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CH RI STM A S & N EW Y EA R ED I TI O N # 3 2 - 3 3

DIGITILIAN

Sponsored By Zoo Med


welcome

to the 2016/ 2017 Christmas and New Year Edition of Digitilian Magazine. This issue will run over both December and January and is full of Fun Festive Features (say that 3 times fast). Articles include topics covering brand new state of the art equipment, gift ideas for both Reptiles and Humans, the editors favourite moments of the last year, ways to get closer to nature in the New Year and so much more. Thanks everyone for your ongoing support and we wish you a very Happy Holiday Season.

ATTRACT REPTILES INTO YOUR GARDEN

Rebecca - editor@digitilian.co.uk

AMERICAN CROCODILES

NEW ZOOMED PRODUCTS

10

GALLERY

BEARDED BRUMATION

13

GIFT IDEAS

8 THE BEST OF 2016

21 COMPETITION

19

15

16

5


M ER R Y CH R I ST M A S EV ER Y O N E


EDITORS CHOICE | BEST STORIES OF 2016

BLUE TONGUE SKINKS #23 In March of this year Digitilian teamed up with Joe Ball and created a Special Edition about Australian Lizards including a great article written by Joe on his innovating Blue Tongue Skink Projects. Click image to read more!

CORAL SNAKE M YTHS #27 Issue #27 was all about Elapidae and featured one of my favourite articles to date, titled "The Most Common Myths About Coral Snakes" which was written by Ray Morgan, Executive producer of 'The Venom Interviews' Link to edition via image on the right.

Ph ot o Š Ray M or gan

GENDER BY TEM P #29 Back just a couple of months to September; Two genetic researchers studying at the Wakayama University in Japan wrote about Temperature dependent sex determination that they have observed in American Alligator species. (Click image for link)


BEST STORIES OF 2016 EDITORS CHOICE

BEST EDITION OF 2016 FAV VIDEO X 1

My Favourite over all edition of Digitilian Magazine this year would have to be the 'Two Year Anniversary Edition'. Not only was that issue a celebration of two years of being lucky enough to be a part of the Herpetological community and being able to share content about the animals we as a Digitilian team love but personally, that edition was jam packed with a variety of sub- genres that I really enjoy. Such as, Art, Film, Tattoos, Books and much more! If you would like to check it out just . . . CLICK HERE!

EDITORS CHOICE BEST VIDEO OF 2016

THERE HAS BEEN SOME AMAZING VIDEOS FEATURED IN DIGITILIAN IN 2016 BUT MY NO.1 HAS TO BE THIS VIDEO FROM K BROTHERS PYTHONS PRESS PLAY ABOVE TO WATCH!


EDITORS CHOICE

BEST PHOTOS OF 2016

Beautiful Amazon Basin Emerald Tree Boa Featured in this years Halloween Edition. Photo by 'Lostnjboro'

Panther Chameleon Photo By Katie Garrett

Eastern Indigo Tattoo By Inky Joe

King Cobra from Wrigglies

Awesome Australian Blue Tongue Skinks Produced by Joe Ball

Ellie Bee's Sunglow Boa

Alligator at Gatorland

Stunning Albino Western DiamondBack Rattlesnake. Photography by Bob Nestor

Amazing Black Mamba, photographed in Africa by Josh Guyan

The elusive Earless Monitor This photo featured in the Japan Edition as part of an interview with Kobayashi Kyohei


NEW! NANOLIGHTINGFROM...

NANOBASKINGSPOT LAMP Very small daytime heat source to use in nano size terrariums. Suitable for diurnal reptiles basking needs. Available in 25w and 40w. (pictured below)

NANOINFRARED HEAT LAMP A nano sized night time heat source ideal for small geckos, amphibians an inverts. Available in 25w and 40w

This Nano Heat Emitter is a perfect 24 hour heat source. Emits no light. Lasts up to 5 years. Ideal for small Reptiles, Amphibians & Inverts! Available in 25w and 40w

Energy efficient, long-life, daylight LED Nano lamp. Bright, naturalistic LED ideal for small Herps and Inverts and for promoting live plant growth. Available in 5w.

The Nano Halogen Heat Lamp emits bright, white, naturalistic light aiding in making your small reptiles colours appear much richer. Available in 35w.


