View Full Version : Emerald Tree skinks, anyone keep these?
03-20-2006, 07:59 PM
now known as Lamprolepis smaragdina, formerly as dasia smaragdina. I am thinking about buying a few. They are quite rare, yet cheap. They are always imported, and cost like 30.00s. Supposedly they are easy to keep, but not too many people keep them. I am thinking about starting a colony of like 2.3 or 2.4. Anyone keep these or have any info. I dont know how hard these are to breed. I am going to try and breed them. Thanks
03-20-2006, 08:21 PM
2 cents from a guy who has never kept them, but has collected them.
Last fall when I was in Sulawesi this was one of the species my group was after for some biogeographic research going on here in the states.
They were quite abundant wherever they were found. We captured the majority of ours during the day with the use of blow guns, or by climbing trees. Most of the ones I found were in coconut groves where they were easily encountered basking on the base of the coconut trees, but upon seeing you they would squirrel across the tree and ascend to 10-20'. Often times multiple individuals were on the same tree, but I do not recall finding multiple males on the same tree. They lay eggs similar to R. chahoua, having a parchment shell covered with a thin layer of hard calcium. This enables them to nest in the canopy and thus they are often times the most abundant arboreal lizard in areas prone to flooding (i.e., close to the coast). In these areas almost no Draco (flying lizards) are found, presumably because their soft shelled eggs have to be laid in the ground. I never collected an individual in a coconut grove at night, but in areas with leafy vegetation and trees they sleep on the tips of branches amongst leaves that are similar in shape and size to their bodies.
They're really cool skinks. In south Sulawesi they are bright green with black spots. Up north, they are silver and brown. In some areas you can find both colors on the same tree...
Any way, the places where you find these guys are characterized by being hot, bright, and humid. If you're planning on keeping them you really should provide the tallest possible cage possible, and fix it up with numerous branches (vertical, horizontal, diagonal), and provide them with lots of light and heat. Males are easily sexed by the presence of yellow spurs on their hind feet.
03-20-2006, 08:38 PM
wow thanks very much. do you have any pictures by chance? I am planning on building a custom 2x1x3 out of wood, with glass door, and no screen to keep the humidity high. I plan to use uvb and keep it nice and hot. Thanks for the info. I am hoping I can find some nice bright ones!
03-20-2006, 09:00 PM
heres a couple links to pics
03-21-2006, 03:31 AM
yes, the are very variable in color. Does anyone know if they are hard to breed, and if they need a burmation period or not to breed?
03-21-2006, 09:07 AM
Being an arboreal species these guys need air cirulation, like chameleons. I found a drip system worked best in keeping them properly hydrated and providing humidity. One male to a cage, they are territorial. Keep temps in the low to mid 80s with a basking spot hitting 90-95F. They sometimes will eat very ripe fruit. Have been bred in captivity. Keep the babies a little more humid and a little bit cooler.
03-21-2006, 01:33 PM
have you ever bred them? the dripper is a good idea!
03-22-2006, 11:23 AM
Yes I have but it took a while. It took lots of experimentation to get the cage right. What worked best was a terrarium that was 2ftWx2ftLx4ftH with a metal screen top and 2 sides. I put cypress mulch on the floor and added a large branch that was 42in. long. Then i found the largest pothos plant I could find and leaving it in the pot placed it on the cage floor. I attached the runners from the plant to the branch with black cotton thread so it looked like it was growing up the branch. Next I added a UVB flourescent bulb a heat lamp and a dripper. I fed them a combination of crickets, silkworms, fly maggots, mealworms and fruit flavored yogurt.
03-22-2006, 11:35 AM
do you have any pics of them? Do you still have them?
03-22-2006, 12:49 PM
Unfortunately no. When I moved from sunny So-Cal to rainy Puget Sound I gave most of my herps. I felt it wasn't going to be fair to them and my wife and I had rented a house sight unseen and didn't know what that situation would be like. So I took a 2 year break. The only animals I had been caring for were 2 pairs of leopard geckos, which I've since lost (17 & 20 yrs.) and 1.2 ciliatus. But I've caught the bug again and I'm setting up all over again.
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