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Re: Hibernation Question to Lester?

[ Follow Ups ] [ Post Followup ] [ The Horned Lizard Forum ]

Posted by billshorneys on December 31, 2002 at 17:41:09:

In Reply to: Re: Hibernation Question to Lester? posted by Les4toads on December 30, 2002 at 11:09:13:

::This question is to Lester, or anyone who has had this happen to them! My two guys have changed their eating habits. I live in Florida, the past two to three weeks have been chillier than normal. They have been eating harvestor ants up till then. I have two lights on a timer, a UVB lamp that comes on first then a basking lamp. But now they wake enough to come out of the sand and then just lay there asleep all day. When I put in the ants instead of eating them they run away from them! When the lights get turned off in the evening they bury themselves back in the sand. Then repeat the same thing the next day. My question is, why are they coming out of the sand if they don't intend to eat anything? Should I just leave the light off and let them sleep? At night it goes down to low 70's high 60's, in the day with the basking light up in the 90's. They will even sometimes come out before the lights come on. Should I put them in a room thats dark, and cool all the time? So they don't use up their fat reserves to soon? In Florida it don't get real cold, so I don't think they will go into a deep hibernation unless I put them outside! I am concerned about them dehydrating. What would be your suggestion to do for these guys. Thanks for your comments!

::If the HLs are not "cooling down" they will still be semi-active. The temps you report are temps that are giving them the sign that it is not hibernation time completely. The temps are key signals for HLs to hibernate. Night temps down to 45 to 50 degrees are signals. Day temps no warmer than 65. Do not allow day temps to be in the 90s. The HLs will not hibernate, but they will not eat either. The other indicator is the photoperiod, and they are probably getting some outside input from windows or such. The HLs "know" when to hibernate and it is very difficult to fool them. If hydration is a worry, make sure you have a shallow water dish available at all times and keep some moisture in the sand substrate. Offer ants periodically if the HLs show increased activity. If ants are not eaten, remove them. Lester G. Milroy III
Thanks Lester for your reply. The problem with living in Florida is that It can get chilly at night but warm up in the 80's in the day. My problem is having to artificially keep them colder in the day with air conditioning. At night in my house it gets down in the high 60's, and 80's in the day. It would be easier to keep them warmer at night with a hot pad to try and fool them into thinking Spring is coming but you say that is difficult. What would be best for them artifically cool them down in the day and put them in hibernation. Or warm them up at night and see if they will wake enough in the day to start eating. I weigh them every week. The small one weighed 13.0 grams his high. Now weighs 11.8 grams a loss of 1.2 grams in two weeks. The other guy weighed 17.2 grams. He now weighs 16.8 grams. A loss of only .4 grams. Does anyone else have Horney toads that live in Florida to? I know Insectiachick2 does but I haven't seen her post in along time! What are other people on this forum doing with yours? Please get back and let me know! Thanks! Bill

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