This entry to be posted in Lizard care Lizards Reptiles Xantusiidae and tagged habitat herpetoculture man F Taylor john F Taylor writer john F Taylor Reptile writer lizard Lizards Nocturnal owning a reptile species ~ above June 27, 2010 by man F Taylor

do my normal routine before purchasing any kind of animal. I drove home and immediately scoured my personal library for anything on the “Nicaraguan Alligator Lizard”. To mine dismay, and the happiness of my wife, I discovered nothing at all around this peculiar species. Ns looked top top the internet as well, but still discovered nothing v the name that they had given me in ~ the pet store.

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Then the dawned on me choose a irradiate from above. In every my excitement, I had actually never believed to look because that the Latin surname for the “Nicaraguan Alligator Lizard”. What a fool ns was! I instantly found the number because that the store and called only to be dismayed. They couldn’t discover the Latin name either! ns asked lock to examine with the shipping paperwork, the would many assuredly be there. However, according to the manager ns spoke with, the shipping paperwork only detailed the lizards as “Nicaraguan Alligator Lizards” as well.


The Yellow Spotted Night Lizard Lepidophyma flavimaculatum evokes memories of our aboriginal Elgaria multicarinata


California Alligator Lizard. Both have similar plated and scaled narrow heads through an unblinking stare that renders them show up to be fairly dangerous. The body however, is covered in a fully different scale pattern because that Lepidophyma flavimaculatum Yellow Spotted Night Lizard than it is because that the indigenous E. Multicarinata Alligator Lizard. The dorsum that the L. Flavimaculatum is spanned with small spine choose tubercles. These look much more “fearsome” 보다 they really are though, and the structure of the skin is lot softer 보다 it shows up at an initial glance. The dorsal region feels somewhat prefer 80 grit sandpaper, really rough and grainy.

The ventral area of the lizard is extended in a scalation that is once again comparable to the native Alligator lizards, together they are both spanned in smooth singular bands. The singular bands stretch indigenous one side of the midline to the other, and also never go past this point. The tail starting at the base simply after the cloaca is covered in what shows up to be overlapping bands of spicy scales, as well as the spine like tubercles as discovered on the dorsal region, till the finish of the tail whereby they taper turn off to a rounded tip. The tail does not have actually the same spine favor tubercles that are discovered on the dorsum, lock instead have actually scales comparable to the smooth bands of the ventral area. However, these scales are sharp looking in ~ the edges whereby they overlap the next ring.

The name Yellow Spotted Night Lizard Lepidophyma flavimaculatum quite accurately defines this certain creature. Generally, they have actually a black to brown soil color, v yellow clues interspersed at constant intervals top top both sides. The color on the ventral next is a subdued yellow color, and also I have read statements the it deserve to range, from yellow mustard to a cream color. The dorsum and tail space dull in color, while the ventral areas tend come be much shinier and brighter.


The Yellow Spotted Night Lizards have a variety that is quite comprehensive throughout many of main America. They seem to be specifically found most in Nicaragua top top both the coastal region and also the greater inland areas. Reportedly, they have also been defined in Costa Rica, Veracruz, Oaxaca, and also Panama. All of the areas where castle are found are described as Sub-Tropical areas where the average temperatures are around 86˚ F and rainfall is somewhat common. Humidity within the areas that they are found are no exact and do fluctuate from one area come another. One certain report cases L. Flavimaculatum are uncovered in the Broadleaf and also Pine forests Belize.

Typical temperature averages for every the areas where they are found are in between 71º F at the lowest finish with the greatest being 75º F ~ above average. Us must know that these are averages because that the areas where they are found and the temperatures may fluctuate somewhat in between regions. If possible, I would recommend that you speak straight with the importer in an attempt to find out what country/state the lizards originated from. If this is not possible then the best thing to execute would be monitor the indict that i will placed forth and also had success with. The humidity in their particular regions selection between 70-85% during different parts of the year frequently speaking the mean would around 75% humidity on any type of given day.

Within most forested regions we would intend to discover leaf litter and rotting logs or timber. In most reports of your wild habitats, which space extremely couple of on this certain saurian, that is noticed the they room in reality microhabitat specialists. This method that castle actually pick one specific log or patch of leaf litter and also spend many of their time over there if not their whole lives within this one area.


Keeping in mind what was stated above; most world would be inclined to presume that they are an ambush predator. This is not totally true however as castle are recognized to undertaking out come forage because that food. Nobody is quite sure or in ~ least, has actually not yet documented the home variety of Yellow Spotted Night Lizards L. flavimaculatum to my knowledge. What is well-known is the in the wild they are known to consume ants, spiders, and scorpions.

Captive Care

When it pertains to the captive care of these fascinating creatures there is no real an excellent place to uncover information. Due to your “secretive nature” there has been tiny information released that is readily obtainable to the median keeper. A colleague and also fellow herper once said that the words “secretive nature” as soon as referring to any type of reptile means that we as people know close come nothing about them. This is true come the extreme when we space speaking of L. flavimaculatum Yellow Spotted Night Lizards.