NANODOME LAMP FIXTURES Both for use ONLY with ZooMed's Nano heating and lighting products (on previous page). Available as a single dome fixture which holds up to 40 watts as well a combi dome version that can hold up to 40 watts per socket. Both Perfect for small size terrariums (10 Gallons or less) and ideal for small geckos, hatchling reptiles, amphibians, tarantulas, insects, and other invertebrates.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON ALL THESE AND MANY OTHER PRODUCTS HEAD TO : ZOOMED.COM


chr ist mas cr ocodil es Following Article and Photos about American Crocodiles By SAVANNAH BOAN

American crocodiles (Crocodylus acutus) have a long history at Gatorland. In the 1950?s, Owen Godwin, Gatorland?s founder, claimed his giant American crocodile, named Bonecrusher, was the world?s largest crocodile, and he offered a $1,000 reward to anyone that could prove him wrong. Producing another giant crocodile in Florida was not easy, so he was never proven wrong. Today, Gatorland is home to a dozen big American crocodiles including the offspring of Owen?s giant croc, named Bonecrusher II.

Egg incubation specialists, Chrissie Thompson and Chelsea McHugh

American crocodiles remain an endangered species in nearly all parts of their North, Central, and South American ranges. In 2007, this relatively shy crocodile was upgraded from ?endangered? to ?threatened? in the state of Florida, yet sightings in the state of these elusive animals remain rare. For decades, many zoos and private owners have worked to breed these crocodiles with limited success. Baby American Crocodile at Gatorland (Orlando, FL)


Despite some early success in the 1980?s at Gatorland, we have struggled over the past 20 years to find the combination of habitat and breeding groups that allowed us to successfully breed American crocodiles. This year, however, we finally got everything right and hatched a beautiful baby crocodile. Our hopes of raising crocodiles this year were high after numerous observations of courtship and breeding with our American crocodiles in our large main lake in February and early March. In early April, one of our females began protecting an area on an island in the lake, a sure sign she was thinking about nesting. We watched her closely every day, and it appeared she had laid eggs on the night of April 4th. As with most crocodilian mothers, she was very protective of the nest site, and repeatedly chased us away from the area. Due to the population of raccoons, opossums, and other critters around Gatorland, we knew we had to collect the eggs and protect them from predation if they stood any chance of hatching. On the morning of April 6th under the leadership of our crocodilian expert, Mike Hileman, we were able to collect 30 eggs and

move them to safety. Our egg incubation specialists, Chrissie Thompson and Chelsea McHugh, carefully placed the eggs in an ?egg tray? and stored them in our incubator room to provide a consistent environment and observe their progress. Over the weeks, it appeared that only one of the eggs was fertile. We hoped, however, that more eggs would prove to be viable and continued to care for all thirty eggs. With great joy and celebration, our baby crocodile hatched on June 30th, and to our knowledge, this is the only American crocodile successfully raised in the United States this year. Once again, a testament to how difficult it has been to create the perfect environment for breeding. We kept the young crocodile in the incubator room for two weeks in order to provide a consistent temperature, and insure that it grew strong and started eating well. Months later, the baby crocodile is beautiful and healthy, and we hope it will help us educate everyone on not only the beauty of American crocodiles, but on the significance of captive breeding to the sustainability of rare species and the importance of preserving natural habitats for all animals.


Christmas Col oured Herps

Madagascar Day Gecko - Photo : Frupus, Flickr

Eyelash Viper - Photo : Bernard Dupont, Flickr

Tomato Frog - Photo : Francesco Veronesi, Flickr

Red - tailed Green Ratsnake - Photo : Batwrangler, Flickr


"Strawberry" Green Anole - Photo : Vicki DeLoach, Flickr

Red Coffee Snake - Photo : Joe Townsend, Flickr

Brown Spotted Pit Viper (Front Cover image) : Thai National Park

Red - Eyed Tree Frog - Photo : Danel Solabarrieta, Flickr


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TO ENTER SIM PLY FOLLOW US ON ALL OUR SOCIAL M EDIA BELOW, IT'S THAT EASY! WINNER ANNOUNCED IN FEB EDITION... GOOD LUCK!


