Follow up questions Danny Molco and Ben David Osnat.
Study of wild populations of U.ornates 06/24/2009
Danny Molco has conducted a study of Uromastyx ornatus in the Eilat Mountains. Danny was an Eilat Mountain nature reserve ranger and his data was collected from spring 1996 until winter 2000.
Here is a link to his Article (Data from Wild Populations) Ornate Spiny Tailed-Lizards by Ben David Osnat and Molco Danny (Copyright 1999)
Danny has written several articles about his studies of the Uromastyx ornatus
and here are some follow up questions and answers in regards to his studies.
Follow up questions to Danny Molco asked and edited by Troy Jones.
I have made some minor changes to make it more understandable in English.
When the babies hatch do the babies stay in groups?
Just for the first few hours, after 3 days they leave the incubation burrow area scatter all over the place. The female ornatus in the picture with the babies on its head was just for the first day.
Do you observe males and females sharing the same borrow?
Absolutely not. Not the Ornatus or the aegypticus.
Do not place males or females together in the same location, as the non-dominant will suffer great stress even if it seems otherwise.
dug up the burrow and measured the temperature which was
35.2 C (96F). Then we put a probe from a min/max thermometer into the burrow
where we found the egg and covered the burrow again. The following summer we took a few measurements during incubation which were a constant 35.2 cc (96F)”
Based on your studies some breeders are incubation at higher temperatures 93-96 but some are having defects in hatchlings and they are wondering if it might be the higher temperatures or some other variable causing the defects. Is there more data available? Was your study of just the one burrow two years in a row?
The measurements are on the table. Yes one burrow. I think Mark Walsh did it correctly (See below for Marks email). Start with 30 - 31 cc and rise it till 34 - 35 cc.
On my site there is temperature measure. http://www.fortunecity.com/greenfield/runningbrook/729/id23.htm
I think you need to raise the humidity. I do not know what is going on with the humidity down there, after the female blocks the burrow.
“The most surprising behavioral aspect observed was males flipping females over and slowly walking over them in a circular motion, belly to belly, as if marking them chemically.”
Was this behavior only in adults or did you observe it in babies and juveniles?
Only in adults.
“We focused our observations on specific sections of certain wadis,”
Can you please define what a "wadis" is?
"Wadi" is the water route between the cliffs around it. Or the alluvium bed between the mountains.
Did you observe any hibernation in the U.ornates you were studying?
I did not show any hibernation.
Do you feel it is necessary to feed hatchlings there mother’s droppings?
The most important thing is to leave them a mother’s dry dropping as they emerge from there eggs.
Did you ever observe the U. ornatus eating insects?
They are completely herbivorous, and insects are harmful to their liver in the long run.
Here is Mark Walsh incubation method
Date: Mon, 14 May 2001
Mark Walsh Egg incubation Method
egg incubation is as follows:
The substrate is a 50/50 mix of perillite and the fine vermiculite,
I start with 60/40 ratio for the first two weeks and then let it dry to 70/30.
A good tip, when getting the trays together, put them in the microwave for
about 20 seconds, this will sterilize the substrate.
Be sure to weigh your trays with a digital scale for accuracy.
After adding the eggs cover the trays and leave one small hole
(approx .125")for oxygen exchange.
I start the eggs at 93° for the first 30 days and then go to 94° for the
At the time of expected hatching I raise the temp to 95°.
I am currently using a Helix incubator which uses forced air heating, this
helps keep the heat consistent through out the incubator.
I keep the humidity at 80%, this keeps the trays from drying out
too fast and having to add water all the time.
It is a good idea to weigh your trays once a week to track evaporation
With all of this maintained, your eggs should hatch in approx. 60 days.
(Data from Wild Populations) Ornate Spiny Tailed-Lizards by Ben David Osnat and Molco Danny (Copyright 1999)
Uromastyx ornatus - Diet by Danny Molco & Osnat Ben David
Ground Humility and Ground temperature Eilat Israel
Pictures taken by Danny Molco, of the U.ornates in the wild..
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