While there have been researches done there is yes, really no advantageous information unless we want to invest the mean $50 to gain access to a biology report which might not reveal any type of useful info at all. From the summary I have read there is a lot of information about the sex-related diversity however nothing that would certainly warrant paying money for info on the setting that i can find through a simple search engine. There is was one care sheet, which associated some useful information on the web yet it to be not an especially easy come find and evidently no longer exists.

The following guidelines for care are based on an individual experience and also research that I have been may be to attain from assorted parties and websites. What ns am about to describe is the present set-up because that the pair of lizards the I have currently. This have to in no way be taken as the end all equipment to treatment for this lizards but keep in mind that the products I have actually used have kept the lizards alive and apparently thriving. As far as I recognize these have actually yet to be bred in bondage except in zoos from 1981 come 1995 at the fort Worth Zoo.

All those that are marketed today must be presumed to be imported together wild caught. As with any type of wild caught varieties of reptile, you must take it to a reliable veterinarian to it is in examined for parasites and also overall health. Typically, wild captured reptiles have at least some form of parasite load that they have actually picked up in wild. Occasionally, as is the situation with mine pair girlfriend will end up with perfectly healthy and balanced lizards that have actually no parasites what so ever. After the is figured out whether or not therapy for parasites is required or no you can then continue to law the lizard as directed or just lug them house to her enclosure i m sorry should have been collection up prior.


The word over may be familiar to those who space versed in the Whiptail Cnemidophorus sp. for those who space not that is simply defined as whole female populace of pets that are able to reproduce clones that themselves without a masculine present. I personally had actually babies born while I have actually kept these yet the first soon died. Why the passed and also what conditions caused the bear is still under scrutiny by my family and myself. Later I raised some come the yearling size before losing my repertoire of reptiles via marital separation.


The enclosure for this particular varieties of lizard is basically a 15-gallon aquarium or reptile tank, which actions 30” through 12”. This dimension of one enclosure more than allows for a general preeminence that ns follow the the enclosure should be 3 times the length and also twice the broad of the certain lizard in question. Within this enclosure I keep a pair of lizards, so in mine opinion a 10 gallon would certainly be enough for a solitary lizard. I personally bought a 15 Gallon fish tank. To this, I included a screen lid v side clips to protect against escape that the lizards.


There are plenty of different substrates to select from once shopping. I try my ideal to complement the substrate come the natural atmosphere as much as possible. This even method mixing different substrates top top a trial and also error basis to watch which is best. According come what I have actually read many sources cite that L. Flavimaculatum are discovered mostly in a broadleaf and also pine forest form of environment. When speaking through someone that was acquainted with the area they stated there was more “low lying jungle vegetation and also the tree were shorter than what would be found in California forests”.

. It was made native ground coconut and also other such materials.

What I have actually personally observed with this type of bedding is that the peak layer definitely retains moisture very well but the lower layers remain somewhat dry. The lizards when presented to this substrate did no seem to have any type of problems v it nor have they developed any type of since. As matter of truth one in details seems to reap burrowing occasionally. This specific substrate in my opinion would certainly be finest used v plants i beg your pardon would enable the lizards undoubtedly to feel like this was a an ext natural environment.


When it pertains to décor because that the night lizards I have kept this to minimum. The reason being is the I want to save an atmosphere that would best represent their natural home. I would likewise place a few cork tubes or half log hides in the enclosure; and one or 2 sand blasted grapevine branches because that climbing. The just other décor that i would add would it is in terrarium safe plants. These will be covered in detail later in the article.


I have actually read that UVB light is not essential for this particular varieties due come it gift a nocturnal lizard. My experience has been really different native the others. One that the pair actually comes out from the hide and also basks top top a regular basis. Therefore, if they may be dubbed “night” lizards it must not it is in assumed the they are fully nocturnal.

I have provided my personal pets through a fluorescent light with a 5% calculation of UVB. This would insure that they are probably getting sufficient UVB without overdoing execute it. Most desert varieties would use an 8% or higher because they room a basking types which spends many of their time basking in straight sunlight. Jungle and tropical varieties are exposed greatly to indirect sunlight due to the canopy above blocking many of the light. As much as fixtures are came to I usage a hanging shop-light fixture, with two bulbs of i m sorry one is the UVB and also the other is a constant fluorescent or plant pear purchased in ~ the very same home advancement store whereby the fixture deserve to be bought.

I attach the light fixture to an inexpensive family timer which have the right to be purchased everywhere from home development stores come the regional drug stores, come make sure the lights are on a 12 hour a job cycle which adheres to the normal day and also night cycle of nature. This allows the lizards to save a normal circadian rhythm as they would certainly in the wild. That is unknown to me personally at this point; because of no well-known reports of reproduction success or failure whether or no the day and also night cycles would certainly have any kind of influence top top breeding. Ns am sure changing the cycle will certainly at least have some affect over habits that are observed.


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Heating can be problem in way. This is due to the longtime belief that reptiles have the right to not see red wavelengths in light. Some manufacturers actually make the claim right top top the package that their bulbs have the right to be offered at night because the reptiles i will not ~ be disturbed by the light being on. Therefore, most world that I understand of usage a red warmth bulb to heat every one of their reptiles.

