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Posted by Mark Berger on September 29, 2002 at 14:17:10:
In Reply to: Re: Baby HL help posted by lisak on September 29, 2002 at 12:39:59:
Do you want them to hibernate in captivity, or does it matter? What is best for the HL?
I have been researching this very subject... As my pair of HLs are quite small, and I strongly feel a hibernation this season would certainly kill them.
My first instict tells me hibernation is more vital for breeding than for the well-being of the HLs. Just as in most other reptiles, the hibernation or cooling is needed to get them jump started into breeding season. With corn snakes, significantly lower fertility rates have been seen in females that have not been hibernated. But back to the HLs...
I have seen several statements regarding hibernation vs longevity. It has been theorized that not hibernating your lizards may lead to a shorter life, due to the several extra months per year of activity. I have no supporting evidence for this theory, although it makes sense to me.
In another study I have looked at, the following is claimed: Adult HLs will enter hibernation regardless of what we do. In the fall, they will stop eating, and if not allowed to hibernate, will starve to death. Some babies may stay active through the winter months, and this may help them achieve earlier sexual maturity. In some babies it seems vital for them to stay alert through the winter because they have not built up the fat stores adults already carry.
Hope this sheds a little light, and I hope some other people here can help me out too!!
::Hello, I have a baby HL that I would like to care for properly. He's prob an inch long from head to tail base. Body is about dime to nickel size. I have tried to read as many postings on this site as possible. I currently have him in a 2 gal. plastic tank with inch of "Desert Blend" sand (prob. too coarse) and some of his native West Texas sand/dirt. I attract backyard ants into a small cup baited with peanut butter, which he seems to eat with no problem (the ants, not the peanut butter). I have a 50watt "basking spot lamp" (small) on him, which I leave on for about 7 hours during the day. He seems active during the day and he buries himself in the sand at night. He also has a capful of spring water. Any advice would be appreciated. My questions at this point are: How old is he (or she)? Should I get a bigger tank now, even tho he is so small? Will he hibernate in captivity? How would you know if he's hibernating? How many ants should i supply for a baby? When will he be old enough for the mail order ants? Do you ever clean out the tank, or just remove droppings? My son brought him home after a trip with his grandfather. I know he wasn't supposed to. We own the land where he came from (which, by the way, is a great habitat for these guys, over 50 acres with no cattle and no farming, and no people!) so we will be taking him back next trip, which will be in two or 3 months. From pictures he looks like a "round tail"? Thanks for any help, Lisa