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Posted by DC on May 05, 2003 at 21:00:59:
In Reply to: How do you keep your colors??? posted by Aesear on May 05, 2003 at 17:33:07:
I had a pair of collards who were decently bright when I bought them but they steadily dropped color. I tried everything I could think of: suppliments, special lights, but nothing worked. They were really affectionate and active and had great appitites but they just got duller and duller. Finally I let them go on BLM land (I live in colorado and I let them go in an area where I knew there were collards nearby but not in the immediate territory). I believe they were both wild caught before they came to the petstore and so I think they probably thrived there. It was summer so they should have had no problem finding things to eat. I just felt terrible keeping them in a 20gal long tank, especially with the color draining away. how do you guys keep your guys so viberant? I would love to have collards again if I knew that they would stay bright and happy. Thanks for all your help.
Lizards which are active, *affectionate*, and eat well ARE happy!
1. I would NEVER *release* my lizards because I was not satisfied with the color.
2. I would NEVER *release* any lizards which already had become accustomed to a captive environment.
3. I would NEVER *release* any collareds from one area into the population of another region, as to do so risks diluting the characteristics of the native population with blended qualities.
It is extremely difficult to get a captive collared lizard to exibit the intense colors seen in the wild; This is being addressed as an ongoing process by dedicated captive breeders who are making incremental (though glacial) progress towards selecting stock lines toward that end. Also, the color intensity tends to be somewhat variable in the wild and in captivity both, with *mood* and the onset of breeding season affecting the intensity. I have some young males that vary from medium blue to silver and back on a whim. There is also a large amount of work to be done in determining just what environmental factors such as food types and supplements (as well as lighting) can be an influence on the pigment expression of lizards known to come from highly colored stock. When you find that something you try is NOT helping, that is knowledge, not failure. Please do not replace your lizards until and unless you are prepared to be more committed to their care and your responsibilities as a keeper.