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Posted by Paul Hollander on April 22, 2003 at 19:09:49:
In Reply to: Risky at that level posted by patricia sherman on April 22, 2003 at 06:07:36:
::84 degrees is good ...
:I'd be very loath to set an incubator for Pantherophis eggs at that level. Incubating at too high temps is the most frequent cause of deformed hatchlings (kinks being the classic sign).
Well, that's the theory, but AFAIK, it hasn't been proven. And I'm sceptical. FWIW, my theory is a borderline vitamin deficiency in the mother.
My incubator is set to produce a day/night temperature cycle, 90 F during the day, with a slide to the middle 70s during the night. Not one kinked baby in any colubrid clutch I've run through it. Hatches routinely in the 80-100% range.
:Setting the incubator in the 78-to-82 degree range is far safer. It may take a few days longer for the eggs to hatch, but the babies will be more robust, and there's very little chance that any will be kinked. Temps of 85 or higher are almost guaranteed to cause deformities, and if you set the incubator at 84, you don't allow any leeway for upward fluctuation.
:Eggs can do well even at 76 or 77 deg., don't be impatient to get them to hatch too quickly.
Personally, if I used a single incubation temperature, I'd use a range of 82-84. Because a researcher in NJ did a study on northern pines and found the babies were heavier, better feeders, and more vigorous than those incubated at higher or lower temperatures.