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GIFTSIDEASFOR YOURREPTILES

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BEARDED DRAGON CHRISTM AS STOCKING JUST £8.09 OTHER PET OPTIONS AVAILABLE

BUG & CALCIUM JELLY POTS £36.99 FOR PACK OF 75

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GREEN TREE PYTHON COLOUR CHANGE M UG JUST £10.99

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SOFT IGUANA CUSHION £14.99


ATTRACT REPTILES TO YOUR GARDEN IN 2017 Looking for a New Years resolution to bring you closer to nature? Here are some quick, fun and creative tips for attracting Reptiles into your Garden in 2017! -

BUILD A POND This will encourage both Reptiles and Amphibians to your Garden providing them with both a water and food source.

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LONG GRASS Leaving parts of garden to grow will give cover for snakes and lizard to inhabit and will also attract their prey items such as frogs and small rodents.

- COM POST HEAPS Not only are compost heaps good for the environment in terms of waste recycling, they also make great places for some snake species to lay and incubate their eggs. - LOG PILES Adding a log pile to your garden will provide cover and also create a basking spot for Reptiles. It will also attract insects for Lizards to feed on. If you decide to try any of the above or perhaps you have already created a Reptile Haven in your garden, we would love hear your stories and see your photos and feature them in a future edition! Email us at : editor@digitilian.co.uk


SEEYOUR ADVERTHERE CLICKHERE TOCONTACT USTODAY


BEARDEDDRAGON BRUMATIONPROCESS

Wr it t en By Pet e Hawk ins The following is a guide to what I do, during this period, and the reasons why I do these thing?s. More often than not, a point will come in a Bearded Dragon?s life where the need for brumation Is necessary (a hibernation-like state that many cold blooded animals will partake). In captivity, not all Dragons will do this. But for many of us, the first time around can be a worrying time. But, don?t worry. It?s a completely natural process. Done In the wild purely for survival. To get through the colder months, where less live food and plant life is prominent. So, they will sleep it off by making a burrow, and wait till the warmer months again. Living off their built up internal nutritional reserves. The signs Sleeping more. Appetite decreased. Going to sleep earlier. Hiding in the shade. Poo less (due to eating less). Please note. The reasons I always say have a Faecal test done before the process. Is the symptoms are similar to that of many illnesses, or parasite load symptoms a Dragon can get My Rout ines With my captive Dragons, there a few thing?s to which I will do, without fail when the time comes, to make the process much more easy for yourself, and your Dragon. Many people will advise Not to let any dragon under 12 months old go into brumation. I would fully agree with this. They simply may not as yet have the built up the nutritional reserves needed to get through without issue. Remember. Our dragons can brumate any time. They are hard-wired to the southern hemisphere of Australia. So the

season run opposite to the UK/ Europe/ USA. Although, the colder months is most common. The first thing I will do, Is get a faecal/ parasite test done via my Vets, or ?PALS Lab?here In the UK. If any issues occur in the results, I can get It treated before I help the brumation process along. Once treated, and given the all clear via the Vet's, I will start reducing temps over the next couple of weeks. Right to the point where there is no heating on at all at. This can be down by reducing basking hours. Or even a lower watt bulb, thus lower temperatures. I will also offer less and less food. Again, to the point of nothing being offered in the final week or so. And one of the main reasons for keeping the heat on at this point, is to ensure your dragon has had a poo. Anything left in the stomach can rot inside them, this 'could' cause many serious problems. The rotting food in the stomach is something I have experienced first hand with a Dragon I had many years ago. He got very sick during brumation and needed vet treatment. It was touch and go for a while but he recovered fully. And also went on to brumate over the following years without problems. Lesson learnt. Brumation can last a few weeks, or up-to 4 month?s. Once the dragon had it?s poo in those final days of the temperature reducing routine, turn off the basking bulb, and UV, and leave them to sleep. Simple as that really. Turning off the heat and UVB will not harm a healthy dragon at all. In fact, it?s exactly what would happen while in a burrow in wild conditions. The heat and UVB is what needed for energy/ digestive conversion, to name a few things. But of course, sleeping requires none of this. Due to not being active, and not eating.


