Saturday, February 5, 2011

Paroedura gecko pictus Hatched With Parents!

We answer the question- “Can Paroedura pictus babies hatch and live with their parents?”

A little over a couple of months ago, I was asked if one could leave the eggs of P. pictus with their parents and expect the newborns to be ignored after their hatching. What a great question and one that needed to be answered as I could find nothing on the internet about this.

So, for 3 lays I left the eggs in with the female (15 qt tub, ½ inch sand and a couple of hides- and no male). Checking every other day when I fed, I could see the eggs just peeking over the sand, under their private hide that the female seemed to ignore. I never saw any sign that the female even cared about her earlier laid eggs.

Finally about 65 days post lay of the first eggs, I lifted the ‘egg’ hide and there it was. One solo hatchling. Well, I reasoned, I’m sure the female has been in contact with this miniature pictus so they must be able to co-exist. Right?

Moving the ‘egg’ hide caused a disturbance that initiated activity under the ‘female hide’ and it wasn’t long before she poked her head out and bolted out of the darkness of her hide. She raced to her feeding dish, which I had already added 4 or 5 small mealworms, and hungrily wolfed one down. I love watching animal behavior and this was starting to become fascinating to me. The female spotted the youngster and bolted over.

All that I can do from this point on is report the facts- The female nudged up to the smaller animal, licked it one time as geckos do when meeting up with another conspecific, then proceeded to treat it just like she would any other food item.

I neither wish to debate that this is what happens in nature nor whether this is inhumanity. I will note that baby pictus cannot be allowed to hatch in their parent’s enclosure and that I am not the one that will be performing these type of tests in the future

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