thanks for the quick response!

I'm currently breathing a sigh of relief as I feed them 6 medium crickets every 2 days (wasn't sure if that was enough, so thanks for that). Yes, I do dust, especially since the little one had a calcium deficiency when I bought her, I'm careful about giving them calcium and vitamin D with their crickets.

In response to your other questions, no, I'm not sure they are two females. Particularly, because one was a juvenile at the time, it was almost impossible to tell, but because they had been kept together previously, and the previous owner had been told they were both females, it was only an assumption. I'm starting to think I need another opinion.

They both have a moist hide.

The thermostat is currently set at 32C as it's summer over here. That raises another question actually. Several herpotologists I know say they cool their reptiles at night, but the vet told me not to do that with captive bred geckos, so the heat stays constant throughout the day (except for in winter). Again, conflicting information, so not sure what to do in this department but wonder if it's causing some problems...

Unfortunately I have a really crap camera, I would LOVE to post some vent pics and get some opinions on sex but can't unfortunately. Will have to find someone with a decent camera I can borrow...

Thanks again :)

Ari
01-10-2006, 11:13 PM
Hi Mel

I guess we need to find out what sex they are first.

Next inrelation to your temperature. I am based in Cairns - as you know is a hot humid tropical environment. The following information I am going to give you is pending on what conditions your geckos have become accustomed to - particularly after hatching - so do not attempt if they have always been at the temperatures you have had them at, and from the previous owner.

The Underwoodisaurus Milli is a cool gecko species, even though its range does include QLD & NSW.

Out of all my geckos species I keep this is the only species I never give heat to.

My reptile room without air conditioning is at 30+ degrees in summer - e.g. I am in Cairns, humidity without airconditioning 80-100+(very sticky).

I have had to alter this via air conditioning with low fan use.

With airconditioning on very low I have been able to achieve a temperature in my reptile room of 26-27 degrees during the day, and have nocturnal lighting in all enclosures except Underwoodisaurus Milli that gets to 28-30 degrees in the hot end of the enclosures. I like there to be a hot & a cooler end in my enclosures. Humidity is at roughly 50-60% with all enclosures having moist substrate on one end of the enclosures only.

At night after feeding all lights/heating are turned off, and reptile room tempertaure dropped to 24-25 degrees in summer.

Underwoodisaurus Milli thrive in low temperatures, and will over heat quickly - remember that I have no heating with them at all - Day temp 26-27 degrees, night of 24-25 degrees. My speciemens originally came from Melbourne & they seem more active at 24-25 degrees . If you are getting temps of 30+ in their enclosure without heating - and no gradient temperature - OMG. As I said it depends on what they are use to being kept at.

Ari

Mel
01-11-2006, 09:48 PM
Perhaps I didn't explain very well, that is not room temperature but is the temperature set on the thermostat of the heatmat and the light. At night I don't turn off the heatmat but turn off the light, and in the morning when I get up before I turn the light on, the thermometer usually shows around 25C. This is air temperature. There is also definitely a heat gradient (am not that silly) but I don't keep a thermometer on the cool end to tell you what it gets down to.

I have read on the internet they can be known to be climbers and I've definitely seen them dig before but have never sprung the climbing thing so perhaps I was worried over nothing...

Will definitely need to determine their sex though. Last night I had a dream that I re-introduced them and one took a chunk out of the other. They're even getting into my dreams! :D

Mel
01-17-2006, 04:14 AM
Thanks again for your help Ari. :)

I haven't witnessed any more strange behaviour (or seen any more of this same behaviour) but have lowered the thermostat by a couple of degrees just incase.