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Successful breeding of Cuora (Pyxidea) mouhotii

jonathan gray

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I am in the process of writing a narrative documenting every step and misstep I've taken with these animals. One thing I will say now is I do NOT recommend a SIM style of incubator. From what I have observed, the eggs needs to be in contact with a damp medium such as a vermiculite/sphagnum mix (what I have used in the past and will continue to use in the future).
 

jonathan gray

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Well, a third egg pipped this morning! This was one that I moved out of the SIM container and into one with vermiculite/sphagnum. This is about two weeks after the first egg. And I was going to toss them yesterday; good thing I'm such a procrastinator!
 

Markw84

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I am in the process of writing a narrative documenting every step and misstep I've taken with these animals. One thing I will say now is I do NOT recommend a SIM style of incubator. From what I have observed, the eggs needs to be in contact with a damp medium such as a vermiculite/sphagnum mix (what I have used in the past and will continue to use in the future).
What have you observed that led to your conclusion that contact with a substrate is better?
 

jonathan gray

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Simply this: the eggs I left in the SIM container, while all of them fertile, dried up and died. Throughout incubation I would candle them and became concerned about what appeared to be air pockets forming at the superior part of the eggs, while the blood vessels, embryo, etc, all seemed to settle at the bottom. About half-way through incubation I moved half of the eggs (five) into a container with vermiculite and sphagnum. One in the SIM container pipped but was so 'glued' and stuck with albumen that I had to pick the shell off in pieces. One egg in vermiculite also pipped and hatched with minimal assistance from me. The third baby (in the SIM), pipped and then stopped. When I poked it, it didn't move so I removed it from the shell. It's still alive but barely. I broke open the remaining eggs today and each contained dehydrated little babies. I realize my conclusions are hardly scientific but I will never use the SIM method to incubate these turtle eggs again. I guess there's a lot of truth to'If it's not broke, don't fix it'
 

jonathan gray

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If it wasn't so tragic, it'd be interesting: The SIM container registered 95-98% humidity, the container was only opened once a week to allow fresh air in, and yet the babies in the eggs dried up. The only conclusion I can arrive at is that the egg needs to be in contact with the damp substrate to maintain adequate hydration. I would be interested in hearing other people's thoughts on this, especially from those people who have used a SIM-like container in the past.
 

jonathan gray

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Well, I finally broke down and cracked open the remaining eggs; opening the incubator started to feel like I was looking into an open grave. All ten eggs were fertile and the remaining seven eggs ALL had dead, desiccated babies inside. I suppose I should have taken pictures but the sight was too pitiful (and gross), for me to do so...I'm a hobbyist, not a scientist. The baby that emerged from the third egg hung on for a few days and then died. The white, inner membrane of the egg had separated from the shell and had encased the baby so it was unable to grow properly. When it emerged from the egg (with my assist), its head was twisted 90 degrees. I had hoped that. with hydration and a lot of TLC the baby might just make it but such was not to be. So the bottom line is this: out of ten good eggs, I got two live babies and eight dead ones, all my fault because I decided to try a new method of incubation (SIM), which I do NOT recommend anyone try with this species. Again, I have no scientific proof to support my conclusion but my experience with this most recent disaster leads me to believe mouhotii eggs need to be in contact with a moist incubation medium (I had been using a mixture of vermiculite and milled sphagnum moss), in order to bring them to a successful term.
 

jonathan gray

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I just noticed that I haven't posted anything since Feb 8th! The two babies are doing fine. It was necessary to separate them because the more robust of the two was bullying the smaller one. Now that they are separate they are growing and thriving. When I was keeping six hatchlings together I noticed no bullying; perhaps the aggression was more evenly distributed among siblings as opposed to one being the recipient of it all.
 

jonathan gray

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Fast forward to 2019: the smaller of my two breeding C.m.o's gifted me with eight eggs today and the larger of the two seems like she's ready to pop as well. No more messing with experimental incubation techniques for me! The eggs are incubating at a temp of 82 F in a medium of vermiculite, pulverized sphagnum and water. This has worked great in the past, fingers crossed it will work just as well now. BTW, eight eggs is a large clutch.001.JPG
 

Moozillion

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Fast forward to 2019: the smaller of my two breeding C.m.o's gifted me with eight eggs today and the larger of the two seems like she's ready to pop as well. No more messing with experimental incubation techniques for me! The eggs are incubating at a temp of 82 F in a medium of vermiculite, pulverized sphagnum and water. This has worked great in the past, fingers crossed it will work just as well now. BTW, eight eggs is a large clutch.View attachment 279324
WOWIE-ZOWIE!!!! :D:D:D
CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!:):):):):):):)
 

jonathan gray

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The second of my two obsti females finally nested and added six more eggs to the batch. The first clutch, deposited on 25 August should hatch around Thanksgiving; the second clutch, a little before Christmas. Now won't that make for thankful and jolly holidays!70184508_10217329452803028_1920703799903649792_n.jpg
 

jonathan gray

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Sep 9, 2014
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I figured this next item could go here as well: A short while ago I acquired a female C. serrata, which is a naturally occurring hybrid between C. mohoutii and C. bourreti. She has been housed with male mohoutii. I noticed her getting very restless in her pen, pacing, even attempting to climb the walls -behavior I'd never seen her exhibit before. I noticed her digging; front legs only, but figured she was looking for worms. Yesterday I discovered she had hidden three HUGE eggs under a tuft of mondo grass. It never occurred to me that her restlessness might be due to her being gravid. Fingers crossed that they're fertile!serrata.jpg serrata eggs.jpg
 
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