Some people WILL still have UVB, and a form of heat going during this process. And are successful doing so. But honestly. There is no need. We are essentially mimicking a wild burrow using the process I mentioned. The only other thing I will do is cover the vivarium/ Tanks glass with either paper, or a blanket. So its nice and dark for them. And I will still check on them daily. Brumation can last a few weeks, or up-to 4 month?s. It is very important that you do NOT offer food during this period for the reasons I mentioned above. They wont be able to digest it, and it will cause problems. Water can be offered. In fact, once a week, I?ll place my beardies in the bath. Please make sure you support the head. They are often still very sleepy, but you will find often they will drink a fair amount, even in this sleeping state. I found this a safer method of offering water during brumation then the likes of, syringing water, or providing a bowl. I gives them the chance to choose to drink. And, drink as much as they feel they need. When It comes to weight loss. A healthy dragon won?t lose much weight during this period at all. Mines have lost around 3 or 4 grams on average each time. The Wake Up Then one day when you check on them, you will find them up and about, looking at you. Or you will hear them moving around. A healthy dragon wont lose much weight during this period At this point I will bath them and turn everything back on again (Heat & UV). You can do it in a gradual process. Kind of reverse what you did on shut-down. Or, just switch it all back on. They should be able to choose exposure levels within the enclosure regardless. So this option is fine. Feeding Although they may not eat during the first couple

of waking days, when they do, they will want to eat you out of house and home. But, be sensible. Don't let them gouge out. Green and hydration should of course be offered, too. It's also a good to have some of the ZooMed canned food (Crickets, hoppers, etc) until you can source some proper live food. A day or 2 using this method is fine. Over the next few day, all being well, your dragon should start to be their normal self again, like nothing has even happened. To Concl ude So to summarize, Brumation is a completely natural thing. So we must do what we can to assist. This is WHY we turn off the heat and UVB lighting. To simulate wild conditions. Where they would dig a burrow so it?s very dark. And of course, safe and away from any potential predators. So when the signs start to happen, its important you take your dragons lead and let them get on with it. There is no such thing as Semi-Brumation. This term Is still thrown about in the Bearded Dragon groups. Basically your dragon will want to go into brumation, thus slow-down. It?s only the keeper that is stopping them going down as they want. Again, this CAN cause issues. As the dragon is not eating, and often hiding away, trying to preserve energy/ body nutrition to get through the brumation period. Being awake is using such valued energy etc. (vet advice still needed in-case it?s not brumation and other issues). So, delaying brumation by not allowing when they are trying, can cause issues. They can often just stay hidden, and not eat much. Often for several weeks, even months, until given the chance of complete darkness. Again? ..Not every bearded dragon will brumate. If they do, follow these simple steps, and all will be less stressful for your dragon, and of course, for yourself.


SUPPORT REPTI LES AND AMPHI BI ANS TODAY! The following is a list of some amazing conservation organisations working hard to promote and save Reptiles and Amphibians. Click each logo for information on how you can get involved. Founded in 1969, the International Herpetology society or I.H.S. for short is an organisation committed to the ongoing research and propagation of all Reptile and Amphibian species. Made up of hundreds of members in both the UK (where the society began) and overseas and whose president is none other than Steve Backshall.

The amphibian and reptile conservation trust was created in their words in "response to the wider need of herpetofauna conservation, providing the UK focus for all aspects of reptile and amphibian conservation." They focus on conservation, education, science, campaigning and much more.

Managed by a team of experienced, diverse and professional people; Froglife has initiated a number of projects and been a voice for public advice on everything regarding the conservation of Reptiles and Amphibians with in the UK since 1989.


USARK stands for United States Association of Reptile Keepers that describe themselves as "An Education, Conservation and Advocacy Organization for Herpetofauna? Promoting Awareness, Responsible Care & Professional Unity"

Amphibian Survival Alliance is the world's largest collaborative effort dedicated to amphibian conservation, research and education. "We envision a world in which the extinction of known threatened species of amphibians has been prevented and their conservation status, particularly of those most in decline, has been improved and sustained."

There are over 60 ARGs (Amphibian and Reptile Groups) with in the UK all with the objective to promote and conserve native Reptiles and Amphibians as well as the environment in which they inhabit. They achieve this through organising and promoting conferences, data collecting, funding beneficial projects etc.


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Christmas & New Year Edition