This has recently to be proven to be incorrect by research studies done which show that the reptiles have the right to see the red wavelength in light. In fact some deserve to see further into the red wavelength than human beings can. Therefore, when it comes to heating your Yellow Spotted Night lizards L. Flavimaculatum and all your reptiles because that that issue I recommend and also use only ceramic heating aspects these execute not put out any type of light at all. Under Tank Heaters are an additional option to the Red heat bulbs however, they space only capable of increasing the ambient temperature by around 10 degrees. This might or might not be enough to produce a basking point out or area within the vivarium. I would recommend a 50 watt ceramic heating facet placed 12” far from the basking site.

While this may seem to solve all the troubles it is very important that you inspect the basking area temperature ~ above a consistent basis. The digital thermometers that are stuck top top the walls of the vivarium can’t execute this. This is because of the truth that these room measuring the ambient temperature on the side no the really basking area. This has come to my fist while researching for a book that ns was writing. I came across a website in which the human being tested different heating elements in a managed environment. The results of the test to be staggering come say the least.

For this factor I recommend either investing in a thermostat or in ~ the very least a digital temperature gun which have the right to read the warmth at the basking site. While this may sound choose a technical, not to mention expensive piece of equipment yet it really isn’t. They typically cost around $25 and also are really easy come use. These can mean the difference between cooking her reptile and also making lock happy. Another an equipment I have actually used is a digital thermometer with probe, which can read and save minimum and also maximum temperatures. You can place the probe under the basking area and leaving it for a day then copying down the temperature. Repeat the process for the cool side; this should provide the average temperature within the enclosure and also permit you come make any needed adjustments.


Clean water should constantly be obtainable in a shallow dish large enough for the lizard to fully enter and also soak itself must it want to. It has actually been my suffer that they will certainly soak top top a day-to-day basis for at the very least an hour or more. Except for the cooler winter and also fall month in which they it seems to be ~ to go in a type of brumation, which coincides with the much shorter day lengths and cooler temperatures. They do this even when the enclosure has actually been sprayed down heavily. I always use deionized water for watering and spraying due to the fact that it doesn’t leaving water point out on the glass.

It is reported that they will defecate in your water but I have actually as however to have actually this happen with mine lizards. I spray the cage at an early stage in the morning really heavily i beg your pardon the lizards seem to enjoy. They in reality leave the hide come stand against the glass and drink the water droplets or come out and also lick the fall from their heads. They never run from being sprayed at all and also will actually move right into the area gift sprayed. I have actually only seen L. Flavimaculatum drink indigenous standing water on a couple of occasions castle will much more readily drink indigenous water rivulets top top the tank glass.


I have actually had an excellent luck buying tree at a small Dollar store close to my home. I have purchased a selection of vivarium for sure plants and also placed them in ~ the enclosure. Some that the people I have used space as follows. Pothos sp, Dracaena sp, and Chlorophytum comosum room all ones that I have grown within the enclosure and also other houseplants of varied sorts and also varieties. I would examine the web and also books that room currently available to get more ideas ~ above what tree work and which don’t. When you do use live tree make sure that you usage a full-spectrum UVB light source of type. Another advantage to using plants is that they host the humidity in ~ the enclosure an extremely well.

Another advantage to the vivarium is the it would be a more natural setting for the lizards to react and also interact v their environment as they would certainly in the wild. I am still as of this composing documenting various basking, dominance, and feeding actions in the pair I currently keep. I hope the this will lead to brand-new and interesting information gift revealed later and shared with the herpetocultural community.


As mentioned previously in the wild they have actually been observed eat ants, scorpions, and spiders. In bondage it has been reported that they will consume crickets and small mealworms. My lizards eat greatly crickets and occasionally i have offered them wax worms together a treat. The crickets space dusted v a calcium supplement prior to feeding them come the lizards. The lizards will periodically wait at the entrance to your hide and also ambush the crickets together they pass by. The size of the crickets need to be no broader than the widest part of the jaw. I feeding crickets every 3 days and then only around ten are released right into the enclosure at a time.


This particular species of night lizard similar to all the night lizards ns am familiar with do not enjoy dealing with in the least. They will squirm and also attempt come claw their means to freedom. I have heard the the Yellow Spotted Night Lizard L. Flavimaculatum will bite and have personally proficient such behaviors. I would certainly not introduce trying to handle this type of lizard simply because of the stress factors that are involved. They room an acutely aware lizard that ns would suggest to “Hands-Off” keeper interested in maintaining a new species.

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Cleaning & Maintenance

Basic maintain is all that is required for this types to flourish in captivity. Change the water daily and spot clean the substrate top top a daily basis, this will store the atmosphere from walking sour. Around every 3 come 4 months, ns personally pull all the plants and also décor to thoroughly clean the entire cage. At this time, I store a small amount that the old tree soil around the roots and also replant castle in the new substrate with the old soil regarding prevent shock. Each time the substrate is adjusted as that is added back come the enclosure ns spray each level so regarding moisten the entire substrate. This will rise the humidity in the enclosure together it dries.